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I Had A Thought On Tank Sizes


magickzzl

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ok. So right now I have my goldfish each in 8-10 gallons of water each, but I have noticed something interesting....

My 2 orandas and 2 commons are in my 40 gallon (Yes, I know comons are supposed to have 20, but listen to my story here!). My two lionheads are in a 16, which used to house the 4 about fish when they were tiny, and before my 40. And i have my moore alone in a 10.

So i have been wating all of my fishes eagerly, to see, they each have about the same about of room per fish, but the guys in the 40 are growing at a faster rate then everyone else, even though they are packed in more with the commons. Next fastest are the ranchus, followed by the moore. Now I know that moores and lionhead/ranchus are slower growers then orandas, but not THIS much slower, as the orandas are almost 2x as large! and they were all simalerly sized by the time I had them all. Im not coutning the commonson the size scale, because their monster :D

So I have come up with this theory, That 10 gallons per fish is a great guideline, and should definently be followed, but Im finding the fish are growing better and all in a bigger tank, thats filled to the same capacity. just more room I guess! Like for exaple, I would bet that if you had 3 fancies, and you put them in 3 10 gallons they wouldnt be as big as if they were all together in a 30, even though its the same amout of water.

Now this is just an observation. and yes, I do wanna upgrade, but this was the biggest tank I could have at the time for the commons and orandas. and dont feel bad for the orandas, because the big reason their IN there is that Sharky's so food agressive, even with SBD he can beat out the commons.... So imagion how those poor lionheads would feel!

please dont flame me!!!

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No. I thought that was a great observation and very well thought out. Besides, you obviously are someone who watches your fish closely and pays attention to proper filtration and cleaning. No lectures here. :D

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I believe what you are saying to be true. 3 goldies in 30 gallons than 1 goldie in its own 10 gal. would grow faster and bigger for the simple reason that the 30 gal. is a much longer tank. Hope that made sense.

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Excellent observation, Magic! :)

I believe the reason has to do with the surface area of the water, not the volume. Lots of fresh oxygen getting into the water of the larger tank to help growth. You need that good mountain-fresh air to grow big and strong as they say!

It may seem like simple arithmetic - compare only 1' difference in length:

A 90 x 30cm (3' x 1' tank) provides a surface area of 2.7 square metres (3 sq feet).

A 60 x 30cm (2' x 1' tank) provides a surface area of 1.8 square metres (2 sq feet).

Fair enough, the 3' surface area is 50% more, the same as the length/volume is 50% more.

But consider that the fish's oxygen absorption is constantly replenished through continual surface gas exchange. So two fish in the 3' tank may arithmetically have less surface each of 1.35 (2.7 divided by 2) than a single fish has in the 2' tank (of 1.8), they actually have 50% more because the entire 2.7 is available to them - each. At the same time.

So chemistry (gas exchange) overrules arithmetic. Where the two fish in the 3' may have less volume each, they instead have 50% more surface area each. And *that's* the advantage.

Of course there is a limit to how fast the oxygen can absorb into the water which limits the total number of fish.

So, as long as the surface area is sufficient, the volume doesn't make any difference. The 3' tank could be reduced in height so it's exactly the same volume as the 2' one and the fish would still grow better (assuming you keep it clean, water changes etc) because they're getting lots more fresh oxygen to help them grow better!

How's that sound to everyone? Does that make sense? It's why I think fish grow bigger and better and faster even in shallow ponds than they do in tanks. Lots more surface area.

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Another very canny theory, especially interesting when compared to the fish in shallow ponds bit. We talk alot about 10g rule, water changes, filtration but often airation gets forgotten.

I do still think volume makes a difference to the point where I'm not sure if they would go as large in a 20g as they would in a 40g that both had the same surface area.

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wow, I had to read that twice... @_@ (no, Im not that bright!)

So the ten gallon rule is better with more surface area... :D sounds good to me! (plus they get more excersize!)

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i believe i read somewhere that growth in goldfish is controlled by a special hormone or chemical the fish gives out into the water and the smaller the water space the higher the consentration of the chemical.. this sends signals back to the fish which controls its growth according to the size of its environment.. quite clever really!

so more water changes dilutes the chemical therefore your fish grows bigger! that is why the more water surrounding your fish.. the bigger it will get..

if that makes sense?

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That is an excellent point!

This shows us that having more room to move around in plays as large a role as the actual gallons per fish. This, to me, points out that excercise is a very important role in the growth of any living being......... ;)

The ten gallon per fish rule of thumb, being a minumum requirement, is there for the purpose of keeping water quality good. If you overstock, your filters have a seriously hard time in keeping up with the production of wastes. So, the ten gallon per fish, 100gph per ten gallons rules of thumb come into play......

