Eli5 about petting fish

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I’m concerned about petting fish. Even though they might act like they enjoy it, doesn’t it harm their slime layer? I thought the slime layer was meant to protect their skin.

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Fish rub up against all kinds of things, like plants or any other decorations you may have in your tank/pond. Also, you’re not supposed to pat them hard enough to actually rub anything off. You should basically just hold your hand still and let them “pat” themselves.

With that said, if you have something like sunscreen on your hands, _that_ can be bad for them.

gentle clean hands going with the direction of their scales should be harmless in a healthy fish. sick fish can have their slime coat affected and shouldnt be touched for both of your safety