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3- Other Fishes :


 - Sturgeon :

a prehistoric appearance



A sturgeon, a prehistoric appearance

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The sturgeon originally comes from the Eastern bloc, including Russia, Romania and Hungary. In the country side a sturgeon may reach as many as six yard with a weight of maximum 400 kilograms. A sturgeon may reach the age of about 50 to 100 years. It is a beautiful fish which has an almost prehistoric appearance. It looks a bit like a shark. A sturgeon belongs to the most primitive among the bony fish. While sturgeons used to be found in all large European rivers, they now have nearly disappeared except for a few small populations.


By nature a sturgeon is a strong fish which will not easily fall ill. However, it is a fish which may grow very big in a pond, although this may last rather long. A pond should therefore have a depth of minimum 50 in everywhere and it should contain very few plants. Assume that per sturgeon you have 1,000 litres of water in your pond. Moreover you absolutely need a powerful filter because a sturgeon likes a strong current. On the bottom of your pond a sturgeon likes a layer of mud and absolutely no sharp gravel or sand because it is sensitive to it.

Items for special attention for a sturgeon :

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If you want to keep sturgeons in your pond, there are a number of items for special attention to bear in mind. An sturgeon needs special feed for sturgeons, because its mouth is at the underside. The feed will sink to the bottom and has a very strong odour, so that it looks like its natural feed.


A sturgeon is a bottom inhabitant, which is living in cold streaming and very oxygen rich water. A sturgeon does not have sufficient possibilities to pump water round with its gills and will consequently have to swim, just like a shark, in order to breathe in enough oxygen. This implies that good aeration and room in the pond are therefore indispensable.


A sturgeon can not swim backwards. In a pond with plants or filamentous algae a sturgeon will soon be stuck while swimming and it will drown. Especially smaller specimens are not strong enough to swim off and may lose their lives just in a little piece of filamentous algae.


Care of the sturgeon :


Do you want to have a sturgeon and a koi in one pond? You should bear in mind that a koi will often find the sturgeon feed sooner than the sturgeon itself. Especially little sturgeons will die of starvation this way. It will help if you feed fish every day at the same time and place. In this way you train fish to find out where their feed is. If you divert your koi on the opposite side of the pond, the sturgeon will have some more time. Sturgeon feed has a different composition than koi feed. It is far richer and in winter it is not suitable to feed koi on. A better solution is to distribute sturgeons sinking koi feed.


The bottom of the pond should stay clean. Accumulating dirt may cause gasification as a result of which sturgeons will fall ill and could die. This is caused by the fact that the bacteria consume all oxygen in the water layer where sturgeons stay most. A proper soil discharge is therefore necessary.
Sturgeons up to 8 in have to be fed every 3 hours, otherwise they will die.
As a rule of thumb you can apply that a sturgeon needs a pond size of at least 10 times its length.
During the coming 7 years they will grow considerably.



Length:Up to 50 in and larger

Appearance:Greyish brown

Age:50 to 100 years

Feed:High-grade quality of sinking feed with fats, vitamins and minerals

Pond:Minimum 50 in deep

Protection: No


Sturgeon fish in the fish pond - Care and Tips

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There are many species of fish that are available for purchase in the aquatic stores and garden centres which are suitable for habiting a fish pond, the most notable has to be the common goldfish or Koi carp but some species stand out for me and this includes the family of fish known as sturgeons and their close relations, namely the sterlets or beluga. They seem to have evolved very little over the generations, they are a strange looking bony fish with no scales but I always have a special place in my heart for them as to me they have a fascination factor that no other fish can rival, this of course is my own opinion but there are many keepers that agree with me.


Often they are sold with little advice offered on caring for them and sadly this can lead to them leading shorter lives, some may become stunted due to lack of space so hopefully this article will help to explain a few facts and ensure that the commitment involved in keeping these fish is suited for you and your fish pond.


The origins of the Sturgeon fish go way back as fossilised remains have been found from 200 million years ago and the fossilised fish still look very similar to today's fish. They belong to the family of Acipenseridae of which there are twenty true species, as stated above they are a scale-less fish but they are covered with bony plates and look like some prehistoric monster from the movies to some people. Some species are true freshwater fish but most will only spawn in freshwater and then migrate to coastal estuaries and enjoy live in brackish conditions.


