Sturgeon Food and Feeding

Feeding Sturgeon and koi by Terry Williams (tel51)

In a healthy diet there is a mixture of protein for growth, carbohydrates and fats for energy, mineral salts, water (not an issue for a fish!) and last but not least vitamins.[This work is copyright © 2000-2021]

For a diet to be balanced the correct proportions are needed to give the body the ability to grow at a sustainable rate and with the correct proportions.[This work is copyright © 2000-2021]

A balanced diet will not necessarily prevent illness but will help to defend against all but the most virulent diseases. Any group left out or in insufficient quantities will lead to malnutrition or under nutrition.[This work is copyright © 2000-2021]

Too much will lead to over nutrition (being fat!) It is also possible to overdose the fat-soluble vitamins, as many farmers have known for years.[This work is copyright © 2000-2021]

New research has shown that overdosing on some vitamins can be bad for humans! So remember if it is bad for you there is a good chance it will be bad for animals as well.[This work is copyright © 2000-2021]

Buy sturgeon food pellets from Orchard Fisheries »

Rather than write a long and rather unexciting article on the various elements of a diet I have created a table with a bit about each.[This work is copyright © 2000-2021]

Element Function What it is found in
Carbohydrate A source of energy. Cereal crops.
Fat/Oil A source of energy. Vegetable oil, fish oil.
Protein Provides the building blocks for the body to create tissue i.e. skin, muscle etc. Meat and fish 'first class protein' or vegetable 'low class protein'.
Mineral salts Used in the construction of bones, cells and various maintenance reactions carried out buy the body. There are a larger number of minerals required and hence I have not mentioned them in detail.
Vitamins (Fat soluble)
A - Retinol (Also Retinal) Supports vision, skin, bone and tooth growth, immunity and reproduction Liver, and fish liver oil.
D - Calciferol Promotes bone mineralization. Helps absorb calcium and phosphorus Cod-liver oil, salmon, sardines and other oily fish.
E - Tocophenol Antioxidant, regulation of oxidation reactions, supports cell membrane stabilization. Soya beans, vegetable oil.
K - Phylloquinone Synthesis of blood-clotting proteins, regulates blood calcium Liver.
Vitamins (Water soluble)
B1 - Thiamin Supports energy metabolism and nerve function. Yeast, liver.
B2 - Riboflavin Supports energy metabolism, normal vision and skin health. Liver, fish.
B6 - Pyridoxine Amino acid and fatty acid metabolism, red blood cell production. Fish.
B5 - Pantothenic acid Supports energy metabolism. In most foods.
B3 - niacin (Nicotinic acid) Supports energy metabolism, skin health, nervous system and digestive system. Meat, liver, yeast extract.
B12 - Cyanocobalamin Used in new cell synthesis, helps break down fatty acids and amino acids, supports nerve cell maintenance. Fish, liver.
H - Biotin Energy metabolism, fat synthesis, amino acid metabolism. Yeast, liver, also made by intestinal bacteria.
C - Ascorbic acid Collagen synthesis, amino acid metabolism, helps iron absorption and immune system. Antioxidant. Fruit and vegetables.
M or Bc - Folic acid Formation of red blood corpuscles. Liver, yeast.

What's in a good quality Sturgeon food?

Sturgeons cannot digest most plant proteins or carbohydrates (the bacteria and enzymes to do so are not present within their gut) so their food needs a high fish meal / shrimp meal content. Avoid foods made from mainly soya and wheat, the fish may well eat it but it will not do them any good. The fish will become skinny and bent, as they live off their own muscle tissue and liver for a while before they die of starvation. [This work is copyright © 2000-2021]

Update (2010): Recent studies have shown that a small percentage of the required protein can be obtained from soya but it cannot replace fishmeal altogether.[This work is copyright © 2000-2021]

Sturgeons need: Protein (mostly fish meal) - minimum 40%, Oil, vitamins and minerals[This work is copyright © 2000-2021]

Under ideal conditions in at summer temperatures sturgeon require between 2 - 3 % of their body weight per day depending on their size to grow at their correct natural rate.[This work is copyright © 2000-2021]

Not all Sturgeon food is created equal

Buy sturgeon food pellets from Orchard Fisheries Orchard Fisheries sturgeon food
Buy the correct food, it's cheaper in the long run

Some manufacturers, who care more about profits than the welfare of the fish, use mostly, or all, vegetable protein because it is cheaper to produce than animal protein. They are not fish farmers, they are not making their money from growing fish. They make their profits from the food.[This work is copyright © 2000-2021]

Read the label. If it doesn't say what kind of protein is in it, beware! Ask yourself why they don't say. Is it because it contains only cheap vegetable protein and is therefore of no use whatsoever to your Sturgeon?[This work is copyright © 2000-2021]

Orchard Fisheries Sturgeon Food

The most common question I am asked is why Orchard Fisheries Sturgeon Food is the best choice for you sturgeon.

Our Sturgeon food is made and used by one of the largest Sturgeon farms in Europe. Obviously it has to be said that they are growing the fish to increase the value (a Sturgeon farm is a business). The most important objective to get the best growth rate and least wastage for the least cost and in the quickest time.[This work is copyright © 2000-2021]

Sturgeon Starter Food 3mm & 4.5mm sinking pellets

Formulated as complete food for small sturgeons. Also makes good treat for carp, koi, tench, barbel, loach and other bottom feeding pond and tropical fish.[This work is copyright © 2000-2021]

Typical analysis: 44%(min) protein, 20% oil, 8.5% ash, 1.7% fibre Vitamins A, C, D3, E.

Ingredients: fish meal, fish oil, toasted soybean meal, maize gluten, wheat as binding agent, vitamin and mineral premix.[This work is copyright © 2000-2021]

Vitamins: A 15000iu/kg, C 200mg/kg, D3 2000iu/kg, E 300mg/kg.[This work is copyright © 2000-2021]

Sturgeon Food 6mm & 8mm sinking pellets

This food has been formulated especially for sturgeons but is great food for other bottom feeding fish without using vegetable proteins, which sturgeon can't digest.[This work is copyright © 2000-2021]

Typical analysis: 42%(min) protein, 18% oil, 9% ash, 1.7% fibre. Vitamins A, C, D3, E.[This work is copyright © 2000-2021]

Ingredients: fish meal, fish oil, toasted soybean meal, maize gluten, wheat as binding agent, vitamin and mineral premix.[This work is copyright © 2000-2021]

Vitamins: A 15000iu/kg, C 1000iu/kg, D3 2000iu/kg, E 200mg/kg.

Buy sturgeon food pellets from Orchard Fisheries »

Orchard Fisheries also stock a range of excellent quality Koi foods, pond fish foods and other selected aquatic supplies.[This work is copyright © 2000-2021]

Pellet to Sturgeon size

  • 3mm pellet Sturgeon 15-36cm (6-14in)
  • 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.[This work is copyright © 2000-2021]

Written by Terry White & Graham Quick