Adriatic Sturgeon (Acipenser naccarii)
The Adriatic Sturgeon is not commonly found for sale in the U.K.
The Adriatic Sturgeon (Acipenser naccarii) is a thick set fish, growing up to 2 metres but 1.5m is more usual. Weight is 20-25kg. A long lived species, the Adriatic sturgeon has been recorded to reach 50 years of age.
Acipenser naccarii has 10-14 dorsal scutes, 32-42 lateral scutes, 8-11 ventral scutes, 36-48 dorsal fin rays and 24-31 anal fin rays. The short snout is wide and rounded at the tip. The colour is grey-brown on the dorsal side, the lateral skin is paler and the ventral side is white.
Adriatic Sturgeon (Acipenser naccarii)
Recommended Pond Size
The Adriatic Sturgeon is a large impressive fish that will quickly outgrow smaller ponds of 2,000 - 3,000 gallons (9,000 - 13,500 litres) that the Sterlet (Acipenser ruthenus), with their slower growth rate, would do well in for longer.
This species may be kept in a pond of 3,000 - 6,000 gallons (13,500 - 27,000 litres) for some time but a pond of 6,000 - 8,000 gallons (27,000 - 36,500 litres) or more is recommended if you want to keep a mature specimen.
Food & Feeding
Sturgeons DO NOT, as some people would have you believe, eat banket weed or 'clean the bottom of the pond'. Sturgeons need to be fed all year round, they need 2-3% of their body weight of good quality food per day in the summer, less in the winter.
A healthy sturgeon diet must contain a high level of animal protein, sturgeons need a minimum protein content of 40% and an oil level of 15% or more. A a small percentage of the protein can be obtained from soya but the majority needs to be from fishmeal or other animal sources.
Pellet to Sturgeon size:
- 2mm pellet Starter Diet Sturgeon 10-20cm (4-8in)
- 3mm pellet Sturgeon 20-36cm (8-14in)
- 4.5mm pellet - sturgeon size 30-50cm (12-20in)
- 6mm pellet Sturgeon 36-61cm (14-24in)
- 8mm pellet Sturgeon over 61cm (24in)
Stellatus (Acipenser stellatus) and Sterlets (Acipenser ruthenus) have smaller throats; use a size smaller for them.
For more information feeding your sturgeon see our Sturgeon Food and Feeding page.
The most common sturgeon health problems are food and/or oxygen related, get these two vital things right and your sturgeons should remain fit and healthy.
Use an oxygen test kit to make sure there is enough oxygen in the water. Follow the instructions that come with the kit to ensure correct results. Do not assume that there is plenty of air just because you have an air pump running. Many things can affect the amount of dissolved oxygen in the water so testing is the only way to be certain. Warm water holds less oxygen than cold water so be vigilant during hot weather, especially stormy nights when the oxygen may drop to dangerously low levels suddenly.
Feed your sturgeon plenty of the correct food all year round. For more information about feeding your sturgeon see our Sturgeon Food and Feeding page.
Avoid strong chemical treatments such as formalin/formaldehyde, Potassium permanganate, Copper sulphate or any treatment that states not to be used with Golden Orfe (Leciscus sp.) or Rudd (Scardinius reythrophathalmus), these will probably kill your sturgeon. Salt is the safest treatment to use with sturgeons. For more information about treating your sturgeon see our Medications and Treating Sturgeons page.
Provide the best possible water quaility for you fish. Run the pump and filtration all year round and keep a spare back up pump in case of main pump failure. For more information about water quality see our Water Quality page.
Adriatic Sturgeon (Acipenser naccarii) wild distrubution map
The Adriatic Sturgeon (Acipenser naccarii) is a European species found in the Adriatic Sea and its tributaries between the Po River in Italy and the Buna River in Albania. The rivers Ticino, Adige, Livenza, Piave, Tagliamento and Lake Skadar. Migration is restricted in the middle of the Po River by the Isola Serafini Dam. The Adriatic Sturgeon is naturally an anadromous species, living in brackish waters around the Adriatic Sea and moving to the fresh water in rivers to spawn. Some populations however have been cut off by the construction of dams, forcing them to continue their life cycles in freshwater.
Acipenser naccarii is listed as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
Species: Acipenser naccarii Bonaparte, 1836
Written by Terry White & Karen Paul