So I was just curious as to what everyone's opinion on this issue is, namely: touching your fish. I've heard some people say that their fish don't mind, but others say that it's not really a good thing to be touching them, usually because of their slime coats.
My girl isn't really interested in being touched. She just likes to bite my finger, so that's how I usually play with her.
Well, for me I used to do a trick with Spartan... I'd use both hands, and cup him, without ever touching :)
I didn't want to touch, because it could harm their scales... Only time I have, is when an escapee needs to be put back into the tank and I lacked a net xD Or, when Spartan was being poisoned by the tank he had, I scooped him and put him into a bowl, with my hands since the net was in the other room.
I remember when Maine breached the border and was all in Spartan's face xD I used my hand to shoo him back to his side, and Spartan "sat" in my hand. So I understand the whole "my betta likes it", however it is more that they don't care, they trust you, and they tolerate it. But it isn't a good idea because of the coating, and their fragile scales :)
Yeah, my girl doesn't really seem to be interested.
I think it depends HOW you're touching them as well. I wouldn't think that petting or stroking them would be good, but I don't see much harm in them resting on your hand.
I never touch my fish unless it is for a medical reason/emergency. I've only touched one of my betta and one of my goldfish. The betta because he jumped on the floor... little derp. And the goldfish because I don't have a net large enough to hold it. Cupping my hands under this particular goldfish was actually much easier than using a net due to her long fins. I also had to apply medication directly to her fins, but I made sure to sanitize my hands with rubbing alcohol first. As a general rule, touching a fish is bad especially if you've never handled them before. The oils on our hands damage their slime coats as well as stresses them out. Not to mention with a fish as small as a betta, not much pressure is needed to do serious harm.
I touch all my fish. Well at least attempt it. It takes much more than just sticking your fingers in the tank nd trying to "pet" them. I make sure my hands are as clean as possible and then attempt.
Though I do NOT attempt to touch a fish that I have had for a short amount of time. I wait until I can see how they react to things. If they are a scared fish where they jump and swim away with everything done, I don't even bother them. I make sure that they are okay it's me sticking my finger in the tank first then I gradually stick an extra finger in the tank every couple of days and eventually my hand. Rarely do I get to stick my hand in the tank. The most I've got was three fingers and then they run away.
I usually put a pellet on my finger and let them jump for it. Again, make sure your hands are as clean as possible.
Also, I must agree with thekoimaiden. I would never advise to "play" with your fish like this. There are many more ways to have fun with them.
Last edited by bettalover2033; 04-02-2012 at 04:34 PM.
I always wash my hands if I'm to touch their water but I see no need to actually "pet" them! I let them explore my fingers and space, but to play with them I point at them and play on the outside. I have touched Ludey when he was sick and clamped, he jumped out of the net once and went into a grease trap for spatulas on my counter. So I touched him to pick him up, shortly thereafter his slime coat shed so I don't know if it was related.
When Lakitu was sick I was handling him to avoid having to spook him with the net. I try to make them all comfortable wth my hands so when they need to be handled they won't swim away!!
Not having much luck with these 2 fiesty ones though!!
yes, jump outs, and shooing away, and once i cupped in my hand in the water cuz i had to examine strange spots on her fins and i took her out of water for a few secs and she hated it so i put her bac and gave her a treat
I won't try to touch my fish, but I get a great kick out of it if they touch me. I will put a clean, freshly washed finger in the tank and most of the time they will brush up against it.
My male... Just flares at me until I put the finger in the water (he stares at it above the water and flares) but once in the water he will circle and look at it.
My female will circle my finger doing the little food dance and brushing lightly up against me. She flares at and attacks anything else I put in her tank so it is kind of nice.
My goldfish - I don't even have to try and they are all over me. If I put my hand in their tank to clean something, I have to move them out of the way with the other hand because they will jump and bump up against me the whole time.
Petting... I would never do it. But I figure if they are initiating the contact, it is okay.