What Sturgeons Want
The main Sturgeon requirements are:
- Good water conditions; see Water Quality
- High oxygen levels
- Cool water temperatures
- Good Food and plenty of it
Not necessarily in this order, but all together will help sturgeon to be healthy.
Without doubt sturgeon are most over sold fish on the planet. A bold statement but I have heard they cure every thing 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. Most of these items are mentioned on other pages but it seems people are unable to find it (What I mean is people don't want to look for it, they want to know NOW so here it is). I would suggest you read the rest of the site, as it will give a more detailed covering of the subjects.
- 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.
An air pump is a very good investment
- 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.
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.
The tell tale signs are:
- Sturgeon bends in half. Lack of food, too late time to start digging a grave.
- Sturgeon lies upside down on the bottom of the pond. It's starving.
- Sturgeon spends all its time bobbing up and down around the edge of the pond. It's starving.
- Sturgeon follows other fish and tries to suck mucus of the fish. It's Starving.
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
- 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 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!
Sturgeon and the cold - will sturgeon survive our winters?
With names like Siberian Sturgeon and Russian Sturgeon this should give it away. Cold is not a problem they will tolerate much colder weather than we will ever get.
Well not a very exciting page but I think even the die hard non-readers will find this to the point and easy to follow.
Please feel free to print off our basic Sturgeon Care Sheet for your own reference and offer copies to any dealers you visit who do not supply a care sheet when they sell sturgeons. Dealers may make copies and supply them with the sturgeons they sell provided the document is not altered in any way.
Sturgeon in Aquariums: NO! They are not suitable and should not be kept in aquariums or small tanks
Written by Terry White & Graham Quick