Do Fish Have Feelings?

Why me

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Kind of for fun but i was wondering if fish actually feel some types of emotions? Some people say shrimp don’t feel pain. So would they feel fear or caution.
 

Laxin10

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That is a loaded question lol. The question whether fish feel any sort of pain is still up for grabs. We know that they feel something, but whether that is "painful" in the same sense that it is painful for us not yet known. Emotions are different. They don't feel emotions like we do, but we know they will avoid harmful stimuli based on previous experiences.
 

BaraYoukai

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Well they for sure have individual personality. I would think they would feel pain and other types of emotion since they seem to respond to certian triggers.
 

MikeRad89

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We can only test behavior, not the cognition behind it. There are a lot of poorly done studies showing “depression” in fish and reception to pain, but we really can’t know.

Fish are primitive and instinctual on a very basic level. Just because they dart and hide when they see a predator doesn’t mean they feel fear, it means there’s an ingrained instinctual behavior to help the survival if the species.
 

Jfl0

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There was a study done on a Betta fish whereby it was given prozac. Yes, they gave a fish an anti-depressant. It seemed to be less aggressive towards other fish.
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As for the original question, science is attempting to answer this question, but to my understanding no. They may behave in certain patterns but I do not think that fish are capable of emotions, let alone recognizing a dead tank mate from food.
 

Ms rose

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Jfl0 said:
There was a study done on a Betta fish whereby it was given prozac. Yes, they gave a fish an anti-depressant. It seemed to be less aggressive towards other fish.
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As for the original question, science is attempting to answer this question, but to my understanding no. They may behave in certain patterns but I do not think that fish are capable of emotions, let alone recognizing a dead tank mate from food.
idk, i had two platys i bought at the same time. they were kept in seperate tanks at the store. once they were acclimated to my tank, i added them in togeher (for the first time).
the bigger platy seemed annoyed with the smaller platy fallowing it verywhere. this went on for a few weeks, eventually the big guy gave in an just allowed the small one to stick by his side at all times without chasing the lil guy away. sadly i lost the big guy. when i woke up in the morning the big fish was laying at the bottom of the tank. lil guy was right next to him, just swimming in place. once i took big guy out, lil guy stayed at that spot looking around, once it finally excepted his friend was gone, that fish went and hid for two days. i then added new fish to keep him company, and he is now best friends with a guppy..... maybe just a fluke, but MY fish was infact depressed

edit: even if it was a sense of feeling safe with another fish present, as these two were alone in a 20 gallon, wouldnt that fact mean they feel?
 

lilabug4545

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I have to say, maybe. I once rescued two goldies, and one passed away around 8 months later. The other started acting lethargic and wouldn't eat. We got another goldie and the guy in the tank immediately became active again, and started eating.
 

scarface

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Feelings as in empathy, depression, and love? No. Don't need science to tell me that.

Do I still care about my fish? Absolutely.
 

wolfdog01

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I totally believe they have emotions. I think they can get depressed, excited, bored, anything. You can see it a lot in solitary fish like bettas, they have nothing to do except for patrol and in turn they are interested in anything going on inside or outside the tank. Just my opinion though, science is too confusing lol.
 

CanadianFishFan

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lilabug4545 said:
I have to say, maybe. I once rescued two goldies, and one passed away around 8 months later. The other started acting lethargic and wouldn't eat. We got another goldie and the guy in the tank immediately became active again, and started eating.
Same, I had one of my guppys die from dropsy. The one he always hanged out with was sad and didnt eat and just did nothing. I Told my mom i need to get more guppys or he would die (kinda like a joke of he would die from loneliness) Yea she said no more fish and he died a week later from nothing....but loneliness.
 

Mick Frost

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External stimuli trigger glandular production, which changes levels of chemicals like Serotonin. This happens in every living thing with a brain and glands, fish included.

Whether or not these changes have the same effects on fish as they do in humans is unknown. You'd have to ask the fish.
 

Gypsy13

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Well my fish have feelings. If they didn’t nothing would ever stress them out. Luckily mine don’t get stressed often. Plus they love me. They all come swimming to me as soon as they hear my voice. (Could be the food). They just all love me so much!
 

Aqua Hands

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yes Let me copy and paste something I said on a earlier post.
"my condolences, I lost a pickerel in a 10g (Before I knew he got huge) I thought him tricks like in water flips, out of water flips, nose stands, tail stands, and sit (It was weird)." The thing died because the 2nd one died. they were from the same pond, so basically siblings and were never seperated. It stopped eating and starved to death. It gave up on life.
 

CanadianFishFan

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Gypsy13 said:
Well my fish have feelings. If they didn’t nothing would ever stress them out. Luckily mine don’t get stressed often. Plus they love me. They all come swimming to me as soon as they hear my voice. (Could be the food). They just all love me so much!
Very true we do know that fish have the feeling of being stressed because it is very visible. They dont hear us but can feel the vibrations. (So dont have loud music by the fish....)
 
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