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what are your experiences with stunted fish

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Is a STUNTED fish a SUFFERING fish? post your experiences with stunted fish here. im curious about stunting and how harmful it is.

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i had 3 stunted goldfish.. now just one.

the other two who passed on were great in health until something went wrong & their insides were unable to deal with the issue. this is something i believe is very true as the fish that did survive was not exposed to the problem.

i believe that a stunted goldfish can live a relatively happy life, provided that there are no major illnesses. Rocky is not 8+ years old. she's a fantail who is only 3.5" in body and another 1.5" in tail. she has never really been ill, only had some bacterial cysts that we learned is not life threatening when treated accordingly.

the other two suffered rust poisoning and never recovered from the ordeal as my other non stunted goldfish did.

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Well for a fish to even experience stunted growth, it would have to live in terrible water conditions so I'd imagine it would be very much suffering. My boyfriend took in a stunted goldfish that was kept in a bowl with 10 guppies for 2 years. To say the least she was the oddest and most sickly looking fish I'd ever seen; bulging eyes, lumpy stomach, and wiggly spine o.o

Given the proper space, care, and conditions, though, she looked much better :) She never grew in our care and looked like she was barely 6 months old, but at least she had the appearance and aura of a happy and healthy fish. She passed recently at 3 and a half years old.

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No I would say that a stunted fish is not suffering. I don't think any fish that is getting proper care is suffering regardless of any growth issues.

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So usually a stunted fish lives 5-6 years which is 1/6 the achieveable lifespan of a goldfish?

I don't think you can say that based on just a couple of stories.

Has stunting ever been proven? Why would the outside of a fish stop growing but its inside would keep growing? That's the theory of stunting, correct?

Edited by ShawneeRiver

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While stunting does occur, I don't believe that there are many examples of this. You may have small fish, but they may not be stunted.

My black moor stayed very small for the first three years of his life. Now, when I increased the amount of food, and the quality of food, he is as big as any other fish.

Also, I'd worry less about something like stunting, and just concentrate on doing what is good and right for your fish. :)



There are plenty of examples of small (what one might call stunted) fish living for 10+ years.

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on the other hand, i am moving to a new house this september, and so, i will get this big used 80 gallon tank from my aunt which is being used as a planter right now and set it up for my fish.

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on the other hand, i am moving to a new house this september, and so, i will get this big used 80 gallon tank from my aunt which is being used as a planter right now and set it up for my fish.

That's great! :)

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Guys, what exactly is the definition of a "stunted" goldfish?

I'm thinking along the lines of a goldfish being kept in a 1 gallon bowl without water changes for weeks on end and never growing to its potential size :o

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Guys, what exactly is the definition of a "stunted" goldfish?

I'm thinking along the lines of a goldfish being kept in a 1 gallon bowl without water changes for weeks on end and never growing to its potential size :o

Stunting can be defined as non-genetic, environmentally influenced growth retardation or inhibition.

The good news is that fish are capable of great compensatory growth. If you remove the fish from adverse conditions, they will compensate. :)

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3696842/pdf/fendo-04-00074.pdf

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Great link, Alex! Definitely enjoying the read so far. :)

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How can you tell If ur goldfish is stunted?

Edited by Goldfish guy

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How can you tell If ur goldfish is stunted?

Good question lol

I can't. Hopefully someone will show us.

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How can you tell If ur goldfish is stunted?

Good question lol

I can't. Hopefully someone will show us.

Not even YOU can't?? Wow, maybe there is no way to really tell

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I am interested in this topic as well. My pond fish grew rapidly last year to a length of about 6" not including the tail and I swear they haven't gotten any bigger this year.

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I do believe that I had one stunted fish. He was the same size with me for two years and was always very sickly. My other few small fish are just runts :P

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To the best of my understanding goldfish really don't stunt like we commonly accept they do. A while back I was reading a paper on stunting in a certain carp species (I don't remember which but when I'm on my laptop I can hunt the PDF down) and looked at the effects that pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide (PACAP) had in relation to how it regulates the growth hormone in the carp.

What I gained from the article is that the growth of fish is so variable that something like stunting as its commonly known around here may never actually occur. I can't seem to find any evidence that the organs continue to grow while the fish remains the same size overall. Stunting simply pushes back normal growth and sexual maturity. Evidence seems to suggest that the longer a fish is subjected to conditions that can cause stunting, the less likely it will be able to make it up later with compensational growth if conditions improve. Here is the abstract of another article on big head carp which is pretty well explained.

"The study was conducted to determine if stunting of young bighead carp Aristichtys nobilis (Richardson) would affect subsequent growth and reproduction. Juveniles (3 g each) were stocked directly in cages (control) in a lake or stunted in tanks for 6, 12, 18 or 24 months before being stocked in cages. Initially, body weights and lengths of stunted carp in cages were significantly lower (P0.05), but production was somewhat lower in fish stunted for 12 months."

Edited by Pearlscaleperfect

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Lets say, 2 goldfish spent 4 months in a 10 gallon, with water changes weekly and then moved to a 30 gallon with a water change every 2-3 weeks? Would you consider those fish stunted?

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No I would consider them unlucky!

