do fish have memory


do you think that fish have memory's. I just brought home a powder blue tang from the lfs, it was in a small 20 gallon tank and I have put him in my 180. But i wonder if they remeber their homes in the reef????


they do. acclimation makes your fish get used to your water follow the instructions on


I don't think they have memory in the sense that little nemo misses his dad or anything like that. They do have memory though, otherwise they wouldn't get all hyped up when they see me put my hands over the tank to feed them.


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They do get acclimated to their environment as well as learn daily patterns.
However, their memory for specific events is very short. I saw one statistic that estimated that the average memory of a goldfish lasted only 7 seconds.


Of course all fish have memory, including gold fish. Why else would they get all excited when you walk towards the tank???
Because they remember that you're the one who feeds them. The studies that say fish only have 10 second memories are a joke. My fish even remember which food container tastes the best to them. If I bring out the yellow container, they calm down. If I bring out a cup of brine shrimp, they all go completely nuts.
Fish are much smarter than people realize, especially marine fish. They have to be in order to survive.


Memory and survival techniques are two different things all together, and being studied now actually. It is believed their memory is about 7-15 seconds. It is also believed they have the survival technique that tells them what to eat, where it is safe to rest etc. That would explain why they come to the top when a person goes to feed them. Or why they go crazy when they see the person that feeds them near the tank. That person is their 'food source', the 'hunt' begins when you drop the food in the tank. My puffer goes to the tip of the turkey baster when I put it in the he thinking..."Ah, she's here with food', or is he driven to the turkey baster via survival instinct? Hard to know. If they talked, fish keeping would be a lot easier.

I don't think they have tremendous memory, but rather tremendous survival instinct that leads them to learning how to survive in a glass cube.


I don't believe that fish instinctively look to humans for food. If they were going simply by instinct and couldn't remember us, then they'd be searching the tank for their natural foods instead of begging at the glass. If they recognize certain "unnatural" things as sources of food, wouldn't memory have to be involved? They may not have a very long short-term memory, but I definitely believe that their long-term memories are permanent.


I agree that what they do shouldn't be labeled as simply instinct, since I doubt they have an inate survival instinct of begging me for food. Survival instinct infer that it is something that comes natural and is not learned. If they had it as a natural survival instict, they would have been that way from the beginning. It took several weeks of learning where I put the food and remembering that people feed them. If something is learned it is not instinct.


Many of the behaviors that we observe are conditioning (just like Pavlov’s dogs). I learned a lot about this in my animal behavior classes. Animals with very simple nervous systems can exhibit similar “conditioned” behaviors. It is hard to say if this is “memory” in fish. I doubt a fish remembers events over a long period of time (i.e. the way we remember a vacation from our childhood).


I used to work at a LFS that had a 40,000 gallon display, which housed a spotted grouper. I hand fed that grouper once or twice a week on and off for three years. Eventually, that grouper was removed and donated to a much larger aquarium display somewhere else. After he had been gone for something like a year, I went to that aquarium and he swam right over to where my friend and I were standing and stayed with us for pretty much the entire time. I thought it was a coincidence, but it happened the second time I went there too. So, I'm convinced he remembered us.


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they have a very limited memory, but from what i can remember from school fish can remember obsticles pretty good to get to some food


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Cut and paste from an article.....I like the music part...though I think some of this is good conversation...but BS....
Jonathan Lovell from Plymouth University's Institute of Marine Studies is convinced that some fish have a memory. He has successfully trained fish to swim towards a sound. He wants to release domesticated fish into the open sea, and call them back with special sounds to a feeding station, to supplement their natural diet.
Culum Brown (of the Institute of Cell, Animal and Population Biology at the University of Edinburgh) studied the crimson spotted rainbow fish while in Queensland. He compared fish that knew their tanks well, with fish that had just been placed in tanks. He introduced a net with a central hole into a tank, and then swept it from one end to the other. The fish that had a strong memory of their tank were better able to escape through the central hole - presumably because they could ignore what they remembered to be familiar and non-threatening to them (their tank), and instead, could concentrate on the new threat (the net). The fish that knew their tank remembered the trawling net so well, that they could escape it in a follow-up study some 11 months later.
By the way, 11 months is nearly one third of his fish's 3-year lifespan. That's a very long time to remember something that has happened to you only once, and in human terms, about 25 years ago.
Yoichi Oda of Osaka University in Japan has spent years studying the fine details of memory in goldfish - and he's also convinced that goldfish have a good memory.
Some goldfish will come to the glass of their tank whenever people walk into the room. These particular goldfish have worked out that when people turn up, so will food - at least, sometimes. In other words, People = Food. This is called "associative learning". The fish now associate people with food.
Fish also do "social learning", where they learn by watching their fellow fish. Fish are very good at "social learning", because some species of fish are very social. They all hang out together in schools. To survive in the school, they spend a lot of time paying attention to what their school mates do.
Some fish can learn music - probably because it's important for them, in the wild, to be able to distinguish between different sounds in their environment. Ava Chase of the Rowland Institute for Science in Cambridge, Massachusetts taught carp to tell the difference between John Lee Hooker (blues) and a Bach Oboe concerto (classical), by feeding them smaller fish as a food reward. The music was played to the fish through loudspeakers in their tank. She then discovered that the carp could generalize from what they had learnt, and classify music that they had not heard before, into the categories of blues or classical.
Some owners say that their goldfish remember their faces and freely frolic in the tank when they're the only ones present, but hide for an hour or so, when strangers enter the room.
And of course, there are thousands of anecdotes from owners of goldfish, who say that the fish remember regular feeding times. This is very impressive - after all, the goldfish food they get, looks nothing like the food they are genetically programmed to eat.