There are a number of things that influence the growth rate of your freshwater fish. While I won’t list them all, I will list a few:
- Water Volume: The more room a freshwater cichlid has, the better it’s growth rate. Keeping a freshwater cichlid in an environment too small for its needs will “stunt” the fish.
- Food: Feedings of high quality foods in small amounts 4-5 times a day are better than one large amount once a day. The quality of food greatly influences growth rate and health of your freshwater cichlid, so don’t cheap out here.
- Water Quality: Fish waste and uneaten food add to the bio load of the tank, and also have an effect on both growth rate and health of any freshwater fish. The better quality the water is, the better growth rate. Be sure to do regular water changes.
- Temperature: Warmer water raises the cichlids metabolism, and increases growth rate. Cooler water slows the metabolism, putting a slow on a fish’s growth rate. Be sure to keep temperatures within your particular freshwater cichlids needs.