Sadly some species are on the endangered species list due to overfishing and pollution, conservation efforts are doing what they can to prevent the total loss of some of these fish but, as with many other species, sometimes this can be very frustrating work.


As most of us know, their eggs are a delicacy when sold as caviar so farms have been created to harvest the eggs but they are a slow growing family of fish so wild specimens mature later in life, the loss of juveniles from outside forces has a great effect on their population.


Keeping sturgeon fish in the fish pond is not too difficult as long as a few basic rules are followed. The main question that you have to ask yourself is, will my fish pond be large enough to house one of these fish?


Some species can grow to 7 feet in length, other species even larger so space has to be provided, generally if your fish pond is large enough to house Koi fish then it should be large enough to house a single specimen of a sturgeon fish. Looking at the water volume involved, you will require at least 1000 gallons of water volume for the smaller species and they do produce a lot of waste so the filtration system needs to be able to cope with this, never ever add the sturgeon to a newly set up fish pond that hasn't cycled, it will just not work out for the fish. If you are planning on keeping the larger species of sturgeon then the water volume needs to increase accordingly, whichever you plump for, they all require well oxygenated water and they do not like direct sunlight on the fish pond, when this occurs they will stay at the lower levels to try to avoid it. You may need to add extra aeration to the fish pond by using an air pump and some form of water fall, with my pond I set the outlet of the filters above the water surface so as the water re-entered the fish pond it pulled oxygen in with it through the surface agitation and this seemed to work well without using an air pump.


The water quality in the fish pond needs to be kept high as they are sensitive to deteriorating water conditions and one symptom of poor water quality or low oxygen levels in the water is when the sturgeon fish starts to stay at the bottom of the fish pond and erratic swimming patterns can also be seen especially when they swim with an arched back. The arched back can also be a sign that the feeding regime of the surgeon fish may be lacking and this will be covered in more detail in the next few paragraphs.


Often chemicals are added to the fish pond as an anti-algal remedy, fish medications or even to keep the water clear. Always check that these are safe for the Sturgeon fish as they are likely to have an adverse reaction and die off quickly with some treatments, stay away from treatments that contain formalin.


Feeding the Sturgeon fish


The next section may seem a bit complicated at first but after a while you will soon realise that it is no more complicated than feeding Koi Carp for example, sturgeon fish have special dietary needs which must be met to keep them healthy. Like Koi Carp, the feeding methods change with the seasons or to be more precise with the rise and fall of the water temperature in the fish pond. The big difference is that sturgeon fish require some food during the winter months. They originate from cold climates so unlike other pond fish they do not shut down during the winter, they do slow down but energy expelled will need replacing with small meals ( usually a few pellets) daily to keep them going, starving them in the winter will lead to them passing away.


In the spring the feeds should increase, rather than feed more in each session, feed the same amount but more often, this should prevent any food being left uneaten. The Summer months are when the fish are at their most active and like all pond fish, the sturgeon will demand more food than at any other time of the year as more energy is used with the higher metabolism.


In the autumn the feeds must continue but as they start to require less, remove any uneaten food and gradually reduce the amount that you are offering.


But which food should we be feeding the Sturgeon fish?


It is very important to supply the correct diet , sturgeon fish require proteins, carbohydrates and fats along with vitamins to remain healthy with a strong immune system, sadly for the sturgeon they are not the quickest of movers and their eyesight is not that good, often the food is in the fish pond without them realising at first. Feed the other pond fish before you add the sturgeon food, I found the best time to feed the sturgeon was at daybreak and dusk. The sturgeon should pick up on the scent of the food in a few minutes and start to eagerly consume it, if you see the sturgeon becoming thinner then they are not eating properly and this is usually a result of poor water quality.


There are many commercial foods on the market designed specifically for sturgeon fish, cheaper is not better, quality food is more expensive but more importantly, more beneficial to your fish. Pellet food is the most popular variety and these are graded in size in comparison to the size of the sturgeon that you are feeding, the smaller the fish the smaller the pellets and vice versa.

A quick guide to keeping sturgeons in the garden pond

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Without doubt, sturgeon are the most over-sold fish on the planet. A bold statement, but I have heard they cure everything from blanket weed to being vacuum cleaners. Well, as most of you have noticed, sturgeon are not any of these.


