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Angry Fish

Biologist's study shows cramped spaces make aquarium-dwellers aggressive

Would you want to live in a fish bowl? According to research from Case Western Reserve University, your pet goldfish might not be too thrilled about it either.


Biologist Ronald Oldfield's study shows aquarium fish living in small, barren environments display more aggressive behavior than fish in natural environments or bigger, more complex homes. More than 182 million ornamental fish across the country might be at risk.

"The welfare of aquarium fish may not seem important, but with that many of them in captivity, they become a big deal," Oldfield says.

He found that increasing tank size and adding obstacles and hiding places like rocks or plants curbs aggressive behavior.

Oldfield says in the future the study could help scientists better understand how different social environments influence human behavior.

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