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Lets say, 2 goldfish spent 4 months in a 10 gallon, with water changes weekly and then moved to a 30 gallon with a water change every 2-3 weeks? Would you consider those fish stunted?

The point of my post is you might really never know whether your fish is stunted or is just genetically smaller. And even with a control there is a lot of room for error because a fish can be 'stunted' for a few months, then experience rebound growth when conditions are more favorable. Stunting seems to be a temporarily solution for survival when conditions are not optimal for growth. The conditions which can affect this are everything from shortage of food, poor water quality, lack of physical space, etc. However, there doesn't seem to be any kind of stunting that occurs the way most fish keepers think it occurs.

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To the best of my understanding goldfish really don't stunt like we commonly accept they do. A while back I was reading a paper on stunting in a certain carp species (I don't remember which but when I'm on my laptop I can hunt the PDF down) and looked at the effects that pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide (PACAP) had in relation to how it regulates the growth hormone in the carp.

What I gained from the article is that the growth of fish is so variable that something like stunting as its commonly known around here may never actually occur. I can't seem to find any evidence that the organs continue to grow while the fish remains the same size overall. Stunting simply pushes back normal growth and sexual maturity. Evidence seems to suggest that the longer a fish is subjected to conditions that can cause stunting, the less likely it will be able to make it up later with compensational growth if conditions improve. Here is the abstract of another article on big head carp which is pretty well explained.

"The study was conducted to determine if stunting of young bighead carp Aristichtys nobilis (Richardson) would affect subsequent growth and reproduction. Juveniles (3 g each) were stocked directly in cages (control) in a lake or stunted in tanks for 6, 12, 18 or 24 months before being stocked in cages. Initially, body weights and lengths of stunted carp in cages were significantly lower (P<0.05) than those of the control fish. The carp stunted for 6, 12 and 18 months showed growth compensation, although their weights and lengths were slightly lower than those of the control fish. The body weight and length of fish stunted for 24 months were the lowest throughout the rearing period. Sexual maturation occurred only in the control fish and those stunted for 6 and 12 months. However, the onset of gonad maturity was delayed significantly (P<0.05) in males stunted for 12 months and in both groups of stunted female fish. The relative fecundity (44 000–56 000 eggs per kg body weight) and number of 3-day-old larvae produced per female (78 000–89 000) did not differ significantly among the three treatments (P>0.05), but production was somewhat lower in fish stunted for 12 months."

Nice info, PSP. I need to find the article to find how they stunted the fish -- underfeeding? overcrowding? both?

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I think it's also important to mention that if you have a stunted fish you don't have to do anything special for the fish.

The same conditions that are outlined on this forum and the main site for regular healthy fish are the same conditions you keep a stunted fish in. :)

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To the best of my understanding goldfish really don't stunt like we commonly accept they do. A while back I was reading a paper on stunting in a certain carp species (I don't remember which but when I'm on my laptop I can hunt the PDF down) and looked at the effects that pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide (PACAP) had in relation to how it regulates the growth hormone in the carp.

What I gained from the article is that the growth of fish is so variable that something like stunting as its commonly known around here may never actually occur. I can't seem to find any evidence that the organs continue to grow while the fish remains the same size overall. Stunting simply pushes back normal growth and sexual maturity. Evidence seems to suggest that the longer a fish is subjected to conditions that can cause stunting, the less likely it will be able to make it up later with compensational growth if conditions improve. Here is the abstract of another article on big head carp which is pretty well explained.

"The study was conducted to determine if stunting of young bighead carp Aristichtys nobilis (Richardson) would affect subsequent growth and reproduction. Juveniles (3 g each) were stocked directly in cages (control) in a lake or stunted in tanks for 6, 12, 18 or 24 months before being stocked in cages. Initially, body weights and lengths of stunted carp in cages were significantly lower (P<0.05) than those of the control fish. The carp stunted for 6, 12 and 18 months showed growth compensation, although their weights and lengths were slightly lower than those of the control fish. The body weight and length of fish stunted for 24 months were the lowest throughout the rearing period. Sexual maturation occurred only in the control fish and those stunted for 6 and 12 months. However, the onset of gonad maturity was delayed significantly (P<0.05) in males stunted for 12 months and in both groups of stunted female fish. The relative fecundity (44 000–56 000 eggs per kg body weight) and number of 3-day-old larvae produced per female (78 000–89 000) did not differ significantly among the three treatments (P>0.05), but production was somewhat lower in fish stunted for 12 months."

Nice info, PSP. I need to find the article to find how they stunted the fish -- underfeeding? overcrowding? both?

Here is the link but they want you to purchase the article. However I'm fairly certain it's somewhere on my laptop if I can find it. I know I've read the whole thing at some point in time :rofl.

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Great post, MK!

I have to say that every time the subject of stunting comes up, I get a little chuckle, because that word gets bandied around almost as much as YOLO does in some circles, and means just about as much. :rofl

Sharon, if I find the articles about how they stunt the fish, I'll send it to you as well. :)

Lets say, 2 goldfish spent 4 months in a 10 gallon, with water changes weekly and then moved to a 30 gallon with a water change every 2-3 weeks? Would you consider those fish stunted?

No, they would not be considered stunted.

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