This page is a basic guide to sturgeon. I would suggest you read the rest of the Sturgeon-Web site and the sturgeon section of the Pond Life site for more detailed covering of the subjects. You may also join in with the many discussions about sturgeons on the Pond Life Forums


Sturgeons like  :

- Sturgeons need proper food (not wheat germ or Cereal based foods).

- Well-oxygenated water. Use an air pump through out the summer months to back up the main pump.

-  Filtered water (unless in a lake) .

-  A large pond minimum 1000 gallons (5000 litres) for Sterlets.

-  For other species, a minimum 2000 gallons.

-  A back up pump in case of main pump failure



Sturgeons dislike :

- Strong chemicals, formalin, BKC, (These can be used at a lower dose than you would for Koi, except Formalin with Diamond sturgeon as they generally die a week after treatment). - Low oxygen, they will die long before other fish, so no ' the other fish are OK' this does not work with sturgeon.

- Lack of food, they bend in half and either lie on the bottom or sometimes float. If they have got this far it's to late.

- Warm weather, this lowers the oxygen level.

- Direct sun light, they are dusk till dawn creatures and like the dark best. So have some shade for the fish to shelter under.


Problems :


Nearly all problems are either food or oxygen related, so rather obviously:

- Always make sure the oxygen levels are good. Buy a test kit, they are not expensive.

- Use the correct food.


Malnutrition  :


The tell-tale signs are:

- The sturgeon bends in half. Lack of food, too late - time to start digging a grave.

- The sturgeon lies upside down on the bottom of the pond. It's starving.

- The sturgeon spends all its time bobbing up and down around the edge of the pond. It's starving.

- The sturgeon follows other fish and tries to suck mucus of the fish. It's Starving.


Oxygen  :


This is rather easy; oxygen starved sturgeons become lethargic, gasp at the surface, turn upside down on the surface and die!; Buy an air pump before the last stage!


How to feed your sturgeon  :


Spring: Sturgeon like any fish become more active in spring as the temperature rises and will need an increase in food, feed a little and often. Best times are dawn and dusk.


Summer: Sturgeon will be feeding very well in summer so make sure the food is available and the rest of the fish are well fed.


Autumn: Sturgeon will be fattening up for the winter so keep the food going in but watch out and remove uneaten food.


Winter: Feed a few pellets at a time and wait until eaten, before adding more. Sturgeon will feed down to 4C it is very important that you feed them in winter, most sturgeon die due to starvation in winter.


Pellet to Sturgeon size :

2mm pellet - sturgeon size 10-20cm (4-8in)

3mm pellet - sturgeon size 20-36cm (8-14in)

4.5mm pellet - sturgeon size 30-50cm (12-20in)

6mm pellet - sturgeon size 36-61cm (14-24in)

8mm pellet - sturgeon size over 61cm (24in)



Videos :  Sturgeon care :

Sturgeon in my koi pond

White sturgeon in pond.

My big Diamond Sturgeon

My big Diamond Sturgeon

My new sturgeon

Keeping Sturgeon and koi a brief guide.

Feeding Sturgeon and koi 3

Sterlet, Sturgeons, Koi, Orfe and other Pond fish in full HD

Hand feeding carp and sturgeons

Further reading :

Many  books you can find in the  Internet based libraries and bookshops like ( Click Here ) ..


But first look for the best prices at Book 

Pond Fish Guide :


Gold fish keeping    ..    Gold fish breeding ( PART one  ..  PART two   ..   Goldfish varieties


Koi fish keeping       ..      Koi fish breeding   ..   Koi fish varieties 


Pond Other fish :  Sturgeon  fish   ..   Sturgeon  fish  species 

                                 -  Sterlet fish 


                                 Other pond fishes  


Turtles in the pond   ..  Part One ..    Part Two  turtles in Indoor ponds 

                 Turtles species : Part 1  ..  Part 2 



Pond Fish Guide :


Gold fish keeping    ..    Gold fish breeding ( PART one  ..  PART two   ..   Goldfish varieties


Koi fish keeping       ..      Koi fish breeding   ..   Koi fish varieties 


Pond Other fish :  Sturgeon  fish   ..   Sturgeon  fish  species 

                                 -  Sterlet fish 


                                 Other pond fishes  


Turtles in the pond   ..  Part One ..    Part Two  turtles in Indoor ponds 

                 Turtles species : Part 1  ..  Part 2 



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