What amazing talent lurks in your tank? You won’t believe the specular show that’s going on in your aquarium!
Okay, so you can’t train your fish to perform amazing tricks or sing a song. But that doesn’t mean that they aren’t bursting with talents!
Your aquarium fish are capable of more than you give them credit for! You’re probably thinking, “What can they do besides eat, poop, and look pretty?” I’m so glad you asked – let me give you a few examples!
- Fish dance to the beat of a different drum, but they dance none the less. Spend some time watching your fish and see the amazing moves they have! Generally, when they are trying to impress a mate, fish will move in ways to convince the opposite sex to spawn. Some great examples are cichlids – they do a magnificent head shaking to coax their love interests to get frisky. Bettas will spend hours courting each other by flaring and tail shaking.
Related: Four Types of Dangerous Aquarium Fish
- Have you ever seen a quick change act, where a person changes their clothing a dozen times in a minute flat? Well, fish don’t do quite that, but they do change their coloring to suit their mood, look flashy for a mate, or to hide from predators. Fish can go from solid colored to striped and back again right before your eyes, if you pay attention. In some species, the gill plates and belly will go from neutral colored to a bright red or orange when they are angry.
- While they aren’t going to win the next American Idol, fish can make noise. In fact, scientists are just discovering just how many fish are capable of making noise to communicate and it is astounding. Through special microphones that can be dropped into the water they are able to identify all of the hums, clicks, and squeaks that fish are making below the water’s surface. Fish make noises from their swim bladders by contracting and releasing the muscles inside, or even by rubbing one part of their body against another much like a cricket or grasshopper.
Related: 6 Easy Hacks to Cure Fish Boredom
- Disappearing acts are always popular in magic shows, and in the aquatic world as well. Some fish have made great adaptations to make themselves disappear from predators, or to hide from their prey until they are ready to pounce! Perhaps the most talented aquatic creature that hides is the mimic octopus that simply hides in plain sight by changing itself into other creatures. It can make itself look like a lion fish, or venomous sea snakes, in the blink of an eye. Cuttlefish have similar capabilities in changing its looks but do so more to blend in with their surroundings, appearing as sand and coral.
- Fish are amazing travelers, and are like many animals some perform a migration on a regular basis. Some fish travel thousands of miles to spawn, like the salmon that runs upstream to spawn and subsequently dies. Other fish migrate for weather reasons, or to find food. Whatever their reasoning is, the insane distances that groups of fish can cover is astounding. Some fish can even travel part of the way out of water and across land to get where they need to go.
Summer Davis is the mom of three kids, four dogs, and several tanks of fish. She boasts a passion for all animals, whether they are in the water or on land. This fish aficionado has kept many different species in her time, but holds a special place in her heart for wild and domestic bettas. When she’s not talking about fish, Summer “spins” her extra time as the director of a baton twirling organization.