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Can You Hear Your Fish?


kenny

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now, i have to play the devils advocate for a minute. whenever someone asks which food is better, best or what have you.....many people respond with "my fish likes x brand the most". now, there are many high quality foods on the market, and many different types of live, frozen, dried and "human" food that you can give them. i know that when i feed my fish, whatever i drop in the tank, they eat greedily. well. except for lettuce, they swim as fast as they can away from it. but i use about 6 different types of manufactured food from different companies as well as "human food". i guess what im getting at is, why is it said that fish like one kind better than another? i understand them not eating one at all if they dont like it, but if they will accept food no matter what.....is it now just a question of personal "human" preferance and the owner just likes that brand better? the reason that i am asking is that many people want to know about high quality foods but sometimes cant afford the top brands or get them online for whatever reason.

oh, and i have read in another post and fully agree with daryl on shelf life and not knowing how fresh some food is.

but....any comments or thoughts?

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i guess what im getting at is, why is it said that fish like one kind better than another? i understand them not eating one at all if they dont like it, but if they will accept food no matter what.....is it now just a question of personal "human" preferance and the owner just likes that brand better? the reason that i am asking is that many people want to know about high quality foods but sometimes cant afford the top brands or get them online for whatever reason.

Before I say anything else, I'd like to raw attention to the fact that in some respects goldfish are very much the same as humans, dogs and guinea pigs (to name but a few from personal experience). The important thing here is that "what a goldfish likes" is not necessarily "what a goldfish needs", i.e. what is healthiest for the goldfish to eat. Given that tastes seem to vary between goldfish (even though peas seem to be widely favoured, though not by all), it seems fairly obvious to me that also in the case of goldfish "what they like" is not (completely) dependent on "what they need".

That being said, and in response to your question whether 'just a question of personal "human" preferance and the owner just likes that brand better', I've seen that at least in our goldies' case, it's fairly easy to notice that their preference is not black-and-white, but rather in shades of grey: they for instance really like oranges, but they like peas much more than that, and even so they are incredibly more motivated when they get gel food compared to the either oranges or peas. So in conclusion I'd say that owners might have preferences (e.g. according to price, nutritional value, ease of use, etc), but that goldfish do react differently to different types of food (very similar to humans), and that this can also influence owners' choices regardless of their own (rational) preferences).

About quality differences between brands I haven't a clue though, and I defer to more knowledgeable people (like Daryl) for those questions :) .

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i agree with what you are saying, but in the case of eating an orange vs a pea.....is it that they have to work at the orange and dont seem as interested as they do with peas that are more bite size and falling in front of them? see...now im asking you like you can read their minds, and talk and listen to them LOL. what happens with me is this: food goes in from one brand, the next day from another. in both cases, they "attack" the food the same. seems to be no preference because they eat it the same, unlike in the case as mentioned with the lettuce, which they wont eat. now, as we know they are scavengers. as the "feeder" approaches, they sit at the top of the tank waiting begging for food. you drop it in. an orange doesnt act the same way as say a sinking pellet or peas which they "hit" as soon as it enters the water and follow it to the bottom. which there would be more movement. would this constitute a frenzy cause theres more chasing of the prize? lol. but my main focus was on the battle between omega one,hikari and progold which seems to appear alot. i just didnt want to mention product names. but if you read the past posts, the term "my fish prefer" or "my fish love" seems to be used more with progold users. i guess im in a grumpy mood and wanted to stir the pot a bit on this subject as i have not seen a love for one type over another by any change in behavior. just a dislike.....

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i agree with what you are saying, but in the case of eating an orange vs a pea.....is it that they have to work at the orange and dont seem as interested as they do with peas that are more bite size and falling in front of them? see...now im asking you like you can read their minds, and talk and listen to them LOL.

It's a good point that it's only a guess, because we can't read their minds :) .

what happens with me is this: food goes in from one brand, the next day from another. in both cases, they "attack" the food the same. seems to be no preference because they eat it the same, unlike in the case as mentioned with the lettuce, which they wont eat. now, as we know they are scavengers. as the "feeder" approaches, they sit at the top of the tank waiting begging for food. you drop it in. an orange doesnt act the same way as say a sinking pellet or peas which they "hit" as soon as it enters the water and follow it to the bottom. which there would be more movement. would this constitute a frenzy cause theres more chasing of the prize? lol. but my main focus was on the battle between omega one,hikari and progold which seems to appear alot. i just didnt want to mention product names. but if you read the past posts, the term "my fish prefer" or "my fish love" seems to be used more with progold users. i guess im in a grumpy mood and wanted to stir the pot a bit on this subject as i have not seen a love for one type over another by any change in behavior. just a dislike.....

Yeah, I get what you're saying. And it's basically what I would expect: from what I've noticed, food from a jar is food from a jar, and brands don't mean a whole lot to the goldies. I would also think that with regard to 'flavour', there is also not to much difference (freeze-dried pellets are freeze-dried pellets; or compressed pellets, whatever :) ). My girlfiend and I treat the good-from-a-jar similar to say bread or patatoes (her in Belgium at least): there are differences (some are clearly better than others), but it's mainly just fiber and basic nutrients; it's the variation you get with fruits and vegetables that's more important, both nutritionally and for the sense of well-being of the goldfish (that's just our inclination though, I can't say it's a tried-and-tested method as such).

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Just from my experience, my fish also will eat anything I put in the tank, as long as they can get it in their mouths, and work it enough to swallow it. I've used a variety of pellets, flakes, fresh veggies, etc. depending on what is available at the time. I've never noticed a preference by my fish for one food over the other. What they get really depends on what I have on hand, and which pet store I happened to be in last.

I also try hard not to over feed my fish. It reminds me of a story I once hear about a professor who's wife went out of town and left him with their three young sons. When she came back she asked how they had been, and he said, "I don't know why you complain that they are fussy eaters. I gave them a meal once a day, and they ate everything on their plates!"

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Mine have preferences as Erinaceus already said, they will nibble a bit when I give them lettuce or kiwi but they don't devour it (they don't eat it completely) like they do with other food like oranges, peas, gel food or their pellets and even with those then there is a difference in enthusiasm.

I once tested it: a piece of kiwi and a piece of banana offered at the same time and placed in both my tanks. The banana was gone in 5 minutes and I took the kiwi out after 4 hours (it was a little bit nibbled at the most) :blink:

Edited by Quasi
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I think the preferences are clear when it comes to fresh fruits and veggies. Some they eat, some they pick at and some they don't eat at all. But, as far as this pellet or that pellet, this flake or that flake, I'd have to agree that there is no difference as far as a preference. As long as the smell makes it good enough to swallow, that's all they're looking for.

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