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According to this article goldfish can be kept in small tanks. Thoughts?


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  • Regular Member

Hi guys! I haven't really been on here for some time, but this article came up on another forum and I'd really like to hear some thoughts. Personally I do think the conclusions made here are unscientific and such, but what do you all think? https://puregoldfish.com/stunted-growth/


P.S. this could've been brought up around here before, sorry if it has. Just really curious!

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  • Regular Member

A reference on goldfish growth:

North american Journal of Aquaculture

The Effect of stocking and Feeding Rates on growth and Production of Feeder Goldfish in Pools.

by: Nathan Stone,  Ellen McNulty, and Eric Park.  You can read the abstract herehttps://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1577/1548-8454(2003)65<82%3ATEOSAF>2.0.CO%3B2

Farms that grew goldfish to sell as feeders wanted to know how to keep the fish small for as long as possible so that they could produce a steady supply of feeders for the pet shops. So this group did the research.  The most effective way of keeping the fish small was underfeeding.  This is true for any animal, including humans.  

Disease or parasites can also stunt, but the goal of this research was to produce healthy, stunted goldfish.

They could also decrease the growth rate by increasing the stocking level, but this didn't work as well as underfeeding.  The combination of of higher stocking levels with underfeeding was most successful.

Your source was correct that goldfish that lived to record ages were all clearly stunted.  Also, virtually all of them lived for at least their first decade in a two gallon fish bowl with a tankmate.  The owners followed the directions to feed the fish just a tiny pinch of food a day and change their water completely at least once a week.  After 10-20 years, they typically upgraded to a 10 gallon tank with a filter.

The somatostatin stuff is complete nonsense.  Didn't any of the people who write this take high school biology?  Surely if they did they would know the definition of a hormone. 

Definition of hormone:  a product of living cells that circulates in body fluids (such as blood) or sap and produces a specific often stimulatory effect on the activity of cells usually remote from its point of origin.  They don't get dumped into the environment. :doh11:







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Yeah, a lot of things in that article are opinions or myth.  Genetics runts are one thing... but that’s not what is being discussed here.

Goldfish are already such an abused animal. I have major issues with anything that furthers that, however well intentioned.  There is some good information on that site but some not so good interspersed.  It could use some updating or more precise language, at least.

I don’t dispute her conjecture that water quality matters more than water quantity - and am one who overfilters and overstocks and does more frequent water changes to account for that.  But the growth hormone thing is not well substantiated even though it is oft repeated.

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