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Pearlscale isn't growing


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  • Regular Member

I have 2 goldfish in my 40 gallon long tank. An orange Telescope and a white Pearlscale. In the first 2 months of their lives here they were each 1.5 inches long and living in a 20 gallon tank before I moved them. They're about 3 years old as well.

They have an Eheim 68 gallon filter, 0 nitrite, hardly a drop of ammonia as I do 3 50% water changed a week, 100% water change every other Saturday.

They are beautiful. My Telescope is always growing, very active, swimming around and always alert. My Pearlscale is much less active, she used to swim around just like Houston but now is mostly listless. She's really stopped growing. In comparison, Pearl's full body+tail length is about 4.3 inches. Houston is definitely 5 inches (maybe 5.1).

I noticed that lately when I feed them Houston immediately rises to the top and feeds, but Pearl stays near the bottom and waits to pick off some of the sinking bits (which isn't much), and it's not like Houston eats everything, considering he leaves a sizable amount left.

Pearl also is a rather slow swimmer, she's very fat, almost as wide as her body is long. She has crumpled fins due to rough handling at my LFS where I got her ( you employee), but that doesn't impede her swimming

Just wondering what's up, I mean you can give me a huge list of things I can answer if you want, or have a massive list of possibilities for why Pearl's messed up like this.

Any help is appreciated :)

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as well as the media that Mikey has requested, an observation of mine. i am no big pearlscale owner. i have only one. however, there are a few different types of pearlscales, mine is short and super round fat. she's a ping pong pearlscale (i think they call this breed tiki). because of her body shape, there is more concentration on becoming round than long or big. there are other kinds with longer bodies which tend to grow longer faster due to their body shapes. crowned pearlscales are also a faster growing fish than the ping pong..

ultimately, genetics play a big role in how large your fish will grow. without knowing the history of your fish, and given that it is one of the hugely genetically modified ones, the growth rate is something that cannot be answered.

pesarlscales on a general are slower growing fish than our other breeds.

health wise though, even though my pearlscale is rounder and shorter, she's an absolute bullet around the tank. given this, i am concerned that you mention lethargic behaviour from yours (irrespective of it's build) there should still be a lot of stamina in that fish.

a video of it's behaviour would be very awesome :)

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  • Regular Member

I have a Crowned Pearscale and her name is Pearl also.

I hope yours is okay and it's just genetics for her size. But I agree with the above from Helen that she shouldn't be lethargic. I hope you are able to post a video.

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  • Regular Member

My Pearlscale is growing slower than the 4 other fish in my tank also. He/She seems to grow in spurts. It will seem like there is no growth for weeks and then all of a sudden it looks like it doubled in size overnight. Very strange. It is also a slower eater than the rest of my fish. Not sure if this helps, but that is my experience thus far.

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  • Regular Member

If you want to compare the sizes/growth of goldfish of different varieties you have to use mass, not length. Weigh your fish. Even standard length (without the tail) is not good for comparing sizes of different varieties, since fish are three-dimensional.

If you compare the volume/mass of three fish types of goldfish, all the same standard length you will find that a "fish-shaped" comet has about half the volume/mass of an "egg-shaped" fancy, and about one-third the volume/mass of a "ball-shaped" fancy like a pearlscale.

That says that a pearlscale should be ~ 2/3 the standard length of a telescope that is the same volume/mass. That is, a telescope with three inches of body length and a pearlscale of 2 inches body length are about the same size. Check it out. Measure their body lengths and weigh them both.

Note that I keep saying "about." Even within a variety, body shapes differ.

In addition, for all goldfish varieties, growth rate slows with age, but growth in length slows the most. Aquarium goldfish increase very slowly in length after ~ three years of age. But they get noticeably taller and thicker.

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I have an oranda that was growing normally for 2 years, then he got stuck in the filter intake (the bottom piece fell off at night). From that point on, he stopped growing. It looked like he was shrinking compared to the growth of his tankmates. It started to bother me. I looked up "wasting" and different outcomes for severely injured fish (his head is a different shape now). From what I read, it was likely one of three things:1) wasting 2) damage to whatever part of the fish controls growth 3) internal bacterial infection. Because he was still eating like a pig, I figured something was up. For wasting and bacterial infections, it was mentioned that Metro could be very effective. I gave it a whirl (2/3 ain't bad). Mixed it in with Repashy. Wish I'd had the food from Goldfish Connection. Within two weeks, he was noticeably bigger. He continues to grow (I did 2 weeks of treatment) slower than the others, but steadily.

I wonder if the rough handling at the store may have damaged something that is only becoming an issue now. Not sure how long your fish that passed away (so sorry about that) was in the tank after he passed, but that would have been a source of bacteria. I am not 100% on what my guy's issue was, but whatever it was, it was dealt with by the Metro. I'm not recommending you do what I did, but something to keep in your back pocket:)

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • Regular Member

I'm not an expert but I've had plenty of pearlscales, so here's my two cents;

My pearlscales never kept up in LENGTH against my other goldfish, but I always attributed this to the girth they maintain. While other fish were growing longer, my pearls were getting wider. I kept them at slightly warmer temps then my other goldfish (76-78) to help their metabolism. I also tried to keep a close eye on their diet, tending to lean towards 60% protein, 40% veggie. While I love pearls, with a body that tightly compact issues can develop quickly.

Now that I've blathered, the moral of that rant is simple; love thy fishy.

-Kori

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  • Regular Member

Mine all grow at different rates. I don't have a pearlscale. But my veiltail has never grown since I got her. My fantail has grown really fast and is still growing. My oranda is also a growing but much slower then the fantail.

I think goldfish just grow at different rates.

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  • Regular Member

Dnalex perhaps I posted improperly. I meant more of the ratio of food types. I meant that 60% of their food consisted of protein (blood worms, brine shrimp, daphnia, hikari lionhead, etc) and 40% of veggie bases foods (repashy soilent green, spinach, peas, etc) I was not referring to the specific protien continent of the foods, my apologies.

Edited by Okori
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  • Regular Member

Dnalex perhaps I posted improperly. I meant more of the ratio of food types. I meant that 60% of their food consisted of protein (blood worms, brine shrimp, daphnia, hikari lionhead, etc) and 40% of veggie bases foods (repashy soilent green, spinach, peas, etc) I was not referring to the specific protien continent of the foods, my apologies.

No worries. I just wanted to make sure what you meant. :)

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