How To Train Your Pleco - A Beginner's Guide to Training Fish

Mr. Ritter

Feeder Fish
MFK Member
Aug 27, 2012
19
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Oregon (United States)
Hello everybody and welcome! Have you ever wondered if or wanted your plecos to do more than rasp glass, eat food, sleep, and poop? Well, maybe not, but its certainly not out of reach for them to do so! I'm Zach, and I've always loved catfish and believed that their is a definite degree of intelligence in them that they do not seem to get credit for. I am by no means an experienced veteran at either fish keeping or training, but I'm here to share the things I've learned and to help anyone else who might want to start along the path of training as well ;).

PAST EXPERIENCE: Before starting with plecos I did train 3 Mollies to finger-feed in just 4 days... but given how easy that was I doubt that I had little to do with their actual training, not much is learned from "Too Easy". :confused:

So without further-ado lets meet our Trainee, Pete the Orinoco Sailfin Pleco, a male Pterygoplichthys multiradiatus! He's approximately 6 months old and was rescued from a ridiculous 5 Gallon tank, his full story is described here in an older post of mine (Pete's Story).
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He's a lazy, sleep loving, food obsessed fish who will do practically anything for some fresh Zuchini. He's friendly and even sometimes a bit cuddly, yet he's also very stubborn and tends to see himself as the boss. This thread is going to cover as much of his training as I can over the course of time, so updates are definitely going to take place :cool:. Real quick before we get into any of the training this is what Pete's current tank setup includes: 55 Gallon Tank, 2 Large Airstones, a 75 Gallon Back-Mounted Filter, Weekly 30% Water Changes, and a Number of Plastic Aquarium Plants.

Okay, now that that's out of the way lets talk about some training :p! So far Pete knows his own name, knows to surface when called, does hand feeding (both from my fingers and while sitting on my hand), and is alright with being petted. Don't worry, we'll cover how all this was done, I just had to make sure I wasn't full of sh*t before posting :D!
 
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jag14

Candiru
MFK Member
May 27, 2012
498
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knoxville tn
I used to have a jaguar/dovii hybrid who was smart enough to play with the glass cleaning magnet or floating balls tied to weights. His favorite game was attack the filter tube or bite his owners arm, if I was stupid enough to reach into his area.
 

islandguy11

Redtail Catfish
MFK Member
Sep 17, 2017
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Lol whatever happened to all the promised training tips and updates? Anyway imo vids or it didn't happen...In any case does OP really think his pleco can hear his name being called? Any seasoned pleco trainer knows they can only read lips.
 
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BIG-G

Goliath Tigerfish
MFK Member
Dec 12, 2005
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I swear I was thinking the same thing!
A fish that knows his name?
If I call my fishes name while simultaneously holding the tin that the food is in , yeah they will rise to the top so they must know their name too!
 
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islandguy11

Redtail Catfish
MFK Member
Sep 17, 2017
2,217
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Thailand
I swear I was thinking the same thing!
A fish that knows his name?
If I call my fishes name while simultaneously holding the tin that the food is in , yeah they will rise to the top so they must know their name too!
Ha ha yeah I guess that was the big secret tip he never disclosed.
 
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