Frequently Asked Questions

Here is a collection of links to articles from our web sites in one handy resource to make it easier for you to find the information you are looking for. All of the most commonly asked questions are covered along with some not so common ones.

Guides to keeping sturgeons in garden ponds

The Good Sturgeon Guide in association with Sturgeon For Garden Ponds
The pond keepers guide to keeping and looking after sturgeons (including Sterlets) in a garden pond with koi and other fish. This guide covers the most common species of sturgeons found for sale in the UK, the sizes you can expect them to reach, their environmental requirements, sturgeon food and how to feed your sturgeons, common sturgeon problems and how to treat them. Read more »

What Sturgeon Want
A concise guide to keeping sturgeons, covering their basic environmental and nutritional needs. Includes how to feed your sturgeons, malnutrition, their likes and dislikes, oxygen requirements and winter care. Read more »

Feeding Sturgeons

Sturgeon Food And Feeding Guide
Sturgeon cannot digest most plant proteins or carbohydrates (the bacteria and enzymes to do so are not present within their stomach) 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. Recent studies have shown that a small percentage of the required protein can be obtained from soya but it cannot replace fishmeal altogether. Read more »

Orchard Fisheries Sturgeon Food

Orchard Fisheries sturgeon food is made and used by one of the largest Sturgeon farms in Europe. Obviously it has to be said that they 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.

Orchard Fisheries Sturgeon Starter Food 2mm sinking pellets and 3mm 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.
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.
Vitamins: A 15000iu/kg, C 200mg/kg, D3 2000iu/kg, E 300mg/kg.

Orchard Fisheries 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.
Typical analysis: 42%(min) protein, 18% oil, 9% 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.
Vitamins: A 15000iu/kg, C 1000iu/kg, D3 2000iu/kg, E 200mg/kg.

Pellet to Sturgeon size:

  • 2mm pellet Starter Diet Sturgeon 10-20cm (4-8in)
  • 3mm pellet Sturgeon 20-36cm (8-14in)
  • 6mm pellet Sturgeon 36-61cm (14-24in)
  • 8mm pellet Sturgeon over 61cm (24in) except Stellatus or Sterlets; use 6mm until 76cm (30in)

Buy Orchard Fisheries sturgeon food pellets online

Sturgeon Health

Parasites
These are the most common parasites found on sturgeon. You may find a combination of parasites and some treatments will not kill all of them. If you can only find one or two parasites on any one fish you probably don't need to treat them, but watch the fish carefully. Read more »

More detailed information about the most common fish parasites:

Fish Parasite Videos
Videos of the parasites most commonly found on koi and other pond fish. You will need a microscope to see most of them.

Treatments
There are many 'off the shelf treatments' from various companies that can be used in garden ponds, that are deadly to sturgeon. Most are algaecides for the control of 'green water' or 'blanket weed' and some are for treating koi/carp parasites. Read the label, if in doubt check with the manufacturer. Yes, they do have to tell you what is in it (Health and safety). If they are unable or unwilling to say then avoid the treatment. Read more »

Handling and Transporting Sturgeons
Some tips and advice for netting, handling and transporting sturgeons. Read more »

Sturgeon species facts and information

Siberian Sturgeon (Acipenser baerii)
Siberian sturgeon are the most common species seen for sale for the pond market as they grow very quickly initially and keep to a manageable size in garden ponds. They are slightly less demanding to produce and look after and are retailed cheaper than some of the other sturgeon species. Read more »

Stellate (Star/Starry) Sturgeon (Acipenser stellatus)
The Stellate or Starry Sturgeon is very easy to recognise as the nose and head is up to a 1/4 of the total length of the fish. Unlike Diamond sturgeons, adult Stellate sturgeons keep their markings making them much more attractive when large. Read more »

Sterlet (Acipenser ruthenus)
Sometimes in shops you will see other sturgeon given the Sterlet title, normally Diamond Sterlet or Siberian Sterlet. Do not believe them, it is a ruse by the shops to make you think that the Diamond or Siberian sturgeon will stay small and they will not. The Sterlet is a true sturgeon not a dwarf species. They can grow to around 1 meter after 10-12 years and attain a maximum of around 1.2m and 16kg. They can be kept in ponds of 1000 - 2000 gallons (4500 -9000 litres) for many years but bigger is better if you want to keep the fish into adulthood. Read more »

