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Observation on fish intelligence

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posted on May, 22 2018 @ 11:25 AM
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Hello great people of ATS.

I wanted to share my observations on my saltwater fishes from the time I got them which was almost 2 years ago.

So; I have 2 blue tangs, 1 damsel and 2 parrot fishes. Its a 40 Gal tank and I switched it to a non coral state as I travel and in summers it gets very hot destroying them. I built myself a cooler for the aquarium as well, but as it is DIY I don't trust it. For the ones who will say its a small aquarium for this many fishes; well they are still small and the shape of the tank allows them to swim freely and not always interacting with each other.

You know we always heard bs like these guys have 3 seconds of memory or not feeling pain. Well as a kid I always thought it was the way they are. Never had the chance to test it. Then of course; came the articles about how fish can be very intelligent, even some amazing facts like fishes can talk to each other thru vibrations which can be heard with the use of some special microphones. Then the adulthood came and after 2 years of reading I decided to go for a saltwater aquarium. I always had freshwater and planted ones.

Here are the facts I observed
- These guys can remember where they sleep if threathened they will directly go there. Its a place they are familiar and they know the road.
- When they see the food package from even 3 meters (I don't know how far they can see it thru the glass) they go hyper. They literally know which one is the right pack btw. If you show them a bottle of beer; nothing happens.
- They definitely have a time sense/memory. I have an automat for feeding and close to that time, they go hang there.
- They know what sound is what. As every device creates a distinct sound when working, my automat gives them a distinct vibration and they know that it is feeding time. They know the sound so they go there to feed before the food drops.

Interesting stuff
- The aquarium is in between my two work desk and I tend to sit there for most of the time. I realized these guys are really interested in me. Not the parrot fish but the tangs come and hang around at that corner and really check me out. They lay there sometimes watching me, sometimes swimming but still there. And when I turn my face to them; they know that I am looking at them. They give a little pulse like motion and start actively swimming at that area.
- Sometimes tangs like to hide. And they watch me behind the rock. If I break the line of sight, they peek just a milimeter or two to catch that line of sight. If I break it again, they again peek. Its like a peek-a-boo game.
- Lastly, from only that corner they slapsh water to me and the cleaning of the glass is what is left. They do it random I guess. But mainly its after I feed them by hand. They do it from other parts of the cube when I am not at home which is a normal thing.

Not to drift to an advertisement of the aquarium I leave the topic without pics. Of course I can share them later if you guys want. Please share if you have experiences like this with saltwater aquarium fishes =)

My conclusion; fishes are birds

edit on 22-5-2018 by belkide because: (no reason given)




posted on May, 22 2018 @ 11:42 AM
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Catfish? Cultural appropriation.



posted on May, 22 2018 @ 11:44 AM
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My theory is that most or all animals are very smart, but our history of studying them has been very egotistical and human-centric. The only animals we consider smart are the ones who do what we tell them to do, and in the human world doing what others tell you to do is definitely not a sign of intelligence.
Kind of like how people from the "developed" world used to view "savages".
I think people need to open their minds a lot more when considering animal intelligence. Plus I can think of a few people who are 100% dumber than a fish anyways



posted on May, 22 2018 @ 11:52 AM
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a reply to: Mark08

Sorry I wanted to write "birds" not cat. thats why I edited but you got me. =)



posted on May, 22 2018 @ 11:56 AM
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a reply to: wlasp

Exactly =)

Btw I am very interested about the studies on dolphin language. Some scientists say they are actually chatting, like a having a conversation and calling each other with their names. Just because we have thumbs it doesn't make us smarter than those. I think they are an example of a great intelligent structure. I am sure they would build tools to defend themselves from their predators which are not even many. Heck, even a humaning rod if we were tasty lol



posted on May, 22 2018 @ 12:02 PM
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GREAT thread. I've got a freshwater tank but I've noticed some similarities.


originally posted by: belkide
- These guys can remember where they sleep if threathened they will directly go there. Its a place they are familiar and they know the road.


Yup. You can find them easily at night. They all have their places.


- They definitely have a time sense/memory. I have an automat for feeding and close to that time, they go hang there.


I've noticed that they know time somewhat. I thought they might get into eating mode later as it stays light longer but they still start around 7:00pm.

Interesting stuff
- The aquarium is in between my two work desk and I tend to sit there for most of the time. I realized these guys are really interested in me. Not the parrot fish but the tangs come and hang around at that corner and really check me out. They lay there sometimes watching me, sometimes swimming but still there. And when I turn my face to them; they know that I am looking at them. They give a little pulse like motion and start actively swimming at that area.

That's my redtail. Even just turning my head to look at the tank and he swims right over.


My conclusion; fishes are birds




They are fun for sure. Thanks man.



posted on May, 22 2018 @ 12:03 PM
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I have one fish, Bob the Betta, in a 5g tank.

I've frequently been surprised by both his intelligence and personality. He seems to trust me implicitly, up to letting me grab him by hand in an emergency (usually I'd avoid that
).

He really likes showing off when he eats as well, like jumping past the surface of the water to grab his food.

