Guest Author - Diana Geiger
Fish have much the same senses that you do; they can see, hear, touch, taste, and feel. They however, do not see very well. They feel vibrations very strong, especially if you tap or knock on the tank. This frightens them very badly. Remember they can�t see very well and have no idea what the awful vibrations are. They may swim into the side of the tank and become injured. Never tap on the tank.
When you feed your fish do it in the same spot of the tank each time. A second before you feed your fish, splash the water lightly. (Make sure your hands are cleaned and rinsed first). If you do this every time you feed your fish they will adjust to the sound and come when you splash the water. Use a sound with your mouth when you splash the water. They will associate the sound with coming to the place they are fed and where they hear the water slashing. This is a form of training and socialization. Don�t be surprised if the fish start calling you by swimming swiftly around the area where you splash the water.
Using this same method you can soon get your fish to eat out of your hand. Have a piece of the food you feed them in your hand, splash the water while making sounds, and hold the food just under the surface. They will soon learn to take it from your hand.
Fish are much smarter than people give them credit. If you sit quiet near them and talk to them in a calm voice they will learn to enjoy your conversations and will come to the side of the tank where you sit to listen. They are great friends and confidants. Better yet, they don�t tell your secrets to anyone else. Nor, do they ever talk back. My daughter�s fish learned to follow her hand across the aquarium. She just started with the socialization method we described above and began running her hand quietly across the outside of the tank until the fish would follow her hand anywhere it went, up, down, sideways, or even in circles.
You have one more week until you can buy your goldfish. (If your parents are ready) Your tank should be setup and the filter running for about two weeks. The water should be ready in one more week. It would be a good time to test the ammonia and nitrite levels with your test kit. You can also take a sample of the water to most pet stores. Ammonia level should be 0; there is no safe amount of ammonia. The maximum level of nitrate is is 10.
How Fish Swim