Welcome to Aquatic Warehouse!

Do Fish Have Distinct Personality Traits?

Different Personalities for Fish San Diego, CA

You live in different worlds, and although you aren’t willing to trade your legs for fins, you’d like to know more about your aquatic housemates. While you want to know if they’re happy, every fish owner has the same question at one point or another: do fish have different personalities? The short answer is “yes,” but the staff at Aquatic Warehouse, a trusted aquarium supplier, is here to help you understand the answer to this question.

A Matter of Biology

The first step to answering this question is understanding the challenge of decoding fish behaviors. Their biology is wildly different from our own. It’s easier to understand animals we have more in common with, like dogs and horses. Dogs and horses are mammals, live on land, and have similar sensory organs. More importantly, they have similar brains. Fish live in a completely different biosphere, perceive the world in wildly different ways, and their nervous systems don’t process stimuli the same way ours do. For example, an archer fish can refract light enough to spit drops of water at an insect with precision and accuracy. Try to spear a fish from the surface and 10: 1 you’ll miss it because of that refraction of light.

The Role of Selective Breeding

Probably the biggest element in fish behaviors is breed/species. A barb, a zebrafish, and a guppy will always behave differently. They naturally bred themselves into different species, and they’re each optimized for different survival techniques. Some will always be more aggressive and territorial, some will change behavior during spawning season, and some are so intent on hiding that they permanently move into the aquarium’s castle ruins. These aren’t hard and fast rules, but they do have an impact on behavior. A brave tetra is very different from a brave barb.

What Scientists Are Discovering

Several recent experiments revealed consistent behaviors in a school of guppies that go well beyond species-specific expectations. Scientists watched the individual fish while introducing startling elements, like a fake heron’s shadow, to their enclosure. Although the fish followed their survival instincts, their unique personalities shone through. Some fish hid until long after the scary shadow went away. Other fish curiously approached shortly after the shadow first appeared. Repeated experiments with different triggers revealed consistent behavioral differences among the guppies. Some were curious, while others were cowardly. A full range of unique personalities appeared.

Watch Your Own Fish Tank

If you have more than one fish, you probably already know the ultimate answer to your question. Your fish respond differently at feeding time, when the lights come on in the morning, and when insensitive guests tap the glass. That one brave molly always nibbles your finger if you rest it in the water, and those two tetras stay so close together you can’t help wondering if they’re friends. Each fish is a unique animal. Although biology determines a lot of their behaviors, and we may never understand them perfectly, we know enough to be sure of one thing: fish definitely have unique personalities.

At Aquatic Warehouse, we carry a wide array of fish with all kinds of different personalities, and we also carry all of the aquarium and pond supplies you need to maintain your aquatic environment, from dosing pumps and beneficial bacteria to pond filters and lights. Reach out to us today at 858-467-9297.

Contact Information

  • Address: 5466 Complex Street Suite 204
    San Diego, CA 92123
  • Phone: (858) 467-9297
  • Email: sales@aquaticwarehouse.com
  • Working Days/Hours: Mon - Fri / 10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
    Saturday / 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
    Sunday / 11:00 AM - 6:00 PM


Site Security

secured by

SSL site seal - click to verify

Google Reviews