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Re: NFC: Stunted fish growth and breeding

Terry, if you are interested in bullheads in particular then yes, they will 
happily spawn when stunted.  If you've ever been around small farm ponds 
going dry (over the span of a couple decades) you might have seen ponds with 
nothing but 5-6" bullheads.  I've seen ponds where there was literally a 
bullhead for every foot or so of bank - you could catch literally dozens in 
an hour by hook or by net.

I just released a beautiful (well, beauty is relative I suppose) black 
bullhead of about 8".  He was about 1-1/2 years old.  I kept him in a 29 
gallon, and he would accept no tankmate.  (Though we did not try another 
bullhead.)  I'd estimate a 55 minimum for a pair and their spawn, though 
bullheads are not big swimmers.  Real personality fish though, easily eat out 
of your hand.  (Easily eat your hand during maintenance, too; not very 
choosy.)  I could have easily kept him in a 10 gallon tank, they're that 
tough and tolerant of pollution - but why keep something in poor conditions?

The biggest bullheads I've see recorded came from Arkansas, where they lived 
just below a chicken processing plant's output.  These fish lived in water 
that poured poultry scraps directly into a river - I guess major contributors 
by definition don't produce pollution - and lived in what had to be very high 
ammonia water in return for a constant meal.  Vince Brach related a story of 
keeping them for a week in less than an inch of water - very tough fish!  
(And no, I'm not recommending making them amphibians, just saying they're 

Good luck with raising them.


Let him who is without sin get a life.

In a message dated 10/23/01 7:50:09 PM Eastern Standard Time, 
nickel55 at worldnet_att.net writes:

>                                    I have a question, I have read that some 
> fish like bullhead catfish for instance, will have their growth stunted 
> when kept in an aquarium. Which for my tank is a good thing. My question 
> is, if a fish's growth is stunted will it still be able to mate and lay 
> eggs. Let say in the case of a bullhead, if you had a male and female but 
> they only grew to 4 or 5 inches could they mate. I just thought it was an 
> interesting question.
> Terry

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