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Fish Feeling And Fish Touching


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  • Regular Member

This comment was in response to a prior topic commentary. However it is a subject that has been brought up many times. Therefore- I felt it was time to detail a fishlovers point of view and get some constructive opinion and discussion.

This is in reference to video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wUhgGhi7Wfw an update will be presented in the next 5 days with major developments.

Concerning the handling concept. This is a back and forth thing by many people on this site. I appreciate your comments. Let me expound upon my viewpoint.

1. Yes- I wash hand thoroughly in water removed from the tank. - fishwater- and their is a uv filter system on the tank. But I agree with most specialists- if the fish is healthy there is little need for concern. I have not heard - as yet- and please tell me if you know otherwise - any recorded case of a disease transferring to fish. from fish, such as TB- to human - yes.

2. Kids and grownups, alike, grow up thinking that fish are not animals- that they are not in the category of "pets" - many people on this site, I am sure, have been mocked for taking care of their fish like it was a real pet. I have been mocked in the same fashion at first. But when those "disbelievers" (lol like a religion) see how Punch is- they go into an exestential meltdown. This is where, I believe, we- as fish people - fail.

Sometime we fail to understand that the way for many of the "disbelievers" (the ones that teach the kid to flush the fish down the toilet if it has a problem instead of trying to help it - a good learning process of careing and responsibility) to understand the value of a fishes life is for them to, in some way, understand the animal at their level. Unless- of course - we wish to look at ourselves as being selfish unique pet owners. One way we may accomplish that is to show an example that they understand- the touching and caressing of the animal- like all others.

Most of these people - say that fish do not feel. Why do they say this? becsuse obviously no one "pets" their aquapuppy to prove otherwise. So; obviously fish do not feel.

Put someone like me in front of them and watch (especially in the updated video which has not been placed as yet- the old one :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wUhgGhi7Wfw)

Punche's reaction to when I touch certain spots behind the wen or run my fingers up his sensors located on the sides of the body; and they will see how his tail yanks to one side or the other but stays in position and demands more. He has plenty of opportunity to swim away - as you will see- I am just rubbing behind his wen- as an example.

What would things be like if more fishpeople showed kids and grownups alike that, just like their dog or cat, these animals feel. The high speed vibration (how he produces it I have no idea) is unique in itself. Researchers I have spoken to are aware that this form of communication exists- but most people do not know this.

When I caress him; I can feel his heart beat. It is a 4 chamber just like ours. How many people- especially kids know this? How many people know that that is one of the reasons for the theory of our evolution from the deep "6" to where we are now? I know that - as I actually use soft spoken words - somehow he picks up calming vibrations from the voice - he is initially very excited when he goes into my hand his heart is beating like crazy- but if I lay him sideways and stroke him softly his heart rate falls much faster when I speak to him then if i simply stay quiet while stroking.

I have experimented many ways such as what I have described. The point is not necessarily to get all children to start petting their fish; but to understand that many falsehoods exist and must be changed.

And just think of the young person- just one or two - that may see this and are given the opportunity to do the same thing. I had a friends 10 year old niece come to my house. She had the opportunity to watch me do this. Then I cleaned her hands. she stood on a stool and at first put her finger near the top of the water. Well; Punch knows not to beg for food at the top of the water. But he also knows when a human hand is there. He came right to the top and stuck his wen out of the water and she started to pet him - he did not move. Of course then she had the opportunity to touch and caress him. You should have seen the excitement. I think as much in Punch because it was a smoother and smaller hand as much as in her. Who knows - she may end up being a marine biologist some day

Oh and memory of fish- do not get me started on that subject.

again- I appreciate your commentary- that is why I placed this new topic.

Eric

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  • Regular Member

=0

so you're the infamous punch's owner!! omgshhhh.

i am like, such a fan ^^

i saw punch and your er. hand (i guess) on youtube the other day <--- i just got a very small calico ryukin and was researching to take better care of her, not quite sure what i expected to find on youtube though ^^;

--->but thennnn i stumbled upon you and punch and i was so amazed.

and i totally agree, fish have feelings too.

and they are just like us. ^^

and they are sweet and effectionate(sp?).

SHUN THE NONBELIEVERSSSS!!!

wow. that sounded rather cult-ish...eheheheheee....

so anyways, thankyou for posting this because it is so true. =]

Edited by Callie
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  • Regular Member
The point is not necessarily to get all children to start petting their fish; but to understand that many falsehoods exist and must be changed.

I definitely agree with you on this point. Though its a wider area than just children of course. People do need re-educated on the needs of and care of goldies.

I think the problem lies in a number of areas:

1, Historically people associate goldfish with bowls and despite it being IMO a very cruel existance people do have 'success' with this kind of home. I say 'success' b/c of number 2....

