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Do goldfish get bored?


Avelon

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This might seem silly, but my goldfish seem seriously bored. Their tank is on the bar between the kitchen and living room, and they stalk the corner facing the living room and literally stare at us for what seems like hours while we're in there! If we move to the kitchen, they instantly swim their hearts out to the other side. It's adorable, but makes me feel like they might be a little bored! They will sometimes swim in the tank, but then go RIGHT back to staring at us wherever we are. lol

My goldfish at my parent's house LOVE sucking the food/debri out of the gravel and have always spent the majority of the time doing that. However, my two fantails don't seem to have any interest in it. They'll peck occasionally, but that's it.

I was just wondering if anyone had any advice. I saw the goldfish "training" kit with little soccer balls and everything, which seemed a bit excessive, especially for 30$ (but cute, lol). I heard some people say their goldfish get a lot of enjoyment out of the bubble wands in the tank.

Once again, sorry if this seems silly haha. :P

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I found that my fish used to be really bored as well, basically doing exactly what your fish are doing, This was remedied when I purchased a powerful canister filter and positioned the spray bar directly down, now I usually see my fish swimming against it which is basically my idea of goldfish 'playing'.

If you don't want to go and buy an expensive canister filter a bubble wand/air curtain will probably cheer them up, I have an air curtain and my fish are swimming through the stream of air constantly.

I hope this helps!

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Do you have any decorations or plants in the tank? They do get bored if they have nothing to do (: I'm not sure a training kit will cure that, but sometimes they just stay still because that is their instinct. They move cause they think you will feed them!

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i don't believe that goldfish get bored. i tend to think that if they appear to us to be bored, that something is wrong with the water chemistry or they may be at the start of a parasitic infestation.

how is their feeding/poop? there isn't a goldfish in the world that i have met that is bored when there is gravel or even one ornament in the tank. often the display of a slow going youngster is a sign of trouble.. add two to that and it almost confirms it.

how long have you had them? and were they qt'd?

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Moor: Thank you! I definitely think I will purchase a bubble wand for the meantime, but when I get my larger tank I will for sure invest in a canister filter. They seemed to enjoy swimming against the filter current and exploring it when they first got in the tank. :P

LovelyChaos: I have two plastic plants, a real grass-like plant and gravel... They do seem to like pecking at the real plant but only for a very short time. But they DEFINITELY get excited for feeding time! Haha!

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Stakos: so far, I havent observed any odd behavior. At first I was worried, but they eat so well and their poop is very normal. They do swim a lot, but when we're in an area where they can see us they typically stare at us and just swim in that area. Haha. It's difficult to explain, but nothing that I think is a concern. Atleast I hope not, I haven't had them for quite a week yet but they seem very healthy and happy. Im not sure what you mean by qt, I did run a fish less cycle and made the tank ready before I got them, if that's what you mean.

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Stakos: so far, I havent observed any odd behavior. At first I was worried, but they eat so well and their poop is very normal. They do swim a lot, but when we're in an area where they can see us they typically stare at us and just swim in that area. Haha. It's difficult to explain, but nothing that I think is a concern. Atleast I hope not, I haven't had them for quite a week yet but they seem very healthy and happy. Im not sure what you mean by qt, I did run a fish less cycle and made the tank ready before I got them, if that's what you mean.

you can post a vid of their behaviour if you like :)

qt'ing new fish before adding them to the main community is a must. often, fish are riddled with flukes and other parasites. when we have an established community of fish and are looking to extend our family. we have a seperate facility where we "qt" them for about 4 weeks and treat with Prazi and Salt. we take every measure to ensure we are not introducing any nasties into our existing community by treating for flukes and other common parasites prior to introduction.

as i suggested, if you like, you can post a video.. pref around 2 mins long so we can observe the behviour of the fish you mention. if it's nothing, good, but if we spot something, we can try to help :)

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I do think that goldfish can get bored, although it is not comparable to the boredom felt by a human, or even dogs and many other more intelligent animals.

But in nature, goldfish do forage all day long for food, hide from predators and even play with fellow fish. There's always something that keeps them busy.

I can very well imagine a single goldfish in a completely bare tank to get "bored" because of the lack of stimuli.

