Why do my Goldfish not Grow? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-28-2013, 04:21 PM Thread Starter
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Why do my Goldfish not Grow?

I have 4 Shubunkins, 1 commet and 3 fancies. My 2 year old Lionhead is only 2 inches. I feed Repashy gel and krill. The odd time pellets.

I feed two pieces the size of their eye, twice daily.

When I see other fish they are much bigger than mine at this age.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-28-2013, 04:26 PM
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Well, why am I 6'3 yet, friends my age are 5'5? Genetics are part of growth. Another problem could be how good of an environment are they kept in? High volume water that is well maintained and cleaned is conducive to good growth.

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-28-2013, 04:33 PM Thread Starter
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The environment is good. Ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrate about 10, ph 7.5, kh 5, temp about 73.5.

They are in different tanks. 44 gallons for the shubbies. I have AC 70's.


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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-28-2013, 04:34 PM
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How big is your tank? Some fish can be stunted if they are in too small of a tank.

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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-28-2013, 04:37 PM Thread Starter
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I posted the size of the tank


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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-28-2013, 04:48 PM
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The fish may have been subjected to less than perfect conditions when young and it stunted their growth. If they haven't grown in a couple of years than they will more than likely stay small. My goldfish where always small and I now realize it was due to not that great care. No internet when I was young. Didn't know about cycling a tank and minimum tank size.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-28-2013, 07:01 PM
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Is it just the 4 shubies in the 44 gallon or is the comet in there as well?

Either way, you are a bit overstocked IMHO. 15-20 gallons per fish is generally recommended as a minimum for goldfish since they do have the potential to grow so large and have such a heavy bioload.

How often do you change the water and how much are you changing at a time?

In addition to being a bit overstocked, my guess is that you may not be feeding enough. Feeding .5-1% of body weight in dry food a day is a good estimate for young goldfish. For wet foods like the repashy 1-2% of body weight is more ideal since the nutrient content isn't as dense as with a pellet food. You can use a digital kitchen scale if you have one to weigh your fish and get an idea of what you should be feeding (place your fish in a bowl of water on the scale). Also, more frequent smaller meals are better than one or two larger meals. How often you can feed will certainly depend on your schedule, but you may want to try breaking their meals up into 3-5 a day. My fish typically get fed 1% of their body weight spread out across 5 meals a day depending on my schedule. I have a general sense of how much they need to be fed and it is easy for my to just throw in a pinch of pellets when I walk by the tank every few hours. I have also used auto feeders in the past to feed small meals throughout the day.

Some fish are naturally smaller than others, just as some people are shorter than others. Genetics play a role in growth as do feeding and environment. Fish exposed to poor conditions when they are young may not grow as fast (poor water quality, stress due to overcrowding, and lack of adequate food due to overcrowding all play a role in this), however most 'stunted' fish are able to continue growing once provided an appropriate environment and adequate food.

So, my advice would be to consider upgrading your tank if you are able and also to try increasing the amount you are feeding

If you don't want to go through the hassle of weighing them, you can simply try increasing the amount you are feeding, but watch your parameters closely since increased feeding equals increased bioload.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-28-2013, 07:44 PM Thread Starter
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I do a regular weekly 50% WC. I test regular. I can't have a bigger tank. They are not in any toxic water.


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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-28-2013, 09:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fantails View Post
I do a regular weekly 50% WC. I test regular. I can't have a bigger tank. They are not in any toxic water.


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I just want to clarify that I was not implying that they are in 'toxic' water now, but that conditions in the pet store or before depending on how bad etc. can slow growth, but that typically we do see growth continue once they have been transferred to a more appropriate environment.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-28-2013, 09:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fantails View Post
I have 4 Shubunkins, 1 commet and 3 fancies. My 2 year old Lionhead is only 2 inches. I feed Repashy gel and krill. The odd time pellets.

I feed two pieces the size of their eye, twice daily.

When I see other fish they are much bigger than mine at this age.
If you want them to grow big and fast there's a few things you can do.

#1 Increase your temp to simulate "summer time", ~77 F. This will get the goldfish wanting to eat and fatten up for winter.

#2 Increase your frequency of feeding from x2 times to x3~5

#3 Increase the amount of food given at a time. Goldfish can eat a lot.

#4 Change your food type to a summer staple pellet.

I use to have koi and over the summer they grew from 3" to almost a foot by feeding them more. Of course you'll need to do more water changes to keep up with the waste output from the fish.
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-29-2013, 01:48 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the replies. When I buy my fish the water quality is not usually good.


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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-29-2013, 02:34 PM
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I have a lionhead that was very small when I got him. I feed a variety of foods but my staple is new life spectrum. I didn't think he was growing but when I added another one he seemed small compared to that one. My lionhead is about 2 years old and about 2 inches long. He does have a nice head growth though from the nls. Fwiw he is in a 36 gallon with a 6 inch telescope. They were similar in size when placed in the tank. I run 2 aqueon 30 hob filters. You can see his baby pic in my avatar.
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-29-2013, 03:23 PM
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It comes down to competition. I have baby shubunkins in a pond. They're the same age but there's one or 2 that's tiny compare to the others.

The other fish are eating way more than the lionhead. You might want to give it another tank to live in.

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