Big fish in 55 gallon tank?
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Big fish in 55 gallon tank?

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Big fish in 55 gallon tank?
Old 12-28-2010, 01:23 AM   #1
 
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Question Big fish in 55 gallon tank?

I know there are a lot of variables, but generally speaking, how long can a fish get in a 55gallon tank (48'x13'x21'') before it's time to upgrade to a larger one? I'm not talking about keeping a fish in a too-small tank until it's growth is stunted or it can't turn around in the tank, i just want to know how long of a fish will be reasonably 'comfortable' in 55?
I'm asking this for the for the distant future of my fish, not because I have anything huge crammed into my tank, so no lectures pleaseeee and thanksss.

Last edited by iamrayn; 12-28-2010 at 01:30 AM..
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Old 12-28-2010, 08:37 AM   #2
 
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what do you have in there?
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Old 12-28-2010, 10:38 AM   #3
 
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a currenly 6-inch long tin foil barb
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Old 12-28-2010, 01:57 PM   #4
 
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You didn't want a lecture, but this may come across similarly; sorry if it does, but when one asks for advice it doesn't help much to omit the truth in the response.

The Tinfoil Barb attains 14 inches and should be kept in a group of at least 6. This means a 200g tank that is 7 feet long. And the fish grows quickly (assuming it is healthy). You can check all this in our fish profiles, click on the shaded name to go there.

As for how long it will be comfortable in a 55g, this is difficult to answer since we can't get inside the fish's head, so to speak. Fish grow all their lives, and the internal organs are developing as the external skeleton grows. The internal development can be affected adversely by many factors, such as limited space (to the fish), water quality due to the limited space as well as other things, tankmates, and general environment. A fish in the wrong environment will be constantly stressed, and stress weakens the immune system and leads to further degenerative growth. At the moment, being on its own (I'm assuming this is the case) is probably the biggest handicap to its health. It is a shoaling fish and it absolutely needs others to feel "natural."

Hope this helps.

Byron.
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Old 12-29-2010, 01:42 AM   #5
 
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yea man i appreciate the response and advice. i know all the facts about the fish though. that's what i meant by not wanting lectures.. i have a 150 gallon tank waiting for me to set it up and switch everything, I just am avoiding the monumental task as long as possible, I don't intend on keeping him as a lone tin foil for much longer.

i guess what i'm really wondering about is if there is some 'rule of thumb' like the (not %100 accurate) 1 gallon per 1 inch of fish 'guideline' that applies to length of a fish in relation to the dimensions of a tank?
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Old 12-29-2010, 11:54 AM   #6
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iamrayn View Post
yea man i appreciate the response and advice. i know all the facts about the fish though. that's what i meant by not wanting lectures.. i have a 150 gallon tank waiting for me to set it up and switch everything, I just am avoiding the monumental task as long as possible, I don't intend on keeping him as a lone tin foil for much longer.

i guess what i'm really wondering about is if there is some 'rule of thumb' like the (not %100 accurate) 1 gallon per 1 inch of fish 'guideline' that applies to length of a fish in relation to the dimensions of a tank?
There are no reliable rules in this hobby, and I am being frank in saying this. Any of the "guides" like fish per gallon have considerable limitations and while they can sort-of work for one fish species they fail terribly with many others.

There are many factors in providing a suitable environment. The decor of the tank is extremely important; example, a fish programmed by nature to live in a dimly-lit forest pool with thick vegetation will be very highly stressed in a relatively bare tank or one with a bright overhead light--the fish does not know it is "safe," it only knows from its instinct that the surroundings make it vulnerable to predation and it has no escape. The type of filtration (thinking more here of water movement) and light can impact the fish. The other fish species in the tank have a high degree of impact. And the need of the fish to be solitary or in a group.

And stress from any source leads to health issues that often cannot be seen until the fish suddenly weakens or dies. The first scientific study was recently reported [I posted on it at the time, a few weeks back] in which proof was found that shoaling fish kept in groups less than 5 develop internal problems and health issues and show significantly increased aggressive behaviour even in fish normally considered very peaceful. All this from the stress.

Fish obviously need space; the activity level of the fish partly determines the space needed. As do all of the above-mentioned things. Water quality is an important part of the space issue, as smaller volume obviously means faster-deteriorating water quality. And this itself can somewhat vary from fish to fish. And the "appearance" of the fish is not always a good guide to what may be happening internally.

There are so many variables that must be considered that coming up with any sort of guidelines is risky at best. This is a case where each aquarium is different.

Byron.

Last edited by Byron; 12-29-2010 at 11:57 AM..
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Old 12-30-2010, 01:41 PM   #7
 
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Thanks man that was a well written, honest response and I must say that you taught me some things. It's hard to find anything but negativity on this website it seems.. I don't come on here often except for random questions i come across in my fishkeeping hobby (obsession), and every time i do, I almost always get responses back with nothing but hate about some aspect of what I'm saying, some part of my situation is horribly wrong and needs immediate education and reprimands from 'better' fishkeepers. And that sucks because this is a good site and the 'good' people on these boards are buried in sea of smart-ass 'experts'.
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Old 12-30-2010, 01:58 PM   #8
 
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I understand what your saying iamryan, I think the best way to look at it is everyone on here loves fish. When they see something that is dangerous to fish they want to take immediate action in hopes of avoiding fish loss. On top of actual fish loss, new fish keepers tend to get put back when they lose fish, and we don't want to lose any fish enthusiasts either. Combine that with the complete lack of emotion and inflection when reading text based messages it can lead to misreading or miss-communicating (on the writers side).'

There are a couple people that can just be jerks though. :) Byron has always given me the straight facts and help I need. Which is much appreciated. I hope you work your tank out to your likeing
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