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When Fish Grow Too Big for a Home Aquarium

Lessons from a recently donated tropical fish to the Aquarium of the Pacific can help home aquarists create a conscientious home aquarium.

Queensland grouper close up of mottled head with gray spots

Credit: Aquarium of the Pacific/Andreas Miguel

November 10, 2023

The Aquarium of the Pacific recently acquired a juvenile Queensland grouper through a donation from a home aquarium keeper, who discovered that this species of fish grows to a very large size. Queensland groupers commonly grow to 6 feet in length. This juvenile is projected to grow to a similar size or even larger. Patient guests to the Aquarium can sometimes get a glimpse of our full-grown Queensland grouper in our Tropical Reef Habitat. The juvenile Queensland grouper is also currently in the Tropical Reef Habitat. Learn more about the Queensland grouper in the animal database.

A common misconception is that fish grow to the size of their tank. But there’s more to consider than just the size. Like the habitats at the Aquarium, a home aquarium should strive to replicate the ecosystem the fish would normally be found in, be housed with compatible species, and provided with a proper diet. Choosing sustainable fish stores, asking questions regarding how the fish were acquired, and properly researching the care requirements and adult size will help ensure a conscientious home aquarium. Sustainable fish stores will be able to provide details on how the fish were acquired and that those sources engage in responsible practices.

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