Diamond Sturgeon (Russian/Goldspot) (Acipenser gueldenstaedtii)
Diamond sturgeons make excellent fish for the larger more extensive pond. They are very oxygen dependent and prefer over 6.5mg/ltr+ (if you have oxygen problems diamonds and Sterlets will struggle first). They are very pretty (almost cute) when young, becoming slightly drabber but very impressive when big. Some shops sell them as Diamond Sterlets or hybrids but don't be tempted if you have a smaller (1000 gallons+) pond, go for the true Sterlet instead. Read more »

Beluga (Great) Sturgeon (Huso huso)
This is the largest growing sturgeon species, a true monster fish, one of the largest fish found in freshwater in the modern day. It has been known to grow to 10m (33ft) long and weigh up to 2000kg. Definitely not suitable for the average garden pond! Read more »

Paddle Fish (Polyodon spathula)
Has been seen for sale but is very rare and extremely difficult to keep. It is a filter feeder and almost impossible to keep alive in clear water. It needs very specialised conditions and this is beyond most fish keepers. Read more »

Pallid Sturgeon (Scaphirhynchus albus)
The Pallid Sturgeon is very rare and almost never seen for sale in the UK. This fish was sold a decade ago but in recent years none have been imported. Read more »

White Sturgeon (Acipenser transmontanus)
The white sturgeon is found on the west (Pacific) coast of North America from Alaska, Canada down to California. Read more »

Hybrid Sturgeons
Hybrid sturgeons as with many animals are bred to get the best from both parents and hopefully leave the bad behind. A very common sturgeon hybrid is a Bester, which is a cross between a Beluga and a Sterlet. Read more »

Sturgeon species list
A list of sturgeon species by Latin name, also gives common names and links to articles. Read more »

Read more sturgeon species articles

Questions about sturgeons and sterlets

Frequently asked questions
This page answers the most frequently asked questions about keeping and caring for sturgeons in your pond. Includes:

  • How can I get my sturgeon to feed?
  • What is the smallest pond I can put a sturgeon in?
  • Why do some sturgeon bend in a to a 'U-shape'?
  • What is the best and safest way to treat my sturgeon?
  • Do sturgeon mix with other fish?
  • Why do sturgeon die during hot weather but the other fish survive?
  • Why do my sturgeon swim around the pond edge at night?
  • Can I keep sturgeons indoors in an aquarium?
  • Do sturgeons require filtered ponds?
  • Do sturgeon keep the bottom of the pond clean?
  • Do sturgeons eat plants/algae?
  • Why do the other fish eat all the sturgeon food?
  • Why do sturgeon 'jump' or 'bob' around the edge of the pond?
  • How fast will my sturgeon grow?
  • Why does my sturgeon lay still in the daytime?
  • Will sturgeons survive our winters?
  • Should I feed my sturgeon in winter?

Also includes sections about feeding your sturgeons, feeding sturgeons in winter, pellet to sturgeon size, feed testing, oxygen levels and information about keeping koi and sturgeons together in a pond. Read the answers »

Forum Q&A
This section of our forums is for answering questions sent to us at Orchard Fisheries, Pond Life and Sturgeon Web. If you have a sturgeon related question you may find that it has already been answered. If not please drop us a line.

Here are some of the topics covered:

There are more discussions on our Sturgeon forums.

Water quality and filtration

Water Quality
A note to the clear water people; while clear water is a bonus it does not follow that because the water is clear it is OK. Sulphuric acid is clear but would you put your fish in it? Read more »

Algae
Algae is the most common problem encountered by fish keepers and is possibly one of the more difficult problems to secure a permanent cure for. Algae being a plant thrives in a well-lit environment with plenty of nutrients, with this in mind it is nearly always a summer problem and the increase in temperature at this time of year only compounds the problem. Read more »

Filtration
A filter system serves two purposes for the pond, the first is to act as a mechanical filter and the second is to act as a biological filter. Not all ponds will need filters but in most cases where fish are the priority they will be required in order to keep water clarity and toxic levels below the fishes tolerance. Read more »

Oxygen Saturation
100% Oxygen saturation at specific temperatures. The details will change due to atmospheric pressure and salinity. This table assumes atmospheric pressure of 760mm (1014mb) and a salinity of 0ppm (0mg/l). See the table »