RTR wrote:I'm afraid that i have to very strongly disagree w/nmonks on overstocking SAPs. Any fish which in captive conditions reaches only one-half its wild maximum length is stunted, period.
My understanding is that the maximum reported length of Colomesus asellus
, 15 cm, is based on the older literature, and while repeatedly quoted, there seem to be no modern records of specimens anywhere like that size. I've yet to see any captive specimens above 8 cm, and that specimen was in a public aquarium. I do feel much confusion exists in the literature between this species and Colomesus psittacus
, and consequently reports of maximum length may reflect that larger species rather than the SAP.
In any event, I'm not recommending "overstocking" a 30 gallon tank with SAPs. I do honestly feel that properly maintained, you could manage 6 specimens in a tank that size. We're only talking about, what, 6 x 2.5 = 15 inches of fish in total, for a 30 gallon tank. Such an aquarium wouldn't be overstocked. For what it's worth, I believe this species is less nervous and less nippy when kept in a busy aquarium with other fish to distract it. I do feel a group of 6 specimens in a 30 gallon tank would be happier than 3 specimens in a 60 gallon tank. But I admit that that's subjective, and based on my own experiences only.
RTR wrote:Stunting is never an optimum condition.
Arguably true, but it surely doesn't necessarily mean its harmful either. Very many fish stunt naturally in the wild; here in England you never see Crucian Carp at their maximum recorded size, and most seem to reach less than half that size, even in what are perceived to be ideal conditions. Such patterns are seen again and again and again in wild fish populations. Ecophenotypical variation is absolutely standard and definitely not lethal in fish physiology and development. It seems to be an adaptive trait that allows them to survive and prosper in the widest possible range of environments.
Oh, and I'm not recommending stunting as an aim in itself.
RTR wrote:If I cannot or will not do it right, I don't do it at all.
Fair enough, but I hope you aren't implying I'm not able to keep fish "right" just because I'm not keeping them the way you do!