YOUR OPINION- are fish truly happy in captivity?

BRS

flyfisher2

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Define "happy"
Perhaps they are just 'Content' to be fed and not prey to a bigger fish or then again, maybe they are just to stupid to know the difference and thats why they shoot off into the wide blue yonder only to land on the cat's dinner plate!
Who knows?
Maybe we should consider joint therapy sessions?
My .02
 
Fritz

Pimba

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Nobody will be able to answer that question truely imo.

How do you measure happiness in fish since they can't express that - less diseases, swimming freely etc?

Are dogs, cats, horses happy in captivity ?
 

reefsaver

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I think this is a fantastic question and it always brings me to thinking about Octopus. Generally when aquarists keep Octopus they frequently stimulate the Octopus to keep it entertained and happy. This can be done by quite literally delicately playing with the Octopus. Another form of stimulus which brings us to the question, is changing the Tanks aquascape also quite frequently. The idea is that the Octopus will be experiencing a new part of the Reef with each change. In my opinion I think all the life we keep in our Reefs has a some idea of it's environment. Almost like they build a mental map of their surroundings. For example if you buy a skittish dartfish and put it in a lidless tank, on day one if it were to get scared, it doesn't really know it's surroundings well or know any hiding places and has a high potential to jump out of the tank. But say you had a lid and kept him for a while, eventually every time it felt threatened it would quickly dart into the rockwork, because it knows where to go. So in my opinion I think most of the animals we keep have some kind of basic sense of environmental mapping and if kept in a too small tank would probably be pretty stressful. Like being in a completely white blank solitary confinement cell. Instead of exploring the reef and learning about the world, best places to eat, what different food to eat, mates, competition, predators and fears, home.
 

Zionas

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As far as my limited human perspective is concerned, I’d rather be kept safe, have someone fussing over me, keeping me well-fed and fat, and experience a bit less freedom in some ways than have all the choices and all the room in the world to make them but whatever I end up with is a crapshoot and I may well lose my life earlier than I should. And this, my friends, is why I’ll get married hopefully soon.

However, this doesn’t mean we should buy any animal without the ability to give it what it needs to thrive in our captive environments. This means making the tank fit the fish, rather than forcing the fish to fit the tank. This means taking factors like tank mates, stocking levels, amount of maintenance we are willing and able to do, rock work, water temperature and other things into ample consideration.

There are a number of species of fish that are often sold as tropical fish, but really need cooler water temperatures than the average reef tank (76-80). One good example would be the Blue Spot Jawfish. And I can think of many other deepwater fish that really ought to be kept at lower temperatures and I can’t help but think they’d do better at lower temperatures. For example, Genicanthus Semifasciatus and Genicanthus Watanabei may well be able to adapt to typical reef aquarium temperatures, but in the wild they usually live below 150 feet. This means a temperature in the low seventies may well suit them better unless they’re captive bred at some point.

Blue Line Angels, depending on their point of collection (the Vietnamese ones may not really matter in this case), might also do better at lower temperatures (low seventies) if they were collected from places like Japan or northern Taiwan. Northern Taiwan is still a bit too cold for full-blown coral reefs and it’s only when you get to the southern part of the island (as in Green Island, Orchid Island, and Kenting) near the Philippines do we see fully tropical reef systems.

Other examples I can think of are C. Interruptus (maybe the ones from the NW Hawaiian Islands don’t present these problems?) from Japan, H. Clarionensis, P. Zonipectus, and maybe H. Passer, specimens collected from the northern parts of their distribution (as in Baja) where the water’s not warm enough for full coral reefs may do better with cooler temperatures than specimens collected from further south in Mexico and the Central American coastline.

Wild caught Bandit Angels from the main islands are caught in deeper waters, usually 150 feet and below. IMO unless captive bred A. Arcuatus might also thrive under cooler temperatures. The elusive G. Personatus if wild caught, is often caught in very deep water in the main islands.


About 10 years ago copps mentioned how his pair of G. Semifasciatus weren’t liking the 76-80F of his main reef tank, some he moved them to his FOWLR in the low seventies and they liked it more. He ended up replacing them with a pair of G. Lamarck which are found in shallow water.
 
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flyfisher2

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Just to be clear, we are talking about ‘fish’ here, right?
Not whales, dolphins, or the like?
For those of you familiar with birds, the African Grey parrot is considered the most speech gifted of birds and yet it’s believed that their abilities are to mimic. Their actions are triggered responses.
Are we saying that fish are capable of this or more?
If so,what we do to them is unspeakable.
Taken from their homes, friends and family to be enclosed in a glass box to be stared at by big eyes and fed what we feel when we feel.No privacy, Can’t hang with their buddies or have sex.
I know I saw this somewhere,minus the sex part.
Little girl with braces, plastic bags floating in the ocean….
OMG, how horrible we are!
 
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phillybean

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Tough question, others have touched on a lot of points, I have no idea if fish can feel "happiness", but I think they do.

I had a Blonde Naso Tang years ago, my tank was at the bottom of the stairs. My wife realized, that at around 6:30, when I usually got home from work, she would hang out on the side of the tank near the stairs. Every time I walked infront of the tank, she would follow me, often stopping and looking at me from the other side. She never did this for my wife or any guests we had. Likely she picked up on the fact that I was the one who fed her and she wanted food and knew what time dinner was, but she had made that connection, really incredible for a "fish" if you think about it. I'd like to say she was happy.
 
BRS

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