2, People often assume fish only live a relatively short space of time and mortality rates are pretty high.

3, They are cheap, readily available and are easily replaced

How you address these things im really not sure. i think aquatics stores are doing a better job of educating customers now than they ever have been, but it is still not good enough yet.

As for petting and touching the fish as a means of education that fish have feelings.... I dont agree with that. Its a highly un-natural situation for a fish IMO. Fish are covered in protective mucuous that you will inevitably interfere with when rubbing/petting it, possibly leaving it susceptible to disease. On top of this consider the pH of skin and how this will affect the fish by touching. I feel that encouraging kids or anyone to touch fish is probably counterproductive in that I just dont think its very good for the fish- whether the fish appears to enjoy it or not.

My fish are interesting, interactive and responsive without physical contact. People just need to be taught from a very early age to respect animals, big and small, full stop.

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It applies to more than just goldfish; goldfish tend to have more "character" than other smaller freshwater fish, but what about minnows? Mollies? Cows?

Yes, cows.

Living things are just that: living things, all the way from ants, to mosquitos, to goldfish, to cows, to people. Different people judge them in different manners.

Few people will say it's not okay to swat a mosquito: it's murder. Their life is no less worthy than yours.

Others will say it's not okay to eat cow. How about wearing cow.

Falsehoods exist across the board. It's up to the individual to determine how they respect other living things.

(Yes, I kill bugs. Yes, I go fishing, and yes, I take care of my pets.)

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This is taking the topic way off subject but...

I remember a class in social anthropology that said that humans basically categorize animals in to three broad groups.

Pets

Food

Wild Animals.

Obv. thats over simplistic as the categories blur into eachother but the basic idea is that practically every human culture has animals that fit those groups. And I guess it depends on what respect/disrespect means to you. I mean does disrespect equate to a disregard for their life, as in the bug example?

In which case I dont think that it is always up to the individual as obviously there is legislation that would see taking the life of a dog as a criminal offense, in the UK certainly, I dunno about in America.

I suppose the basic idea is that we feel that as pets, those particular animals hold a different kind of value than animals destined to become our dinner and thats why people get bothered about their living conditions and treating them fairly etc... Not that people don't get strung out about farm animal's rights but its a different sort of thing, there is prob. less motivation to get bent out of shape over the culling of a chicken versus a kitten or puppy but again thats entirely a cultural construct relating to the roles that both kittens and chickens play in western society.

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Animals destined to be our dinner is also subjective; There's no effective difference between a mealworm or a cow, if that is the determining factor.

Your dog, your goldfish, your cat, your tarrantula... all are particularly precious to you much like a favorite shirt, a good friend, or your cell phone. It's a part of your life, and the loss of that just isn't desirable.

Sure, there is legislation protecting certain animals, but much like all laws, these are determined based upon a popular determination as opposed to any actual factors identifying a dog as a creature that deserves more protection than a fish or a moth. Hindu's reverence for a cow is another wonderful example.

Heh, if this is continued, it's only going to get worse ;)

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1. Yes- I wash hand thoroughly in water removed from the tank. - fishwater- and their is a uv filter system on the tank. But I agree with most specialists- if the fish is healthy there is little need for concern. I have not heard - as yet- and please tell me if you know otherwise - any recorded case of a disease transferring to fish. from fish, such as TB- to human -

Yes. Many documented cases of humans contracting fish TB. please read. There have been cases of people needing their fingers or hands amputated. But from my understanding the most danger is from the Salt water micobacterium.

http://www.flippersandfins.net/FishTankGranuloma.htm

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Lol, I dont think there is any need to continue as we are saying the same thing?

....... ha. I think I need to actually read before I post ;)

I blame work. Curse work for distracting me while I kill time.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest ralph

hi fellow goldie lovers =)

i tried wat eric did.

and it works! its surreal!

hahaah well my black moor, hammerhead didnt actually rest at my palm. which i dont want to disturb the slime coat, but he took a look thru the glass as if he recognise me, and started swimming close to me hand and suck on my fingertips! hahaa... on n off he will flap his tail as if to tickle my fingers. ahahaha so cute. but sadly my other goldie, a white/orange ranchu is rather skeptical about being close to my hand. =(

but will not love him less. =D

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Goldfish do indeed have very long memories. ;)

As for them liking to be stroked or "preened", yes, each and every one propbably does to some extent or another. Case in point:

I had a comet goldfish, Lurch, who lived to be 8 years old and got to be about 12 inches in length. He wound up being infected by a couple of parasites (chilodonella and tetrahymena) by the time he got to be about 5. These parasites were introduced into the system by a new fish. Anyway, during his bouts with them, he would flash and scratch all over the tank. One day, out of sheer desperation of wanting to provide him ANY kind of relief, I took an ornament push-stick and began rubbing him along his sided and up near his dorsal fin. Each time I did this, he would stop swimming altogether and extend his fins as far as he possibly could. You know when you go to scratch a parrot behind its head and they fluff all their feathers out so you can get easy access to the pinfeathers? This was the equivelent to what Lurch was doing. He always allowed me to do this when he was feeling itchy. I never restrained him either, he always had a open path to swim away if he felt like it.

