Wednesday, June 4, 2008

How To Keep The Goldfish|Goldfish Behaviour

How To Keep The Goldfish

Behaviour can vary widely both because goldfish are housed in a variety of environments, and because their behaviour can be conditioned by their owners.

Scientific studies done on the matter have shown that goldfish have strong associative learning abilities, as well as social learning skills. In addition, their strong visual acuity allows them to distinguish between different humans. It is quite possible that owners will notice the fish react favorably to them (swimming to the front of the glass, swimming rapidly around the tank, and going to the surface mouthing for food) while hiding when other people approach the tank. Over time, goldfish should learn to associate their owners and other humans with food, often “begging” for food whenever their owners approach. Auditory responses from a blind goldfish proved that he recognized one particular family member and a friend by voice, or vibration of sound. This behavior was very remarkable because it showed that he recognized the vocal vibration or sound of two people specifically out of seven in the house.[citation needed]

Goldfish also display a range of social behaviours. When new fish are introduced to the tank, aggressive "bully-like" social behaviours may sometimes be seen, such as chasing the new fish, or fin nipping. These usually stop within a few days.[15] Fish that have been living together are often seen displaying schooling behaviour, as well as displaying the same types of feeding behaviours. Goldfish may display similar behaviours when responding to their reflections in a mirror.

Goldfish that have constant visual contact with humans also seem to stop associating them as a threat. After being kept in a tank for several weeks,sometimes months, it becomes possible to feed a goldfish by hand without it reacting in a frightened manner. Some goldfish have been trained to swim through mazes, push a ball through a hoop, or even swim in a synchronized routine by their owners.[16]

Goldfish have behaviours, both as groups and as individuals that stem from native carp behaviour. They are a generalist species with varied feeding, breeding, and predators avoidance behaviors that contribute to their success in the environment. As fish they can be described as “friendly” towards each other, very rarely will a goldfish harm another goldfish, nor do the males harm the females during breeding. The only real threat that goldfish present to each other is in food competition. Commons, comets, and other faster varieties can easily eat all the food during a feeding before fancy varieties can reach it. This can be a problem that leads to stunted growth or possible starvation of fancier varieties when they are kept in a pond with their single-tailed brethren. As a result, when mixing breeds in an aquarium environment, care should be taken to combine only breeds with similar body type and swim characteristics.