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Old 01-21-2014, 01:36 PM   #1
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Do fish grow to the size of their aquarium?

I used to think that concept was BS, until my lone pregnant female guppy was in my 20L tank and had about 20 babies. A few days later she went back into my guppy tank. A week later I took 5 of the week-old babies and put them in a 4 gallon tank that just finished cycling. I noticed about three weeks later that the babies in the 4 gallon are not much bigger than they were, but the ones in the 20 gallon are 3-4 times the size and getting much more color. They have been fed pretty much the same, are in the same water parameters, etc. and they are all from the same batch of babies. Has anyone else had any experiences like this?
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Old 01-21-2014, 01:43 PM   #2
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Yes, I once had a guppy that was in a small jar and he grew to the size of the one gallon jar when we put him in it.
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Old 01-21-2014, 01:46 PM   #3
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This is called 'stunting'. Stunting goes beyond just diet and water quality concerns but there are also hormonal issues that interplay as well. Fish excrete hormones that are inhibitory to growth. In a small tank, these hormone levels increase quickly. In the wild with zillions of gallons of water, this is not an issue unless fish become trapped in a small area of water (ie, a drought situation) and these hormones actually become beneficial to the fish's survival in tiny area. If you had changed most or all of the water of the water daily in the small tank, the babies in this tank would likely be the same size as the babies in the 20g.
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Old 01-21-2014, 02:19 PM   #4
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Do fish grow to the size of their aquarium?

I'm also thinking the mass amount of micro organisms living in the older tank would have something to do with it considering baby fish eat them
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Old 01-22-2014, 12:51 PM   #5
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The hormones and microorganisms are both great points. I learn so many new things every day with this hobby!
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Old 01-23-2014, 02:15 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Summer4infinity View Post
The hormones and microorganisms are both great points. I learn so many new things every day with this hobby!

Yeah it is so interesting to have a fun hobby and learn at the same time!
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Old 01-24-2014, 01:43 AM   #7
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I totally agree!
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Old 01-24-2014, 10:06 AM   #8
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When fish don't grow because of stunting their internal organs continue to grow causing all kinds of health issues. No fish don't grow just to the size of their tank, they simply suffer because of it until an early death.
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Old 01-24-2014, 10:45 AM   #9
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In a small tank fish can grow quicker if the conditions are right. Because they don't move around as much. They grow faster. The hard part is keeping the water fresh an free of toxins. I have had fry in a large tank and a small tank and the fry in the small tank grew faster in my small tank with daily water changes. I only changed the water in the big tank weekly so that played a big part also. Water changes are a fishes best friend. Not only does it replenish the minerals needed to grow but it removes hormones that can stunt the fish. This is just my experience with growing fry.
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Old 01-24-2014, 11:24 AM   #10
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Do fish grow to the size of their aquarium?

Yes water change, water change, water change. Never can change too much water. Don't think I've ever done anything less than a 50% water change on any tanks that I've had over the 25 years I've been in the hobby with a wide variety of fish. Only ever used meds a couple times because I needed to treat wild caught fish in quarantine before they went with tank raised fish. Wild fish can sometimes have nasties and not show it, that tank raised fish can't handle. I have a wild caught oscar in a 6 foot 125 gallon with 10 silver dollars(very low bio load with dollars and they eat oscar poop) and I change 60-75% of the water 2-3 times a week. Makes fish grow like crazy.
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