Do Fish Drink Water ? Fishinaquarium

Do Fish Drink Water


Fishes are born and brought up in the water and meant to be there till death. But do fish drink water? Well, you must have noticed the gasping movement of fish’ mouths underwater, but they do so to breathe in oxygen and during eating. So, it’s pretty tough to understand if they are drinking water or not.

Are you still wondering, do fish drink water? Well, most fishes don’t feel the need to drink water. Both marine and freshwater fishes survive with the osmosis process through their gills and skin. However, at times, few saltwater fishes may drink water to stay hydrated, unlike freshwater fishes.


Do fish drink water?


This thought can often tickle our minds when we look at a fish doing its gulping mouth action. But whether they are drinking water in the process, that is completely impossible to understand. Well, don’t worry, we’re here to tell you the real answer to your query, do fish drink water.

Though fishes live underwater throughout their lifetime, they do not tend to drink water. Are you wondering why? Well, that’s because they can absorb water through their skin and gills to satiate their bodily water requirements. So, they do not feel the urge to drink water separately.

Nevertheless, some saltwater fishes do drink water to maintain an optimum fluid balance in their body. You will get to know more about them in detail in the subsequent sections.

Do fish get thirsty?


The answer to this question is no. Since fishes live in water throughout their life, they probably do not feel the conscious urge to drink water or seek out.

Thirst usually implies the desire to drink water when our body feels the need for it. It is more applicable for land mammals and other animals that are not in direct contact with water, unlike fishes. So, it is much improbable that a fish will have a strong urge for drinking water or respond to the driving force.


Do fish need to drink water?


Usually, most fishes do not feel the requirement to drink water. They have their inbuilt capabilities to absorb water into their body through the osmosis process, as discussed above. And this fact is mostly true for all freshwater fishes that have much saltier body fluids than the water they live in.

On the contrary, the body fluid and blood of saltwater fishes are less salty than water. Thus, water continuously flows out of their gills. So, these species do feel the need to drink water purposefully. They need to have enough water in their system to stay functional.

While the saltwater fish direct some of the water they drink to their digestive tract; freshwater fishes limit the water flow only to their gills.


How do fish drink water?


Now, this is a real thing to think about. If they do not drink water like us, then how do fish drink water? Well, the truth is instead of drinking water, fishes tend to absorb it through their body. Usually, fish species can absorb water through their skin and gills through the process of osmosis.

Osmosis marks the passage of water across membranes. The water flows through the areas of lower concentration of solutes towards the areas of higher concentration. It participates in equalizing the concentrations of either area.

When it comes to freshwater fish, their body fluids and blood are way saltier than the water they inhabit. In such cases, the water will flow through their gills into their body. But the exact opposite scenario happens to saltwater fishes.

However, the body of fishes requires a particular concentration of salt for better functioning. So, if fishes allow the water to diffuse freely through their gills and skin, the saltwater species will get shriveled up while the freshwater fishes will tend to explode.

So, to prevent this, fishes possess specialized cells in their gills that help in selectively pumping salt inside or outside of their body. In saltwater species, their gills, along with kidneys, consistently help filter out salt particles. On the contrary, the cells present in the gills of freshwater fishes continuously pump salt into their body.

Do freshwater fish drink water?


Freshwater fishes do not feel any need to drink water. Though most of our curious minds might think, yes, freshwater fishes do drink water, what happens is just the opposite.

In the case of freshwater fishes that lives in a river or lake, water tends to flow into their body through osmosis via their gills and skin, which is a necessary bodily function for their living. Thus, they do not require drinking water separately.

Do fish drink saltwater?


Those fishes that live in the sea might feel the need to drink saltwater. Brackish water fishes need to drink a lot of saltwater from the sea to keep themselves hydrated.

To partially compensate for their bodily water loss, ocean fishes drink a lot of water through their mouth. It helps them to have a healthy balance of fluid in their body.

However, to get rid of the salt they consume along with water, their gills pump excess salt outside their body.

Usually, sharks, bony fish, tuna fish, and other fishes that live in the ocean or sea are observed to exhibit the behavior of drinking saltwater.


Can fish drink water that they swim in?


While fish swim in the water, it is common for them to drink water, isn’t it? Though we think it to be obvious, not all fishes do so. Some of the fishes that live in saltwater tend to drink seawater.

Hence, this is only true for those swimming fishes that dwell in saltwater and feels the urge to hydrate themselves due to water loss through osmosis. The swimming freshwater fishes do not drink water at all.


Do goldfish drink water?


Are you thinking, do goldfish drink water? Well, this is an obvious question to come to your mind while looking at the funnily playing goldfishes in your tank.

However, let us tell you goldfishes do not feel the urge to drink water. Being freshwater fish, the water keeps flowing into their body through osmosis.

Do betta fish drink water?


If you ask, do betta fish drink water, then the answer is definitely a yes. Betta fishes come with unique characteristics, unlike other fishes. Such special features allow bettas to absorb water while they swim forward.

Unlike other fishes in which only gills and skin absorbed water, in bettas, the water passes through their body, gills, and mouth to keep the fish hydrated. Also, these fishes possess tiny pores on their skin, through which water enters their body to meet their bodily water requirements.

Do jellyfish drink water?


Similar to any other fish, jellyfishes, too, do not drink water directly. They do not necessarily feel the need to drink seawater.

However, jellyfishes can suck water and salt from the marine water through their skin using the osmosis process for maintaining their usual bodily functions. Jellyfishes are one of those invertebrates, which survive in the water through this process.

Do tropical fish drink water?


Similar to any other fish species, tropical fish uses the same process of hydrating themselves. Even tropical fishes do not require water for drinking purposes. They tend to use the very popular osmosis process, like any other fishes, to fulfill the water requirements in their body.

Why fish do not get thirsty?


Since fishes actively stay underwater, there are no chances for them to get dried out or dehydrated. At the same time, their anatomy is not created in a way, which would allow them to have a thirst for water like us.

Instead, fishes continuously absorb water through their bodies and gills, which helps them stay hydrated all the time. Thus, naturally, fishes do not feel thirsty.

Do fish drink air?


No, fishes do not drink air. Though these aquatic creatures live their entire lives underwater, even they require oxygen for their breathing. However, instead of breathing from the air, fish derive oxygen from the water using their respiratory organ, gills.

Fishes need to let a considerable amount of water pass through their gills to extract oxygen for their breathing. And in return, they exhale carbon dioxide. Thus, a steady water flow and well-oxygenated water are necessary to maintain their respiration cycle.

But when you take the fishes out of the water, their gills fail to draw oxygen from the air. Thus, neither fish can inhale oxygen from the air, nor can they drink air. However, to restore their normal breathing, you need to put them back to water so that their gill functions properly again. If you find your fishes to come up to the tank surface level often for breathing, you need to be alert about fixing the oxygen level in the water.



Do fish drink water? Or do fish ever get thirsty? These are the probable questions to come up in our minds. But by now, you must have realized the truth that fishes do not feel the need to drink water. Instead, they are formed in a way that helps them to quickly absorb water through their body and gills and let them have a hydrated body throughout.

However, exceptions always exist, and that’s why some saltwater fishes tend to drink water to compensate for their water loss from the body due to osmosis. Otherwise, the maximum of fishes does not require drinking water.