Jump to content

Hand Training


seheap

Recommended Posts

  • Regular Member

Just for my own personal knowledge....

How do you train a goldie to be hand fed? I may have to do so soon because I am introducing a new small goldie into my established tank, I'm kinda worried that Dragon will be a bully and not let Phoenix eat (she is about 3/4 the size of him!)

Thanks

RG

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

Patience and consistency is what it really boils down to.

At first they're not going to get it. They're going to be completely oblivous to the fact that you have food in your fingers and that you're expecting them to eat it from there. You're going to get frustrated and want to give up and just drop it. But, if you want them to learn to eat from your fingers, you have to hold the food in your fingers patiently until they come eat it. And you have to consistently do this every single time you feed. You can't hold some times and drop other times. Animals learn from repetition. So, choose a really tasty food that you can keep a hold of in your fingers and just hold it there until they get a clue and eat it. It will take time, but they will eventually get it. Now my monsters will nip on my fingers, hands and arm anytime I put any part of these in the tank because they know that these represent food.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

Excellent suggestion Shamu! Tubifex cubes ARE a good one! I've used those as a teaching tool, you're right! Just make sure to hold whatever you feed well under the water so that they don't gulp any air.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

Wow, that seems easy enough, if time consuming. But if you want something done right....and so on and so forth. Now the question is, should I start the "lessons" ASAP or wait until I put Phoenix in the large tank? Although as I write this it seems like it would be a better idea to start now.....and if it ends up that Dragon is nice and doesn't bully the little girl then I can just discontinue the hand feeding thing, right?

Also the tubifex cubes I have are extremely....bouyant....they just don't sink! I've tried everything and nothing makes those buggers sink! So I'm really worried about my goldies getting air in them through the cube. What else should I try?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

Ok thanks I will.

I have one more question.....I just fasted my fishies for the week, but if Phoenix doesn't catch on that I'm holding food, she'll go hungry again. Should I be worried? How long should I hold the food until I just drop some pellets in? Or should I just tell her "It's this or nothing"?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

Wow, that's quite a long fast for smaller fish- one week :unsure: They must be very hungry! You can hold the cube of brine shrimp or whatever, just below the water surface and the fish are sure to come and nibble. Keep your hand as still as you can. Good luck. Let us know how it goes :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

hehe...I didn't mean for a whole week, I meant I fasted them yesterday as their weekly fast! That's really funny!

I am going to try right now! I have class in about an hour though so hopefully she is nibbling by then..... :unsure:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

Update!

Phoenix is now eating out of my hand. When I put my hand in, she pretends like she doesn't know what's going on...then five minutes later she is nibbling all over my hand looking for the food! It's really cute! She expecially likes to nibble on my bracelet, probably 'cause it's shiny.

My next question is, how do I determine if she is fully trained to hand? Do I have to be able to put my hand in and she swims right up to it? I would like to put her in the main tank either tomorrow or Wednesday and am hoping she is trained by then.

Thanks!

RG

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member
Wow, that seems easy enough, if time consuming. But if you want something done right....and so on and so forth. Now the question is, should I start the "lessons" ASAP or wait until I put Phoenix in the large tank? Although as I write this it seems like it would be a better idea to start now.....and if it ends up that Dragon is nice and doesn't bully the little girl then I can just discontinue the hand feeding thing, right?

Also the tubifex cubes I have are extremely....bouyant....they just don't sink! I've tried everything and nothing makes those buggers sink! So I'm really worried about my goldies getting air in them through the cube. What else should I try?

Mine float too but the air just goes right back out through their gills, it actually doesnt take them that long to find it, all my goldies eat from my hand now.

One of my fish lets me hold him and pet him, he's super tame, congrats on the success with ur fish

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member
Also the tubifex cubes I have are extremely....bouyant....they just don't sink! I've tried everything and nothing makes those buggers sink! So I'm really worried about my goldies getting air in them through the cube. What else should I try?

If you pinch the tubifex worm cube between your fingers under the water, it will soften up very, very quickly; like a sponge.

My next question is, how do I determine if she is fully trained to hand? Do I have to be able to put my hand in and she swims right up to it? I would like to put her in the main tank either tomorrow or Wednesday and am hoping she is trained by then.

It's good you trained her alone. I think they learn better alone because they're the only one vying for the food during the learning process. If you group train, there's always going to be someone who gets pushed back and they're not going to learn as quickly that way. Anyway, as far as knowing whether she's really hand-trained, you just need to be convinced that she will respond to you every single time you put your hand/fingers in the water. If she ever still acts confused or clueless when you put your fingers with food in the water, she's not trained yet. And, you can be especially certain about it if you can put your fingers or hand in the tank without any food and she still comes nibbling.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

It has now been officially confirmed!

I did a water change (the second to last one in her QT) and she came right up to my hand begging for food. Because I started her off with brine shrimp on my palm she swam into my hand and nibbled on my palm! It was so cute, i just had to give her a treat! I am really proud of her. I am thinking of hand-training Dragon because I feel so much closer to Phoenix now I wouldn't want him to be left out! Ok that's it, I will start tonight!

BTW, does it take longer for older fish to pick up on hand-training? Can't teach and old dog fish new tricks....or can you?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member
I did a water change (the second to last one in her QT) and she came right up to my hand begging for food. Because I started her off with brine shrimp on my palm she swam into my hand and nibbled on my palm!

I never thought of this! Although my guys have no problem with nibbling on me, they still aren't totally comfortable with swimming into the hand. I'm gonna give this a whirl! Yay!

I am thinking of hand-training Dragon because I feel so much closer to Phoenix now I wouldn't want him to be left out! Ok that's it, I will start tonight!

BTW, does it take longer for older fish to pick up on hand-training? Can't teach and old dog fish new tricks....or can you?

I kind of feel like it's the opposite. The bigger fish get, the less scared they seem to be and more trusting of humans, so from what I've experienced, it seems to be easier to train bigger ones.

Edited by Lynda Von G
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

Well, my fingers are pruny, and Dragon is going hungry!

I hand my hand in the tank for a full half hour and NOTHING!

The worst part is he knew I had food, the first time I took my hand out (about ten minutes in) i accidentally dropped the food. He gobbled it up. The next time I took it out (after another 15 mins) he went to where my hand was and looked if I dropped the food. He knows, and he's just being a jerk-face!

Grr! Well hopefully him going hungry tonight will make him more willing tomorrow morning.

ps...I just realized I'm at 100 posts! YAY!! :9 But this makes me more susceptible to a koko-stick beating doesn't it?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

No, stick beatings unless you fail to post pictures when appropriate! :tomuch:

Okay, well, I guess I would have to say that along with the size and age also comes what they've learned to date, which is, "Mom always drops the food, so I'm just gonna sit here til she does." Yeah, I think it almost more IS a stubborn, jerk-face thing they're doing. lol! So, maybe, I suppose, a bit of the old dog, new trick thing, but, he'll get it. Especially if he sees Phoenix doing it. I think it might sink in more then.....

Oh! and congrats on reaching 200!

Edited by Lynda Von G
Link to comment
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.

×
×
  • Create New...