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Author Topic: The cause of Stunted fish?  (Read 23700 times)
Lizon
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« on: September 08, 2010, 02:48:50 PM »

What is the true cause of stunted fish growth? Under sized tank or poor water quality or both?  Which is the myth and which is fact?
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« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2010, 03:04:42 PM »

Well thing is a fish just cant physically grow to its full size in a small tank... Its body stops growing however its organs continue to grow... they eventually get too big and the fish dies a slow death... the spine can also curve.

Water quality and a bad diet is also a factor... Im sure a fish could still stunt if it was kept in terrible conditions and had a crappy diet.
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Lizon
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« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2010, 06:03:54 PM »

I was reading down further. I would of caught this and not reposted a thread similiar if I wasn't on my break and had limited time. Smiley But, as I said I was reading down further on the Myth: fish grow to the size of the tank.

Listing psychological factors. Diet, adaptation and stress. Can an undersized tank cause stress? I am sorry if I am sounding repetitive but I want to know the facts alone of what the causes are for a fish to stunt. So I don't make that mistake with current and future tanks. Hopefully more people will chime in because in another place I was told that undersized tanks are not the cause of stunted fish. It was water alone.. so I want to get set straight Smiley


« Last Edit: September 08, 2010, 06:17:02 PM by Lizon » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2010, 06:57:24 PM »

Whomever gave you that pearl of wisdom at "another place" is drop dead wrong. The offending person is counting on their ability to remove fish hormones from the water before the fish stops growing. Unfortunetly, this is just not possible.
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Lizon
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« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2010, 06:13:42 AM »

I wasn't holding her statement to heart. I couldn't believe water was the only means of stunted growth, It had to be more then just that.
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BallAquatics
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« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2010, 07:35:37 AM »

It's been my experience that when growing-out Danio fry, water quality is more important than tank size.

Over the course of a year, I typically raise several batches of Danio fry.  For the first 4 to 6 weeks I prefer to keep the 60-100 fry in 5.5 gallon tanks.  I find that with large daily water changes and multiple feedings they grow faster in these small tanks simply because they expend less energy to find their food than they would in a larger tank.  As with all things in fish keeping, your mileage may vary.   Wink

Dennis
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tonbrencat
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« Reply #6 on: September 09, 2010, 05:02:45 PM »

Any scientific evidence that is fact based on this issue?
Any links to scientific research?
Would love to have some to back this up....
I do agree- but get challenged on this statement-re-stunting and tank size issue and having scientific research would be awesome back-up with some people I deal with.......
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Brenda
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« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2010, 07:40:03 PM »

A tank that is too small means fish won't have room to exercise. That without a doubt will stunt their growth. Muscles won't grow without hitting the gym. A larger tank with the same stocking will get less ppm over time of waste products like nitrate and DoCs assuming scaled up filtration and same % water changes. If the water quality we are talking about here includes aeration then larger tank helps there too with more surface area for oxygen exchange. Good food and being able to breathe is good for growth  goldfish
« Last Edit: September 09, 2010, 07:51:30 PM by philfreenode » Logged
BallAquatics
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« Reply #8 on: September 09, 2010, 07:45:00 PM »

Any scientific evidence that is fact based on this issue?
Any links to scientific research?

The only thing even close that I have come across is, aquaculture literature that gives pounds of fish / per volume of water based on water quality, or more specifically, how efficient your water filtration is.  In flow-through systems you can really pack the fish together and still get excellent results. Aquaculture is all about how quickly and cost effectively you can grow your fish... next to mass die-offs, stunting is one of the worst things that can happen in your operation.

Dennis
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Wheels on the Bus
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« Reply #9 on: September 09, 2010, 09:43:51 PM »

I won't lie, that stocking sounds horrifying to me - a case of breeding strictly for quantity rather than quality. I'm not trying to start an argument with you, as I'm sure you're a lovely person - I'm just saying that your setup sounds really hideous to me in a disgusting, puppy mill kind of way.
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BallAquatics
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« Reply #10 on: September 09, 2010, 10:35:54 PM »

I'm just saying that your setup sounds really hideous to me in a disgusting, puppy mill kind of way.

