..Why do fish have nostrils if they can't sniff? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
 
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post #1 of 5 Old 12-06-2010, 09:12 PM Thread Starter
..Why do fish have nostrils if they can't sniff?

This is perplexing my mind.

33g with Eheim Canister Filter (80g) and 40g HOB
Crushed coral sand, coconut shell caves, bubblers, power head, dead liverock, mopani, russian mossballs, hornwort, tape grass, assorted nameless plants, one lucky bamboo shoot
-2 Calico Ryukins
-4 Ottoclinus 2 male 2 female
-1 Clown Pleco male
-1 Shubunkin/Comet?, Calico female
-1 SAE, female
-Malaysian Trumpet Snails, Rams horns
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post #2 of 5 Old 12-07-2010, 09:44 AM
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Originally Posted by CowgirlFishKeeper View Post
This is perplexing my mind.
Who said they can't? Fish I beleive at least can smell and taste. In water these two sense probably overlap a bit. My caecilians may not be exactly fish but being blind they have very good smell underwater. If you have ever poured a little of the liquid from thawed bloodworms in the water this makes my rainbowfish really excited.
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post #3 of 5 Old 12-07-2010, 06:49 PM
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Yes indeed. Fish have 6 senses, one more than we do. With us they share vision, hearing, smell, taste and touch, and in addition fish can detect low frequency vibrations and since they make use of this when swimming, it is a true sense.

The sense of smell in fish is termed the olfactory sense. The fish's "nose" does not communicate with the respiratory system as it does in us, but is solely used to dete4ct odours in the water. In many fish it is actually of higher use in finding food that their vision.

I'm not a biologist so I won't try to go into the details as to how this works. But it is fundamentally identical to us. In both cases, the odour has to dissolve into a liquid--in us, mucus in the nasal passages, but for the fish it is already dissolved in the water passing in through the nostril.

Taste is a bit different from us; some might say it is more advanced in fish. They have taste buds not only in the mouth as we do, but also in the skin covering the head, fins, body, barbels, lips and in anabantids (gourami, etc) at the tips of those filamentous ventral fins. Manhy catfish have taste buds on their flanks. All this means fish can "taste" food before it even enters their mouth. A combo of this plus the "smell" may be what Mikaila's rainbowfish detect.

I got the above from the book Advanced Aquarist Guide written by Feroze Ghadially that I've had for years; it is wonderfully "simple" at explaining such things.

Byron.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #4 of 5 Old 05-15-2011, 02:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CowgirlFishKeeper View Post
This is perplexing my mind.

I see what you did there.
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post #5 of 5 Old 05-15-2011, 08:34 PM Thread Starter
LOL. You found me, Ocal. Couldn't really join here with my Frih username, being fish and all. :D I was bored, so I wanted to see the various responses on the two boards. Clearly, Frih has the best replies. xD

33g with Eheim Canister Filter (80g) and 40g HOB
Crushed coral sand, coconut shell caves, bubblers, power head, dead liverock, mopani, russian mossballs, hornwort, tape grass, assorted nameless plants, one lucky bamboo shoot
-2 Calico Ryukins
-4 Ottoclinus 2 male 2 female
-1 Clown Pleco male
-1 Shubunkin/Comet?, Calico female
-1 SAE, female
-Malaysian Trumpet Snails, Rams horns
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