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Fishy feelings?

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Retired Moderator
Retired Moderator ⚒️
Jul 8, 2002
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Essex - Westcliff
Got into a discussion today at work - someone said fish have no feelings of hurt, nor do they have a memory span of more that 7 secs. Of course I disagreed with him and told him that my fish recognise me as the blob that feeds them. I feed my fish every afternoon at about the same time and you can see them lining up at the front of the tank just at that time. Also, when we have visitors, they disappear. You ever tried explaining to people that your tank is overstocked and that I need a bigger one when they can't even see 1 itsy bitsy little bugger :rolleyes: Yet once the visitors have left, out they come and carry on their daily routine. :nod: Surely, if they had no memory they wouldn't do things like that :S :/ What do others have to say about this? I'd like to know so that I can pass on your remarks to my gourmless friend. ;)
My fish can recognise the sound of the door closing as I come into the room - from where the tank is they can't see the door, but when I go in in the morning they are all clustered underneath the feeding hole in the cover.

In the other tank where they can see the door they swim over towards that end of the tank as soon as the door opens (it's also the end where the food goes in).

So I think that disproves the idea of fish only having 7 second memories - maybe that is just the inbred, poor quality goldfish of the type you get in plastic bags at fun fairs......

Cheers, Eddie
I've never believed that whole bit about fish not feeling pain or hurt. As far as memory goes, I'm sure that they DO remember stuff, just like it takes a fish a couple of weeks to adjust to a tank from it's previous home, because it remembers where it lived before and the new place is foreign.Mostly I can tell they have memories with feeding time, as you said with the whole gang lined up waiting.... :p and with moving the decor around, if I move ANYTHING , they seem absolutely traumatized, so now I have an ugly "sunken ship" decor that HAS to stay in my tank because the clown loaches live in it and my betta flips out if I move it even an inch,just because he's used to seeing it in the usual spot. I guess he remembers.... :lol: One time I took the ship and flipped it around the other way , front facing the back of the tank, opposite of what it was and whew, the fit the betta threw ....but I can imagine that was confusing, it would be like someone moving my back door to the front of my house and vice versa :lol:
Think of it this way............

When a fish gets ich, it scratches.....WHY????? Because the parasite irritates the tissue and this causes the fish to itch!!

Now can a fish feel emotions such as love, joy, happiness ect.... hard to say, but I do think they can feel pain!!!

As far as the memory span of 7 seconds.....where did he get his data from??? Did he do his own research on the subject of short and long term memory involving fish???

Ask to see his baseline data as well as proven scientific research on the subject....this should shut him up!!!

Fish cant have too good a memory,one of my other pass times is angling and when i fish compettitions in the summer months the carp i catch will often carry on feeding in the keepnet (i sometimes sit there flicking maggots at them which they gobble up),i have even caught them during spawning season and 15 minutes or so after being hooked,brought onto dry land and put into a long narrow net they just carry on as if nothing is wrong! :eek:
The problem with that is that they are carp. I believe that some species are smarter than others. Thats why its easy to catch a carp and harder to catch a trout or bass.These are just my feelings. No baseline data to back it up :lol: :lol: :lol: But it only makes sense. Plus the whole 7 second thing dont believe it at all. I could give about ten examples of my nics learning and remembering. But again no baseline data. :hyper: I know CM there gotta be one in every group. A smart#$$ that is.

Fish having 7 sec memory is aload of tosh!!! my goldfish know exactly what time is dinner time coz they all bunch up together at the top of the feeding hatch, as much to say 'come on open it up'. Funny thing is if im having a lay in on a weekend they even wake me up by sloshing at the water!!!!

so i think your friend doesn't know what he's chatting on about!!
I know fish remember things! My female bettas are a prime example! I dont always feed the girls at the same time, and if Im a little late, they pace the tank or follow me as I walk past like they are saying "Hey mom! Come on!" :lol: And I usually gut a wax worm and split it between the two of them as a treat. If I forget, they make me remember! :lol: I feed the worms to them with tweezers (cause there is no way Im touching worm guts! :sick: ) and my blue betta has taken to jumping out of the water to get to it before it even touched the water! :blink: Sometimes, when Im messing with stuff in the tank, she'll jump up and grab at my arm like she is hoping just maybe there will be a worm there!
The puffers know what the worm treats are two! They gather and wait when its worm day, and the big puffers in the 29gal tank dont run away from my hand when i stick it in there with a worm in hand! They know its food time! :rolleyes:
So your friend is full of balony! Tell him Crazy said so!!! ;) :lol:

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