Do fish actually drink water? The answer may surprise the reader, but it depends upon the type of fish being discussed. Fresh water fish do not drink water, but rather absorb the water through their skin and gills. However salt water fish do drink water, the problem lies in the amount of salt either side needs.
Fresh water fish do not get enough salt in their diet. The way they obtain the necessary amount of salt is by absorbing the water through their skin and gills. The habitat of the fresh-water fish does not include salt water. They thrive on fresh water and have to achieve a regular salt intake by digestion of the fresh water and then use the nutrients found in the water. Unlike their saltwater counterparts, they do not live in a condition conducive to salt. When fresh water fish absorb the water of their natural habitat, they get rid of any liquid not needed, and retain the salt value of that particular water source.
Salt water fish have the opposite problem of freshwater fish: they live in an environment that provides more than enough salt. Salt water fish drink the sea water in and digest the salt, spitting out any unnecessary salt water. The salt water fish need a higher concentrate of salt and have to drink huge amounts of water daily to stay hydrated. Consequently, the salt-water fish drinks as much water as possible to stay hydrated, and is not concerned about salt intake.
There are some species that have adapted to both fresh and salt water conditions like salmon; however a majority of either species needs its own habitat to survive. The issue is always the type of fish and its salt-intake needs. As shown above, each fish has a different need. The salt water fish has the need to stay hydrated and receives enough salt; however the fresh-water fish does not get adequate salt, so it must absorb any salt provided through the skin or gills.
Is it possible for fish to drink water? The answer is: yes! But the type of fish drinking the water is the bottom line. Both species have adapted to their environment, and receive the correct amount of salt to stay healthy. The way fresh-water and salt-water fish go about receiving a correct amount of salt daily differ somewhat. Fish are a fascinating species, who need an adequate amount of salt and water-just like humans do.