Sturgeon are a spectacular, very old and almost unchanged genera of fish that are very hardy once established. They’re active and will feed all year round, and tolerate a wide variety of temperatures as long as the water is very well oxygenated (we have kept all species up to 30°C).
More and more colour varieties are becoming available and within the next few years we could see some spectacular colour forms turning up.
Different sturgeon species
The Sturgeon family contains approximately 27 species although this can change due to reclassification of subspecies. Most species available to the ornamental fish trade do not grow any bigger than 2m long, even so, they need a large pond, around 25-30,000 litres when they reach this size. Here are a selection of sturgeon species we have available:
There are several colour forms available, including albino, yellow and silver.
We have some very light almost blue specimens but these are fairly rare.
These fish tend to stay at the bottom of the pond.
They tend to stay at the bottom of the pond.
However, Atlantic sturgeon can be tricky to keep and have the potential to get very big.
Other species that are sometimes available are: White Sturgeon, Beluga and Naccarii, these all have a tendency to get big.
From time to time hybrids are available, they can be attractive but are an unknown quantity i.e. growth rate and potential size. Besters are readily available at the moment they are a cross between beluga (one of the biggest sturgeon) and Sterlet (one of the smallest) so who knows how big they will get?
Looking after sturgeon
Most species kept in ornamental ponds don’t seem to grow much more than 1.5m and this can take anything up to 15 years depending on conditions, temperature and food quality and quantity. We have found that some types of sturgeon, especially diamonds can be trained to take food from their owner’s hand.
Sturgeon require good water quality and high oxygen content. This is very important and low oxygen levels are probably the biggest killer of sturgeon in ornamental ponds. Koi pond conditions are ideal for sturgeon, usually being devoid of plants and blanket weed (which they can get tangled up in especially when small) and usually have good filtration and high oxygenation levels.
Sturgeon also require specialised food, as they do not have enzymes present that can digest carbohydrate or plant material. Consequently, food high in protein and relatively high in oil are ideal and foods used in the commercial raising of sturgeon are probably the best to use.
At Greenmann Aquatics, we sell sturgeon food that is tried and tested in our own sturgeon growing facility.
If you have any questions about sturgeons or sturgeon keeping, please contact us and ask to speak to Dave, our sturgeon ‘guru’ who has been working with these spectacular fish for many years.