Scientists from Canada’s MacEwan University decided to study the notoriously aggressive African cichlid fish, which are popular with aquarium owners.
They trained the fish to go to one end of a tank for food, then let them rest elsewhere for 12 days.
Explaining their study at the Society for Experimental Biology’s annual meeting, the researchers said that after the fish were returned to the tank, they spent more time in the area where they remembered being fed.
The fish also remembered the location of the food when it was switched to the other end of the tank.
“There are many anecdotes about how smart these fish are. Some people even believe that their cichlids watch television with them,” lead scientist Trevor Hamilton told the BBC.
Cichlids have a varied diet in the wild, which includes snails, small fish, insects and plants.
It’s thought the fish learn to associate certain locations with their favorite foods.