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How Pet Fish Express Their Feelings

April 10, 2023

Do you have a pet fish? If so, you may have noticed that your fish reacts to you in interesting ways. You may have seen your fish swim to the top of the tank, follow you around the glass, or even flare its fins at you when you pick up the tank. These behaviors are all signs that your fish is expressing its feelings towards you. But how do we know that the fishes have emotions? Scientists did the study.

Investigating the Emotional Lives of Fish:

To investigate the emotional lives of fish, scientists conducted a series of experiments with zebrafish. In the first experiment, they exposed the fish to a series of audio cues and measured their response. The results showed that the fish responded differently to pleasant and unpleasant sounds. This suggests that the fish were able to discern between two different emotions.

In the second experiment, the scientists exposed the fish to a series of visual cues. Again, the fish responded differently to pleasant and unpleasant cues, indicating that they were able to discern between two different emotional states.

Finally, the scientists used brain imaging technology to measure the activity of the fish’s brains in response to the stimuli. The results showed that the fish’s brains lit up in the same areas that are associated with emotional processing in humans. This suggests that the fish have the same brain structures and processes for emotional processing as humans do. Now how to understand your pet’s emotion towards you. Below are a few observations-


One of the most common signs of emotion in pet fish is fear. When a fish is scared, it will often swim away quickly or hide in a corner. This is a natural response and is not necessarily a bad thing. If your fish is exhibiting fear, it is important to make sure that its environment is calm and stress-free. If the fear persists, you may need to look into the causes, such as other fish or environmental changes.


Another common emotion that pet fish express is excitement. This usually occurs when you feed the fish or when you enter the room. Your fish may start to swim quickly around the tank or flare its fins at you. This is a sign that your fish is happy to see you and is excited for the food you are bringing.


Finally, pet fish can also show affection towards their owners. This may manifest as the fish swimming up to the glass when you come into the room or following you around the tank. It is important to remember that these behaviors are not just a fish being curious - they are actually expressing their feelings of affection.

How Fishes Attract Each Other in Groups

It is fascinating to observe the interactions between different types of fish in their groups and how they attract one another. You may have already noticed some group behavior in your aquarium. Here are a few.

Visual Cues:

One way that fish are attracted to each other is through visual cues. Fish will often change their colors or their patterns in order to stand out and attract the attention of other fish. They may also use their fins to create ripples in the water in order to attract the attention of other fish.

Chemical Cues:

Another way that fish attract each other is through chemical cues. When fish release pheromones, other fish can detect them and be drawn to them. This is especially true for mating, as the pheromones are used to attract potential mates.

Acoustic Cues:

Finally, fish also use acoustic cues in order to attract each other. Fish will make sounds with their swim bladder or use their fins to make vibrations in the water in order to draw the attention of other fish.

In conclusion, pet fish are capable of expressing a variety of emotions, ranging from fear to excitement to even affection. Understanding your fish's behavior can help you create a better environment for them and strengthen your bond. Whether you are a new fish owner or a veteran aquarist, understanding your pet's emotions is an important part of being a responsible fish parent.