Fish nipping at me? Hand feeding? Video - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-12-2011, 06:49 PM Thread Starter
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Fish nipping at me? Hand feeding? Video

So my son has figured that the rainbowfish will come up and take the flake right out of your fingers. Really is neat to watch and do. But if you have no food and put your finger in or hand in they'll come up and sorta peck at you. It doesn't hurt but just feels weird.

They can't hurt me or my son, can they? Just wanting to make sure and also to make sure we aren't hurting them by doing this as well.

Have they just learned that when they see us or see our hand up at the top of the tank that it's feeding time?

Usually when you don't have food they just peck a few times and seem to give up.


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Last edited by CKJ; 09-13-2011 at 03:07 AM.
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post #2 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-12-2011, 07:05 PM
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hahaha nice trick! you have trained attack fish defending you're tank.

I don't see it as a problem but think it would be cool for your son to be able to wash his hands then show his friends his 'trained' fish feeding trick.


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post #3 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-12-2011, 07:10 PM
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washing hands first would be a good precaution, just cuz you dont know whats on whoevers hands. but other than that, i dont think its harmful. i hope not, ive been doing it. haha!


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post #4 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-12-2011, 07:12 PM
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If the fish are less than 6 inches long, I don't think they could harm anyone's fingers even if they wanted to. There are some fish that have sharp "teeth", but not Rainbow fish.

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post #5 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-12-2011, 07:16 PM
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Angels all act the same way.

I've had SW fish latch onto my arm . One eyed yellow damsel was the worst. What hurts more is when it caught me by surprise and I pull out my arm fast and hit the light fixture. lol
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post #6 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-12-2011, 07:34 PM
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my male Kribensis will attack me if I put my hand in the tank while they are guarding fry. He thinks he is really doing something--haha. The first time it startled me--now I just think it is funny.
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post #7 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-12-2011, 07:43 PM
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That’s cool, I did the same thing but with Clown Loaches. I bought 6 about an inch to inch and a quarter in size. It took me about 3 weeks to get them to eat out of my fingers. Well now that they are pushing 3.5” I am noticing a pinch when they feed out of my fingers. I do have a 6 inch CL in the tank and he is starting to get close. I don’t feed that one by hand. When I need to fix a plant or adjust the driftwood in the tank they come rushing to my fingers. I fear that I will not be able to do this much longer as they are getting noticeably stronger jaws…. But everyone thinks it is awesome to hand feed my fish when they come over. I wish I could take some video but I can’t at this time.
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post #8 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-12-2011, 08:10 PM
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Just don't do it with Piranhas or electric catfish.
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post #9 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-12-2011, 08:31 PM
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I'd say no to all counts.

Large cichlids or oscars on the other hand..those guys can pack a punch.

My buddy's are about 4-6" and if I ever leave my hand in there to soak in fish water, I make sure that they don't get that "i wanna know what you taste like" look to them. If they do, I chase them away.

I once put my hand in a spotted puffer tank at the LFS - well more like the finger - and two of them immediately bit it. That was a pretty pinch.

For me, its always the cuddly things that you feel safe putting your finger in and poking at that do the most damage. Damn chinchillas.
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post #10 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-12-2011, 08:37 PM
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my tiger barbs do that when I prune my plants. It feels weird, but I don't think our fish will hurt us.
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post #11 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-12-2011, 08:40 PM
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I hand feed all my fish frozen blood worms, and they figured out that my hand is tasty as well, my bettas have actually left a little tiny bite mark on my finger once. But they can't do much harm at all, and yes when ever i out my hand in the tank to trim plants, etc i can feel them nipping my arm. haha

It can get rather annoying but again nothing more, just make sure your hand/ arm in clean before putting it in the tank.


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post #12 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-12-2011, 08:49 PM
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The only fish I'd remotely worry about are larger fish, like oscars and sometimes congo tetras can hurt a bit (speaking from experience).

Other than that, most fish don't have enough strength too. I hand feed my angels all the time with no bites. What's funny is that whenever someone else puts their hands into the tank (almost never happens) they all go hide in the same corner.


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post #13 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-12-2011, 08:56 PM
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That's one of my favorite things about my angels (and the angels at the LFS, I'm the only one they follow around, and if I stick my finger in they will all come up and nibble on it).


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post #14 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-12-2011, 09:17 PM Thread Starter
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They are about 4 inch australian type rainbowfis I think. We'll have to remember the clean hands though first but then have to really worry if he got the soap rinsed off good. It is neat to watch and maybe i'll try and take some video when I have the chance.


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post #15 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-12-2011, 10:04 PM
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i hand feed my pirannah! i feed him fingers :P sorry unfunny humor.....


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