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Old 10-25-2012, 12:34 PM   #1 
Sivan
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Ichthyologist Help Wanted

I know some of our members here are ichthyologists but I just cannot remember who. As some of you know, I regularly do research into betta fish and collect useful articles on their care, needs, and the science behind how they work (brain functions, wild behaviors, etc.). Although in-depth ichthyology may be beyond my non-scientific background of understanding, I am looking for research and/or studies and/or articles on two topics that I cannot seem to figure out how to find.

First topic: poop. I want to know and understand more about fish (betta fish specifically but I know many species generally work the same way) digestion and why feces change due to certain ailments. While I understand that white, stringy, excrement is a bad sign and that it is possible to figure out if a fish has parasites by looking at its poop in some cases, I want to have official sources on this and understand why. I also want to know more about what causes constipation and how betta digestion works in general. I do not know where to look for this sort of in formation. Google scholar is not my favorite scholarly search tool and I have access to various data bases but any direction would be helpful, especially if you know of any articles or sources on this type of information.

The second topic is easier: brain functions. I remember there was a conversation on this forum about the brain functions of betta fish and how they relate in comparison to the higher brain functions of other animals, mainly in relation to emotion. I would like to read more on this but do not know where to begin looking, yet again. I believe there may have even been articles on this given in the thread but I cannot remember who, where, or what it was specifically about and cannot sit and pick through page after page of random threads trying to see if they contain any information that I am looking for.

Thank you to all who can help me with my research. I know my topics are different but I am very interesting in how thing (betta fish in this case) work. I always said that if I had any talent at all in math and science that I would be a marine biologist because I love sea creatures so much and I am envious of anyone who has the talent and ability to go into ichthyology. You guys rock.
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Old 10-25-2012, 01:13 PM   #2 
ChoclateBetta
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Not a professional but spend hours researching bettas each day they are native to southeast Asia use the labyrinth organ to get O2 because they live in very warm water low in O2 hundreds of years ago people of Siam now thialand started to fight them the fights rare,y resulted in injury they are territorial can live with certain fish some bettas are still very aggressive in the wild form territories of about a meter each they are very intelligant and can be trained ticks recognize people and even suffer deppression bettas are active and curious the first bettas of todays colorful bettas were decribed as a new species because of how different they were the first bettas out of sia, were fighters given to an ickthyologist he accidentally gave them the name of a previously describe species males raise there eggs in bubble nests and chase the females because they eat the eggs wild splendens are threatened by being bred with escaped captive and habitat loss domestic were also bred with B.Imbellis and B.Smarginia.
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Old 10-25-2012, 02:56 PM   #3 
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Sivan, I would message Oldfishlady with some of your questions as she has been raising/breeding these guys for over 40+ years. She also has a medical/science background and has done many experiments over the years with them.

She may or may not be able to answer some of what you are asking, but I do know she is very knowledgeable when it comes to their digestion. This is the only help that I can offer/recommend, as I do more behavioral studies and interest with these guys (and in general).

Good luck!
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Old 10-25-2012, 04:37 PM   #4 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Myates View Post
Sivan, I would message Oldfishlady with some of your questions as she has been raising/breeding these guys for over 40+ years. She also has a medical/science background and has done many experiments over the years with them.

She may or may not be able to answer some of what you are asking, but I do know she is very knowledgeable when it comes to their digestion. This is the only help that I can offer/recommend, as I do more behavioral studies and interest with these guys (and in general).

Good luck!
I hate always bothering OldFishLady with everything. She's a super hero.

Do you have any research articles you could recommend on behavior? What sort of behavior?
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Old 10-25-2012, 04:57 PM   #5 
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I assume this is the same with fish but fecal composition in humans can change depending on a lot of things.

For example the usual brown colour is because of bile, bacteria, red blood cells, the food we eat, etc. I know people with Crohn's Disease sometimes have green feces, and also when your food rushes through your digestive tract in which your bile (normally green in colour) cannot be oxidized down to the normal brown colour.

If anything, *MOST* (not all) digestive systems of animals are pretty similar due to it's evolutionary conveniences.


As for the second item on your list, you would have to study the anatomy and function of fish brains vs other animals. The Cerebral Cortex is what allows for higher thinking and cognition, and most non-mammals simply do not have them, or they are much much much smaller (to the point of negligible mass) in relative mass to the other parts of the brain.

There are many animals that are so SIMPLE that their brain is just a series of reflex arcs, which points towards the idea that they don't really think of anything but only RESPOND REFLEXIVELY to outside stimuli.
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Old 10-25-2012, 05:01 PM   #6 
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I'm subscribed.
I'd love to learn about their intelligence and how things came to be.
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Old 10-25-2012, 05:11 PM   #7 
Olympia
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I don't think bettas have self esteem. I think that's more a cold blooded animal in a cold environment, since a fish's body temperature is the same as the water, their systems are designed to function at a certain temperature, and at lower temperatures their bodies simply can't keep going as fast. Just like reptiles. It's not depression.

I see a lot of people idolize betta fish to the point that they forget they are a fish, just like any other and not special in any way, compared to a tetra or danio.
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Old 10-25-2012, 05:13 PM   #8 
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It is not so much depression as it is lack of stimulation.

Depression is a mental disorder in which neurotransmitters do not release properly or do not release enough into the blood stream.

If you look at what a fish's brain ACTUALLY looks like, you can get some sort of idea on how they work.

They DO NOT have any cortical folds in their cerebrum, which is a tell-tale sign of overall intelligence. Higher mammals such as humans, chimpanzees, and dolphins all have cortical folding in their cerebrums. Cats and dogs also have cortical folding. Frogs, most birds, and fish have little or no folding whatsoever.

A fish's cerebrum and cerebellum guide it during voluntary actions such as eating, swimming, eye movement, etc.

The brain stem including the medulla oblongata control functions such as breathing, body temperature, and various other bodily functions we make no conscious efforts to do

Fish also have a olfactory and ocular bulbs to smell and see (chemio-receptors)

...and that is about it. They're not going to be writing emo-poetry or sonnets
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Old 10-25-2012, 05:13 PM   #9 
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Yes they are special one of the most intelligant hardy fish.
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Old 10-25-2012, 05:19 PM   #10 
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Really, I don't think they are very intelligent. The most intelligent fish are the Mormyridae.
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