It’s a Tang!! It Looks Just Like Me! Attack!

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AKL1950

AKL1950

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Ah, yes, but it’s a learned ability. We have genetic instinct to look for faces. That’s why we see faces in clouds, the moon etc. if we see what appear to be eyes in the edge of a Forrest, we would be Leary of then, but only because we were taught to be. A survival instinct Learned by training or experience. If the fish has never seen another fish, it may react to its features, but it has no basis to be aggressive to it, unless it has features it recognizes as a threat. If the plastic fish shows no aggression, is perfectly still and the tang can’t smell it, it has no basis to become aggressive to that ornament it sees any more than it would attack a power head or new “yellow“ rock in its domain.

Jetson
 
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I don't think tangs actually know "this fish looks like me". They just have instinctive programming that says "if a thing looks like this, attack it". Remember, they aren't going around thinking logical sentences like we do. They're smart, but a lot of them is instinct. Same way baby fish know what to eat without being shown- instinct says "if it looks like this, eat it".
 
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They're smart, but a lot of them is instinct. Same way baby fish know what to eat without being shown- instinct says "if it looks like this, eat it".
I still think their primary sense is smell. Be it instinct or acquired/learned, smell to a fish is more important. Everything in the ocean puts out a distinct smell. That can be recognized even if vision is impaired. Is other words, it would be “if it smell like this, eat it” or, “if it smells like me, attack it or mate it”. I suspect male and female in the same species smell different, but both close enough to be recognized as a like species. Once the fish has associated a particular smell with a particular shape/color design, now it recognizes the shape/color with that species.
 
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Fish cologne with pheramones??
I have 20 tangs and endure maybe an hour of antagonizing and they are long lost friends. 2 weeks ago , I introduced convict tang and they could not care less who he was- just wanted their food. I think its instinct over shape but have noticed similar color has played a role. Every fish is going to behave differently with good or bad personalities.
 

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I'll remember this thread every time a dogs bark at the TV when they see another dog, and laugh. Or every time my fish become obsessed with themselves when the glass is cleaned, the lighting is right, and reflections become abundant.
 

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Nice theory but it's wrong. Have you ever had 2 tanks right next to each other with tangs looking similar in them?? They want to kill each other. It's in their DNA.
 
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Smell is definitely a factor, but plenty of fish will territory-pose at a fish in another tank, or at a mirror. I haven't tested if tangs will do the same, but I've never heard of a territorial fish that won't. Except probably some blind cave fish somewhere.
 
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Yeah, and a dog will growl at you until he can get close enough to smell you. Then he decides to bite you or lick you.

I just got my last big group of fish for my tank Today. Three Tangs. A purple, powder blue and hippo. My little Tomini was the only tang, but now she’s absolutely beside herself. All three are bigger than she is, but she definitely thinks this is her tank. She’s all over the place trying to protect her world. She’ll go over and try to push the purple around, but it just sits there looking at her Thinking, like really. The three new guys are still mostly lurking in the shadows. Tomorrow when the lights come on will be interesting. So far the purple and powder blue just swim along side by side. The hippo….. well, it’s a hippo. She‘ll go play dead for a while, then race around, then go play dead again. I think I’m going to be lucky and everybody is going to blend well. Tomini is starting to settle down and swim with the others. Fingers crossed.
 

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An animal's instincts is the ability to know without thinking, the capability to automatically know how to behave or respond in certain circumstances. This "knowing" ability occurs naturally or instinctively to an animal, and is inherited from birth (Google definition).
BINGO, I have not read the entire thread yet. The answer is instinct. It can be triggered by any sensory input or by none... The subject of my example is a squirrel. My family and I were "camping" in a state park in a yurt. There was a large wooden deck constructed all around the yurt. My daughter was feeding a rather plump squirrel trail mix almost literally out of her hand. When she gave the squirrel a raisin, it tasted it, and then moved to the edge of the deck and placed it on the bare wood. It then proceeded to wave its paws in the air just over the raisin as if it were covering it with debris to hide it for later, even though there was no debris. It could not visually or olfactorily discern that there was nothing to cover the raisin with, but it KNEW it had to wave its paws over the raisin.
 

