Intelligence in Fish - Pea puffers and others? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-21-2014, 09:03 AM Thread Starter
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Intelligence in Fish - Pea puffers and others?

I just bought myself a pair of female pea puffers, and their definitly different than any other fish ive owned or seen. They have a sort of intelligent inquisititve nature to them. Im not sure if its just the way they look or if they really are thinking about something in their small brains that we could intrepret as intelligent thought. They certainly like destroying snails.

Now im really curious if anyone has observed any interesting things in fish species in their tanks? Are there any smarter than average fish that are available in the hobby?
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-21-2014, 12:21 PM
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There is 3 fish off the top of my head that I can think of that people consider smarter then average.

Goldfish
puffer fish
Bettas

This may interest you
http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=oRcNqNvQZ9U
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-21-2014, 01:23 PM
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I think fish in general are more intelligent than we give them credit for. Cichlids, especially, I've always thought seem to have pretty big personalities. I also enjoy curiosity and social interactions in a shoal of Zebra Danios.

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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-21-2014, 04:19 PM
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Bettas are as smart as some terrestrial pets for sure.

I have two male Rainbow Threadfin fish in a 12 gallon. I'm sure at the normal numbers you should keep them at they would seem to have generic personalities. One of mine is aggressive the other is submissive. The aggressor would try to spar with his brother all day long with no success. He observed the submissive brother doing a mating dance at a ember tetra. He tried doing the mating dance at his brother, he learned if he does that first, his brother will not run away, he will spar. That's one example of many things I have noticed those two figure out. I think many fish are smart, we just don't always notice individuality since most do things instinctively, like schooling.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-21-2014, 10:50 PM
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i'll throw my hat in the ring as well. my leopard ctenopoma is extremely personable, after the first week, he started following my turtles around, came to the glass with them when he knew it was feeding time. lol anytime i do work on the tank he seems to be near my hand and at the front of the tank. very smart fish. beats out my tetras and barbs for food, as he sits right where the food congregates in the current. genius little fish lol
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-22-2014, 04:16 AM
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http://reachingtheanimalmind.com/chapter_04.html

Watch the Fainting Fish video. What happens when the fish does what you want (swim through a hoop) and you forget to reward it.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-22-2014, 06:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diana View Post
http://reachingtheanimalmind.com/chapter_04.html

Watch the Fainting Fish video. What happens when the fish does what you want (swim through a hoop) and you forget to reward it.
That was very interesting to watch.


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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-22-2014, 08:30 PM
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"Smart" is a very human concept. Different species of fish have different types of intelligence, depending on their needs. Individual learning and problem solving ability are probably closest to what we consider traits of high intelligence. Puffers are great at that, and so are many kinds of cichlids with their complex social behaviors and parental care.

I have observed something very interesting about my cardinal tetras, which - let's face it -by human standards are about as smart as a hairbrush. My cardinals are not able to pick food from the bottom of the tank. They can see the food, but they don't know what to do. Platies, on the other hand, have no such problem. I observed on multiple occasions that when the cardinals watch the platies grab food from the bottom, they will do it too. But only as long as the stimulus is there. If on their own later, the behavior is not retained.

That makes sense, I think. In nature, schooling fish avoid any kind of behavior that makes them stand out from other members of the school because standing out attracts attention and usually means landing in the stomach of a predator. So creative problem solving isn't very high on the list of things that are considered smart by cardinal tetra standards. However, they are very, very good at observing and mimicking others. So when they see the platies grab food, it's probably easy for them to copy their behavior.


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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-23-2014, 12:51 AM
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For ability to solve problems, I'm always impressed with the way my African cichlid fry are able to learn and adapt as needed to survive. I was just watching a few (2 yellow labs about 3/8 and 3 yellow tail Acei about 1/4") in my 125 full of large fish of various types. These are fry who have been spawned in the tank and been able to learn the ways of survival. The smallest are tucked into tiny little pockets in the sides of holey rock and when the coast is clear will duck out and grab bits of food passing. When fish come around, they are able to spot who is safe and who is not. The 9" insignus male or his harem are pretty much ignored as they don't eat off the bottom. Same thing with the algae eater but the pleco and large mbuna in the tank are all reasons to duck for cover.
One little fry has a hole that goes all the way through the rock. When chased, he ducks in and comes out about 2-3 inches away so that he hardly misses a second of chow time!
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-23-2014, 01:32 AM
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[QUOTE=Aquarist_Fist;7140114by human standards are about as smart as a hairbrush.[/QUOTE]

I absolutely like this statement.

I raised panther groupers in saltwater tanks, my favorite fish.
From 78 to 1984, sold them when they got too big and got another.
They know the difference between people, would hide somewhat if
I was not in the room.
You know, large fish trying to hide, sort of.
I walk in and they would approach the front of the tank.
I leave the room and back to strange hiding techniques.
As a test I would not speak and they still recognized me.
Blue Niger Triggerfish also exhibited same behavior.
Picasso triggers could have cared less.

Freshwater IMO, back to the hairbrush.
I raised convict cichlids in the early 70's and IQ was still pretty low.
Engine running and no one behind the wheel.


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