“Aggression and territory defence is a really high-energy behaviour, so it requires a high level of nutrients in order for that behaviour to be carried out,” says Gunn. It doesn’t make sense for the fish to aggressively defend a larger territory with lower value. “It just isn’t worth investing that extra energy in being aggressive,” she says.

According to a report in New Scientist, Rachel Gunn, then at Lancaster University, UK, and her colleagues have now shown that this change in nutrient flows directly affects the behavior of reef fish.

The right balance of biospecies and nutrients in aquarium design

Though the research studies the impact of rats, but the theory can be extended to a bio-space like aquarium as well. Gunn says, “Removing rats would bring back seabirds, restore nutrient flows into the reefs, and give the resident fish a chance to revert to their naturally aggressive behaviors.”

If we have some aggressive fish or other aquatic species in our aquarium, they will have a similar effect as the aggressive rats in the abovementioned research. Therefore, the aggressive nature of biospecies and their right mix become very important in aquarium design.


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