Machine Learning Poised to Revolutionize Ornamental Fish Farming

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By Milthon Lujan

Experimental installation. Source: Patro et al., (2023), Sci Rep 13.
Experimental installation. Source: Patro et al., (2023), Sci Rep 13.

Ornamental fish farming is a thriving industry that captures the hearts and imaginations of enthusiasts worldwide. As the second most popular hobby globally, it holds significant potential for entrepreneurship and income generation. However, ensuring the health and well-being of these captivating creatures remains a constant challenge.

One of the primary obstacles faced by ornamental fish farmers is maintaining optimal environmental conditions within their farms. Water temperature, dissolved oxygen levels, pH balance, and disease outbreaks are just a few critical factors that can significantly impact the health and behavior of fish.


Goldfish (Carassius auratus), a vibrant and popular ornamental species, are particularly sensitive to environmental changes. Understanding their responses to these fluctuations is crucial to ensuring their well-being and maximizing farm productivity.

In this regard, researchers from ICAR-Central Institute of Fisheries Education and Amrita School of Computing conducted a study to analyze changes in goldfish behavior due to alterations in environmental parameters.

Machine Learning: A Powerful Tool for Fish Behavior Prediction

This is where the power of Machine Learning (ML) and Deep Learning comes into play. These sophisticated techniques can analyze massive datasets collected from fish farms, uncover hidden patterns, and predict future trends.

By applying machine learning algorithms, fish farmers can gain valuable insights into:

  • Feeding Behavior: Identifying patterns in feeding habits helps optimize feeding schedules and ensure efficient nutrient intake.
  • Fish Growth Patterns: Predicting growth patterns allows better resource allocation and informed decision-making regarding population densities and harvests.
  • Disease Prediction: Machine learning algorithms can identify subtle changes in behavior that may indicate early signs of disease, enabling preventive measures before outbreaks occur.
  • Environmental Factors Analysis: Accurately predicting the impact of environmental factors on fish health allows proactive adjustments to maintain optimal conditions.
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Prediction of Goldfish Behavior Based on Environmental Parameters


A recent study examined the potential of ML to predict goldfish behavior based on changes in water temperature and dissolved oxygen levels (DO). Using four different classification techniques (decision tree, Naïve Bayes classifier, K-Nearest Neighbors (KNN), and Linear Discriminant Analysis (LDA)), the study yielded promising results.

The analysis revealed that the decision tree algorithm demonstrated the highest accuracy, with a cross-validation error of 13.78%. This suggests that decision trees are suitable for identifying and predicting complex relationships between environmental parameters and goldfish behavior.

The study also identified specific behavior patterns associated with different environmental conditions:

  • Resting: Goldfish were observed resting when water temperature ranged from 37.85°C to 40.54°C.
  • Erratic Behavior: When temperatures exceeded 40.54°C, goldfish exhibited erratic movements, indicating stress or discomfort.
  • Gasping: In situations with temperatures between 37.85°C and 40.54°C and dissolved oxygen levels below 6.58 mg/L, goldfish showed gasping behavior, suggesting respiratory distress.

To further validate these observations, blood parameter analysis confirmed that changes in external behaviors corresponded to alterations in physiological parameters within the fish.

The Future of Ornamental Fish Farming: Driven by AI


This research provides insight into the immense potential of machine learning and deep learning to revolutionize the ornamental fish farming industry. By harnessing the power of data analysis, fish farmers can gain a deeper understanding of their fish, optimize their operations, and improve overall fish health and well-being.

As AI technology continues to evolve, we can expect even more sophisticated solutions to emerge in the future. Imagine real-time monitoring systems that automatically adjust environmental parameters based on predicted fish behavior changes. Or envision AI-based disease detection algorithms that prevent outbreaks before they occur.

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“This study focuses on providing an ideal and straightforward method to determine behavioral changes in goldfish concerning changes in real-time temperature and DO,” highlights the researchers. They primarily identified three behavioral changes—resting at the bottom, gasping, and erratic swimming—validated through blood parameter tests and compared between control and test fish to demonstrate changes in fish blood.

With the help of AI, the future of ornamental fish farming looks brighter than ever, ensuring the sustainability and long-term success of this captivating industry.


Vinod Kumar Yadav
Fisheries Economics, Extension & Statistics Division (FEESD)
ICAR-Central Institute of Fisheries Education
Mumbai, 400061, India
Email: vinodkumar@cife.edu.in

Reference (Open Access):
Patro, K.S.K., Yadav, V.K., Bharti, V.S. et al. IoT and ML approach for ornamental fish behavior analysis. Sci Rep 13, 21415 (2023). Read the full article

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