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hmmm.... maybe I'll have to take my two GF out of their two ten gallon tanks this fall, and place them in a 20 gallon....

thinking.....

355315[/snapback]

then you can put two new goldfish in the ten gallons :exactly

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I was thinking about the filtration thing... and I'm sure this is going to come out very confusing, but I'll try to explain my thoughts the best I can.

The 10x gph rule assumes that one is stocked right around the 10gal/fish rule, yes? For instance, if you had one goldie in a 55 gallon tank, it may (depending on size) actually be producing less waste than a fully stocked tropical situation would. Conversely, if you have one goldie in a 5 gallon, it may be good to have a 100gph filter, or more, anyways.

The extra filtration is always good, but if you're waaaaaay understocked, is it necessary? This wouldn't always work out, of course. If you had a 220 gallon tank with one fish in it, and you had, say, a 200gph filter, it wouldn't even be filtering the tank once per hour... this would probably result in some stagnant water and other nastiness.

I'm pretty new with this fish thing, so I'm going to stay well within the rules... but I do enjoy pondering the occasional hypothetical situation.

P.S.: Knowing most people here, no one would stay that understocked for long, rendering the practicality of this train of thought pretty much null. :)

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i believe i read somewhere that growth in goldfish is controlled by a special hormone or chemical the fish gives out into the water and the smaller the water space the higher the consentration of the chemical.. this sends signals back to the fish which controls its growth according to the size of its environment.. quite clever really!

so more water changes dilutes the chemical therefore your fish grows bigger! that is why the more water surrounding your fish.. the bigger it will get..

if that makes sense?

355104[/snapback]

but my argument, is that all of my fish are in the SAME amount of water per fish. just more area.

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lol. I'd never make a good science teacher the way I explain things in the most complicated way! ;)

354694[/snapback]

but you would make an EXCELLENT gameshow host :D just kidding!

hmmm.... maybe I'll have to take my two GF out of their two ten gallon tanks this fall, and place them in a 20 gallon....

thinking.....

355315[/snapback]

get a 30 and a 3rd fish ;) a 20 long has the same footprint as a 29 :D or not (Im so bad!!)

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Guest Chishower

Wow, somehow it all makes sense. When I get setup down south I am definetly going to have to look into this more.

Would the same thing be that if you did, say, a 10% water change every day it would simulate a larger tank and therefore produce a larger fish? Too bad we don't have a filter that can filter out bacteria, hormones, and the like. Now THAT would be a money making invention...

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Would the same thing be that if you did, say, a 10% water change every day it would simulate a larger tank and therefore produce a larger fish?  Too bad we don't have a filter that can filter out bacteria, hormones, and the like. Now THAT would be a money making invention...

Precisely! That exact experiment has been tried numerous times with the same results. You take a tank and some fry. Then you take another tank the same size with the same batch of fry. Then you proceed to do more waterchanges on one than the other. The tank with the most waterchanges produces bigger fish.

And they ARE working on a way to isolate and remove the hypothetical hormone. Some dechlorinators claim to do this already.

Yes, surface area plays a large role in aeration and yes, aeration plays a large role in growing large fish, faster. However, in most of our goldfish tanks with ample filtration, we DO have an abundance of oxygen. Unless there are lots of plants and/or fish, oxygen isn't a big problem with us.

I suspect that nitrAtes are a large role player in growth. It seems to have been overlooked somewhere, somehow, but I am convinced of it.

All in all, no single variable is responsible for supporting fast growing, healthy fish on its own. Many variables need to be met and maintained for it to be possible at all. Understanding the relationships of the different factors and growth/health are integral in keeping our fish happy and healthy.

Paul

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I was thinking about the filtration thing... and I'm sure this is going to come out very confusing, but I'll try to explain my thoughts the best I can.

The 10x gph rule assumes that one is stocked right around the 10gal/fish rule, yes?  For instance, if you had one goldie in a 55 gallon tank, it may (depending on size) actually be producing less waste than a fully stocked tropical situation would.  Conversely, if you have one goldie in a 5 gallon, it may be good to have a 100gph filter, or more, anyways.

The extra filtration is always good, but if you're waaaaaay understocked, is it necessary?  This wouldn't always work out, of course.  If you had a 220 gallon tank with one fish in it, and you had, say, a 200gph filter, it wouldn't even be filtering the tank once per hour... this would probably result in some stagnant water and other nastiness.

You are correct in all of your assumptions. ;) But, the 5 gallon would need much more waterchanges than a larger tank and filter. And, the fish might become stunted due to lack of space to roam.

Your well on your way to understanding it all very well...... B)

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