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hand feeding?


kurriku

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I regularly hand feed one of my fish because he is slower at getting food than the other. It probably took a month or two to train him (or to desensitize him to my hand), he was very skittish at first. To start I used really high preference foods like bloodworms, and was just realllly patient. At first he would just swim up close then dart away, I think it just took him awhile to figure out that the hand was safe :P

I can't see why it wouldn't be safe as long as you clean your hands before putting them in the tank :)

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I would allow the fish to have the food whenever she swims near your hand. The quickest way to teach her to hand feed will be through shaping. So, you want to reinforce each successive approximation to the target behavior. Think about it as a hierarchy of behaviors. First teach her that if she swims near your hand you drop the food. Once she has that down, change the expected behavior to maybe swimming closer to your hand before you drop food, then maybe to she has to come up and nibble your hand before you drop it, then she has to eat out of your hand etc. It will take awhile, but don't give up, she will eventually become more comfortable and understand that your hand is where the food comes from :D

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I don't do it as much as I used to, but mine love to go swimming with my hand. They swim back and forth past it, and through it if I make sort of a loose C shape. I give them little rubs as they go past, or a little contact along the belly.....even grab them a little. They come right back for more. They'll eat from my finger too, but I usually don't feed that way.

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It shouldn't take you more than a week!

I feed my Orandas from a very long set of tweezers usually used for feeding insects to reptiles so I can teach them to do tricks (Like swim through hoop) with out getting my arm soaked every time. It usually takes my Orandas about a week to learn to eat from my tweezers. I'm sure the hand would be similar.

I usually start by using the tweezers in the water to drop the food near the fish, it only takes them a few times until the fish associate the tweezers with food and begin to perk up with excitement when they see it. Once they are used to the tweezers (or, in your case, the hand) then I hold the food and wait for them to come take it from me. They usually figure this out on the first day I try it. Once they learn to take the food from the tweezers they will follow it around like a best friend. Easy!

Good Luck! :gfish:

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My goldfish know that i am their feeder, so when i fiddle about with te top of the tank, they come straight to the surface and they take food from my fingers hehe, i guess it takes time for them to get used to you, they are dman intelligent, also, i hand feed my weather loach all the time hehehe.

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