I tried to do some training with my eel today. I tried to teach that she would only get fed if she touched her nose to a circular piece of plastic I’d put in. Doing this in an effort to possibly make tank maintenance safer, and to give her something else to do. Right now food just comes “from above,” but I’m interested in teaching her that food can come as a direct result of her actions (hitting a specific target for now).
Now this started pretty easily since Sasha will attack anything that goes in the tank.
Tries 1 & 2: Put plastic circle in, Sasha bites it. Reward (small piece of fish).
Try 3: Sasha realizes the plastic isn’t edible and ignores it. She went back into a cave. Needed to lure her back with the food piece, then touched her nose with the plastic myself. Reward.
Try 4: Very similar to try 3, ignored the plastic at first. However, Sasha came back faster and hit the plastic with her nose herself. Reward.
Tries 5-9: Readily touched her nose to the piece of plastic (note: not biting anymore, realizes it is not edible) whenever it was presented. Reward.
So she sure picked that up fast. I’m excited to see what else I can teach her, and to see if this has an effect on our other non-feeding relations or not.