Ask Mar­i­lyn

Albuquerque Journal - Parade - - Personality - By Mar­i­lyn vos Sa­vant Send ques­tions to mar­i­lyn @ pa­rade.com

Is it true that a gold­fish will grow only as much as its tank size al­lows?

—Paul Gra­zier, Fairborn, Ohio

The en­vi­ron­ment of a gold­fish may limit its growth, all right, though not in a health­ful way. If the tank is large enough to ac­com­mo­date the fish at its full ge­netic growth po­ten­tial (which varies with the type of gold­fish), the an­i­mal will achieve that size and grow no larger, even if the tank is huge. But if the tank is not large enough for the type of gold­fish to grow to its full nat­u­ral size, the an­i­mal will likely be stunted, un­healthy or die be­fore liv­ing out its nor­mal life span.

This is of­ten the rea­son gold­fish don’t seem to live long.

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