Many people enjoy keeping betta fish as pets, but they don’t really expect much of them.
Fish typically just swim around, eat, and occasionally give us the stink eye if their tank needs cleaning, but did you know they can also be trained to do tricks? A woman named Louisa runs a popular Instagram page showcasing her talented fish, and she’s changing people’s minds about the “lowly” betta fish.
“Betta fish are a special kind of fish,” Louisa told The Dodo. “They’re brightly colored, highly curious, and they can be trained to do tricks. But, best of all, they have unique personalities.”
On her page, Louisa shares tips and information about fish keeping and aquascaping, which is making a living piece of artwork using plants, rocks, and other materials in a fish tank. She often shares videos of her many betta fish, but says it was a multicolored betta named Pepsi that opened her eyes to all that these fish are capable of learning and doing.
Over time, Louisa earned Pepsi’s trust so much that he would even come “cuddle” in the palm of her hand. She used food treats to teach him how to perform tricks, like jumping out of the water through a hoop, nudging a football with his nose, and even doing an agility course through plastic betta tubes and other obstacles.
Her special bond with Pepsi gave her an idea to help other fish owners bond with their pets, too. She started a fun online competition called Fish Olympics, and it’s incredible to see how many smart bettas are out there!
Winners of the Fish Olympics win prizes like a glass trophy, 3D-printed Olympic rings, medals, and other ornaments for their tank. Oh, and bragging rights, of course!
“The Olympics have shown that these fish are actually very smart,” an owner of a Betta fish contestant said. “And they have their own little personalities.”
Louisa says she’s “delighted” to see other betta owners enjoying building a bond with their pets. The next Fish Olympics will be held in January, so we’d better start training!
Watch the video below to learn more about Louisa’s adorable project, and don’t forget to share.
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