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Fish Facts: Common Questions New Fish Owners Struggle With

Common Questions New Fish Owners Struggle With

By Rob Homer

Q: Do fish grow to the size of their aquarium?

A: This is probably the most widely held misconception in the hobby. We are all genetically predisposed to achieve our adult size. However, if you put me in a box and didn’t feed me very well, you would affect my rate of growth.

Q: Why does my fish stay in the corner of the aquarium?

A: 1. On the reef, there is an abundance of hiding places for the fish. If hiding places are not provided in the aquarium the fish is under constant stress and does not behave naturally. The safer your fish feels the more out and about it will be. 2. Another factor is what we call a fraughter, which is the presence of other fish. If your fish is alone or in the company of very few other fish he may be nervously wondering what ate all the fish that are supposed to be around.

Q: Should I feed my fish just flake food?

A: On the reef, there is an infinite variety of foods and therefore a variety of nutrients. Supply your fish with variety and mix it up - give them frozen foods, prepared foods, high-quality pellets, and live food.

Q: Why don't my fish thrive?

A: Some customers ask me, “Why do my fish die after a couple of months” or “Why isn’t it growing?” Well in some cases people are slowly starving their fish to death. We have limited energy reserves based on the number of calories we take in from the amount of food we eat. The first physical priority for energy is healing, then growth, and finally reproduction.

Q: Can I kill my fish by overfeeding?

A: Fish are not stupid they will not eat themselves to death: however, because we have put them in a glass box we can kill them with poor water quality. Problem: the more fish food the more fish waste. Solution: more frequent partial water changes.

Q: How often do I feed my Blue Tand and Panther Grouper? In nature, tangs graze on algae and seaweed all day long and therefore should be fed until full* at least 2-3 times a day. Groupers and Lionfish will eat a fish almost their own size and then lay around digesting it for a couple of days, so they should only be fed to satiation 3 times per week. * Several consecutive small servings, not one large serving.

Rob Homer is a fish/aquarium expert and the owner of Exotic Aquatic in Oakland Park, FL.