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I don't think tangs actually know "this fish looks like me". They just have instinctive programming that says "if a thing looks like this, attack it". Remember, they aren't going around thinking logical sentences like we do. They're smart, but a lot of them is instinct. Same way baby fish know what to eat without being shown- instinct says "if it looks like this, eat it".
Double BINGO!
 

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I still think their primary sense is smell. Be it instinct or acquired/learned, smell to a fish is more important. Everything in the ocean puts out a distinct smell. That can be recognized even if vision is impaired. Is other words, it would be “if it smell like this, eat it” or, “if it smells like me, attack it or mate it”. I suspect male and female in the same species smell different, but both close enough to be recognized as a like species. Once the fish has associated a particular smell with a particular shape/color design, now it recognizes the shape/color with that species.
I would enjoy taking you fishing and show you just how much fish rely on sight ;)
 
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AKL1950

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I would enjoy taking you fishing and show you just how much fish rely on sight ;)
Oh absolutely. They use all their senses. But the topic was recognition of another fish that looks identical to itself. That has to be a learned association with the other senses. Sound and smell.
 
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Oh absolutely. They use all their senses. But the topic was recognition of another fish that looks identical to itself. That has to be a learned association with the other senses. Sound and smell.
But then one would have to start questioning all instinctive versus learned behaviors, and deny the former, which is provably false.
 

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My clownfish attacks the algae scraping magnet when I use it. The magnet doesn't look like a clownfish. Maybe it's just stupid.
Oh this is certain, fish are really stupid (no offense to our little buddies).

Well, some more than others......
 
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Just to fire up the discussion - I do not know any tang species that is by definition territorial in nature. It could be some that I not aware of but must of the species more or less species prefer open water over the feeding grounds - often many individuals together. I have not either heard of that any of the tang species get territorial during spawning. I have seen many aquariums 700 L and above with several tangs of the same type going well. But they normally sets up a pecking order.

My clownfish attacks the algae scraping magnet when I use it. The magnet doesn't look like a clownfish. Maybe it's just stupid.
Clownfish are by definition territorial in nature. They attack everything that intrudes into their territory.

Sincerely Lasse
 
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AKL1950

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But then one would have to start questioning all instinctive versus learned behaviors, and deny the former, which is provably false.
Possibly. Is a baby deer instinctively afraid of humans? Not really. It’s a learned “instinct”. When born it has no reason to fear humans. It’s taught that by its mother. How, through smell and pheromones. Mother deer alerts when she smells a human. Baby deer senses mothers fear. Baby deer smells human as well. Baby deer associates mothers fear with the smell of a human. That is then imprinted in baby deer memories/neurons for fight or flight and from then on it will fear humans. a Lot of things we view as animal instinct are actually learned events from their elders. It’s just done differently than we do. Now there are other things that are truly instinctual. Baby turtle as soon as they hatch instinctually run to the ocean so they don’t get eaten. Don’t think anyone taught then that.
 

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Every fish is going to behave differently with good or bad personalities.
Exactly - and this is a prove of a variation in personality that´s indicate rather intelligent creatures. I once had a large cichlid aquarium that was hidden behind a pensulian style bookshelf. It was impossible to see which person that should turn up in front of the aquarium - me or my wife. I was the one feeding them. After some days they know which it was of us before they sight us. If it was my wife - they was just swimming around - if it was me - they was already gathered there I use to feed them when I turn around the bookshelf. Probably they felt the vibrations.

Sincerely Lasse
 
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Oh this is certain, fish are really stupid (no offense to our little buddies).

Well, some more than others......
Sometimes I wonder if they are stupid, or is it we just aren’t smart enough to understand their logic tree. I spent three hours this afternoon watching my new hippo tang play dead In several different places in the tank. One would think that has some superior intelligence at play, all be it a little silly from our perspective. Just like a possum, she’s doing it so no one will pay attention to her while she scopes everything out. Once she got comfortable it was time for Dory to swim swim swim.
 
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