By Shahu Sardar*
Healthy big-sized fishes just look amazing in display aquariums and they attract a lot of attention too, especially, if you have a monster tank with exotic fishes like Flowerhorns, Arowanas, and Kois. If tank is kept at an office reception or maybe a restaurant, we need fishes that can be seen from long distances and should be clearly visible to passers-by.
So I’ll be presenting some mind-blowing ethical tips to grow your fish faster and also at the same time make them healthier. Let’s get into it:
The simplest way of growing your fishes is of course putting them into a big tank. It would surely promote a bigger size and the reason behind this is that it restricts the activity of a fish when kept in a smaller aquarium than they require; that is, your fish won’t be able swim freely leading to stunting growth. So the bigger is the tank, more are the chances of your fish being bigger and happier!
This can be easily observed in fishes like angels and iridescent sharks; the bigger your tank is, the bigger they get.
When added to a tank, the fish’s growth may temporarily stop or slow down due to the new environment and parameters of the tank. So go for a proper acclimation and wait for at least 1 week for the fish to get properly set to the tank.
Float the bag for 20 minutes, adding little amount of tank water into it occasionally. At last, take the fish in a net and slowly release into the tank. Switch off the lights for 3–4 hours.
High-Quality Food and Good Nutrition
It is obvious that high quality nutrition rich food will contain better enrichments providing factors for their body. A good balanced diet is something that directly affects the overall growth of any fish. You would want your fish to eat frequently and more amounts. But make sure not to overfeed, as doing that would be actually killing that fish. So focus more on optimum quantity and which is more nutritious.
The premium foods available in the market can actually give you great results when given in right quantity. These can act as enrichments just like we take while body building. If working on some specific breed, you can always go for breed specific foods. You can easily find foods named as Betta, Flowerhorn, or Arowana Special foods, which actually target to promote the growth of that particular breed. Like flowerhorn food will have more fat content, so as to promote the hump growth of the flowerhorn, while betta food will have more of spirulina content to enhance colours.
Temperature plays an important role in the overall metabolism of your fish. They live in water and thus the overall water temperature will affect their body processes. Like for angels, the optimum temperature of 25–28 degrees celsius will be just right, whereas lower than that makes them lethargic and higher than that actually makes them age too fast.
Make sure you avoid frequent and swift temperature changes in the tank as that can lead to temperature shocks. So temperature regulation can be a great ethical way to grow your fish and also make their metabolism more stable.
Now when you are giving lots of nutrition rich food to your fish, water will inevitably get dirty. Leftover will release fats into the water; fish would be producing more amount of waste and so overall water quality may drop. The healthier the water is, the healthier would be the fish in it! So keeping the water pristine surely helps a lot.
This will also save your fish from suddenly getting ill and dying. If the water is perfect, the fish do develop a strong immune system, and so if confronted with an infection, it will have a good chance of surviving.
Regular Water Changes
So this is how to attain conditions of the previous point. A weekly 50% water change can help your tank to maintain stable parameters and avoid nitrates or ammonia accumulation in the tank. 10% water change during an outbreak would help keeping the water conditions stable. A good filtration system will save your work and could create just the right conditions for useful bacterial colonies.
‘Tank with low nitrates, stable pH, and a good amount of good bacteria will act as a great medium for fish growth.’
Being in a stable healthy environment, your fish will be stronger; this will lead to a good growth rate and fewer chances of water shocks and deaths.
However, you can’t always keep the tank super clean, but regular and well-planned water changes do help a lot.
Summing up, these techniques would surely help your fish get bigger and stronger, but Patience is the key… everything must be balanced and if not, then things would just go wrong. Overfeeding too much supplements will lead to unwanted fat tissues in the body and may affect their physical health.
It also depends on that individual fish – some would grow faster than others and some won’t.
*Author is an Aquarium hobbyist and fishkeeping enthusiast from Pune. He has been in this hobby from the age of 10 and had really great time with fishkeeping. He also runs his own fishkeeping blog and aquarium service called the Aquanation, which provides free assistance to beginners in pursuing this hobby. He can be reached at 7774851593/ firstname.lastname@example.org.