Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Valerie Fowler

Sometimes I wonder..

Recommended Posts

This might sound completely silly, but after all this time in fishkeeping, I've started to think about the weird questions in life. Like, if goldfish are a 100% man made creation, do they even truly understand what "the wild" is? Can they miss something they've never experienced? Do they care at all? Do they ever get bored in that box of water?

What questions have you asked yourself that there are no answers to? xD

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do my goldfish just see me as food lady or do they see me as part of their pack?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well they're not exactly man made like a robot or a table, they're still fish with innate behaviours.

The idea of the wild is actually interesting. There's a very Nietzschean idea that humans just pull things out of the world and claim it to be natural or unnatural. There's a PhD student in the philosophy department at my uni writing his thesis on this and the way humans here interact with dingoes. A lot of your questions are big in the philosophical tradition. I don't know if fish have the faculties to comprehend such questions, but the topic of boredom has been discussed here at great length before. :)

Frankly I'd love to know if animals think I'm a moron for baby talking to them. :rofl

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why do I constantly stretch my arms carrying endless buckets of water, for little critters that I am sure don't appreciate it !! crazy-1.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great questions ;) and I sometimes wonder stuff like this but if they are in a pond they kind of do natural things so maybe they do remember the wild ??

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's my take on your questions based on lots and lots of watching these fish:

do they even truly understand what "the wild" is?

No. There is no environment to a fish that exists outside of what they have experienced, just like any other animal. This is why fish experience stress moving to a new environment. However, they do seem to have the capacity to remember old environments and adjust more quickly to those if they have been away from them for any period of time.

Can they miss something they've never experienced?

I don't think so. You can't miss something you've never done, but you can want to go there if you were told about a place, right?

Do they care at all?

I'm sure they'd care about their environment if there were something wrong with it. Fish jump for a reason.

Do they ever get bored in that box of water?

To this I can say a resounding YES. This is why we need to provide stimulation for the fish, whether it be in the form of foraging, a tankmate, interaction with us, or anything else positive. Fish definitely get bored. I personally believe this is where an inexplicable gulping habit comes from, as well as where pacing comes from, and where 'moping' stems from. If you've ever had to treat a fish in a completely empty QT for a long period of time, you have likely seen a change in behavior that can be attributed to boredom.

In the end, we have to realize that fish do not feel things the same way that we do. They have their own set of behaviors that we often try to anthropomorphize. You really can't explain an animal's behavior with human traits, but since that is what we understand, that is what we use.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do my goldfish just see me as food lady or do they see me as part of their pack?

Do goldfish have "fish packs"? lol

Here's my take on your questions based on lots and lots of watching these fish:

do they even truly understand what "the wild" is?

No. There is no environment to a fish that exists outside of what they have experienced, just like any other animal. This is why fish experience stress moving to a new environment. However, they do seem to have the capacity to remember old environments and adjust more quickly to those if they have been away from them for any period of time.

Can they miss something they've never experienced?

I don't think so. You can't miss something you've never done, but you can want to go there if you were told about a place, right?

Do they care at all?

I'm sure they'd care about their environment if there were something wrong with it. Fish jump for a reason.

Do they ever get bored in that box of water?

To this I can say a resounding YES. This is why we need to provide stimulation for the fish, whether it be in the form of foraging, a tankmate, interaction with us, or anything else positive. Fish definitely get bored. I personally believe this is where an inexplicable gulping habit comes from, as well as where pacing comes from, and where 'moping' stems from. If you've ever had to treat a fish in a completely empty QT for a long period of time, you have likely seen a change in behavior that can be attributed to boredom.

In the end, we have to realize that fish do not feel things the same way that we do. They have their own set of behaviors that we often try to anthropomorphize. You really can't explain an animal's behavior with human traits, but since that is what we understand, that is what we use.

Wow, thanks! And I agree with you on the sticking of human traits onto an animal, we do it with cats and dogs all the time. And it's crazy for me, but I've strongly considered becoming a marine biologist just so I can study goldfish and find out why they do things. lol

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's my take on your questions based on lots and lots of watching these fish:

do they even truly understand what "the wild" is?

No. There is no environment to a fish that exists outside of what they have experienced, just like any other animal. This is why fish experience stress moving to a new environment. However, they do seem to have the capacity to remember old environments and adjust more quickly to those if they have been away from them for any period of time.

Can they miss something they've never experienced?

I don't think so. You can't miss something you've never done, but you can want to go there if you were told about a place, right?

Do they care at all?

I'm sure they'd care about their environment if there were something wrong with it. Fish jump for a reason.

Do they ever get bored in that box of water?

