Home Aquarium Can Fish Recognize Their Owners? (Quick Facts)

Can Fish Recognize Their Owners? (Quick Facts)

by gvald

Some species of fish have been domesticated by man, then shaped from generation to generation, for purely recreational purposes. This is the case of ornamental carp, goldfish (domesticated more than 1000 years ago), fighting fish (Betta Splendens, domesticated 500 years ago) or even Scalaria.


It seems that species domesticated for a long time have developed more familiar abilities, allowing them to interact with their companions… humans. An evolution observed in all species domesticated by humans: it is the pets.


Do fish recognize their owners?

We often wonder if our fish are able to recognize us, and this may indeed be true.


It has been proven that the most familiar of them, Koi carp, goldfish and fighting fish, perfectly recognize their “master”, the person who cares for them the most, and thus differentiate him from other people.


These three species (and certainly many others) are also able to recognize the food box by its color: if their food box is blue, the fish will become agitated at the sight of their box or another box with a similar color, while they will not react to a green or red box.


Can fish recognize their parents?

Many animals can identify which of their relatives are related to them. While this is not surprising for species that live in family communities, where individuals live together every day, it is more puzzling for some others. In these species, do individuals rely on similarities (appearance, smell…) with themselves? Common genes often induce common phenotypes.


While working on this problem, a team has demonstrated in a fish, the three-spined stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus), an astonishing ability to identify and associate with its relatives (in the broad sense). In the laboratory, the researchers offered each individual they tested the possibility of joining one of two schools of congeners.


The first school was composed of individuals unknown to the tested specimen and not related to it. The second consisted of its siblings, which were either familiar to it (in a first series of tests) or completely unknown to it (in a second experiment).


The results show that each tested stickleback spontaneously chooses to join its own sibling. Regardless of whether or not they have ever been in contact with its members.


Can fish love their owners?

To this day, no study proves that a fish really loves its owner, however, studies prove that fish have feelings, and that they are able to recognize their owners.


It is therefore very likely that they are not only able to love their masters, but that they really love them if they are treated in the right way.


Can fish hear when you talk to them?

Fish can hear very well, and react very quickly, especially since sounds travel through water three times faster than through air.


If we have fun comparing the hearing system of fish to ours, it is true that the hearing system of fish is more rudimentary. For example, fish have a less fine hearing than ours. They perceive waves and feel vibrations.


It is advisable not to disturb a fish by banging on the aquarium windows. On the other hand, a small party, a few jumps when dancing, will not disturb your fish. External sounds are minimized when they reach the water.


The fish perceive the waves transmitted by the water, they hear the different vibrations, when you walk, if you tap on the glass of the aquarium.


As far as voice is concerned, it is very unlikely that they will hear you, unless you speak directly into the water.

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