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thebangzats 12-10-2009 08:11 AM

Aquarium Setup for a Goldfish Experiment
You've probably heard of the myth that a goldfish's memory only lasts 3 seconds, and the popular experiment involving a maze the goldfish would navigate through.

I am working on a similar experiment, but I have no knowledge of aquariums, so I have a few questions I'm hoping someone could answer

The Setup:
Average sized rectangular aquarium with 3 tank dividers with holes cut into them to make a maze (roughly 5cm in diameter). Using a feeder mechanism, I would guide the 5 goldfish through all 3 holes (1 on each divider) to the other end of the tank, stimulating them with the food reward.

1. What equipments would I need for the tank setup? Just the tank and a filter? (also, please specify best filter to use)
2. Should I go with acrylic tanks or just glass?

And most importantly...

3. I can't find any tank dividers near where I live, will it be okay just to use a plastic sheet or a sheet of glass instead? or will it mess up the filters?

Thanks in advance.

Also, if you're wondering what I'm experimenting, aside from "Do goldfish have long term memories", is "Can a goldfish learn from other goldfish" (I will teach how to navigate the maze only to 3 fish, and see if the 2 other fish can catch up)

Oh, and also note, I'm just keeping them for the experiment. After I'm done, I'm giving them away.

jaysee 12-10-2009 09:32 PM

I don't believe the 3 second memory thing. YouTube - Goldfish Training Kit from ThinkGeek

There are "kits" to train your goldie to do tricks.

kelly528 12-11-2009 11:23 AM

This sounds like a great experiment and I have absolutely no doubt in the goldfish's ability to operate simple action-reward circuts but in order to house these goldies you are looking at at least a 80g tank for five fancies and for five comets, well, the minimum is quite frankly a pond.

So at a minimum you are looking at an 80g tank (lets say $50 for a bare tank off Craigslist)
Plus 1 Aquaclear 110 ($100 new for $50 used)
Plus food: $10
5 Fancy goldies: $25
Maze tank (they need an undivided tank to actually live in): $50 for a 55g

As stated above you are going to have to house them in a separate tank (the 80g) unless you would rather make removable dividers. Either way they can't just live in the maze. The dividers can be made out of plastic canvas to facilitate filtration.

jaysee 12-11-2009 11:38 AM

Good advice, but the OP is not keeping the fish longterm so an 80 gallon/AC110 is not needed.

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