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Guest jayhawks

Do Goldfish Have Feelings?

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Guest jayhawks

since my pet oranda is a living creature, i assume he has feelings of some sort. i feel bad that he has to be in that rubbermaid tub, but he is doing good so far. he is eating when i feed him, i just fed him a frozen brine shrimp cube and he chowed that down in a few minutes. he is actively swimming around the tub and whenever i say hello to him he looks up at the surface of the water. he has a cute face as well.

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Not really. They recognize you as a source of food. It doesn't recognize what tank is different from the other. For example I've rehomed fish and they really don't care. They're not dogs. They don't have emotional bonds. But they do have a good memory. They do 'feel' what a healthy environment is and as long as the water quality is stable it will be happy.

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I agree, as long as her tub has clean water, and food falls around her, she's probably a pretty happy fishy :)

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Living in a tub is more like living in a pond, so even though it's not as fun for us humans (because we don't get to see them from the side) it's probably perfectly comfortable for the fish.

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i guess to an extent. i assume they could possibly recognize dirty water.. seeing how they are swimming in it. but if its clean its fine. i guess when you start recognizing a fishes feeding habit, i.e. every time i open my hood i have 20 plus tropical fish racing up near the RIGHT hood for hood. while the bettas have the left one. i guess that could be feelings as they do get excited. aside from that, from their physical surroundings i doubt it. unless they have certain spots where they like to hide or relax.

Edited by jls25

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I and many others on here have described goldfish as 'underwater puppies.' Personally I think that when they are kept in good conditions (water quality, routine care) and fed well (including a variety in their diet) there may be base emotions that they can exhibit. They show an awareness to their environment, some people have fish with 'quirks' that always need to knock down an ornament or uproot a specific plant. I've seen pictures of another fish that hid under the tail of another larger goldfish during a water change.

There may not be MRI evidence cause ... lets face it, I don't think there's ever been a goldfish in an MRI machine.

Ok now doing some evidence looking hold on......

Goldfish have fear which is a base emotion. Also means they have anticipation for many other things (including feeding). We know they have a memory which means they have associative recognitions. They can feel pain and express it through action though it may be primitive and instictual. (Sometimes shaking your hand after it getting hurt, it's instictual response but can it also be counted as an emotional response to the pain stimuli?)

There is very little done to see if a goldfish can produce and respond to positive stimuli in an emotional way. But if there is subjects going into the emotional response of goldfish and the emotion 'fear' (Interesting Read) then I can presume that other base emotions are also there. (Base emotion being: Love, anger, surprise, joy, sadness, fear----- and feel free to correct me on that, very little is also online about base emotions)

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Thats really interesting Una.

I think that they also show their feelings in regards to other fish. I have had some fish who are great buddies - following each other around, sleeping by each other etc. One fish of mine absolutely HATED another for no reason.

They are interesting little creatures.

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So far I have also noticed that some of my fish love everything new and a few others are so scared of every small change that I make in the tank. :doh11:

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I believe that to a certain degree they do have feelings. Why else is it that sometimes two certain fish just can't get along with each other. They get along with everyone else, but there is just something that bugs each other.

Or that some goldfish like to hang out with a specific other fish more than with others. I am not sure who posted on here about how they have two fish from the same batch of fry, already grown up.

One got sick though and had to be quarantined, but as soon as this one was moved to the QT tub, the healthy fish in the other tank started to become lethargic.

Thinking that this fish now too is ill with whatever bothered the other fish, the owner moved this fish into the same QT tub and as soon as both fish were reunited, the healthy fish perked up and acted all normal.

Apparently this fish was just sad over the "loss" of her sister who was sick and in QT. The sick fish on the other hand really didn't seem to care.

My Chibi and Banana for example are best friends forever. I usually find them swimming and eating together.

Orange though dislikes Blacky for whatever reason and recently started to harass her, so I had to move Blacky to her own, smaller tank. I was thinking about adding Chibi in with her since both are eye impaired, but I know that Banana would be heart broken. How I know? I tried separating Banana during feeding, having the other fish eat the color enhancing food, and feeding her normal food because I'd love for her to stay yellow instead of turning orange.

In the breeder net, Banana completely ignored the food though and was fighting to get back out of the breeder net. As soon as I released her she swam straight to Chibi. This happened about three times, now I gave up on feeding her separate.

