Go Back   Aquarium Advice - Aquarium Forum Community > Freshwater > Freshwater & Brackish - General Discussion
Click Here to Login

Join Aquarium Advice Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com
 
Old 02-09-2022, 06:57 PM   #1
Aquarium Advice Apprentice
 
Alaecreaturae's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2022
Location: Coastal Virginia, US
Posts: 25
Post F.gardneri Behavior Project

Hi all, I thought I would start an ongoing thread about the project I am conducting this spring.
This is for an animal behavior course, where I will pick a study animal and catalog its behaviors with ethograms. Once I've done that I will use the data to make diagrams, graphs, charts, etc. to see the pattern. Finally, I'll introduce a variable and see how they react- I have not chosen what I am changing yet, so feel free to make humane suggestions.

My study animals are four Fundulopanchax gardneri (Gardneri killifish) from a breeder in Pennsylvania. We limit their interaction with people to make the environment as natural as possible. There are 2 males and two females, and they are quite interesting creatures.

Some of my main questions are:
What is the most frequent behavior; what behaviors follow, and what percentage of the time? The goal of this project is not to determine the "why" but the what. For example, one of your goldfish may be picking at an object and moving it about. You could say, "Oh, my goldfish is playing!" Instead, you should say, "My goldfish is picking at an object," or even simpler, "My goldfish is touching an object with its mouth repeatedly". As pet owners, we typically assign personality and reason to behavior. I mean, how can we not? Sure, maybe the fish is playing, but you could not possibly confirm it until you do the research to prove it! That is why I am doing this

Here is our setup:

10 gallon with a simple layout!
I got some pipes from home depot and cleaned them up real nice. I chose them to increase water flow, and my fish at home love them! The rocks are some decorative ones that I boiled for several hours. They are there mainly to keep the pipes in place. My lab partner brought the equipment in and the floating plants (I have no idea what they are).

We will be starting our initial observations fairly soon, and I will make an update as soon as I have the data.

Male F.gardneri resting.

__________________
Actinoptyergi !!!!!
Alaecreaturae is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-29-2022, 02:34 PM   #2
Aquarium Advice Apprentice
 
Alaecreaturae's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2022
Location: Coastal Virginia, US
Posts: 25
f. gardneri Project Update #1

Hello again, I have a couple of things to show. I will do my best to explain the data.


https://imgur.com/9xyfFMF
Morgana & Cockeye having a disagreement

Take note of these abbreviations from now on:
  1. Dt - Dart
  2. FF - Follow Female
  3. Dr - Drift
  4. BT - Backtrack
  5. SH - Station Hold
  6. Co - Copulate
  7. Ct - Court
  8. Fl - Flare
  9. GF - Gill Flare
  10. Ch - Chase
  11. Fe - Flee
  12. Hd - Hide
  13. RH - Rock Hover
  14. Ea - Eat
  15. ER - Eat and Regurgitate
  16. Pr - Perching

After setting up the tank and getting them adjusted, my lab partner and I watched the killifish for 90 minutes- scan sampling for key behaviors. We noted actions that may be repeated and quantified, then came up with codes for each. For example, Dart (Dt); Quick, short distance locomotion propelled by caudal and pectoral fins. Fold dorsal fins flat to the body. For behaviors that may not easily be described, I made illustrations or captured films using my Canon EOS. Here is my take on a gill flare (GF):


https://imgur.com/a/rzkmYNx

Then came the heavy lifting. We have 4 killies, so we observed each fish for 90 minutes, for a total of 6 hours. During which, one of us would call out behaviors we see and the other would write the corresponding codes in the sequence they occurred. Every 5 minutes we would move on to a new "cycle" until finally reaching the 90 minute mark.

The result was 4 charts that looked something like this:

https://imgur.com/a/wAZ090G

Then I sat down and tallied each behavior code, and what code followed another. With this, I created transition frequency tables, which tell us the probability of one behavior following another. For example, in our male fish, a Dart (Dt) happened right after another Dart around 33% of the time. Or, a Backtrack (BT) was followed by a Station hold (SH) 64% of the time.


https://imgur.com/a/RxilWPR

But wait: There's More!
I created a visual representation of our data, called a Kinematic diagram. This was extremely difficult to make and is equally difficult to understand, so I won't dwell on it much.

https://imgur.com/Nc2LOnP
Diagram of male behaviors, where the thickness of the arrows indicated the percentage


https://imgur.com/Br8tbya
Diagram of female behaviors

I think I'd rather stick with the tables and charts...
On the bright side, the females had some babies! I've counted three and they are safe and sound inside a breeder net. I'm hoping they become pretty just like their parents.

