Weird question! But how to entertain a dwarf angel (or any bored fish)?

shrimplover

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Hi, just got a baby dwarf (lemonpeel). He's healthy, eats a lot, looks great but also roams arounds the tank a LOT! I have kept so many fish through time and this one is the first one to truly look bored. Like restless... He nips at everything, shrimps, snails, rock, looks for food, swims, swims, swims, FAST and endlessly. No glass surfing, just around the rocks. To me he just looks bored as hell. (He's not agressive).

I have ordered some nori clips and also some dif AF clip foods. I think he'll appreciate that.

But how about a playmate? Could I add a cherub angel or would he hate it?

Or toys?

Any ideas are greatly appreciated.
 
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shrimplover

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Lazer pointer.... I've shone a lazeer into my tank and let me tell you. The fish are like dang cats.
uuuh I how one of those! Great idea!

---
Just tried the laser pointer. My chalk basses are VERY intrigued but lemonpeel cheked it out and called it hoax then and there, didn't even want a second look.
 
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ISpeakForTheSeas

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You may be able to adapt some of the ideas below (like the puzzle toys, for example):
The second link below actually has some info specifically on puffers, but both links contain some general ideas for fish/invert enrichment (play) ideas:
Some other things I've seen include putting colored dice in with mantis shrimp, playing catch with octopuses, and some unique food puzzles for specific species (such as putting food in a toy boat at the top of the water for an octopus to sink so they can get the food in the boat).
Full disclosure, I don't have a mantis shrimp (at least, not yet - I might in the future), but for most animals, I look at cat and bird toys for some inspiration on how to provide them with some good, quality enrichment. So, my first thought would be some kind of food puzzle toy - though, I'm not sure what kind of food puzzle would work well for a mantis shrimp. Maybe the whiffle ball kind where the food is in the center and falls out of the holes when knocked around properly (you'd need a very durable &/or flexible ball for this, though, as it would likely be punched/speared repeatedly). If the food puzzle works or you want to try a different kind, there are plenty out there, and you can be as eccentric or mundane with them as you want.

Another thing you could try (I have no idea if the mantis would go for it or not) would be one of those bell/rattle ball toys (obviously you'd want one with no metal that can take a fair amount of abuse).

Also, while blaxsun's comment above was clearly intended to be humorous, you could actually try it in a variety of forms, and it might actually work. You could hang the "punching bag" in the tank a ways away from the walls and have it be either a rattle toy that sounds when "punched" or a food puzzle toy (you could do something like a mesh bag with food inside that either cuts open when speared, or one with wide enough holes that some food comes out when it's "punched" - you'd want to keep an eye on any mesh though, just to make sure the mantis doesn't get stuck, so this would be a "with supervision" toy until you've tested it enough to feel it's safe). Or, you could even have it be both a rattle and food puzzle (just put the rattle portion at the very top or very bottom would be my suggestion).

Again, not having a mantis, I have no idea if they would go for any of these toys or not, but I'd be interested to know if you decide to try any of them.
 

Cthulukelele

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Not sure you are right. Lots of rocks, looks tiny in there. A lot of swimming space. I think he looks bored because he has nothing to do other than swim. Honestly
I have a smaller species of angelfish in a tank that is 4x the size of your tank. They use every square inch of it and every crevice of the 200 pounds of live rock in there. I'm not judging you for keeping the fish in there. I'm just informing you that keeping a fish in a tank that's half the minimum suggested size for the species usually leads to neurotic, "bored," or stressed fish
 

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IMG_2471.png
 

Cthulukelele

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Had many dwarf angels and they all roamed the tank looing for food. IMO, normal behavior. Not sure that there is any reason to suspect fish have the ability to be bored.
I'd agree with this as well. They're a constant foraging species, and the only "feelings" they ever seem to exhibit are normal foraging, stress, neurotic swimming (also stress), or territorial aggression
 
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shrimplover

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I have a smaller species of angelfish in a tank that is 4x the size of your tank. They use every square inch of it and every crevice of the 200 pounds of live rock in there. I'm not judging you for keeping the fish in there. I'm just informing you that keeping a fish in a tank that's half the minimum suggested size for the species usually leads to neurotic, "bored," or stressed fish

Thank you. So I'm just informing you again that the fish is a tiny baby still. And I will rehome if/when tank gets too small. My dad has a 250g with plenty of room for this fella in case of needing that. Again I'm not sure if the fishies that we take from the oceans actually do notice how many gallons we trap them in. Not matter if it's 32 or 120, the space is so microscopic compared to what they come from. But I am - as you -a been a firm believer that they should of course have "plenty" of room (plenty of room in OUR human opinion) so we at least can feel a little bit good about confining these animals for our own sake and pleasure.

For now Ijust want to provide him with something to do. And if that fails, I will pass him on later on.
 
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shrimplover

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Had many dwarf angels and they all roamed the tank looing for food. IMO, normal behavior. Not sure that there is any reason to suspect fish have the ability to be bored.
Good point! He does roam for food. And I keep feeding him, lol! Nitrates sure have gone up since he arrived :grinning-face-with-sweat:

But yeah, maybe that is too much to read into them but this one just looks SMART compared to everything else I have :star-struck:
 

tmo65

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Hi, just got a baby dwarf (lemonpeel). He's healthy, eats a lot, looks great but also roams arounds the tank a LOT! I have kept so many fish through time and this one is the first one to truly look bored. Like restless... He nips at everything, shrimps, snails, rock, looks for food, swims, swims, swims, FAST and endlessly. No glass surfing, just around the rocks. To me he just looks bored as hell. (He's not agressive).

I have ordered some nori clips and also some dif AF clip foods. I think he'll appreciate that.

But how about a playmate? Could I add a cherub angel or would he hate it?

Or toys?

Any ideas are greatly appreciated.
Playstation?
 

jtf74

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Thank you. So I'm just informing you again that the fish is a tiny baby still. And I will rehome if/when tank gets too small. My dad has a 250g with plenty of room for this fella in case of needing that. Again I'm not sure if the fishies that we take from the oceans actually do notice how many gallons we trap them in. Not matter if it's 32 or 120, the space is so microscopic compared to what they come from. But I am - as you -a been a firm believer that they should of course have "plenty" of room (plenty of room in OUR human opinion) so we at least can feel a little bit good about confining these animals for our own sake and pleasure.

For now Ijust want to provide him with something to do. And if that fails, I will pass him on later on.
Dwarf angels are always moving in and out. Mine cover more area than my tang I would bet. I would load the tank with liverock with many holes to explore.
 
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shrimplover

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Yeah actually I think that I just had to get used to his way of moving around. Things are great.

He likes the nori clips and also I have found out that he likes to play hide and seek game with me. He hides then pops up to see if I'm coming to "get him" and if I go find him, he find a new spot to hide. An if I don't come look for him or hide, he will come over to see what I'm doing. And we can go on like that for 30 minutes. (He's not scared at all - I know that someone will probably try to tell me that he hides because he is scared but this guy feeds off my hand and it's only when he is in game mood that he hides)
 

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