As pond keeping has become more and more popular the variety of fish available at aquatic retailers has increased with lots of more different types being made available and one such a new addition is the Sturgeon. The sturgeon used to be abundant in the large rivers of America and Russia and some were even to be found in Britain. In the late 1800s however, vast quantities were caught for food and other products that the fish yielded with Caviar being the most well known. This is the Sturgeons roe, or eggs and is considered a delicacy all over the world. Isinglass is another product made from the fish and it used to be used in making and clarifying wine.
Because the fish was so useful its numbers diminished through over fishing. The construction of many dams also inhibited its natural breeding, reducing its numbers still further. Nowadays there is an intensive breeding program in America trying to re-establish sturgeon in the great rivers. In Britain it is considered Royal property and any caught must be handed over to the Queen.
The Sturgeon, in its native habitat, can grow to over 20 Feet in length and weigh over 1000 1bs. This is obviously to big for most fishponds, but a variety now becoming available, the Sterlet, is considerably smaller. In good conditions, this fish will only grow up to 3-5 Feet, or 1 - 1 ˝ meters in length, which is still quite large.
The fish is covered in bony plates and has quite an unusual appearance with its long shovel like nose. The fish uses this long snout to root around in the mud for insects, worms and anything else edible. The mouth is underneath and set well back from the tip of its nose. This makes the feeding of certain foods quite difficult, but it soon learns to feed upside down to eat floating pelleted type foods.
The fish is very attractive in an aquarium, but its dark colour doesn’t show it off well in a pond. Another unusual feature about this fish is that it is always swimming, If it stops moving it sinks to the bottom. Water conditions have to be very good making it a difficult fish to keep.