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Hand 'taming' fish?


LovelyChaos

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How long did it take you to hand tame your goldfish? I have been trying very slowly to hand tame my Chu and Oranda. I don't think Tui and La really want anything to do with my hands :x

This is just a general question (: I wanna hear about your hand feeding, hand taming stories! How long did it take? Which methods worked best for you? Do you feel like you have a special connection with the goldfish you hand feed?

I am trying to work on my fear of fish nibbling on me. It holds me back from enjoying swimming in lakes and rivers \: I am terrified to be touched by them, but I want to work on it (: I am trying with Fio and Caligo, but it's been slow, and it's hard to get myself to put my hand in there to just touch them, or try to feed them, or just let them get used to the presence. Caligo has gotten to the point where she doesn't mind my hand being in there with her but she will be scared if I move or touch her tail. I want them to like me ):

(:

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I literally just cupped my hand under the water and let them take the food out of my hand :) They started to get used to me touching them and it took like a month or two. I've since gotten lazy and I can barely touch them now, but I'm going to do it again :)

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Funny, I'm going to be making a video on this subject in the next few weeks!

Here's what I suggest:

1. Get your goldfish used to your presence. Spend time sitting quietly close to the tank, don't make sudden movements

2. Get your goldfish used to your hand(s) being in the tank. During water changes or tank maintenance leave your hands in the tank for longer than usual. Don't make any sudden movements and don't chase the fish with your hands.

3. Feed your goldfish by putting your food-filled hand in the water and making sure they see you drop the food, they will eat it from the bottom of the tank.

4. Start holding the food in your hand and stay motionless. Let the fish come to you and investigate on their own time.

5. Your fish will begin to eat from your hand!

I will say that the vast majority of butterfly telescopes I've had willingly eat from my hand from day one, with no training. But other fish (like ryukins and fantails) were typically a lot more skittish than the telescopes. I think it's because they can see better. The two fish I have now (Clover and Callisto) were two of my most skittish fish I've ever had. But both of them are now eating from my hand and nibbling me willingly. :)

Edited by Sakura
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It only took me one feeding to get my Ryukin hand feeding, and once she got it, everyone else started to, while it took about a week to get my pond single tails hand feeding. My fish really like to eat I guess LOL

I stated Swimmy, my Ryukin, just eating from my fingers (she's very curious) and my commons and comets eating out the palm of my hand (they're 3 to 8 inches long!).

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When I first got Pearl the itty bitty baby Pearlscale, she was afraid of people.

So, on my nightstand next to my bed, I stuck her in a tiny 1 gallon tank and she lived there for a week.

During the time she was there, I sat next to her as much as possible. I waved my hands, books, and feet around her, and eventually she was completely desensitized to activity like this. Eventually I could stick my hand in the tank, and she went from panic to curiosity.

After that I put her in a 10 gallon tank with her little castle and lots of gravel (Oh, the days where she could swim through the castle door-- the size of a nickel!!!).

I think maybe a month later I decided I was going to get a Black Moor goidfish, so my dad and I trooped 45 minutes to Pet Supplies Plus (yep---45 minutes!!) and we picked up a lovely little Black Moor....well all those fantails and Moors happened to be the same fish that were there with Pearl from a month ago-- except the tank wasn't so overstocked, and the fish were slightly worse for the wear.

I chose Houston because he was not just beautiful, but also amazingly malnourished and his fins had been ripped and he had some ich.

His belly was literally so thin, it was at the maximum of the thinness a goldfish can have.....I'd estimate it to be the width of a quarter's thickness.

He was immediately put in the 10 gallon tank where he had MUCH more room, better filteration and aeration, and a non-aggressive buddy who he was all over for mating once he was put in xD

Well he's been fattened up to an extreme now, sharing a 20 gallon long tank with little miss Pearl and no other tankmates :3

They're both extremely fat (the fatter the cuter in my opinion) and Houston's mistress (is it appropriate to call her that?!) provides him a lot of what I might call companionship.

They seem to have SOME sort of a bond-- at night when they rest on the bottom of the tank, they are always within 5 inches of each other.

And as for Houston's tameness? Nada. I never put him in a 1 gallon tank simply because he was too big. He wasn't the tiny little ball of goldfish Pearlyness as Pearl was. So when I do my weekly close up check-up by picking the fish up and holding them at the surface of the water, there is quite a bit of chasing and splashing with Houston. Pearl comes quietly and willingly. So willingly, in fact, that when I clean the tank Pearl follows my hands around and I have to be careful not to hurt her because she gets so close.

CUTE!!!

Nobody cares, but I love to post stories about my feeshy-feesh ^_^

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Dont worry! Fish nibbling you does not hurt or feel weird, well, it tickles a bit. I dip my hand into tank water then dip it in some flakes. I go up to them and they just start nibbling. Thatshow I did it, but I am trying to work on handfeeding them pellets or such. ;)

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It took me 1-2 months to get Puff to hand feed, but he and Edie were incredibly skittish when I first got them, so I think this may have been a longer process than it takes most fish :) I just spent lots of time holding food in the tank. I used a shaping approach where if he came close to my hand I would drop the food, then if he pecked at my hand I would drop the food etc. etc. shaping his behavior until he finally ate right out of my hand. Most recently he was tame enough to eat out of the palm of my hand and had no trouble with me handling him when I had to.

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