Training your fish
There’s a common misconception that fish have short memories and can’t be trained. This isn’t actually true. Fish can learn behaviours like all animals. If you want to train your fish, here is how you can go about it.
Fish will learn from their behaviour. So, if they do something that is unpleasant for them, it’s unlikely they will repeat that same action. Conversely, fish will repeat pleasant behaviours. Many fish owners have successfully trained their fish including goldfish and Bettas. There are kits and equipment available to get you underway. Generally speaking, fish owners will use a food dispensing device such as a wand. This is used to lower small quantities of food to your fish when you want to reward them and reinforce positive behaviour.
What can you train your fish to do?
There are many YouTube videos of owners who have trained their fish to do tricks. They can be trained to swim through hoops, to specific targets and even more interactive activities like push a small ball into a net!
Goldfish and Betta fish (Siamese fighting fish) can be easier to train than other types of fish. To start with, you will want your fish to be comfortable in their environment before diving into training. Keep the focus on creating fun and a source of engagement for your fish. It may take time for them to respond to learning the techniques, but if you keep the focus on them having a good time in their environment, there really is no rush.
Fish are like any other animals, they need stimulation
. Make sure you provide them with sufficient forms of engagement. This could be water plants as well as places for them to explore and hide when they want to. This will help keep them engaged and happy.
If you want to try to train your fish, visit your local pet store or go online for some basic tools to get you started. You can also chat to local pet store staff about their fish breeds and which ones they recommend for training.