He gets fed at the same time as my dogs, which was a mistake on my part since I now have to deal with 3 annoying SOBs..



posted on May, 22 2018 @ 12:10 PM
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a reply to: belkide

Dolphins have the second highest (after humans) encephalization of any animal on the planet. They have a very advanced language and can learn to understand ours very quickly. Researchers believe dolphins even have names, in the form of unique whistles. There is a upcoming project to attempt to understand their language using AI
www.digitaltrends.com...



posted on May, 22 2018 @ 12:21 PM
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a reply to: belkide
Pictures please!



posted on May, 22 2018 @ 12:21 PM
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once the fish find you have intelligence, they start to try to communicate with you and train you better. Of course, most people never get to to find this out.



posted on May, 22 2018 @ 01:32 PM
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a reply to: belkide
I am shocked you have managed to have two hippo tangs and two parrotfish survive in a 40 gallon tank for two years. 90% of the time in a tank that small at least one of them would have passed by now. Did you get them when they were like two and a half inches?? It is not the volume of fish, its the species you have. If you actually want to see them grow to their full potential you will have to move them before either one hits six inches. They will succumb to stress which will make them vulnerable to parasites like ich.

The largest aquarium I ever had was a 72 gallon tank for a few years. I only had one tang, it was a kole tang which is one of the smaller species barely goes past six inches. Blue tangs will grow to eight inches +, but never in a 40 gallon. They will pass away long before in something that small.

Now damsels come in dozens of varieties, but are quite aggressive towards each other. You could probably get away with about eight of them together in a 40, but they will fight for territory.

I would suggest a combination of gobies and blennies for a forty gallon that brings about colorful and fun antics from the fish with a wide diversity of colors and patterns most of which are not hostile or aggressively territorial. Clown goby are little yellow guys and most of them like to burrow into the sand. Having at least a 3 inch substrate bed will make for a suitable habitat for them, but make sure your rockwork is stable, as the shifting sands could cause avalanches in shabby setups. I like mandarin gobies because they cruise the rockwork picking off the tiny isopods and copepods that start to produce naturally in the tank after about six months. They kind of look like a frog hopping around searching the crevices for bugs.

But yea, we for sure want pictures. I always reminisce about my old setup. Its been ten years since I had to break it down. Maybe I will start another one in a couple years. A marine tank is not one you just setup spur of the moment. They are quite the commitment, and take serious time to establish properly. I don't want to really d it until I move into a new house, because where I am now certainly won't be permanent.



posted on May, 22 2018 @ 02:14 PM
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Why do we keep prisoners that is my question? No matter how comfortable and safe it is still taking away their freedom to choose mates to find their own home and be free. Just to please ourselves watching them.

Someday I hope we will stop raising creatures for captivity.



posted on May, 22 2018 @ 02:56 PM
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originally posted by: SeaWorthy
Why do we keep prisoners that is my question? No matter how comfortable and safe it is still taking away their freedom to choose mates to find their own home and be free. Just to please ourselves watching them.

Someday I hope we will stop raising creatures for captivity.


Our goldfish like it in their tank. We have three of them and one Beta something. Now the goldfish are almost getting big enough to filet but the black goldfish remains kind of small....why do they call a black gold fish a gold fish? If we forget to feed them in the morning they start talking to us with their lips when we look at them. I hate the yelling, I go over and give them food right away.



posted on May, 22 2018 @ 03:12 PM
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a reply to: SeaWorthy

It starts innocent enough, like keeping ships captive in bottles.
Then it all slides downhill, to keeping poor little fishies captive.



posted on May, 22 2018 @ 03:22 PM
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a reply to: SeaWorthy
Honestly if those fish could speak they would probably say "thank you so much for making sure I never have to struggle with life and death to find my food, giving me plenty of space for me to have to myself without a bigger set of jaws trying to swallow me whole! Thank you so much for prolonging my existence compared to my average lifespan in the wild!!!"

I think many fish are likely grateful. But not the birds. Predators or not, every last one of them in a cage hates us to death. Wings were meant to be spread. At least a fish can still swim in his tank. A bird can barely fly three inches in their cage without stopping abruptly or smacking into something.

edit on 5-22-2018 by worldstarcountry because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 22 2018 @ 03:54 PM
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originally posted by: wlasp
My theory is that most or all animals are very smart, but our history of studying them has been very egotistical and human-centric. The only animals we consider smart are the ones who do what we tell them to do, and in the human world doing what others tell you to do is definitely not a sign of intelligence.


Love it.

I agree with how you worded that statement. People are certainly judgemental of dogs who retain that independence...yet which is a smarter dog: the one who jumps off a cliff because the owner told him so, or the one that finds a route to the bottom of the cliff on his own?



posted on May, 22 2018 @ 04:44 PM
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Guys I uploaded the pics to the library but can't insert them here. A little window opens but its all empty. What do you think?



posted on May, 22 2018 @ 04:50 PM
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a reply to: worldstarcountry

They were almost one inch when I got them. They were all babies. Maybe a guitar pick size. Right now one of them is one and half guitar pick size (sorry for my universal measurement method) and the other one is a lil smaller as it is 1 year younger. And yes soon I will be transferring everything to a bigger tank proper way. I had ich last year but after a good taking care it is gone and havent had it since then. The rule of "no hand" is the biggest effect as you know. You probably know also that keeping a small tank is harder which I knew before starting. I think I can say I succeeded. I even have a good cycle of pods in it.



posted on May, 22 2018 @ 04:53 PM
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a reply to: rickymouse

I can really say the tangs try stuff on me =) Very very interesting creatures. Oh btw guys one of the parrot fish is disabled. Born without a back fin. Nobody was getting that guy so I got him. His/her name is Uncle.
. As they change sex I don't know if its Uncle or Aunt now =)



posted on May, 22 2018 @ 04:58 PM
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a reply to: intrepid

Its a always a pleasure meeting with a really passionate hobbyist.
edit on 22-5-2018 by belkide because: (no reason given)




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