11-04-2012, 04:37 PM
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The suggestion one sometimes reads that a potentially large fish (i.e., a fish that attains say 6 inches) will remain smaller and be fine in a smaller tank is erroneous, and cruel to the fish. Fish continue to grow throughout their lives, and this involves the external skeleton and the internal organs. Fish that are forced to live in too small a space for the species will not develop properly, which can result in stunting. Such fish may look OK externally, but they are in poor health, will have continual problems due to the space, and die prematurely.
Fish need sufficient space in which to develop, which is one aspect of this and the one usually connected to the water quality. They also need sufficient space to live "normally," and this is solely the environmental aspect which is the tank size and how it is aquascaped.
Our profiles for each species provide a minimum tank size for the fish at maturity, and if this cannot be provided, the fish should not be acquired. Other relevant data on the environment, numbers, etc. is also included in the profiles. Most of the profiles were compiled by me, using data from knowledgeable ichthyologists, biologists and acknowledged authorities.