Toys?

Discussions on cichlid behaviour in nature & captivity.

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ut guy
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Post by ut guy » Fri Oct 06, 2006 11:26 pm

Probably not related much to the current discusion, but ide like to share my observations.


I recently aquired a a pink convict (first cichlid ive ever had). Well anyways he seems to keep himslef busy by sucking up a couple pieces of gravel and spitting them out elsewhere. Is this a way they entertain themselves?

Also if so what other "toys" would be appropriate? i have quite a few of plants along with some other decorations and a rock cave i made. Anything else i could add to keep him happy and busy.

I ask this because he is alone in the tank since its not the largest of tanks.

MatsP
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Post by MatsP » Mon Oct 09, 2006 7:44 am

It's perfectly normal for cichlids of various kinds to do digging, both constructively (digging a pit or hole somewhere in the tank) and in search of food (trying to uncover something that is under the stones).

It's unlikely that it is purely "playing" in the human sense of the word - although in humans, a lot of play can be seen as practicing for some skill or other in life, so maybe we could say that it's similar... Depends on what you mean by playing.

I think some moderator may want to split this thread out into a new one, as it's indeed not particularly related to the original topic.

I'm not sure any "toys" are particularly helpfull. I always try to replicate the natural habitat of the fish I keep - at least in function, if not exactly - so for example using terracotta pots for hiding spaces isn't exactly how the Amazon looks at the bottom - at least not most of it... ;-)

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Lisachromis
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Post by Lisachromis » Mon Oct 09, 2006 8:24 am

MatsP wrote:I think some moderator may want to split this thread out into a new one, as it's indeed not particularly related to the original topic.
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As requested....

Bas Pels
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Post by Bas Pels » Mon Oct 09, 2006 8:47 am

MatsP wrote:It's unlikely that it is purely "playing" in the human sense of the word - although in humans, a lot of play can be seen as practicing for some skill or other in life, so maybe we could say that it's similar... Depends on what you mean by playing.
I remember having read that 'being amused' is part of playing. True, almost all mammels play (in this sense) and practise in the same time (predators wrestle and chase each other, ungulates like to run, while primates like to climb trees) but I think fish are incapable of amusement.

However, regardless of being amused, or playing, I also thing cichlids are intelligent enough to be bored and frustrated.

I once obtained a 'Geophagus'steindachneri (7 cm / 3 inches) from a sandless tank. I placed at home in a 120 * 40 cm tank, in my bedroom at 11 hrs at night. The next morning (sunday, thus 9 o'clock) the whole tank was ploughed by it.

This one never ever dug this much, so I can only conclude that it has shaken of its frustration

Bas

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Post by Don Hiatt » Thu Nov 02, 2006 11:53 am

In the zoo world, the type of activity we are talking about is called “enrichment”.

This can be anything of balls for large predators to roped ladders and such for small primates. I have even seen big chunks of ice used to entertain large cats and bears.

People buy toys for their dogs and cats all the time, but there isn’t anything that I have seen commercially available for fish.

Granted, most fish such and tetras and goldfish may not even pay attention to such things, but cichlids as we all know are different.

I once had a tank set up that was mixed with Central American and Lake Victorian species.
One of my male Pundamilia nyererei got a hold of a large rubber band (The type used for produce). The rubber band was used to attach spinach to a rock for feeding purposes. The nyererei appeared to be fascinated with this new found toy. We swam back and forth in the tank with rubber band in his mouth like a dog for a good part of the day.
I left the rubber band in the tank because it appeared to entertain this fish. I had to put an end to it a few days later when I saw him with the rubber band around his neck like a necklace. He was swimming around like normal, but I couldn’t leave him like that.
I have played around with the idea of coming up with something else to give my fish something to do. I just haven’t figured out what. I have tried plastic balls and baby toys. If the fish pay any attention to them at all, they quickly lose interest.

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Aquamojo
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Post by Aquamojo » Mon Nov 06, 2006 6:45 am

I have several large stone marbles in the tank with my large Managuense. I recently added three golf ball (Mojo Brand...I had no idea they existed :D ). Jumbo will busy himself pushing the marbles around the tank. We often hear the "clink-clink" of the stone tapping the glass. Some of the other fish also enjoy toys.

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Post by Don Hiatt » Mon Nov 06, 2006 7:12 am

Not a bad idea Mojo, I think I may try the golf balls out.

ABSUNSHINE
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Re: Toys?

Post by ABSUNSHINE » Thu May 31, 2007 1:52 pm

I take a lazer pointer and shine it on the sand in my tanks. Everyone of my cichlids, no matter what kind , will chase the red dot for hours. You can find them at most lfs now. Sold as toys for not only cats, But Dogs, brids and fish.

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Re: Toys?

Post by mssthompson » Sun Aug 05, 2012 4:00 pm

I had a male convict that would somehow unsuction the heater from the tank so that it would float around. He loved to push it around with his mouth. I now have a female convict alone in a 30 gallon. I would love to find toys for her. I'm not sure she's big enough to push a golf ball around. I will give it a go. If I come up with anything great I will post it.

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Re: Toys?

Post by heathermarie2842 » Fri Nov 21, 2014 3:21 pm

I enjoyed this post my brevis actually are amused by my guppies I have even seen the female brevis going up and down the tank with them I think it's adorable (: I was afraid to keep my guppies in there but I have a 29 gallon 2 brevi s 6 guppies all Is at peace though (: plus the brevis help the guppies population

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