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QandD

Toys

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This is another one of my "I'm curious about what Kokonuts think" questions.

 

So what are your thoughts about giving goldfish some toys or additional stimulation beyond vegetable clips, live plants, and sand substrate to sift through? When I've read about toys, it seems that they lend themselves to bare-bottom tanks (marbles, food orb things where it's a problem solving game) or ponds (viewing domes--not sure if this is a "toy" but it certainly SEEMS fun to the right fish). Plus it seems that ponds afford their own natural entertainments much more easily with all of the bugs and algae and mulm, etc. 

 

Anyway, I was just wondering if anyone had opinions about toys or alternate forms of mental stimulation, and if such things would be necessary when substrate and plants are available. I know that they're not birds, dogs, or cats, obviously, and that a good amount of simulated natural environment does a lot of the "fun" providing as is. 

 

Just to clarify: in my own tank, sand and intake sponges seem to interest my girls periodically, but since there is a big age difference between them, I worry a little that my juvenile, Vickie, has no one to really "play" with since Duchess is over 6 and lower energy. They also seem to get a little bummed out when no one is at home with them since they like to observe activity around them. They do spend some time digging together but Vickie seems a little lonely. Plus, I've gotten better at identifying plants that they don't seem inclined to kill, and I know that killing is fun for them but makes a huge mess of the tank. Since their favorite thing to do is to eat, obviously, I've been thinking of pinning some ancharis to the side of their tank to see what happens, but again the shedded leaf mess gives me pause. I've been giving nori more often since I've been trying to avoid adding too much protein to the tank (I've been having some water quality issues with a newer cycle).

 

Anyway, tl;dr: does anyone have opinions about making toys or using them? Or what counts as a "toy"?

Edited by QandD

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There is ways... you can have food shaped as a ball and let them push that around... Or have you tried a piece of spinach tied to the tank wall? or sometimes just re arranging the tank will do it to.. just some thoughts :)

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There is ways... you can have food shaped as a ball and let them push that around... Or have you tried a piece of spinach tied to the tank wall? or sometimes just re arranging the tank will do it to.. just some thoughts :)

 

They seem to like nori better than spinach, so I've been trying to give that to them more often.

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My fish like swimming through the bubbles made by the big air stone. I think anything I put in the tank on their veggie clip is entertaining for them, and they really seem to like exploring after I move things around in their tank too.

 

I bet Vickie has learned how to entertain herself when Duchess doesn't have the energy to play.

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I remember that Helen posted a video of how she would dip a small plastic ball (about the size of a ping pong ball) in repashy and let it dry.

Then placed it in the tank.

The fish could nibble at it and poke it around too, playing with their food.

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Anything that makes them look for food is fun, and anything they can push around. Mine love the marbles you mentioned, and I actually have switched to using ceramic media so that they double as a small home for bacteria.

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Definitely agree with Chelsea. Anything food related and you've got the golden ticket to have some fun. 

 

Almost every time I hand feed repashy, I get them to line up on right of the tank. Then I dunk my hand with the food on the left side and watch them come racing over. And, boy do they race! They've definitely gotten faster too. Now they line up on their own when they know I'm coming with food. I don't know if I've trained them or not. It was really something I started to do to make them 'exercise'. A burst of motion is good cardio, right? It's like they're doing sprints, of course on the way to eat, but nevertheless it is activity. I wonder if they get cramps like we do when we move around too soon after eating (I usually space their feeding portions about 15-30 min apart)?

 

I've seen that some people feed frozen foods out of a container that limits the amount of say bloodworms from being eaten in one swoop. Don't know what it is called but I think it takes all the fun out of a good treasure hunt for food. When I feed any frozen stuff, I (after defrosting and draining excess liquid) release all the food in a swooping motion so it spreads out all other the tank. They go mad! Once they gotten all the ones out in the open, they're onto the hunt. I've got a densely planted tank so food hides everywhere and anywhere. They're usually entertaining themselves and me for at least 30 mins. If they don't get it the snails come in to clean the mess. Everyone wins.

 

Mine seem to like marimo balls too. Everyone once in a while I see them nudging and rolling them over. That might be because they are just trying to see if there is more food under it. When I'm cleaning I'll toss the balls in the water and they'll chase them down. Now that I think of it, it really like a dog that never returns the fetched toy. Now if they did that! I would truly be impressed but I doubt they have the strength.  :flex: Maybe with smaller pieces. 

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Anything that makes them look for food is fun, and anything they can push around. Mine love the marbles you mentioned, and I actually have switched to using ceramic media so that they double as a small home for bacteria.

 

Cool idea--so you use a spherical ceramic bead or ring? Do you have a bare-bottom tank, as I seem to imagine (not sure why)?

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Definitely agree with Chelsea. Anything food related and you've got the golden ticket to have some fun. 

 

Almost every time I hand feed repashy, I get them to line up on right of the tank. Then I dunk my hand with the food on the left side and watch them come racing over. And, boy do they race! They've definitely gotten faster too. Now they line up on their own when they know I'm coming with food. I don't know if I've trained them or not. It was really something I started to do to make them 'exercise'. A burst of motion is good cardio, right? It's like they're doing sprints, of course on the way to eat, but nevertheless it is activity. I wonder if they get cramps like we do when we move around too soon after eating (I usually space their feeding portions about 15-30 min apart)?

 

I've seen that some people feed frozen foods out of a container that limits the amount of say bloodworms from being eaten in one swoop. Don't know what it is called but I think it takes all the fun out of a good treasure hunt for food. When I feed any frozen stuff, I (after defrosting and draining excess liquid) release all the food in a swooping motion so it spreads out all other the tank. They go mad! Once they gotten all the ones out in the open, they're onto the hunt. I've got a densely planted tank so food hides everywhere and anywhere. They're usually entertaining themselves and me for at least 30 mins. If they don't get it the snails come in to clean the mess. Everyone wins.

 

Mine seem to like marimo balls too. Everyone once in a while I see them nudging and rolling them over. That might be because they are just trying to see if there is more food under it. When I'm cleaning I'll toss the balls in the water and they'll chase them down. Now that I think of it, it really like a dog that never returns the fetched toy. Now if they did that! I would truly be impressed but I doubt they have the strength.  :flex: Maybe with smaller pieces. 

 

I do the same thing with Repashy and blood worms! My tank isn't as densely planted, though, it sounds like. I like the marimo ball idea, though! I'm sure my girls would be flipping it over all the time.

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Anything that makes them look for food is fun, and anything they can push around. Mine love the marbles you mentioned, and I actually have switched to using ceramic media so that they double as a small home for bacteria.

Cool idea--so you use a spherical ceramic bead or ring? Do you have a bare-bottom tank, as I seem to imagine (not sure why)?
I do have a bare bottom tank, and I use rings. I am curious to know if substrate really would hinder them any.

And as for marimos, mine just eat them.

Edited by ChelseaM

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My fish has become destroyers of marimos balls too. They started out so young and innocent, but now all they care about is destructing... hehe.

 

We tried the ping-pong ball with holes in it, filled it with small pellets in a near bare-buttom tank (the floor is just barely covered with sand/gravel). It worked fine, even with some gravel on the bottom.

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