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All fish keepers wonder if the species in their tanks have emotions. If your connection to fish is limited to seeing them served on platters, you won’t think much about their behaviors or what may affect their feelings. Aquarists, on the other hand, get to observe fish in the enclosed ecosystems they’ve established, and this allows them to determine situations in which aquatic species exhibit boredom. In 2018, the PBS television series Nova aired a documentary on the topic of fish and their multitude of feelings. One of the points marine biologists make is that aquatic species showing defined reactions to stimuli have the potential to get bored in the absence thereof. The aquarium experts from Aquatic Warehouse are here to discuss the reasons fish sometimes get bored and how to prevent such boredom.
Why Fish Get Bored
One of the most popular episodes of Mythbusters, the hit series broadcast on the Discovery cable network, deals with the false assumption about goldfish having extremely short-term memories. In the course of debunking this myth, the show hosts realized that goldfish were not only very responsive to stimuli but also showed signs of being less animated when the experiment concluded. What can be inferred from this is that fish react positively to stimulation that’s conducive to behavioral traits and needs. In the absence of such stimuli, the stress that can be observed is equivalent to boredom.
Avoiding Fishbowls and Cylindrical Tanks
You should refrain from keeping fish in bowls or cylinders. Such round shapes are rarely found in natural habitats. Hence, they’ll seem confusing and stressful to most aquatic species. Rectangular shapes with decorative backgrounds and aeration systems that agitate the water column are better in terms of approximating natural habitats.
Preventing Aquarium Boredom Through Simulating Nature
Setting up an aquarium involves a series of biochemistry and marine biology goals. Completing the nitrogen cycle to establish an aquatic ecosystem is a biochemical step. Emulating natural habitats as much as possible is a biological step. Live plants, rocks, driftwood, gravel, and decorations such as caves made from rocks or coconut shells are examples of tank elements that can help fish feel more at home, thus reducing the potential of boredom. The arrangement of these natural decorations must break up the monotony of swimming in a straight line.
Curiosity is an innate behavior that’s meant to prepare fish for vital activities such as hiding, seeking safe spots at night, and foraging. Floating aquarium decorations can spark fish curiosity, particularly among smarter species that swim closer to the surface. Fake seahorses and other artificial fish are the most common floating decorations sold at aquarium shops, like synthetic floating jellyfish that move with the water. Floating items don’t need to be decorative. You can disinfect a ping pong ball and rinse it in water that has been dechlorinated to provide fish with an interesting toy they can move around.
In addition to helping your fish avoid boredom, you also need several supplies to ensure you maintain your tank properly so the fish can live happy and healthy lives for many years to come. When you need aquarium controllers or monitors, filtration, nutritious fish food, or any other essential supply, Aquatic Warehouse has got you covered. Stop by our store located in Kearny Mesa, order what you need from our website, or give us a call today at 858-467-9297 with any questions.