A Fish's Memory


Do you think it is true that a fish only has a memory of 3 seconds?

  1. Yes

    0 vote(s)
  2. No

    0 vote(s)
  3. I dunno?!?

    0 vote(s)
  1. EmpPleco Well Known Member Member

    I have heard both sides, and was interested to know in what you all thought, or if someone could actually prove it either way... ;D
  2. chickadee Fishlore VIP Member

    Great Poll! Funny, I think I just had this conversation ;D so suffice it to say, I believe they do remember much longer than that.

    Rose ;D

  3. EmpPleco Well Known Member Member

    yeah Rose, my convo with you is what made me want to put this poll up ! LOL!

  4. dahly Member Member

    Fish, shellies, can remember where they live. Who's a friend or foe. Fish aren't smart, but they just don't go on impulse either.

  5. EmpPleco Well Known Member Member

    That's what I was wondering.. So many people say that they don't really have a memory, but if they don't, how come they can establish territory??!?! The whole thing really doesn't make any sense to me.. Nothing matches up lol
  6. Mike Fishlore Admin Moderator Member

    Also - When they see me approach the tank most of the fish go to the top right side of the tank expecting to be fed. To me that would indicate a long term memory.
  7. EmpPleco Well Known Member Member

    that's true.. So where are people getting this blibber blabber information?? Because fish obviously know who feeds them, and responds very well to the so that indicates Psychological Classical Conditional Theory, which can't be present without a memory!

  8. Jon Well Known Member Member

    i think they have a longer memory because i have heard of people ringing bells before they feed there fish and then whenever they ring a bell the fish come to the surface... must be a pretty loud bell lol
  9. EmpPleco Well Known Member Member

    yeah, that's exactly what I mean - classical conditioning - like the experiment when you ring the bell and then hold a piece of meat in front of a dog and he will salivate. But as time goes by, you just ring the bell, and the dog just starts salivating without ever even seeing the meat because he knows its coming. It's the same exact thing fish do ( i mean not the salivation part, lol ;D but you know what i mean) so if I dog has memory, how come a fish doesn't?? LOL. weird.
  10. Isabella Fishlore VIP Member

    Is Pavlov's conditioning reflex what you have in mind EmpPleco?

    And I do not believe that fish have some "few second memory". I think this is the most ridiculous statement I have ever heard, seriously. All it does is it shows how ignorant the people who make such statements are. My entire experience with fish points in an entirely different direction.

  11. EmpPleco Well Known Member Member

    Yes, Pavlov is who I speak of, Isabella-- THanks! i couldn't remember the name.

    And that's why I started this poll, because ALL over the internet, it says that a fish has a 3 second memory and my experience has led me in a different direction as well.
  12. maybet Initiate Member

    I have to agree. My betta swims to the top of his tank to the same spot where I feed him everytime I come to the tank. He doesn't do that when my husband comes to the tank...my husband doesn't feed them. But maybe it varries by fish species, because my neons are clueless.
  13. EmpPleco Well Known Member Member

    haha, clueless.. :D
  14. chickadee Fishlore VIP Member

    Well here is another example of fish memory. My little Nip died yesterday when the heater thermostat stuck and the tank got to 87 degrees before I noticed it. He hides back by the heater and got overheated. Marty knew he was back there and was frantic (besides hot), he kept whirling back and forth around there and looking back in the crack of the area between the heater and the wall of the tank. Then when I had to remove Nip, both tanks saw it and they have been upset this morning and not acting themselves at all (even Noel and the 5 gallon crew) I think they remember very well. I wish they didn't. :(

  15. EmpPleco Well Known Member Member

    aww Rose -- I am so sorry :'(
  16. Butterfly Moderator Moderator Member

    Oh yes fish have memories!!! Before I turn the lights on in the morning I feed my clown loaches by hand. So what happens is I turn the room lights on and go back in fifteen minutes and here are the clowns at the top of the water waiting to be fed. When I feed them they suck at my fingers and the food and are total pigs.
    If my husband approaches the tank first they go back to their caves and won't come out until I approach the tank then their out and begging. This proves to me they have memories because if it was conditioning(being fed at the same time everyday) they would come out at that time no matter who was there to feed them.
    The Angels are the same way. The other fish don't care who feeds them :D
    Maybe some fish are just smarter. ;D
  17. EmpPleco Well Known Member Member

    lol - great story.

    Now I am beginning to wonder which information I can trust, because each and every day I spend with my fish, it seems like I get even more attached, and it seems like they get more attached to ME! LOL ;D
  18. newbie101 Well Known Member Member

    answering the poll question: NO WAY!!!!!!!!! Use logic and common sense. How would fish SURVIVE with a 3 second memory? "SHARK!" three seconds later: "Hey, what's that large thing coming at me looking like it wants to eat me? I think I will say hi to it." I mean, I just don't see how anyone could think they have 3 second memories. It just goes against all common sense...Many people can (and have already) tell you how their fish recognize them, and many people teach their fish to swim up expecting food when they tap on the glass. Some people have even taught their fish tricks (like playing soccer, swimming thru a hoop on command, etc.)
  19. newbie101 Well Known Member Member

  20. EmpPleco Well Known Member Member

    HAHAHA :D ;D :D

    "Shark!!!!" the fish slows down, but then realizes the shark is still chasing him

    3 seconds later

    "Shark!!!!" the fish slows down, but then realizes the shark is still chasing him

    3 seconds later

    "Shark!!!!" the fish slows down, but then realizes the shark is still chasing him

    3 seconds later

    it keeps going and going and going.....

    That was hilarious emma