I guess you just have to see it in action, it's really not as bad as all that.   happy  Here's a video of over 65 CPD fry in a 5.5 gallon tank...    At around 6 weeks old they went into a 20 long and where sexually mature at around 12 weeks.

I've tried it both ways.  When you put these tiny fry into a big tank, a 20 or 30 long, they just get lost and feeding becomes problematic.  While they have plenty of water, they lack food and never mature into the healthy robust fish like those started out in a smaller tank.

Dennis
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When i read things that say that wont work....
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Stella G
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« Reply #11 on: September 09, 2010, 10:57:43 PM »

It's important to note that you are talking about FRY being kept in a small tank for a very limited time and with larger tanks set up and ready to transfer fish to BEFORE stunting can occur.  The problem we run into a lot here is that people go to the store, purchase juvenile fish, plop then in a tank that is too small and have no plans or resources to move them into an appropriately sized tank.  All the water changes in the world won't keep those fish from stunting. 
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« Reply #12 on: September 10, 2010, 12:51:49 AM »

I read an article regarding concentration of pheromones  that prevents a fish from growing ... I believe I asked about the exact same thing here ... what if, theoretically, I manage to remove and replace water so that the concentration remain low ... go search for that thread. LOL.
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Oldman
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« Reply #13 on: September 10, 2010, 05:08:39 AM »

I am going to have to weigh in on the side of water quality being far more important than tank size for ultimate fish growth rate. At one time, far back in my earlier fish keeping days, I kept a drop of 12 molly fry in a 120 gallon tank along with a few cories and 3 adult mollies. No typical fish tank fish ever sees that much room. At well over a year old the largest of those fry were just over an inch long and did not mature well. At the time the ideas around fish keeping were quite different and we were all reluctant to do frequent or large water changes so, by today's standards, the water must have been terrible.
Right now I have the results of 2 molly drops growing out in a 55 gallon. I have sold off well over 40 fish from those drops at around 1 1/2 inch size and still have the remaining ones, about 25, in that same tank along with a half dozen African rift lake cichlids, 6 cories and 4 BNPs. The remaining fry are now over 2 inches long. The difference is that the new fish have far less room to themselves but have gotten regular water changes and are well fed and thriving. By many standards, my current tank is fully stocked and is at its lowest population level in over a year.
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Stella G
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« Reply #14 on: September 10, 2010, 02:28:05 PM »

Again, you're talking about FRY.  

My worry is that a newbie is going to see this and say, "well, it's OK if I keep 6 clown loaches in my 10 gallon tank because I do lots of water changes."   We all know those fish are going to stunt.  No one is ever going to post and say "my clown loaches are 20 years old, full grown and in a 10 gallon tank."  It just can't happen.

I agree that water quality is important, but tank size is also important, especially when you aren't talking about smaller fish like danio fry or molly fry.  Large fish need a large tank for long term health.

Quote
What is the true cause of stunted fish growth? Under sized tank or poor water quality or both?

I think we can all agree that the answer to Lizon's question is "both."  Poor water quality, even in a large tank, is going to negatively effect your fish and keeping fish in a tank that will not accommodate their adult size is also going to negatively effect the fish.  As with most things in fish keeping, the answer isn't simply a matter of A or B.
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Lizon
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« Reply #15 on: September 10, 2010, 07:18:31 PM »

Alot of different views. But I do agree with stella that it is both. Tank size does have an importance on your fishes well being. As keepers we must mimic as best to our abilities the most natural habitat for our fish to thrive. Housing.. water.. diet and social needs of the fish. With these it's like taking a strads out of a thread.. take too many and the thread is weak.  I have come to find that I rather loathe the fish bowl scenario and have already talked a couple of people out of getting such a thing at a local pet store, a chain store that I won't mention Smiley
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russ
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« Reply #16 on: September 12, 2010, 11:24:45 PM »

Oh boy. One of my favorite subjects.  happy

You are all almost 100% right. ....And there certainly is a big difference between a commercial facility and a hobbyist's aquarium(s).

