This creative trick is a great choice once your fish has already mastered the basics, like eating from your fingers and following a target stick. This trick is best for medium-sized fish, such as smaller cichlids, bettas, or young goldfish. Your fish will need to learn to follow a target stick before starting to teach this trick, and they should also be fairly comfortable approaching your hand.
How to Teach a Fish to Swim Through a Finger Hoop (Video Tutorial)
For this trick, you will need…
- Your fish
- Food that your fish likes (can be their regular food) such as flakes, pellets, crushed peas, freeze-dried blood worms, etc.
- Target stick (your fish should also know how to follow a target before starting this trick)
How to Teach Your Fish to Swim Through a Finger Hoop – Step by Step
Make a bridge with your fingers under the water (for the fish to swim under) and guide the fish through with a target stick.
Repeat this a couple of times.
Close your fingers about an inch closer together and guide the fish through with the target stick again.
Repeat this a handful of times before moving on to the next step.
Close your fingers almost all the way, but leave a slight gap between your fingers. Guide the fish through with the target stick again.
Practice a few more times until the fish seems to be following the target stick through pretty confidently.
Close your fingers completely and guide the fish through with the target stick yet again.
Repeat several times until the fish seems comfortable following the target stick through your circled fingers.
Start fading out the target stick by waiting until the fish swims through on their own. If the fish is taking too long to go through by themselves, you can use the target stick again or disconnect your fingers to make the hoop a little bigger again at first.
Keep practicing until the fish swims through consistently on their own. With a bit of patience and practice, they can learn to swim consistently through your fingers every time without any guidance from the target stick.
Additional Tips For Teaching This Trick
- If your fish is hesitant to go through at any point, move your fingers further apart to make the hoop bigger and practice a bit longer before tightening the hoop again.
- If the fish is nervous about your hand from the beginning, try switching tricks and practicing hand feeding them for a while to build up trust around your hand. Also, be careful to keep your hand as still and steady as you can while practicing this trick.