Coincidentally, I now have a Shubunkin that is also infected by the same two parasites. However, she doesn't ever seem to be bothered by them beyond an occasional fin flicker. But, I also have a cory in with her that loves to go up and nibble on the area where the dorsal fin meets the body. This is a prime local for tetra and chilo to colonize on a fish as there is a small indenture type crease that they can lodge themselves in. Callie, the shubunkin, LOVES it when the cory nibbles along this area and on her sides. She freezes up and sits still JUST like lurch use to do when I would scratch him. She even extends her fins out as wide as they can go, just like Lurch. So, it seems that the cory is nibbling off the excess slime or the parasites or something of that nature and Callie seems to benefit from it.

I just thought I would add these observations in so that it would strengthen this thread a bit. BUT, and I stress this, It is not a good idea to try to do this if your goldfish spook to easily. It can take months, sometimes years before a fish feels safe enough to let you touch them. Some are just born with an innate fondness for bonding with ANY other living animals. Most importantly, it is not a good idea to reach in and touch your goldfish all the time, or too much. This can and will lead to problems in the long run. The occasional belly tickle or nudge shouldn't hurt but repeatedly doing so will....

Paul

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Well, I still think that although seeing Punch getting into your hand is amazing it encourages newbies to touch their fish. That you choose to touch your goldfish & claim to have a way to do it without endangering your fish in one thing but it entices others to do the same. Rubbing a fish can endanger it. I am sure all of us here consider our goldfish pets, but different pets have different needs & requirements.

The 2nd video shows you actually rubbing Punch more than the first video.

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I have an Oranda that could end up like your Punch, he is sooooo friendly and is not afraid of my hands at all. He even comes up to my hand and gives me "kisses".

I love that you explained your videos, although when I saw them, I just thought wow! How special that your fish enjoy being patted and caressed! Fish need love too. :heart

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Guest Angel

My blue oranda Auron loves to nibble on my hand and give me "kisses" while I'm vacuuming the gravel. I can pet him, he likes belly and chin pets. The other 2 don't like to be touched at all, so I leave them alone. Zephyr and Torch will eat from my hand at the surface, but Auron will eat anywhere he is in the tank if I have food for him. It fascinating to me, most people I tell this to look at me like I'm crazy, they can't understand how goldfish have personalities, but they do. They all act different, and everytime I clean the tank they get a snack, so everytime I add the water back to the tank (my last step), the first thing they do is start looking for their food. They definitely have memory. I always tell the coworkers my goldfish are my children, that always raises some eyebrows.

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All of your comments are absolutely amazing- I did not think that I would get such a varied response as I did; as you can see I read and consider all. I do not believe I am the authority on this subject and really appreciate all.

One comment- Ralph - Enjoy t he excitement - do as I did- nothing is forced - you actually brought back memories of how Punch started with me. I had forgotten most of the beginning of how this started until your shared comments sprung to life the memory of the slow progression of how Punch came to be.

Something else as a "side benefit". I have used various methods for dechlorinating and alike. Obviously; as a human, my skin reacts differently. However; since I have daily "interaction" in the water with Punch I have been made aware of some of the very caustic reactions my skin takes by some of these materials. Thus I have avoided them. There is a difference. In fact; I am seriously considering going to the 24 hour "sit clean" where the water sits for 24 hoursa and then you test for the chlorine. The heavier metals are the only question.

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Guest tragicspacepixie

oh my gosh, i eric i just saw your video and i just want to say that's amazing! fish are absolutely real pets and they need love and affection just like everyone else. aww, punch is so cute... i'm a big fan :)

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Guest jesso

Ah cool, i saw that video AGES ago an i thought it was BRILLIANT! what a cute fish.

I never knew you could do that, cuz when i first got my black moor, bugsy he was all by himself for a few weeks and he looked miserable and i just wanted to do SOMETHING so i used to put my hand in a stroke his fins a bit, he never sat still but he never darted off either, but it was stimulation for him which i felt he was lacking. Anyway, my friend told me this caused damage to their scales so i left him alone, but he has friends now, 2 orandas and a minnow and theyre always rubbing up against each other and messing around so i dont feel like they need any hugging :)

Thanks for sharing that video though eric, it amazing to see just how tame and loving fishies can be, rather than greedy ganets who only give u attention when ya have food hee hee :P

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