Do Fish Learn? Why, yes, They Do.

poefox

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For a while I've had a problem with my betta, Rusty, getting aggressive with the two remaining corys in my tank. I suspect he'd get aggressive with the snail as well if he knew how to do it any harm. I tried many things, feeding them in the dark, giving them only food that he wouldn't or couldn't eat, and it did no good.

However, they've learned. It took them a while--corydoras are friendly schooling fish and don't get what is with this long finned uptight guy who shares the tank with them. Meanwhile, Rusty is clearly thinking "SHARE?! There will be no sharing here!"

Now when he moves up aggressively they sit very quietly still most of the time, and he'll stop. What seems to bug him is when they are exploring 'his' tank and as long as he can't see them doing it they swim around to their heart's content.

Another example of learning is that I rarely ever have to tap the glass to stop Rusty from chasing them on the rare occasion that he does. If he sees my finger pointing at him he'll stop.
 

Buzz

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...lol...It is so true, they really are so intelligent !!!

But you're giving me an idea...maybe we need to permanently stick a rubber finger pointed at a particular trouble-maker in one of our tanks ;D

Buzz
 

chickadee

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;DLOL - LOL - LOL - LOL - LOL


Thanks, you two.  I needed a good laugh.  I can just see the whole situation and yes, I do believe that they learn and know just how far that they can push the boundaries before they get scolded.  It is amazing that Rusty will pay attention to the "Pointed Finger" though.   ;D



Rose
 

Isabella

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LOL ;D

Of course fishies learn! My angelfish know exactly when to expect food and once the hour comes, they're all lined up by the front glass of my tank, impatiently waiting for food. Not to mention their impatient "tail-wiggling" every time I walk by my tank, lol. My adolescent angels are like little foxes! They know that I always hide food under a driftwood piece, for my algae eater. Once they've seen my hand putting food under the driftwood, they immediately swim up to the driftwood, go underneath it, and eat my loach's food! Poor guy hardly ever gets to eat a good portion of the food I try to save for him :-\ !

Besides, none of my angels is ever afraid of my hands. When i clean my tanks bottom or just put the hands in the water, they'll swim around my hands and even nip at them, lol. I can gently touch them and sort of "glide" over their scales with my fingers, and it doesn't seem to bother them at all ;D I love my fishies!
 
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poefox

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Rusty does that wriggling dance as well to get my attention or whatever it is...it might just be his excitement. The catfish will also start seriously 'exploring' when I lift the lid, hoping to find something that has fallen down for them.

Cichlids are supposed to be fairly smart fish and I guess bettas are too, it's funny isn't it how fish will figure things out. Rusty has never been able to find a shrimp pellet on his own and so he always waits for the corys to, then pounces.
 

chickadee

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I may be prejudiced but I truly believe that Bettas are some of the smartest fish that there are and that it does not take them long to learn to do what they think is going to get them what they want, but they are also some of the most stubborn so if they decide the risk is not worth the reward they are not going to do what ever it is no matter what.

Rose
 

BlueBetta

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Hi, I'm new here, but I couldn't resist this topic. Yes bettas can learn! I have a blue betta named Fiction. I've taught him to follow my finger around the surface of the water. He does it because he knows that he'll get his food after. But it's a fun trick when guest come to my house and want to see ;D

BlueBetta
 

Butterfly

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And they know WHO feeds them also. first thing in the morning I feed my clown loaches and they do the loachie dance for me. If my husband approaches the tank first they don't even come to the top but when I come over they shoot up to the top to be hand fed. Fish are so smart.
Carol
 
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poefox

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Rusty also will rush up to the top of the tank when I lift the lid. Bettas are definitely among the more responsive of fish, along with Cichlids and Loaches and some others. What's interesting is that if I actually give him a shrimp pellet he ignores it, he has come to expect betta pellets at the top of the tank. (and nothing else, he won't touch worms or flakes at all of course) But if the CORYS have access to pellets...ah, well then.
 

Phloxface

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I hold up my hand and wiggle my fingers just before feeding Phlox. I also feed him from the front right hand corner of the tank always. My tank is in the living room opposite the couch and when I'm sitting there I see him staring at me. All I have to do is lift my hand and wiggle my fingers, even from across the room and he starts going crazy, dancing around and goes straight to his feeding corner.  It's weird how they watch you even from a distance!  ;D
 

Butterfly

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I wonder if fish have a "people watching" hobby you know like we have a "fish watching" hobby.
Carol
 
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poefox

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Do you remember the scene in "Finding Nemo" where the fish are watching the dental operation?

My catfish have also learned when Rusty is safest to deal with...which is when he is spending his time in one of the plants. I'm not quite sure why he does this, but now and then he goes in among the leaves of a particular plant and just sits there, sometimes for as long as an hour.
 

chickadee

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I know mine certainly have a television watching addiction. If the television doesn't go on to the Animal Planet right after their breakfast and stay there until at least lunchtime, I have unhappy little men in my tanks. They just hang there and focus on the television and then swim for a few minutes and then hang there and watch - back and forth all morning. I can watch what I want in the afternoon.

Rose
 
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