05-27-2013, 12:23 PM
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Originally Posted by fishiefishfish
I've heard that over stocking an aquarium can lead to stunted growth in fish. Is this permanent, or will the fish continue to grow when the tank population has diminished? Is the effect the same on all freshwater aquarium dwellers or does it change between fish (tetras and plecos specifcally) , snails and shrimp?
Any advice would be much appreciated!
Stunted growth means the fish cannot develop properly internally (organ development) because of some environmental factor. While too small a space for the species is the most common cause, this can also occur from too many fish, or insufficient fish of the species, or the wrong combination of fish species. All of these affect water quality just as too small a space does, and cause stress.
It applies to all fish, and it cannot be reversed. The fish so affected will have a shorter than normal lifespan, and along the way be subject to other issues that a healthy fish would be able to fight off. One of these is usually the cause of death.
I know nothing of how this affects, or if it does, invertebrates like snails and shrimp.
You might find some more info in my article on stress, here: Stress and Freshwater Aquarium Fish