View Full Version : Learned behaviour

03-23-2016, 07:56 PM
I have a school of 4 zebra dartfish, they are roughly around 5-6 inches each and have split into 2 "pairs", each pair having a burrow on opposite sides of the tank. During morning, midday and evening they will usually be out schooling together and doing social behavior of flashing fins and barbs and bumping each other, nothing aggressive seems to be either a hierarchy system or just general communication in the group. Its very fascinating to watch.

I recently added an Atlantic blue tang, juvenile and he was roughly 2 inches when I added him.
He adores the zebras and when they are out he will swim with them, and when they are missing he hangs out with my bicolour blenny.
He mimics whatever they are doing, when hanging with the bicolour he will follow him from perch to perch and eat what the blenny does, and when the zebras are out he will attempt similar social skills with them, darting around and body bumping them. ( I doubt they will be pleased once he hits full size and is bumping them)

I wonder if in the wild juveniles would follow adults around to learn social skills and where the best grazing is rather than just instinctively knowing.

03-23-2016, 08:46 PM
Ya I think the fish in our tanks totally learn from each other. I have a big squarespot anthias that did not recognize pellets as food for the longest time but would watch the other fish eat them. Now he gobbles them up. His instincts didn't tell him to do this, the other fish did.

03-24-2016, 12:01 AM
Learning from other fish in the tank is how I was able to teach my wild seahorses back in the "old days" before captive breds were common to eat frozen mysis. I always kept at least one wild seahorse who already knew how to eat frozen and he/she would teach the newcomers.

03-24-2016, 12:35 AM
It does point to an inherent intelligence that they can learn. I know studies have been done with octopi, where one is trained to navigate a maze to get food, and then another is allowed to watch and will then get the maze right the first time its placed inside.