Fish Training Experiment Goes Swimmingly!

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Carol Miller shared this fantastic story of how her neighbor’s eighth-grade son, Michael, trained his angel fish to swim through a hoop. Inspired by Karen Pryor’s account of how she trained her Oscar fish in Reaching the Animal Mind, Michael used what he learned to develop a science project that won first place at his school’s science fair.

First, Michael trained a fish to swim through a hoop using a food reward system. Michael then introduced a second fish to see whether that fish would learn the same behavior by watching the other fish. What was the result? You can read more about Michael’s winning science experiment in The Alternative Press. Congratulations, Michael!

Have you ever trained a fish or other small critters? Why not give it a try! Training small animals, including fish, will help keep them happy and is a great way to spend time together. Check out Fish School and other training products for critters, all on sale now in the clicker training store!

Irith Bloom's picture

Kudos to Michael for his

Kudos to Michael for his research! I would presume he expected the second fish to learn from watching the first, which makes this even more impressive.  It takes a true scientist to look at data objectively even when it doesn't match the expectations of the experiment.  His then taking the extra step of teaching the behavior to the second fish to show the second fish could learn it directly shows how well he thought his experiment through.

Well done, Michael!