To this I can say a resounding YES. This is why we need to provide stimulation for the fish, whether it be in the form of foraging, a tankmate, interaction with us, or anything else positive. Fish definitely get bored. I personally believe this is where an inexplicable gulping habit comes from, as well as where pacing comes from, and where 'moping' stems from. If you've ever had to treat a fish in a completely empty QT for a long period of time, you have likely seen a change in behavior that can be attributed to boredom.

In the end, we have to realize that fish do not feel things the same way that we do. They have their own set of behaviors that we often try to anthropomorphize. You really can't explain an animal's behavior with human traits, but since that is what we understand, that is what we use.

This.

I observed considerable moping with Panache, my beautiful veiltail from RainGarden. I was worried because after I added her to my tank, she would bottom sit nearly all day. I even emailed Steve from RG because she just seemed ... sad. But she perked up after a couple of weeks, and is now very active and playful - she loves to hand feed more than any of my fish!

My best theory is that RG keeps their fish in large outdoor ponds in Hawaii. Panache was my first and only fish to come from a pond rather than an aquarium. It must have been quite a shock to be transported by airplane to my house and then dropped into an aquarium! Steve confirmed that she was cleared of all parasites and what I witnessed is very common, and to simply feed her sparingly and keep the lights off most of the time for the first couple of weeks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
This.

I observed considerable moping with Panache, my beautiful veiltail from RainGarden. I was worried because after I added her to my tank, she would bottom sit nearly all day. I even emailed Steve from RG because she just seemed ... sad. But she perked up after a couple of weeks, and is now very active and playful - she loves to hand feed more than any of my fish!

My best theory is that RG keeps their fish in large outdoor ponds in Hawaii. Panache was my first and only fish to come from a pond rather than an aquarium. It must have been quite a shock to be transported by airplane to my house and then dropped into an aquarium! Steve confirmed that she was cleared of all parasites and what I witnessed is very common, and to simply feed her sparingly and keep the lights off most of the time for the first couple of weeks.

Another thing we can attribute that to is that veiltails have a lot more to carry around than other fish in terms of finnage. I noticed that when I had my RG veil, Elvis. (He was brother to Hidr's Angel.) It took longer to recover because of how much energy they have to expend to keep themselves afloat. It takes a bit of time to build up.

All of my yellows that I got from Steve were fine immediately. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This.

I observed considerable moping with Panache, my beautiful veiltail from RainGarden. I was worried because after I added her to my tank, she would bottom sit nearly all day. I even emailed Steve from RG because she just seemed ... sad. But she perked up after a couple of weeks, and is now very active and playful - she loves to hand feed more than any of my fish!

My best theory is that RG keeps their fish in large outdoor ponds in Hawaii. Panache was my first and only fish to come from a pond rather than an aquarium. It must have been quite a shock to be transported by airplane to my house and then dropped into an aquarium! Steve confirmed that she was cleared of all parasites and what I witnessed is very common, and to simply feed her sparingly and keep the lights off most of the time for the first couple of weeks.

Another thing we can attribute that to is that veiltails have a lot more to carry around than other fish in terms of finnage. I noticed that when I had my RG veil, Elvis. (He was brother to Hidr's Angel.) It took longer to recover because of how much energy they have to expend to keep themselves afloat. It takes a bit of time to build up.

All of my yellows that I got from Steve were fine immediately. :)

Yeah, that's what I figured too. She does still seem to "get tired" more easily than my other fish, especially after being very active. She likes to rest in the plants or on the bottom. It took me awhile to get used to this - I'd never had a veiltail before, and her tail is VERY long!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This.

I observed considerable moping with Panache, my beautiful veiltail from RainGarden. I was worried because after I added her to my tank, she would bottom sit nearly all day. I even emailed Steve from RG because she just seemed ... sad. But she perked up after a couple of weeks, and is now very active and playful - she loves to hand feed more than any of my fish!

My best theory is that RG keeps their fish in large outdoor ponds in Hawaii. Panache was my first and only fish to come from a pond rather than an aquarium. It must have been quite a shock to be transported by airplane to my house and then dropped into an aquarium! Steve confirmed that she was cleared of all parasites and what I witnessed is very common, and to simply feed her sparingly and keep the lights off most of the time for the first couple of weeks.

Another thing we can attribute that to is that veiltails have a lot more to carry around than other fish in terms of finnage. I noticed that when I had my RG veil, Elvis. (He was brother to Hidr's Angel.) It took longer to recover because of how much energy they have to expend to keep themselves afloat. It takes a bit of time to build up.

All of my yellows that I got from Steve were fine immediately. :)

Yeah, that's what I figured too. She does still seem to "get tired" more easily than my other fish, especially after being very active. She likes to rest in the plants or on the bottom. It took me awhile to get used to this - I'd never had a veiltail before, and her tail is VERY long!

I know that with some show fish they cannot swim much at all and are kept in immaculate bare tanks because of it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
  • Create New...