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Old 06-12-2012, 09:51 AM   #1 
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Join Date: May 2012
Interacting with your betta?

I have seen videos on Youtube of people with super friendly bettas that will swim into their hand if the put it in the water and and eagerly at from their hand and stuff like that. How do you get a betta comfortable with doing that. Armani has taken a pellet from my hand once or twice so I'm guessing he's not a very skittish betta.
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Old 06-12-2012, 10:28 AM   #2 
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Wouldn't that dmagae the fish's coat, touching it with our hands?
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Old 06-12-2012, 10:32 AM   #3 
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Location: Georgia
I will stick a pellet to my fingertip and put it right above the water, they will jump for it. If I put my hand in the water to do anything from water changes, decor rearranging, etc, mine will swim up and investigate/nip to see if I'm edible Probably just a familiarity thing - if they see you a lot, they probably just become comfortable with you being part of their scenery.
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Old 06-12-2012, 10:32 AM   #4 
Join Date: Jul 2008
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As long as you don't pick it up and take it out of the water then I think it's fine.I don't think.letting it swim through your fingers will hurt anything.
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Old 06-12-2012, 10:52 AM   #5 
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Just wash and rise your hands very thoroughly before and after.. I don't use soap, just a bare smidge of hand cleanser and then rinse them heaps (especially under my nails) before putting my hands in my tank.. I'm a bit wary of contaminating it with cleaning product residue or fungal spores or something nasty..
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Old 06-12-2012, 02:54 PM   #6 
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Was rearranging a plant and ornament in my betta's tank. At first he would avoid my hand and swim away. After a while from still rearranging, He began to swim a little bit closer. Progress perhaps......
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Old 06-12-2012, 04:43 PM   #7 
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Location: Ontario, Canada
Mine would eat from my fingers when I was in exams or during holidays, both times when I'm around him pretty much 24/7 and talk to him during breaks etc. it took a lot of time though. Numerous days in a row where I'd first have him come to the front of the tank before I'd feed him. Then I wouldn't feed him until he came to my hand on the outside of his tank. Then I'd hold a bloodworm half in the water and half out. Finally I could put a pellet on my finger about a half inch above the water and he'd eat from my finger. Each of these exercises took days, and a LOT of patience. Sometimes I'd sit holding a bloodworm for 15 or more minutes. It's well worth it though. However, when you stop doing these things, like I did when I got busy again, I found he'd stop doing them too. I try it occasionally recently and he won't - I may have to "retrain" him - but it will take less time the second time around.

A big part of it though is also how much time you spend with him. I would bring my laptop over and watch tv with him (Which believe it or not, betas will watch) on holidays too haha.

I also taught him to wave :P When I come in and wiggle my finger, or he meets someone new, he wiggles his fins super fast, and it looks like he's waving. I also do it when I leave the room. When he waves when I wiggle my finger, opposed to "constant waving" or no response, he gets a treat, which reinforces the behaviour.

I'm currently trying to get him to blow kisses back at me :P It OCCASIONALLY works. But I suppose mimicking a humans mouth movements is probably pretty hard, especially when he's used to talking and seeing a mouth move with that, so he has to differentiate between the two.

Anyways, I hope that helps you! :P It's really just like training any other pet to do tricks, and familiarity is a really big factor too :) Good luck!
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Old 06-12-2012, 07:07 PM   #8 
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ielbeau, soo cute!! :) Best fish trick ideas I've heard......

One other simple trick is tapping on the glass of the tank (not near the fish so to not provoke him) and then dropping a piece of his food in the water. After several times of doing this, my little guy is starting to swim to the top once he hears the tapping on the glass. :)

Last edited by dbrooke1; 06-12-2012 at 07:12 PM.
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Old 06-12-2012, 09:47 PM   #9 
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Location: Orange/Ulster County, New York
Buddha recognizes my face, so I often play "peek a boo" with him. All I do is leave his sight for about 15 seconds, until he is distracted, and then I slowly appear in his vision again. This gets him happy. I don't go too fast because I don't want to scare him.

I can't do anything involving me putting my hand in the tank because he's extremely skittish and WILL swim away, no matter how long you keep your hand in there.
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Old 06-12-2012, 09:54 PM   #10 
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Sometimes when I'm feeding kuro in his little cup I'll stuck my fingers in there and poke him as a joke. He's obviously not scared of my finger as he doesnt panic or rush around the cup. rather he sees it as a nuisence and edges away, lolol. I find this so cute for some reason. I've had my girl for a month longer than he, and she still swims away from my finger if I poke the tank walls, whilst Kuro will ignore me completely when he sees my giant finger offending his line of vision.
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