So yes. Although they are probably not capable of feelings like human beings or even dogs, I am convinced that they indeed do have some sort of basic feelings. Joy, fear, sadness, anticipation, ...

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According to this article,

http://www.dailymail...on-science.html

fish do have feelings.

Wow, thank you so much for sharing this!! That means that goldfish are about as smart as a toddler and probably able to develop similar feelings, I guess.

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Every time my Bozo gets a piece of food eaten in front of him by another fish he goes into a little fishie rage and waddles and chases after whoever ate the piece of food. :P So yes, I believe they do have feelings. :)

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just read that article.. and well im dumb.. XD when you think about it, everything living that moves and such (animals, insectsmamals etc) i.e. from worms. to fish, to monkeys to people, all have brains.they also eat, hunt and do varies things to hunt. which if you think about it do require emotions and such id assume. and if you toss in nerves/feelings, then most likely they shall feel something.

if anything the question should be if plants have feelings? :P

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Very interesting article. My opinion is that gf can feel pain, but they don't feel emotional pain. For instance they don't "worry" about whether or not something will hurt them like people do. That's not to say that we should not give our goldfish pals the best possible care and avoid causing them pain.

It's a complicated subject, and I certainly don't know the answer!

It's interesting what others have said about the bonds that seem to form between different fish...It sure makes you think that maybe they do have emotional feelings of some kind.

;)

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Over the years of raising goldfish, i have seen they do have feelings like us just cant express it like we can, but i have seen my fish get depressed when one of there buddies have been sick or have died. In fact I had one fish just give up cause his pal passed away.... :o

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Over the years of raising goldfish, i have seen they do have feelings like us just cant express it like we can, but i have seen my fish get depressed when one of there buddies have been sick or have died. In fact I had one fish just give up cause his pal passed away.... :o

I saw that happen with one of my goldies, too. When one passed away the other one went to the back of the tank and hid behind the plants for days. He didn't really come back out and stay out until I got him some more fish buddies. :unsure:

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fish have brain, heart, blood, flesh so they must feel the physical side of things as i have the same and it really hurts when i cut myself by accident or bang into a door frame whilst i am hurrying through., then i believe they have emotion too.. ie, after a feed i can dunk my hand into the tank and they will come to me,.. a couple are scared to approach at first, that's an emotion hey? some others like to come and nip at my arm, that's an emotion and some others will sit and rest in my hand if i cup it, that's got to be a sentimental emotion right? after all, they have 66 gallons of which they are free to roam and sit anywhere.. so if they didn't have emotion, why do they make me feel like they love me?

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fish have brain, heart, blood, flesh so they must feel the physical side of things as i have the same and it really hurts when i cut myself by accident or bang into a door frame whilst i am hurrying through., then i believe they have emotion too.. ie, after a feed i can dunk my hand into the tank and they will come to me,.. a couple are scared to approach at first, that's an emotion hey? some others like to come and nip at my arm, that's an emotion and some others will sit and rest in my hand if i cup it, that's got to be a sentimental emotion right? after all, they have 66 gallons of which they are free to roam and sit anywhere.. so if they didn't have emotion, why do they make me feel like they love me?

Fish development is not the same as other vertebrates. The way the central nervous system forms in fish is different, so the way they "feel" (I'm talking physical sensation) might be different as well. There's no doubt in my mind that they can feel it, they have obvious proprioception and sense of surroundings. If you compare a teleost brain to say, a mammalian brain, you'll see that the ratios in sizes to different areas of the brain vary. For example, the tectum and cerebellum are much larger in fish (in respect to brain size) compared to mammals.

From my lectures, I know there's a lot of current research being done on whether there's emotional sensation, it's hard to say since the brain is such a difficult thing to study (and especially when we don't know all the marvels of our own!) I would say that they DO have emotions to some degree, but a lot of people like to argue with me on this one.

I've seen pet goldfish come up and let people PET them, or cup in your hand like you say (Mr Poh likes to do that too) but I think as humans we like to link certain behaviours as "love" and "affection" when it could be something entirely different... it would be a nice thought, but its hard to know for sure.

EDIT

Jay, to answer your question, I think your oranda would be happy in the Rubbermaid. It's not as much fun for us, but I think it would be a much more comfortable living environment for him.. less of the clear sides, you know? It's sort of like a pond, except smaller :P

Edited by Tarynator

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