What do fish think of us?

BRS
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Auquanut

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Okay. Time to ramble on.
I think fish have varying degrees of intelligence, and some are even capable of affection toward their huge, dry friends.

First off:
i feel like it's more of an innate instinct to act that way. (And it serves them well since we pay them extra attention and make sure to keep them happy when we feel a fish is attached to us.)
Sounds like a pretty advanced mental process. Maybe more advanced than simple emotion. JUST SPECULATING.

So, my hippo tang hides from everyone but me. If anyone else approaches the tank, she hides. When I approach, she always comes to me and gives kissy face. Doesn't matter if it is before or after dinner time, she always comes to see me. The weird thing is that it doesn't matter what I'm wearing. I can have my hat and coat on, and she'll still come to me and no one else.

But this is what has me convinced:
For years I had a chocolate cichlid named Rocco in a 125 FW tank. He was truly a gentle giant. Any time I put my hand in the tank, he would rub up against it. I would cup my hand, and he would nestle in my palm. Even after he got way too big to fit. Anytime I approached the tank, he followed me like a puppy. I truly believe he loved me as much as I loved him.

At the end of the day, our perception is our reality. If we attach a certain temperament, emotion, or diabolical plot to overthrow the world to our fish, then that's the way it is to us. And that's cool. It's all part of the magical world of reefing.

I honestly don't want to know for a fact that Dorey doesn't love me.
 
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vetteguy53081

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So a question I often ponder is what my fish think of of me when they see me outside the tank. Do they understand I'm a being? Could they possibly comprehend the entire world outside of water? Are we as humans in "water" and don't know of an entire world outside of "water" same as the fish? Interesting fishlosophy going on here. Any thoughts are welcome, keep it friendly. ;)
what fish see.jpg
 

Tamberav

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So a question I often ponder is what my fish think of of me when they see me outside the tank. Do they understand I'm a being? Could they possibly comprehend the entire world outside of water? Are we as humans in "water" and don't know of an entire world outside of "water" same as the fish? Interesting fishlosophy going on here. Any thoughts are welcome, keep it friendly. ;)

They do not comprehend that there isn't water outside the tank. That is why they jump out... they are just looking for new territory, not looking to become jerky... they also don't know what jerky is...

The ocean is large and difficult to jump out of... heh..

Maybe they see us as a new symbiotic relationship... they beg for food and look cute which releases good feelings and makes us happy and we bring them food... win/win.

Unless... you the unlucky fish who goes into the too small, incompatible tankmates, parasite ridden, poor water quality tank...

Finding Nemo Movie GIF
 
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EpisodeMnH

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Every single one of mine come towards the front and top of the tank every time they see me sit down in front of it. They know that my presence carries a high probability of food lol. They can also adjust and learn that you’re not a threat. My YWG used to be the most skittish thing in the tank and would hide from basically any kind of movement, now I can essentially hand feed him sinking pellets (Which are actually dropped for his Pistol Shrimp.)

They’re smarter than we think.
 

AKL1950

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Every single one of mine come towards the front and top of the tank every time they see me sit down in front of it. They know that my presence carries a high probability of food lol. They can also adjust and learn that you’re not a threat. My YWG used to be the most skittish thing in the tank and would hide from basically any kind of movement, now I can essentially hand feed him sinking pellets (Which are actually dropped for his Pistol Shrimp.)

They’re smarter than we think.
Except for my 6 Chromis. This is what they see.
F3D261E7-810B-415B-AFA0-03CCB94EF569.jpeg
 
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It must be so perplexing and thought provoking for them. Almost even consciousness expanding to study this foreign life just outside of their grasp. One day they may even evolve to new heights because of these experiences. Hmmmmm "rubs chin"
 

Sean Clark

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I like to think of it like taking a big drink of water and then having an ahhhh, so refreshing moment.

Now the fish goes up to the surface and gulps some air.... ahhhhh, so refreshing.

We are not so different.
 
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This was one of my favorite pictures on this topic by @Paul B. Haha!

6 - what fish see - Paul B.jpeg
 
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As a professional aquarist it has been my privilege to interact daily with a large number and wide variety of fish. While it isn't scientific, I often see fish exhibit complex behaviors that experts insist fish are not intelligent enough to perform.

I currently work with a number of fish that go out of their way to seek out physical contact with me. In particular there are a sturgeon and a short nosed gar that live in a 55,000 gallon system. When I am working above the exhibit they come to the surface and follow me around seeking attention. The gar likes to be stroked along the length of its body, and the sturgeon likes to be rubbed on the sensitive area under its snout.

In our Pacific exhibit, I have seen our California sheephead display empathy. One of our leopard sharks was ill and needed several surgeries. These two fish typically didn't interact with one another, but on three separate occasions, while the shark was recovering from anesthesia, the sheephead carefully chose a rock from the bottom of the exhibit, picked it up in his mouth and gently placed it in front of the semi-conscious shark. Afterward he would back up a bit and just watch the shark, staying close until it was swimming normally again. I like to think he had a worried look on his face, but I'm certain that was just my imagination. These are the only times I have ever seen the sheephead pay any attention to the shark. I was also very impressed by how deliberate and gentle he was. This is a fish who's favorite pastime is grabbing divers by the foot and dragging them around the exhibit!
 

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Hmmmm, this is an interesting question. I always thought my saltwater fish are pretty smart.

Today, however, I had a revelation. I found myself eating Goldfish crackers in front of my tank and now I'm getting the silent treatment from EVERY SINGLE FISH. I now realize they don't understand who they're dealing with if they want to play games like this. I mean, I can play that game too.

Stupid fishes.

I'm going to go see if they're ready to start talking.
 
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