Hi there! I am relatively new here, so, what I really wanted to ask was... How do you teach your betta to do tricks? Blu (My male betta) looks lonely in his bowl, I really want to teach him tricks, he follows my finger when I'm going around OUTSIDE his bowl, but, when I move my finger on top of the water, he swims away from it. I want to teach Blu some tricks WITHOUT any special equipment, for example, jumping out of the water and grab food. Thank you!
First, I just put my finger about a half inch away from the water and wiggle it. this teaches him to jump. After a while, I hold a piece of flake food the same height away (pellet is impossible) and he lunges at the food and usually gets it.
Using Food reinforces the Behavior. My Betta would do ANYTHING for a Freeze-Dried Bloodworm. He would even follow it behind the Acrylic. It's so cute! Have you heard of the R2 Fish Training School? They trained a Goldfish to Swim through a Hoop, and even play Fetch! The only trick my Betta knows is Jumping for Food. I usually play chase with it first. Like, dragging the Bloodworm across the Surface for him to chase it ;) At the End, I give it to him, and he attacks it! Like literally, I guess he was mad. It's SO cute, though!
All of mine jump for food. And pellets aren't impossible. Just wet your fingertip with a little water from his tank and the pellet will stick to it. I do this for mine. They jump up and grab the food easily. The girls seem better at it then the boys, probably those big tails getting in the way.
I haven't tried any tricks with it, but all of mine like chasing after a laser pointer.. I bet with a little imagination you could teach him tricks with that, using food as reinforcement. Just don't overfeed him!
Yup food is the trick to...tricks!
I've taught my betta to swim into her own water change cup by only feeding it in that cup. Since I always do 100% water changes (half gallon) every day or every otherday, it cuts down time wasted chasing it around with a cup.
She has gotten so used to me invading her tank now. Some times i give her a bite off a piece of cooked shrimp, and we play tug of war.
Im still crushing her pellets since she's tiny, but I have no doubts that she will take food off my fingers without hesitation.
Edit: Oh and for boredom, I like to move her tank to different areas of my room. usually I place her next to my shrimp tank. its fun to watch her try to snap at the shrimps through the glass.
Other wise everyday, I'll give her a mirror to flare at :)