The Bubble Blog » Hoopla - VIDEO
Hoopla - VIDEO
Posted on September 11, 2009 by freshwater
Though the Freshwater Pearls School of Fish Acting recently lost a promising student, our remaining students continue to achieve.

Jor Jor has nearly completed her PhD in bellringing. More on that soon.

Clemmie is making strides (swishes?) in Hoop Swimming 101, though his progress hasn't always been smooth. He has developed some bad habits, partly due to trainer error &mdash inaccurate clicks, moving ahead too quickly, or missing correct behaviors. For several weeks Clem would go through the hoop once, then dash to the back of the tank. I think perhaps his reflection drew him there. I solved the problem by positioning the feeding wand so that Clem would face me when he received his treats. But then he got so focused on the front of the tank that he began bypassing the hoop. He approached it as if he meant to go through, but at the last second, brushed by it to get to the front of the tank.

Mostly these kinds of errors are time-consuming tangents. But today Clem's bad habit actually produced a new trick:

Spinning in place inside the hoop looks rather cool! I will probably use this video footage in The Ugly Guppy. I don't want to encourage this behavior, though. I accidentally clicked it once already. (You can see the light flash on the video.) As a result, today Clem's success rate in going through the hoop plummeted. I will be very careful in future sessions to deliver the click when he is most of the way through the hoop. Ultimately we'll work toward 2-, 3-, and 4-hoop tricks. For this his momentum must be forward.

But today I will allow myself the guilty pleasure of enjoying a fishy little mistake!