It may be tempting to fill your aquarium tank with beautifully colored fish. That is why we buy them, right? While it’s partly true that fish will only grow to the size of their environment, they can still get too big for your tank due to a variety of reasons, including overstocking.

How do you recognize if your fish is getting too big or your tank is too small? Look for these signs:

If your fish start becoming aggressive towards each other, they could be outgrowing their space. Fish that preferred to school as youngsters may become territorial as adults. Make sure there is ample décor for fish to claim as necessary as well as enough room for active swimmers.

If your active fish starts to hide more, it could be a sign that it is ill, not feeling secure, or in the tank with incompatible fish and therefore stressed. This could indicate that it’s time to get a larger tank or move fish to another home.

Not eating is another indicator that the fish are under stress and the tank may be too small. Illness or disease is harder to spot and may be related to change in water conditions. However, if you feel your fish should be eating, it could be another sign it has outgrown its tank.

What do you do if you’ve identified that your fish are getting too big? If you’ve overcrowded your tank, consider upgrading to a larger tank. Alternatively, you can get a separate tank and divide the fish between two aquariums. Talk to us at Blue Planet Aquarium and we’ll help you determine the tank size requirements for your species and number of fish.

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