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Old 03-08-2006, 10:26 AM   #11
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Okay, for one, I don't think there's much psychology in a fish. They have a pretty basic sense of instincts... eat... fight... screw... swim away... get new territory.
Don't forget feel pain

I don't however, hold the last lady to own the fish responsible for the attack.
That is an interesting statement considering she as stated

The ex-owner had the system for 5 years, then got bored with it about half through last year. She didn't do any changes, checks, or maintenance in the final six months, and the fish were half starved to death when I got the tank.
Can we assume that for example if we abuse a dog and make that dog mean we are held responsible for that dog temperment, A fish which I believe has a simplier mind even though similiar in ways to a dog, can hold the same ability to create there mean temperment which the same abuse?

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Old 03-08-2006, 03:30 PM   #12
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There is no way I would equate the intelligence of a fish to that of a dog. Dogs are capable of having advanced internalizations of their outer world, possibly even having abstract thought processes of cause and consequence. I do not believe this to be true of fish. And yes, stimulus such as pain and pleasure are "felt" by fish, in a neurological manner. But that doesn't indicate that the fish "remembers" it, and then is driven by motive to change it's actions in a retributionary manner. You are anthropomorphizing here, and while that goes over great on the big screen (hence, Finding Nemo,) it doesn't pan out in the real world. Fish don't hold grudges or take out revenge on the world because of past treatment. They flat out don't have the brain capapcity to support that kind of advanced behavior. If you wanted to argue that the fish had an "angry soul" that would probably be easier to prove than arguing that the fish is retaliating out of anger at past abuse like an abandoned child torturing the neighbors cat. Sure, fish can react in a predictable manner to certain stimulus, like appearing at the front of the tank when they're hungry, but I don't think that the fish is going to go "Well I appeared and nobody fed me so now I'm going to plot for six months and kill my new owner's small goby/wrasse/kitten/etc." While this is a great debate, and I'd be pleased to site references for you and direct you to some of my colleagues for further debate of this issue, it doesn't really need to be continued on the open forum. I'd be happy to continue it on IM though. Really, this thread was posted more to find out if anybody else had experienced something similar than to expound on whether or not fish are capable of advanced inner dialogue.

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Old 03-08-2006, 06:31 PM   #13
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Hehe! I am with you on this one zuzecawi. I had a friend once that thought maybe if I "punished" my gourami he would stop chasing my swordtails..Just doesn't work like that. Fish can respond to stimuli and perhaps learn a light and feeding schedule just like the ocean, but I don't believe you can "train" a fish to ignore his instinct.

You can train a dog to hold a treat on his nose for minutes until you give him permission to eat it....good luck doing that with a fish! hehe!

In any case, I agree, probably don't want to get a huge debate going, so I won't add any more fuel to the fire.
38 Gallon (Freshwater): 1 Green Swordtail, 3 Yo-Yo Loaches, 1 Clown Pleco, 1 Blue Gourami, 4 Otocinclus, 7 Cherry Barbs.

46 Gallon (Saltwater): 60 pounds Lalo Live Rock, 60 pounds aragonite sand, 1 Coral Beauty Angelfish, 1 Peppermint Shrimp, 1 Mushroom Coral, 1 Emerald Crab, various snails and hermit crabs.

10 Gallon (Saltwater quarantine):
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Old 03-08-2006, 09:30 PM   #14
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I actually have a fairly aggressive yellow tang myself. When he was added to the tank there wern't many inhabitants so luckily he never managed to kill anything, though he did try quite eagerly to stab the heck out of his own reflection. He's calmed down somewhat but I still always have to watch him when I'm doing maintenence because occasionally he will try to stab me if I get to near his territory.

I recently acquired another yellow tang from a friend of mine that was in very bad shape. He has pretty severe HLLE and wasn't taken very good care of at all. I have him in his own tank where I'm trying to nurse him back to health. The funny thing is that he is about as docile as they come.

I really think it's just a fish by fish thing. Some have the agressive switch flipped on I guess. =)
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Old 03-10-2006, 03:54 PM   #15
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Well, the kid who bought the tank came and got the tang, I showed him how to do drip acclimation, and the tang and the clown are now reunited. Gave him a bunch of red and green nori, some formula two frozen food, and sent him on his way. And my tank is now safe again! That sucker tried to stab me while I was bagging it up, I triple bagged it in heavy duty freezer bags and told the kid not to put his hands too close to the fish's tail.

I guess I pulled a consolation prize out of this though, with my 6 line gone I finally got myself a target mandarine goby/dragonet. And I saw a really nice crimson red ricordea which I snatched up from the LFS. The goby is doing fine, it was in solitary at the LFS for around 3 months, looks a little skinny but was happily hunting away in my live rock labyrinth. I always wanted one of these guys, but never wanted the 6 line to out compete it, and I felt a little nervous about having both fish in just a 58 gallon tank, 180lbs lr to the side, that's not much space for two pod eating fish.

Only thing more dangerous than a 2nd lieutenant saying "In my experience" is a warrant officer saying "Hey guys, check this out!"
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tan, tang, yellow tang

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