Lets concentrate on the hobby aquarium for a moment......

http://www.badmanstropicalfish.com/stories/chat/chat_3-12-04.html

This was presented and discussed about 6 years ago here in the chat room. (there is a clean version below the actual transcript, but transcript contains some Q &As also)

If anyone has any questions, I would be happy to answer as best as my ability. happy


Here is something to ponder also... Would anyone consider a 29 gal tank overcrowded or overstocked if it contained 50 Neon Tetras and about 5-6 cory cats to handle the bottom strata?   Wink



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Lizon
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« Reply #17 on: September 13, 2010, 12:09:24 AM »

At first thought I would say yes. But after reading the log, I can see how some species like neons work as one functioning unit so to speak. It would remind me of how fish in the ocean work like sardines.

Your going to have to forgive me if I skip from place to place I am not feeling to spiffy right now and a moth keeps landing on the keyboard.

But I can see what your saying or at least I think I see. But is there a fine line and when do you know for sure when you crossed it? I mean it would be rather obvious if you had a Oscar in a fifteen size tank. But for the smaller fish just where is that line when you unbalance your tank and send it spiraling out of control?
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« Reply #18 on: September 13, 2010, 07:25:00 AM »

I would consider that hideously overstocked, Russ. Smiley Horribly, hideously, cruelly overstocked.
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PuntiusFanaticoma
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« Reply #19 on: September 14, 2010, 12:36:30 PM »

I don't think the cories would be needed, Russ. The tank would be so packed with neons that the bottom would be full of them.
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BallAquatics
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« Reply #20 on: September 14, 2010, 03:04:31 PM »

I would say it's all based on your feeding levels & maintenance schedule.  I typically grow-out 60+ Celestial Pearl Danio fry in 20 gallon long tanks without any problems.  The tanks generally are lightly planted and have dwarf shrimp & otocinclus cats for clean-up duties.



Dennis
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russ
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« Reply #21 on: October 19, 2010, 10:14:21 PM »

Any other thoughts, ideas or comments on this?


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« Reply #22 on: October 19, 2010, 11:21:42 PM »

  A couple of things not mentioned that I think can also be a cause of stunting are improper food being offered and improper tankmates.  These factors are obviously not as important as tank size and water quality, but can also cause developmental problems.
  IMO a fish not offered the nourishment it needs or being constantly hounded will also stunt.
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« Reply #23 on: October 20, 2010, 02:41:15 AM »

   IMO a fish not offered the nourishment it needs or being constantly hounded will also stunt.

.........and then it would die!
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« Reply #24 on: October 20, 2010, 06:52:20 AM »

This is stolen off another site.  Its author has the user name knifegill.  I like the way he explains it.  Its not quite right, but its got a great visual.

Quote
When this debate comes up I just ask what would happen if you put a wire cage around a fish and raised it in a pond. The answer is obvious. Its head and tail would be poking out of the cage in due time. Once you get their brain to understand that, you can add the fact that it's the clean (Cycled? Don't go there with a person who hasn't gotten this straight yet!) water that allows the fish to grow freely. So lets say you shrink the cage around the fish and leave a few holes. Now the faster you push water through one hole and out the other the better the fish can grow. The lake is in your faucet and the fish is in the cage, which is its tank. Get as much of the lake into that tank as often as you can while still maintaining a balanced environment and *poof*, big fish. So whether you have a little fish in a huge tank or a big fish in a little tank with tons of new water every day, the waste will be removed from accumulating in the fish's environment and the fish can grow the way it should. People can usually grasp that, unless they are the kind of people who hold a map out and point to the sky if you ask for North.

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