"Training"? - Betta Fish and Betta Fish Care
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-18-2010, 10:09 PM Thread Starter
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Wink "Training"?

I decided earlier that I'd try and see if any of my bettas would jump for their food... (mainly because it's my day off, but it's cold so I'm not going out. lol) To my surprise Jayde and Rikku were very receptive and jumped pretty high for their worms. Nina tried like heck but missed.

The others either feared the finger or gave me the same look a cat gives whenever you try to get them to do something. (all cat owners know this look. lol)

I have no idea how fish brain works. But I wonder if there's any way to "train" a betta to perform tricks with some sort of cue? I've been going off of the idea of "memory by association", or that their brains can work somewhat like a dogs, where you can get them to do most anything for a reward with the proper "command".

My question is has anyone tried? and if so, what have you attempted to teach your fish? Eager for some interesting responses!

~Madi
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-18-2010, 10:28 PM
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After reading your post I decided to try it with Jeffery since he's right in front of me on the table and he's a big people fish (Gyarados is a giant, insecure pretty boy. That and he's currently sleeping on top of his filter).

He seemed intrigued by this idea, but he doesn't quite understand the mechanics. He looked at the worm, then kinda got confused and rushed up to the side of the glass and started begging earnestly for me to drop it in his cookie tub (Jeffery begging consists of him flaring out his fins and urgently swimming up, down and across the length of the side you're closest to whilst opening and closing his mouth. It's pretty cute, I'm sure if he could whimper he would).

I don't know if they can be trained, but I'll keep trying. I know Jeffery's association with hands is two fold, food bringer and prey/predator, because while we feed him Roommate also devised a game the two of them play when he starts acting like an attention *****.
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-18-2010, 11:15 PM
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My fish has been jumping at my finger since day 1. I dont even have to have a piece of food. I just hold my finger above the water and he jumps! its pretty neat :)

I dont think bettas have long term memory so I doubt you would be able to "train" one... It all just comes down to instinct.
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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-18-2010, 11:27 PM
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Both of my bettas will follow my finger in the water or on the side of the tank. I sometimes play with them but I have never trained a betta lol! Alexander will circle around my finger and look at it or rest his mouth almost right next to my finger but won't ever try to nip it.....but my other betta Riley goes absoutly bonkers and nips at my finger and chases it xD. That would be neat to see if bettas can be trained =)

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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-18-2010, 11:36 PM Thread Starter
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Agreed. I've read most animals don't have a long term memory they can look back on like we do, but if they associate a certain command with "oh I'll get food!", then maybe. That's how dogs work. Cold blooded animals might be a totally other story, I have no idea. It'll be fun to find out though. :)

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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-19-2010, 12:28 AM
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While I think that they definitely don't have a memory like ours, I've noticed that they do 'remember' when it comes to very basic, primal association.

The boys are fed Wardley betta pellets, it comes in a little blue food canister. For whatever reason we set ours next to Jeffery's cookie tub. A couple of days ago I was doing homework and started thinking, as well as watching Jeff. He's taken up 'begging', so he associates us with getting fed and has a way of showing us he wants to be fed. However I was curious how far all of this went.

So while he was swimming around, not paying attention to me all that much, I picked up the canister of his food. His fins lifted up and he immediately faced the food canister. I slowly dragged it around his tank, he darted towards, following it. I set it down. He started 'begging'. I did it for a few minutes, moving the canister around his tank, I even took our black dog pepper shaker that he runs away from usually and put the dog in front of the food canister. He flared! On whatever basic level I kinda think he gets canister=food, black dog=enemy, dog in front of food= >:(

Not a genius by any of our standards, but a step above goldfish lol.
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-19-2010, 12:41 AM Thread Starter
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lol very interesting. But on the contrary, goldfish are actually much more intelligent than they let on. I've seen them trained to swim through hoops, and even push a tiny soccer ball into a tiny goal! Check out youtube. There's a program available that allows you to learn how to teach them these tricks, and it comes with a hoop and all that fun stuff. Of course it costs money, but it looks pretty mindblowing.

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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-19-2010, 01:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by metalbetta View Post
lol very interesting. But on the contrary, goldfish are actually much more intelligent than they let on. I've seen them trained to swim through hoops, and even push a tiny soccer ball into a tiny goal! Check out youtube. There's a program available that allows you to learn how to teach them these tricks, and it comes with a hoop and all that fun stuff. Of course it costs money, but it looks pretty mindblowing.
So I just jumped on youtube and watched the goldfish. That's really impressive!

It begs the question though, if Goldfish are the essentially the trainable dogs of the fish world, does that make bettas the cats? lol. :P
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-19-2010, 01:33 AM Thread Starter
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Seems to be the case! lol

~Madi
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-19-2010, 03:15 AM
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i hope not because im not very fond of cats

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