That is all that I have for now, but in the next 2 weeks, I will be running an experiment (harmless of course) on these fish. It is pretty simple. I went and got some fishing lures that had a similar body shape and size, and cut the hooks off. We are going to see how their behavior changes when a decoy enters their tank. My guess: Nothing will happen. My partner's guess: They will become aggressive.
__________________
Actinoptyergi !!!!!
Alaecreaturae is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-29-2022, 03:29 PM   #3
Aquarium Advice Addict
Community Moderator
 
Aiken Drum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Derbyshire, UK
Posts: 4,231
I look forward to the update.

My guess. A very short period of interest (like 2 or 3 minutes), then when they realise they arent real fish, they will ignore the lures.
__________________
Aiken Drum
Community Moderator
Aiken Drum is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-2022, 10:47 AM   #4
Aquarium Advice Apprentice
 
Alaecreaturae's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2022
Location: Coastal Virginia, US
Posts: 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aiken Drum View Post
I look forward to the update.

My guess. A very short period of interest (like 2 or 3 minutes), then when they realise they arent real fish, they will ignore the lures.
And you would be exactly right! The male nearly ignored the lure from the beginning, while the female realized it was fake within 30 minutes. She bit at it a bunch but eventually got over it. 5 days later I tried again and they still ignored it- which means they might have some good memory.
__________________
Actinoptyergi !!!!!
Alaecreaturae is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-16-2022, 09:07 PM   #5
Aquarium Advice Apprentice
 
Alaecreaturae's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2022
Location: Coastal Virginia, US
Posts: 25
F. gardneri Update #2

Well, good news and bad news.

Two killifish are happily retired in my home tank & the research is done! The bad news- I ended up with only 2 individuals to observe and complete the research. The other mating pair became very ill, so I had to separate them from the group. They were covered in these red lesions that persisted for about a week until... I got a text from my lab partner saying that they were going to euthanize the sick female. They were too lazy/misinformed to get proper chemical euthanasia (even after I told them no several times!) and said they were going to "...smash her head to euthanize".
With a hammer.
There wasn't much I could do to stop them since I wasn't on campus that day. I live a good distance away so it would have taken me too long to get there. They said that either I could get clove oil or they would have to use the hammer. Not even clove oil is the right way. 2-phenoxyethanol or chilling would have been the best- but I digress. I didn't want them to do it in the first place since they didn't even try to save the fish.

Anyway, let's just say we aren't on good terms after they violated lab animal protocols and then acted like nothing was wrong!

Enough of the dramatics, though. I found that the remaining killifish are not only witty but have memory. Within 36 minutes of the first decoy-exposure session, the female inspected, bit, and then promptly ignored the fake fish. My male, however, acted like nothing was there.
About five days later, I brought in the decoy again in the same manner. This time, the female swam up, inspected, then went about her business within ten minutes! Shocker! Again, the male ignored the decoy. By the final observation, I was just watching these understimulated fish twitch around and ignore my very obvious trick.
I took them home that day, where they met the crew of real fish (corys, tetras, and Mr. Johnny the Molly). They were so happy to be there they copulated all night in one of my PVC pipe hides. It is probably already known that F. gardneri are excellent community fish, but now I've got the numbers and hours to back it up. They love to dart around, hide, and perch! 'Perching' is a behavior similar to that of corys sitting on the bottom, except, these fish can do it anywhere. And I mean, literally. Just last night I saw one of them basically frozen in the middle of the tank, barely moving their pectorals. It is insane how still they can be.
Based on how Ermes (the female killifish) does not bite her real tank mates suggests that she may not have believed the decoy to be a real fish in the first place. It may have been just another strange object.

I still have some more work to do here, including a report. I will be sharing this report as soon as I'm done writing it. Maybe you all can give some feedback?

Thanks for reading.
__________________
Actinoptyergi !!!!!
Alaecreaturae is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2022, 12:12 AM   #6
Aquarium Advice Addict
Community Moderator
 
Autumnsky's Avatar



POTM Champion
Tank of the Month Award
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Northern Colorado, USA
Posts: 16,505
Very interesting.

