Why Do Fish Follow Your Finger? [9 Reasons You Must Know]

Are you curious to know why fish follow your finger when you move it near them?

It is true that fish are very intelligent and can understand the meaning of your gestures. You may wonder how they can understand your gestures.

If you are also curious to know why do fish follow your finger, then here I am going to explain the exact reason behind this.

9 Reasons Why Fish Follow Your Finger

We all know that fish follow your finger because when you put a finger into the water, fish will automatically swim towards it.

We have seen many videos and images related to this phenomenon but what is the reason behind it?

Here are some reasons for you:

1. They Know You

As we all know that if we keep our hand in the water, fish will come to us. So, we need not do anything to attract fish.

We just need to put our hands into the water, and they will swim toward it.

The same happens with fish. If you keep your finger in the water, they will swim towards you and follow you.

They know that you are friendly.

Now if you are holding something that looks like food in your hand, this will make them more curious.

This will make them move around you.

2. It Is Their Instinct

The second point is, that it is their instinct to go to the food source, so it is not because you called them.

It is because of what your body is offering to them.

If you are sitting in the lake and you put your arm in the water, all of a sudden, they will go to it.

They don’t even realize that you called them.

It is because of their instinct that makes them do that.

3. Feeding Habit

This is the point that you need to understand.

The third point is that when you feed them when you give them food from time to time, they will come to you.

They will start to associate you with food.

If you keep giving them food, eventually, they will start to come to you without you calling them or touching them.

4. To Learn A New Trick

If you have been teaching your fish tricks then it is obvious that they will eventually come to you if you keep doing that.

The way they come is, if they want food or if they are interested in something new, they will come to you.

For example, if you teach your fish to jump through a hoop, eventually, the fish will learn it and they will start coming to you.

It is the same thing with feeding fish.

Eventually, they will come to you because you have been doing that.

5. They Are Trying To Get Your Attention

This one is very interesting because, when they start to come to you, they are actually trying to get your attention.

If you just ignore them, they will eventually stop.

This happens because if they do not get your attention in a short time period.

They will start thinking that you do not care about them or they will be angry at you.

When this happens, they will go back to their tank.

6. It’s Their Way Of Saying Hello

This is just their way of saying hello.

Whenever they come to you to say hello, they will do it with different methods.

The most common method is the “come to me” method.

This is when they swim toward you and they touch you with their fins.

7.  They Are Hungry

The third reason is, that when they are hungry, they start to feel hungry.

As soon as they start feeling hungry, they start looking for food.

So if you can call them to come near your hand, then they will start looking for food and start eating.

They might eat a few times a day, but they are going to look for food.

They will not start eating if you feed them once or twice a day.

8. It Makes Them Feel Safe

The eighth reason is when you call them, then they think you are giving them protection and security.

That is why they come to you.

If you don’t give them any attention and call them, they will probably ignore you.

But if you make a sound and call them, then they will come to you.

And they will not leave you even if you get angry or sad.

They will just stay next to you.

9. It Is The Only First Thing They Do When They See You

It is the very first thing that they do when they see you.

And it is because they have this instinct.

They want to feel protected, to feel safe. Because they have this instinct.

It is the only way they can show you that they love you.

If you let them get close to you, then they will get very affectionate with you. So this is the only way they can show their love.

List Of Fish That Follows Your Finger

Now that you know why fish follow your finger, Let’s dive into a list of fish that follow your finger.

We will discuss some of the most common ones and some of the rare ones as well. Some of these are common in aquariums, while others are only found in the ocean.

  1. Goldfish
  2. Betta Fish
  3. Clown Fish
  4. Parrot Fish
  5. Dory Fish
  6. Angelfish
  7. Shrimp
  8. Pufferfish
  9. Jellyfish
  10. Oscar Fish

This list of fish is perfect for those who want to add some fun to their life. If you have pets, then these are perfect for you.

They are also great for beginners because they are easy to handle. If you would like to learn more about these fish, then check out the below article.

Read this next: 10 fish that follow your finger [and how to get them to follow]

Do Fish Get Happy When They See You?

Fish can get happy when they see you. Many people think that fish do not feel emotions, but the truth is that fish are just like us.

They have their own thoughts, feelings, and emotions. It’s no different with fish than it is with people.

Even though we may think that fish are not like us, we must remember that they are just like us, just in a smaller way.

Also read: Do Betta Fish Recognize Their Owners? 7 Ways They Interact!

How Do Fish Show Affection?

A fish shows affection for a person in many ways.

If the person is near him, he will approach them.

If the person leaves him alone, he will go to a place where he is comfortable or he will swim around and look for the person.

Some fish show affection by playing with a person, or by jumping up to greet the person.

A fish will also sometimes show affection by nuzzling or flicking at the human that is petting it.

Some fish even try to kiss people, although this is considered rare. The way that fish express affection can vary depending on their personality.

How Do You Know If Your Fish Like You?

There are various signs that might help you to identify if your fish likes you.

As mentioned above, when your fish is near you, they may play with you. Your fish may nuzzle against you and rub its body against your hands.

They may have shown signs of attachment when you first brought them home, or they may have become attached while they were still living in the aquarium.

When a fish becomes attached to you, it is as though they have become part of your family.

It is possible to train a fish to show affection by gently stroking its body.

This is a good way to develop a bond between yourself and your fish.

Do Fish Have Feelings?

One thing that will make a big difference in your relationship with your fish is whether or not they have feelings.

The answer is simple, Yes! fish has feelings, they are also able to feel pain.

But fish do not have the same capacity to experience emotions as humans do.

A fish cannot tell you how it feels when you are being mean or cruel to it when someone hurts it, or when someone is angry with it.

However, a fish can display a range of behaviors when it feels threatened, injured, or scared.

Recommended article:

Do Fish Have Feelings? 9 Ways They Show Feelings To Us

Do Betta Fish Have Feelings? 7 Ways They Say “I Love You”


Although fish may not able to express their own feeling verbally, they can still convey them through their body language and their behavior.

So there is also a meaning to why fish follow your finger in the tank, it could be that they are trying to communicate with you that they want attention, or you just touch the water surface, they are just interested in your finger moving in the water.

Another way to know what fish are thinking and feeling is by observing their behavior.

In the aquarium, you may find fish touching the glass or other surfaces. This is usually because they are trying to get your attention.

Let us know do you think about this. Do you know any fish tricks? Please share them in the comments below!

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How To Train a Betta Fish To Follow Your Finger [7 Tricks]

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