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Goldfish don't really get "Bored" the way more intelligent creatures do. They don't require constant stimulation or activity to be "Happy", and an average tank provides more than enough for them to do, whether it's poking around rocks for scraps, biting at interesting sources of motion or light, or chasing each other around.

If you really want to "Entertain" your goldfish, just rearrange their tank now and again.

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Goldfish like any other animal thrive best when they are allowed to exhibit natural behaviors, this mental stimulation keeps them from being 'bored'. The best way to do this imo is to replicate what carp would interact with in the wild. They spend much of their time foraging through sandy river bottoms and eating and swimming through vegetation. Have you considered using a sand substrate.? Its really much safer than gravel and goldies and push it right through their gills for easy foraging.

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I second the request for a video. You haven't had them long -- they easily could be exhibiting signs of stress.

I don't know if goldfish get bored, but I would if I was in a box with nothing to do, so I agree with trying to create some natural conditions. My tanks all have substrate and lots of plants. I wouldn't keep fish without them.

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I do think fish should have some stimulation :) I just recently added sand and I am more than happy with the results! They all are now constantly seraching for left overs and being very active in it. I have ordered some plands recently to give them another change of senery aswell although my blind fish doesn't see to like that too much so that tank doesn't get to many changes lol.

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When mine see me they go to the corner closest to me they are not bored they are begging for food. lol

I think you hit the nail on the head.

@Avelon They are trying to train you to feed them more often. If you give in you can end up with floaters.

While I am not sure if you can get this to work provide some sort of indication to tell them it is feeding time.

With some luck you can get them to ignore you knowing that they will not get food until they hear a bell or some such sound.

I would give it 2 weeks.

I do think goldfish can be bored in some sense. They also have personalities.

I also would like to see a video.

Edited by HTH
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I don't think that goldfish get bored per se, and while I can't speak for anyone else's fish, I know that when any of mine becomes inactive during "lights on" then they are a bit under the weather.

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i purchased the R2 fish school from amazon.com and my GF LOVE IT!

so do i!

it shows all my friends who think GF are stupid that they are very smart.

Trust me, you will enjoy it so much!

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I can say from recent experience that when I moved and upgraded my tank, my goldfish definitely seem more listless than normal. Part of this is stress I expect and their not so great diet currently, however, I also removed the river stones and silk plants/floating plants when I moved and upgraded the tank. Previously in the 55 gallon they would interact with these all day! I have since added these things back to the new 75 gallon and they seem more active and not just sort of listlessly swimming around a clear, empty tank.

Edited by GreenTea
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My goldfish is also much less active when alone, especially if they had a companion before that. Roos is alone right now and is much less active than when paired with another goldie, it's happened a few times with her and I quite honestly think she honestly misses having a companion.

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Before I got my bubble wand my fish didn't really seem to do much all day but I think the increase of oxygen is making them more active. They also love swimming against the bubbles! There is this food that sticks to the glass that my fish nibble for ages and keeps them entertained, I give it to them about once a week. It's called JBL Novo Fect and I would definitely recommend it (they might not realise that it is food at first though). This will definitely stop them from being bored :) .

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I have ALL sorts of things in my tanks...live plants, fake plants, medium sized rocks scattered across the bottom (a bare bottom tankbores ME!), large river stones, a good size piece of driftwood "bridged" over two river stones, 2 dragon bubblers, and a LONG bendable bubble thingee, PLUS the Aquaclear 110s make quite a "waterfall"!!.

There are all sorts of things going on in there & place to snoop around. Just me but I think foraging thru the rocks is "fun" for the lil' critters (the goldies AND the BN Plecos!).

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THANK YOU everyone for your thoughtful comments and suggestions! :D I read them all and will absolutely take them all into consideration.

I'm happy to say that they've actually come around a lot! They have taken a lot of interest foraging through their tank and are MUCH more active. They're super hyper and swim everywhere now, haha. I don't think I gave them enough time to adjust! But they seem to love the bubbles from the filter, so I plan on adding a bubble wand and that food that sticks to the wall.

I'm still considering the R2 teaching school, too! haha

Thanks again everyone! I would respond to everyone's comments individually but I'm on my cell phone! :P

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