March 23, 2024

Is It Really Possible For Fish to Eat Poop?

Cleanliness in an aquarium is crucial to keeping its inhabitants healthy. Without routine poop removal, ammonia levels could build up quickly, creating an unsafe environment for its fish inhabitants and others who live there. Many aquarists turn to "poop-eating fish" for assistance with this task - however is this really possible?

Truth be told, certain species of freshwater omnivorous freshwater fish and invertebrates like snails and shrimps will consume biological waste produced by other tank residents; this practice is known as coprophagia - eating excrement. While feces contain some nutrition compared to food sources; their consumption must only occur once all important vitamins and nutrients have been extracted by an organism from it before being expelled by its body.

Fish waste tends to sink to the substrate, making it hard for its eaters to reach and consume it. When fish poop does float in your aquarium, this may indicate illness or stress and should be dealt with immediately. Since no fish species is specifically designed to consume its waste on an ongoing basis, the best way to get rid of fish poop is through regular gravel vacuuming, increasing and optimizing water flow rates, and adding live plants which absorb excess nutrients.

Passionate and knowledgeable aquartist. Aquariums have always fascinated me. I enjoy sharing and learning about the wonders of a fish tank.

Justin A