Friday, May 18, 2012

Teaching Students by Teaching Fish!

Rus Wilson, an instructor at the English Language Institute at the University of Utah is using techniques (and soon, equipment) from the R2 Fish School Training System in his upper level science class to teach students English vocabulary, and to teach them what university science courses are like. In this video, Rus talks about his students training bettas to learn about psychology concepts like operant conditioning.  Using a flashlight as a bridge reward, Rus's students have taught their bettas to swim through a hoop multiple times to earn a reward.

Next Rus plans to have his students use the feeding wand from the R2 training kit, as well as teach their bettas to play soccer. That should be interesting!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Siani the Trained Shanny

Hey Fish School fan!  Here is a really impressive example of how wide a range of fish can be trained with the R2 Fish School training kit. Check out these videos of Tim Menai's fish named Siani swimming through the hoop. Siani is a shanny (also called a "common blenny", scientific name Lipophrys pholis). 

What makes Siani's progress most interesting for me is that she is a bottom-dwelling saltwater fish, making it especially challenging for her. Check out how she perches on the edge of the hoop before swimming through. Very cool!  Tim says he and Siani are working on the fetch trick next. We can't wait to see it!

If anyone else has videos of their fish doing tricks, please send them to me and I'll post about it.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Fish School in NY Post

Today there was a nice article in the NY Post about Fish School, including a picture of Erica Keating using the R2 Fish School Training Kit to train her three goldfish, Swimmy, Teeny & Special. Way to go Erica!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Fish Training at the New England Aquarium

Our friend and partner Russ from R2 Fish School posted a link on his Facebook page to this video from the New England Aquarium of one of their curators training training Blondie the lump fish swimming through a hoop. Its hard to tell, but it looks like they are using one of our training kits. Pretty cool to see professional fish keepers starting to pursue fish training!


Sunday, April 4, 2010

Drench TV Commercial

Here is a really clever TV commercial for Drench bottled water, posted to the R2 Fish School Facebook page. The goldfish is named Mr. Memory, and he can do some very impressive stunts. Somehow I think there is a bit of trick photography going on, but very cool anyway!


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Video of Goldfish Trained to Fetch

Here is a really nice video of a goldfish trained using the R2 Fish School training kit to fetch a ring. Really impressive! Almost as talented as Comet :-). And the video has over 120,000 views in just a couple days!

But what's with the cloudy tank? If you're going to take the time to train and video your fish doing tricks, you really should take better care of the tank!


Girl Teaches Goldfish How To Fetch - Watch more Funny Videos

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Fish Welfare Survey

Miriam Sullivan from the the University of Western Australia is studying the welfare of aquarium fish. She's conducting a survey on the topic to better understand people's attitudes and practices when it comes to pet fish keeping. It is a topic that really deserves more attention, and we here at Fish School commend Miriam on her fine work. We encourage all of our readers to fill out the survey - it only takes a couple minutes.

I hope Miriam can help change the general public's sad indifference towards the welfare of fish, both in home aquariums and in the wild, as exemplified by this week's tragic defeat of an effort to save the majestic and endangered bluefin tuna. Land animals (like polar bear) are treated badly enough when protection might inconvenience people or impede commerce, but when fish are being exploited or abused, their welfare ranks far below land animals, almost as if they don't count at all.


P.S. This is the 200th post to the Fish School blog. Quite a milestone - thanks for reading!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Fish Training in the Classroom

There is a nice article out today describing how teachers are using our fish training kit to teach kids important lessons in school. Here is an excerpt:

"Teachers are catching on to the educational benefits of the kit and educators across the country are using the kit as an in class science project. The Kearney School of Science, Communications and Technology in San Diego, CA and science teacher Joanne "JJ" Johnson have implemented the program. They have 10 tanks setup in her classroom and students are divided into small groups of 3 or 4."

"Team members experience a wonderful sense of pride and accomplishment when they demonstrate the skill of their “fish stars” to an appreciative and often incredulous audience.

"Students have learned that patience and consistency are essential to effectively train animals", says Johnson "Generating excitement in the learning process is at the heart of teaching. Fish School is tailor-made for this”.

It is wonderful to see the excited faces of kids when the start to train their class fish.


Saturday, January 30, 2010

Customer Videos!

Check out the great videos sent in by happy R2 Fish School customers. I especially like this sent in by Kdiddy1538. For his class project, he trained his betta named Navin to swim through the hoop, tunnel and under the low limbo bar. He gives Comet a real run for his money! Here are both Navin and Comet in action. You can judge for yourself!


Fish Trainer of the Day

I want to get a shout out to Mary and her efforts training her goldfish Blaze. Mary is an animal trainer, and blogs at her website Stale Cheerios. Here latest effort involves training Blaze to swim under a decorative bridge in his tank using the R2 Fish School Training Kit. She, like a few other serious fish trainers, is using a flashing light as a bridge signal to cue the behavior. Watch the video below. Great job Mary and Blaze!