Were the tanks cycled?
__________________
New to FW fish? First tank in a long time or EVER??? Need some info on keeping fish?

Start here - Aquarium Advice Article
https://www.aquariumadvice.com/guide...ater-aquarium/

FW Favorites right now Clown Loaches, any shrimp - SW Vase Red Mangroves
Autumnsky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2022, 12:36 AM   #7
Aquarium Advice Apprentice
 
Alaecreaturae's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2022
Location: Coastal Virginia, US
Posts: 25
As long as possible. Kickstarted with sponge filter
__________________
Alaecreaturae is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2022, 06:25 AM   #8
Aquarium Advice Addict
Community Moderator
 
Aiken Drum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Derbyshire, UK
Posts: 4,231
The red lesions sounds very much like ammonia poisoning. Cycling a tank takes time, its not a case of cycling a tank as long as possible, you cycle a tank until its cycled. Typically this takes 6 to 8 weeks. How did you cycle the tank?

Also, the euthanising with a hammer is a very common practice and generally considered one of the least stressful methods, so dont beat your lab partner too much. There are much worse ways to go.

Here is a thread on various methods to carry out euthanasia of fish. Pros and cons etc.

https://www.aquariumadvice.com/forum...sia-73775.html
__________________
Aiken Drum
Community Moderator
Aiken Drum is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2022, 10:08 AM   #9
Aquarium Advice Apprentice
 
Alaecreaturae's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2022
Location: Coastal Virginia, US
Posts: 25
Just because it is common practice, doesn’t justify it being done. It is also number 3 on that list… Here in the US it is against lab animal regulation to use blunt force trauma. Yep, definitely worse ways to go- but my partner had options but refused to listen or ask our professor.
As for ammonia poisoning, you could be right but I don’t believe this was the case. It looked bacterial. We had 2 other adults and 3 fry who were completely fine in the same tank. It’s possible we acted quickly enough in changing the water and they slipped past, but again we can never be sure.
6-8 weeks seems like a time line for a much larger tank. This death was after nearly 14 weeks of living in this tank. I checked the parameters regularly and we had 1 ammonia spike that was dealt with 3 weeks in.

But in the end, it’s already over and the surviving fish are in a proper setup now.
__________________
Actinoptyergi !!!!!
Alaecreaturae is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2022, 05:56 PM   #10
Aquarium Advice Addict
Community Moderator
 
Autumnsky's Avatar



POTM Champion
Tank of the Month Award
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Northern Colorado, USA
Posts: 16,505
Glad to hear the remaining fish can live a happy life with good care.
__________________
New to FW fish? First tank in a long time or EVER??? Need some info on keeping fish?

Start here - Aquarium Advice Article
https://www.aquariumadvice.com/guide...ater-aquarium/

FW Favorites right now Clown Loaches, any shrimp - SW Vase Red Mangroves
Autumnsky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2022, 05:59 PM   #11
Aquarium Advice Addict
Community Moderator
 
Autumnsky's Avatar



POTM Champion
Tank of the Month Award
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Northern Colorado, USA
Posts: 16,505
Was also thinking as a side note, were there any other researchers using the same nets, buckets, test tubes, whatever items might have been able to cross contaminate to your fish? Even if someone sneakily used something you had for your fish. Just a possibility if anyone else was using similar items / test subjects.
__________________
New to FW fish? First tank in a long time or EVER??? Need some info on keeping fish?

Start here - Aquarium Advice Article
https://www.aquariumadvice.com/guide...ater-aquarium/

FW Favorites right now Clown Loaches, any shrimp - SW Vase Red Mangroves
Autumnsky is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
behavior, project

Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Wanted: Gardneri killifish/black moscow guppies YaBuddyHuddie Archive 3 10-29-2012 12:50 PM
Gardneri killifish-normally agressive? Jmurray17 Freshwater & Brackish - General Discussion 1 06-23-2012 09:25 AM
Sexing gardneri killifish lake_tuna Freshwater & Brackish - General Discussion 2 05-17-2010 02:21 PM
WANTED: Fp. Gardneri Psyhampster Archive 3 03-27-2005 11:01 AM







» Photo Contest Winners







All times are GMT -4. The time now is 07:39 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.