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my friend has had his 3 p's for about 6 months now and theyre only about 4" and they have not grown a noticeable amount in quite a long time. He's been feeding them poor quality feeders and i gave him some info on changing up their diets for better growth and what not. I'm just wondering if these bad eating habits for this amount of time at permanantly affected the p's growth. Any info on what he can do to get them back into shape and hopefully on their way to maximum size?
 

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How big did he buy the redZ?

Well treated and with proper care a baby red belly piranha will grow 6" in one year or so...For the next 2-3 years they will only grow about 2" or so...After those years they will slowly grow another in....till they are 12-13"

There are alot of variables to the fishes growth.....YOur friend will need a tank that is suitable for the piranhas, I mean that your friends should respect the 25-30g rule per fish...The fishes growth also depend on filtering witch for piranhas, you will need 3-5x turn over. water changes and water quality is a BIG factor in keeping nice healthy piranhas and can prevent stunted growth if not treaded properly....IMO 35-50% water changes a week will do...As for the food...HE SHOULD STAY AWAY FROM FEEDERS, because they may contain paresites and will stunt they poor fishes growth....HE should mantain a diet of shrimp with shells, beefheart, tilapia, clams, octipus, sqid.....ETC....Good luCKS
 

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how big of a tank are they in...does he do his regular tank maintencance??
im not sure if it can permanently affect the fish's growth by feeding them feeders....heres a perfectly good example...my freind had 6 reds for atleast a year in a 35g tank, he probably cleaned it 3 times in that year, tons and tons of green algae, you could barely see thru the tank...in the last 6 months that he had them i bet they only grew maybe an inch or 2 TOPS at the very most...we thought they would have been dwarfed forsure, he fed them on feeders and what not, just a very shitty atmosphere...hes like my fish dont grow bla bla bla, so my other freind took them, the 4 grew pretty nutter in his 75...so maybe just an upgrade in the tank if its small will do the trick
 

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Red Bellies generally grow an inch a month for the first 6 months then an inch a year after that till they max out AROUND 12 inches. Health, Diet, Tank size, Water quality are alll factors that can affect the growth rate.

If the Ps are in a nice sized tank with lots of space, regular water changes and healthy white meats, they should grow fine from here on out.
 

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Theere growth will not be stunted forever if he gets them on a good diet and what not he can grow them fast. Ive had my caribe for 2 months and ive grown them from 2.5 inch to around 4.5 inch tell him to keep a good diet and they will be fine
 

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A nice varied diet, stable water parameters, water changes will help grow the reds.
 

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Stunted growth is reversible in most cases... anyway you should keep in mind growth depends on many many factors: genes (the individual), water conditions (filtration + water changes, no nitrates, enough oxigen), feeding (varied diet, enough food), exercise (tank current), water temp (related to fish metabolism), tank space (related to water quality), general health (no illness, parasites, stress...)…
 
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