limiting shark size Question

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by learninmo, Apr 14, 2012.

  1. learninmoValued MemberMember

    seems most think balas and redtails need 40+ gal tanks. My experience has been that keeping a couple in a smaller 20g tank, they just don't grow to full size but are fine. The tank size limits their maximum growth. this is unusual?
  2. ivonko

    ivonkoValued MemberMember

    limiting a fishes tank capacity will limit its growth, but at a price, its internal organs do not stop growing nor do its bones, you can google stunted fish to see the results, the fish can get very sick and deformed from having their growth stunted through having too small of a tank. thats the reason it is advised to have a larger tank for larger fish especially ones as active as the red tail, bala, or rainbow shark.
  3. CichlidSWAGA

    CichlidSWAGAWell Known MemberMember

    Yes it will limit there growth and there life span. Its is very unhealthy for them. It would be like living your life in a closet and never coming out (very uncomfy). Also balas are a schooling fish and would need at least 200g+ tank

  4. sirdarksol

    sirdarksolFishlore LegendMember

    Welcome to Fishlore!

    The whole "organs keep growing" thing appears to be a myth. I've read a couple of studies that have disproved it.
    This doesn't mean it isn't bad for them. First of all, there's the "living in the closet" concept. Fish growth doesn't become stunted until the fish is already bigger than is healthy for the size of the tank it's in.
    Second of all, studies were done on stunting catfish, and one thing that was noted was that catfish whose growth was stunted for more than a year were sterile, even after the stunting conditions were removed. Even stunting of a couple of months caused a drastic spike in sterility. Fertility is kind of like the body's canary in the mine. When something negatively affects fertility, there's usually damage happening to the rest of the body, as well.

    And yep, Balas aren't only big fish that require a school, but they also need a lot of swimming space. I personally wouldn't keep them in anything less than a heated pond. I definitely agree that, if you're going to keep them in a tank, they should have hundreds of gallons, preferably in a long tank.
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2012
  5. Fall River

    Fall RiverValued MemberMember

    Very interesting SDS. I, like many others, have bought into the "organs keep growing" theory for quite some time. Any chance we could get a link or two to the studies you mention?


  6. uphill4meValued MemberMember

    I'm currently looking at a 9 year old Red Tail.
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2012
  7. greenbeanette

    greenbeanetteValued MemberMember

    How do you know they were happy?
  8. LyndaB

    LyndaBFishlore LegendMember

    I had a rainbow shark in a 46 gallon. I'd had him for a few years. Over that time span, as his body grew, so did his aggression level. At the length of about 4 inches, he now was constantly pestering a blood parrot and then he ate the entire school of danios. I rehomed him to someone with 125 gallons. If you "keep" fish, as opposed to "have" fish, you know the right thing to do. He was telling me in every way but vocally that he was not happy in his surroundings. So, I rehomed him. Now, I don't recommend anything less than 75 gallons for rainbows.
  9. sirdarksol

    sirdarksolFishlore LegendMember

    Sadly, I found them on Ebscohost, to which I no longer have access (I'm not in school anymore).
    Ooh! OOH! I happened to know where to find one of the articles (sadly, I'm not sure if it can be accessed online outside of the college/library article system).
    Aquaculture Research; Jul2004, Vol. 35 Issue 9, p836-841, 6p

    This one is on carp (sorry, thought it was catfish) and how, when they're stunted for a period of time and then the stunting conditions are removed, their bodies will quickly catch up to where they should be, but fertility will be negatively affected.
  10. uphill4meValued MemberMember

    Some happy fish invited me to a party?
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2012
  11. sirdarksol

    sirdarksolFishlore LegendMember

    Do you know the name of the special? I'd like to keep an eye out for it being re-aired.
  12. uphill4meValued MemberMember

    They seemed kind of giddy.
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2012
  13. OP

    learninmoValued MemberMember

    hi, i don't understand what this section means? Excellent strategy for overpopulating medium sized fish with a max size no larger than 2 inches shy of the smallest dimension of the tank. ] thank u
  14. Lucy

    LucyModeratorModerator Member

    My view on stunting is Why?
    When we know the potential size of a fish it's in the fish's best interest to have proper accommodations for that fish.
    Otherwise we are stocking for what we want not what's best for the fish.

    That statement hurts my brain.

  15. sirdarksol

    sirdarksolFishlore LegendMember

    The idea is, if a fish grows to be 10" long, then the shortest side of the tank can be no less than 12". That way, the fish can easily turn around.
    I disagree greatly with this. It's like living in a hallway that's a little bit wider than your shoulders, allowing you to easily turn around, but your movement is primarily in one dimension.
  16. saqib

    saqibWell Known MemberMember

    the worst cases of stunted growth ive witnessed is with all types of catfish especially the paroon shark and iridescent sharks. I fail to understand why the LFS are naive enough to allow the trade, 90% of these poor specimens end up in aquariums which dont meet even their minimum tank requirements let alone provide them with a happy home.

    most of these poor guys i see which are roughly 6-7 inches are deformed.

  17. uphill4meValued MemberMember

    Sorry 'bout that. Brain hurts trying to fit in the box. Accustomed to open perspective diversity.
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2012
  18. OP

    learninmoValued MemberMember

    [QUOTE=uphill4me;1292236]What I mean to say is that I would not put a fish larger that 10" into a 12" tank, at all. I would still avoid a 10" and prefer 4-6" or a max of 6-7" for a 12" wide tank. But you are able to put more of these medium size fish in (assuming they prefer a crowded school) and sustain the ecosystem as previously described. An appropriate example would be overpopulating 3-4" serpentine Loaches in the described way in a well planned 12" wide tank.

    I don't encourage making your fish feel like their environment is too small. If they can happily move around and interact well with tank mates you can sustain the Ecosystem with a few extra suitable fish. If they there is potential that they cannot move around as they please, address the problem or avoid it in the first place.[/QUOTE]

    Thank you, uphill4me, for the extended explanation...i was obviously confused and now i understand what you meant.
  19. uphill4meValued MemberMember

    Always happy to clarify.
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2012
  20. soltarianknight

    soltarianknightFishlore VIPMember

    The only thing i can say is that we as fish-keepers should never intentionally stunt the growth of any animal regardless of how much damage is may or may not do to the fish, we arnt them, and the cant tell us if their having pains, sure we can tell sometimes, but if its just a back ache or stomach ache for them, we may never catch it and they would have to deal with it.

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