Saltwater Aquarium/Fish Sound.


Dear David

Do fishes make sound?.

If no, Could there be the biological reason of absence of Vocal cords?.


Hi Prashant:

Yes, fish can make sounds, including when hunting for foods, during mating, while swimming, and when threatened by a predator.

How do fish produce sounds?

Fishes produce different types of sounds using different mechanisms and for different reasons. Sounds (vocalizations) may be intentionally produced as signals to predators or competitors, to attract mates, or as a fright response. Sounds are also produced unintentionally including those made as a by-product of feeding or swimming. The three main ways fishes produce sounds are by using sonic muscles that are located on or near their swim bladder (drumming); striking or rubbing together skeletal components (stridulation); and by quickly changing speed and direction while swimming (hydrodynamics). The majority of sounds produced by fishes are of low frequency, typically less than 1000 Hz.

Thank you for the question.

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David Ocreef


Technical saltwater coral reef related aquarium questions are welcome. Coral, invertebrate, and peaceful species of saltwater fish questions are welcome. Questions asked on Saturday and Sunday will be answered the following Monday. REMINDER: Please check the answers pool to see if your question has already been asked and answered. Questions typically are answered within a 48 hour period, however sometimes it may take longer.


I possess over twenty-five years of hands-on experience and knowledge in the ecology of aquariums. Beyond the traditional, I have successfully tested and sustained environments that have been uncharted territories for hobbyists, for decades. I am the first to admit I don't know it all because there will always be something new, amazing, and exciting to learn about, as discoveries are made. It's a hobby one can never outgrow, or grow tired of.

MASNA - Marine Aquarium Society of North America. Director of Orange County Reef Aquatics -

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After High School, my experience and love of marine animals influenced me to take up studies in Marine Biology. Throughout college, I studied Microbiology with an emphasis on Marine Life, as well as numerous other sciences. I continued to advance in this hobby, by building a dozen or more saltwater ecosystems all utilizing Microbes as the major source of my filtration method.

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