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Old 04-27-2013, 04:42 PM   #1 
AyalaCookiejar
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Handling fish - getting over fear?

So I need your guys' help.

I have a sorority tank and I need to put my hands in the tank to add and rearrange some plants. Problem is, I know bettas are curious creatures and will swarm around my hands and probably nip me, especially my sorority of 6 girls. I am very skittish of this, mostly because once when I was attempting to feed my blind guy with a skewer (the blunt end - I have to get the food to touch his mouth for him to find it) he latched on to it hard and I jumped, pulling out the skewer with him still attached! Like when you play tug-o-war with a dog and they grab on to the rope so hard that you can lift them off the ground.

I need your help/advice getting over this fear so I can rearrange.

I had to pick up one of my girls a few days ago who jumped out of the tank. She was flopping around on the desk so I cupped my hands around her and she flopped into my palm and I quickly put her back in the tank, lol.

But I'm still scared to put my hands in the tank because I'm so jumpy!

Thanks, lol :)
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Old 04-27-2013, 05:06 PM   #2 
LinkLover
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To be honest, I have the same problem. :P What I have found is that I am only bothered if the fish touch my fingers, and am totally fine if they touch the back of my hand, arm, etc. I don't know if that's the same case with you, but if so then just make sure you keep an eye on your fingers and your fish, and make sure the two don't come into contact. ;) However, something that seemed to really help for me was to put my hand in there and let them touch it on purpose. Like, stick your hand in there expecting them to touch you (they won't necessarily nip, and even if they did it won't hurt) and after letting them do so for a minute or two you won't care anymore. I don't know if that is something you'd be willing to do, but I thought it was helpful!
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Old 04-27-2013, 05:19 PM   #3 
AyalaCookiejar
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I think my biggest issue is the fear I will hurt them because I'm jumpy! When I pulled my blind boy out of the tank by accident he fell on the hood of the tank next to his and somehow managed to flip back into his tank on the first try.

I guess I should try just sticking my hand there and holding it still and letting them check it out. I've been told that it doesn't hurt when they bite but my blind boy obviously has a ferocious bite, lol. He's my most aggressive fish, though. The fact that I could hear it when he latched on to the skewer... It just sounded like it'd hurt if it were a finger, you know? Lol.

I really hope that I can get the plants rearranged without harming anyone in the process 0_0 so far my girls seem to be quite the troopers!
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Old 04-27-2013, 05:22 PM   #4 
JellOh
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I second LinkLover. Kinda like the way instructors will sometimes have you fall off a horse so you know that it really doesn't hurt. I had Zebra Danios before and I would put my fingers in the tank before feeding them. They would come up and nibble my finger nail. It felt really cool. Just keep trying until you become comfortable with your fish again.
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Old 04-27-2013, 05:39 PM   #5 
isochronism
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Ayala, they only take little bites... HA. :) Since they are familiar with you they will play with you. You are the one that feeds them, etc. I really suggest that when they are at a relaxed time and you are calm, slowly put your fingers in and let them play and get more used to you. They can't hurt you and you'll get very used to it in no time. Also, Aquascaping tools for plants, etc. I bought a six piece set on Ebay. They are 11 inches long. You really only need a tweezer and a scissor, and maybe a dual ended gravel sweeping tool.
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Old 04-27-2013, 05:54 PM   #6 
LittleBlueFishlets
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Quote:
Originally Posted by isochronism View Post
Ayala, they only take little bites... HA. :)
Is this supposed to be reassuring?

Ayala, what if you fed them a good meal in the early evening, then let them calm down until 'bed time,' and did the rearranging then? At that time, when they have full tummies and are getting sleepy, they might not be as active (or inquisitive or aggressive).
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Old 04-28-2013, 12:07 PM   #7 
GailC
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Just stick your hand in there and let them have a look. Even if they do nibble, it won't hurt. I have one male who is large and aggressive, even his nips feel more like a tiny suction cup.
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Old 04-28-2013, 12:13 PM   #8 
isochronism
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"little bites" was a facetious remark.
The added "HA. :)" was added so that it was not mistaken as such. .... oh, almost forgot the ":)"
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Old 04-28-2013, 12:23 PM   #9 
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It's an emotional reaction. I recall swimming on the gulf coast of Florida and a little kid was near me. There were lots of "little fish" swimming around us then a grouchy teenager felt like telling the kid who was actually enjoying the "little fish" the truth. They were tiny baby sharks. Honestly they didn't hurt but in the kids mind all of the sudden those sharks were hurting him. lol. He went running out of the water. You probably should do exposure therapy and stick your hand in their with them to interact with them and get use to it. They don't hurt at all. I feed bloodworm treats to all my aquatic friends by hand and honestly I feel the toothless thumbnail sizes frogs more then I do the Bettas.
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Old 04-28-2013, 12:29 PM   #10 
isochronism
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I knew a grown man where upon seeing a little mouse would immediately jump on the nearest piece of furniture and scream and freak out!! Really
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