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What Was Fish School? Origin, History & Current Status

Lindsey Stanton Profile Picture

By Lindsey Stanton


The funny thing about the internet is that everyone has access to it. Anyone can get online and make a website or store. Unlike brick-and-mortar establishments that require considerable work and investment, websites can be thrown together with minimal investment by just about anyone who has basic skills. Many websites that once flourished have failed to change with the times and now serve as defunct reminders of how the internet used to look.

One such website is fish-school.com, which unfortunately doesn’t exist anymore. If you’ve never heard of this site before, then you clearly aren’t a huge fan of teaching goldfish to perform tricks. Granted, there are no goldfish Olympics or even a professional goldfish sports league, so it’s hard for these fish to get the recognition they deserve. What was fish-school.com and what purpose did it serve?

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What Was Fish School All About?

Fish School sounds like a school for fish, and essentially, that’s what the founders sort of intended. Rather than a place you send your fish, Fish School was a place where you could get resources for teaching your fish. What sort of resources? Well, they sold a goldfish training kit. This kit included several different items that were intended to help you teach your goldfish to “shoot hoops, limbo, dance, play fetch, kick a goal, and much more” according to the website.

If these claims sound incredulous, you’ll need to see some pictures. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words, but that might not be the case with goldfish tricks. Still, it does appear that these goldfish have learned to do some interesting things, and apparently, it was enough to get Fish School mentioned by some major outlets including the Seattle Times and Good Morning America.

Image Credit: gogorilla, Shutterstock

How Did the Fish School Start?

When brothers Dean and Kyle Pomerleau won a pair of common goldfish at a school fair, nothing seemed out of the ordinary. After watching the fish for a few weeks, the brothers decided that most people were wrong about goldfish and that these little fish might actually be far smarter than we’re told.

So, they set out to start training their goldfish using techniques that are used to train circus animals, dogs, and even dolphins. This was the start of Fish School. Soon, the brothers had created equipment to train their fish and were starting to see positive results. Once they could prove their methods worked, the Pomerleau brothers wrote the original Fish School training manual. Next, they teamed up with R2 solutions to create an entire set of training equipment and instructions for goldfish, which came to be known as the R2 Fish School Kit.

The R2 Fish School Kit

The R2 Fish School Kit is the main product that was sold at the Fish School. They did offer a few other accessories, but this kit was the main offering from the website. It was an all-inclusive kit that came with everything you needed to teach your goldfish the tricks seen on the Fish School website, which were performed by a variety of goldfish and bettas.

So, what exactly came in the R2 Fish School Kit?

  • A DVD with 45 minutes of instruction on how to teach your goldfish to perform the tricks in the kit
  • The R2 Fish School training platform where your fish would perform its tricks
  • The Fish School feeding wand, which was the key tool used for positive reinforcement
  • Paper instructional manual with over 100 photos
  • A small base for bowls and tanks
  • More than 20 training accessories, including hoops, balls, soccer goal, and a lot more

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Final Thoughts

With appearances on major television networks and the news, things were looking good for the Fish School. They had teamed up with R2 to create an entire training kit with all the accessories needed to teach your goldfish a variety of tricks, with the goal of turning goldfish into a pet that’s more fun and interactive, like a dog or cat. Unfortunately, the company no longer exists, so you won’t be able to purchase an R2 Fish School Kit for your goldfish, but if you really want to teach it these tricks, we’re sure you can figure out how to build some training tools of your own and come up with your own Fish School training tactics!

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Featured Image Credit: Hans, Pixabay

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