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Stunting truths?
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Joined: 27 Apr 2010

PostPosted: 2011.08.18(Thu)1:18    Post subject: Reply with quote

To explain stunting and to avoid it, we should first make clear what actually is stunting.

From different sources that I have encountered, "stunting" can mean either
(a) not growing to the supposed size of that age; or
(b) disproportionate growth, resulting in fish with e.g. big head and short body.

I guess (a) is related to lack of food and possibly hormones; (b) is obviously the result of limited space. Limited space may also cause (a), but it's probably a secondary effect, due to inhibiting hormones from the dominant individual being concentrated.

A small tank with a lone big fish, yet still have room for the fish to move and feed, may not cause stunting (in size). My dad's friend kept a lone angelfish in a not-so-big tank. It lived for many years and grew really big, in my mom's words, "as big as a human face". I only heard this from my mom and I have not seen it. Sadly the fish is dead now.

For humans, the definition of stunting is close to (a), where an individual does not grow to the appropriate size due to malnutrition etc. The individual may not regain the ungrown height/weight when conditions improve, and may have a short life because vital organs are not developed to full potential.

I agree that we cannot keep a fish in physically restrained conditions even if it won't be stunted. No one wants to be locked in a closet. I've seen people keep arowanas/gars in tanks barely enough for the fish to lay straight, and they are proud of the fish being able to eat from the hand like a dog. The difference is they can't say "I just took my fish for a swim in the stream, it was really happy!"
Diamond Hill, Hong Kong
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don clark
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Joined: 14 Sep 2011
Location: florida

PostPosted: 2011.09.30(Fri)7:19    Post subject: Reply with quote

maybe fish can be raised in extremely small quarters, and this might be important in aquaculture at some time, but it would be very difficult, and how about the affect of cramped quarters, and lack of exercise on feeding habits, seems they would either become excessively fat or lose interest in feed. Just what we need , another cage raised food animal, I hope it turns out to be impossible. by the way, has anyone ever seen the emperor of japans koi in the royal moat, they are huge.
don clark
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