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How To Train Your Goldie
Most people give me a crazy look and laugh at me when I say I've trained my goldies. Well, indeed I have. By leaving your goldfish in a tank, doing water changes, and feeding them, you're providing basic needs. They'll always be frightened by a net if you don't "handle" them. You can use these methods for any fish, though larger fish seem to grasp the concepts better then say, tinny tetras.

Training for Good Manners

Goldfish can grow between 8-16 inches, and anything that larger will hurt you if he or she (lets call the fish "Finny") decides to bite. How do you avoid this? From the time you get your goldfish, during water changes and tank rearranging, Finny will problem seem up to your arm and bite it. Instead of allowing this, gently flick the water in front of Finny's face before he can bite. If he does bite, chase the fish away with your finger, then flick water in front of his face. This is how most goldfish communicate anger to other goldies. If you are consistent, your goldfish will learn biting is no fun. Never yank your hand out of the water- this could show and emotion of fear on your part.

Training for Friendliness

After teaching good manners, your fish will probably start fearing you. Now you have to reverse your training, in a sense. Take some fish food in your hand, and coax your goldie to nibble it. While Finny is chewing away, gently (I mean almost tickling) touch his dorsal fin. After a while, most goldfish will learn to associate this with food, and will approach out of curiousity, not to bite.
Teaching for Fun

When Finny has learned not bite, nor to be afraid, you can teach "come". Holy?!? Am I crazy?!? Nah. Just a crazy fishkeeper! Bait an area of gravel with some tasty food. When Finny is rummaging around in this "trap", wag another piece of tasty food in his face. Most goldies will follow with enthusiam. When Finny does, wiggle another one of your fingers. Reward immediately. You can also but "ghost tunnels" meant for knifefish. Get one with a stand, or glue another one to the bottom with some aquarium selant. Bury the bottom in your gravel. Use the "come" command and a piece of food to lure your goldie through the tunnel. Reward immediately!

Okay, you think I'm still crazy? Just try it! Consistence is the key!

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