Many of aquarists have heard that in a small aquarium fish grow less than in a large one. There is still some truth in this statement.
But let’s understand better why this statement appeared.
Directly, the size of the aquarium cannot a priori influence the size of the fish, since each fish species is genetically sized, and the fish grow all their life. But we can not lose sight of the indirect influence of small aquariums.
The key phrase is that the fish grow all their life, and in small aquariums, they often do not live up to their large size and often get sick in the process of life.
In a small aquarium it is harder to maintain bio-balance than in a large one. The water in small aquariums is faster polluted by nitrates, nitrites and ammonia, so the organization of fish is more susceptible to intoxication.
Less oxygen is dissolved in a small volume of water, so the inhabitants of small aquariums are more prone to hypoxia and growth retardation.
Water needs to be changed more often in small aquariums than in large ones, the water temperature changes faster when the ambient temperature decreases or rises (in large aquariums this process is much smoother), hence the irritating factor, which also has a far from positive effect on the life span of the fish.
From all this it follows that keeping fish in small volumes of water causes a greater likelihood of their diseases and mortality.
A small aquarium requires much more maintenance than a large one, but in practice we see the same attitude of aquarists to their large and small aquariums. It often happens the other way around, in the large aquarium we have much more fish swimming, so many aquarists treat them more reverently.
So we found out that it’s not the size of the aquarium that affects the size of the fish, but its content. If in a small aquarium you constantly make changes of a small amount of water, monitor the cleanliness of the filter, the food remains, maintain the desired pH of the water and the temperature – then the fish in it will not be inferior in size and growth rate to the fish from the large aquarium!
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