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  1. #1

    Introducing Sturgeon

    Hi all, I made an impulse buy of 2 diamondback sturgeon recently to add to my 30,000 litre pond that is otherwise Koi, Carp and goldfish. The shop I bought them from didn't mention anything about the differences between caring for Sturgeon vs Koi so I've had an interesting day of reading all sorts of information about caring for them and it's made my wife and I nervous! They are great characters so I hope we have provided them a good home.

    They seem to be generally OK but I'm concerned about ensuring they feed without the Koi stealing the food, I'm ordering food from Orchard farm but in the mean-time I have some small Tetra Sturgeon food sticks. They are around 12-16" inches long, the larger of the 2 has been eating but we haven't seen the smaller one eat yet and he is swimming around the edge of the pond much more. The food has been sitting at the bottom but eventually the Koi discover it and will hoover it up, I was out there in the rain last night at 10:30 hoping the Koi would ignore the food but after some time they did discover it annoyingly, probably not helped by my presence with a torch.
    I've read about using a pipe and an auto-feeder to feed in darkness that makes sense and I'll probably do that but apart from allowing them a little time to acclimatise anything else I should do?
    I'm hoping it will just take them a couple of days to get used to the pond and as it's not an immaculate glass box will they be getting any other source of food from other pond life? (eventually the goldfish from what I've read!)

    Thanks

    Mark



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  3. #2
    Senior Member Rank = Gosai Twhitenosugar's Avatar
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    Hi Mark.

    Have to agree they are great additions to a pond.

    I found feeding the otber fish first helps. And feeding at night helps. I'd recommend buying a range of pellet sizes, maybe 3mm and 4.5mm.

    I find having lots of smaller pellets (rather than fewer larger pellets) means it takes longer for the other fish to find them all and so increases the chances of your sturgeon finding them.

    I'd also suggest feeding in a few different spots around the pond, rather than just in one place, again to increase the chances of them finding them.

    Keeping sturgeon is much more straightforward than koi. As long as you give them enough of the right food and the water is well oxygenated I.e. doesn't get too warm, they generally thrive.

    If you suspect your smaller one is not getting enough food (the head should not be wider than the body on a well fed sturgeon, apart from perhaps when they are really young) then you may have to put him in a separate tank and fatten him up a bit before putting back into the pond.

    If you notice the sturgeon bending in a u shape, this is normally a sign of starvation and is usually too late to save them by that stage.

    The sturgeon swimming around the edges at night is them hunting - I often hear them slurping away at night. If they do this during the day, again this can be sign they need more grub.

    Hope it all goes well. In the current warm temps, they should be growing like weeds.

    Sent from my SM-A520F using Tapatalk
    12,500L fibreglassed raised pond with window

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  5. #3
    Senior Member Rank = Grand Champion Ajm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Twhitenosugar View Post
    Hi Mark.

    Have to agree they are great additions to a pond.

    I found feeding the otber fish first helps. And feeding at night helps. I'd recommend buying a range of pellet sizes, maybe 3mm and 4.5mm.

    I find having lots of smaller pellets (rather than fewer larger pellets) means it takes longer for the other fish to find them all and so increases the chances of your sturgeon finding them.

    I'd also suggest feeding in a few different spots around the pond, rather than just in one place, again to increase the chances of them finding them.

    Keeping sturgeon is much more straightforward than koi. As long as you give them enough of the right food and the water is well oxygenated I.e. doesn't get too warm, they generally thrive.

    If you suspect your smaller one is not getting enough food (the head should not be wider than the body on a well fed sturgeon, apart from perhaps when they are really young) then you may have to put him in a separate tank and fatten him up a bit before putting back into the pond.

    If you notice the sturgeon bending in a u shape, this is normally a sign of starvation and is usually too late to save them by that stage.

    The sturgeon swimming around the edges at night is them hunting - I often hear them slurping away at night. If they do this during the day, again this can be sign they need more grub.

    Hope it all goes well. In the current warm temps, they should be growing like weeds.

    Sent from my SM-A520F using Tapatalk
    I've been looking at adding one to my pond . Every time I go to get one I have a water problem or need to treat pond . But when I do get one my thought were get a 1m length of 1.5 pipe and feed the sturgeon in front of its nose if i felt it wasn't getting enough bate ??
    Johnathan

  6. #4
    The pipe trick works until the koi figure it out, they buzz around and push the sturgeon off, that said my sturgeon is only 2 1/2 foot long at the moment so maybe he’ll stand his ground a bit better when he’s bigger?

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  8. #5
    Senior Member Rank = Grand Champion Ajm's Avatar
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    All this sturgeon talk and no pictures whats going on haha .
    Johnathan

  9. #6
    Thanks all, appreciate the comments. I have been feeding them at night now and distributing the feed in a few areas of the pond so I hope they are getting this. I did manage to get the larger one to feed during the day yesterday by feeding the Koi and dropping food directly in front of the sturgeon but it looks like they were running over it without picking it up, they certainly don't act like the greedy koi feeding.
    I can get the food in front of them but they just seem to go straight over it, I could try some slightly bigger pellets, I have 3-5mm sticks at the moment.
    Both of them are spending most of the time swimming around the bottom now so I assume they have become used to the pond more and must be getting food. I'm in the process of completing a filter upgrade over the next few weeks including better aeration as well.
    I will see if I can get a good picture of them but my pond isn't as clear as it could be until the filter upgrade is complete (or at least I hope!) I completed a blanket weed treatment a couple of weeks ago prior to picking up the sturgeon as well.
    It looks like Blanket answer isn't used by people with sturgeon now, correct?

  10. #7
    A follow up to this, I have an automatic feeder now so they have a better chance of getting at the food before the greedy Koi discover it. I haven't been going out at night to check as the torchlight seems to wake up the koi. The Sturgeon have also learned when it's koi feeding time they can get some food so my wife has been successful at getting some food to them whilst the koi are distracted. One of the Koi seems to have taken a real interest in the sturgeon food which is frustrating.
    I've tried to take a couple of pic's, really hard with reflections and the water quality so the pic's are pretty rubbish, I have just completed a new Drum filter and 110w UV setup and will be connecting it up in a couple of weeks time so I hope to improve the water clarity.
    20200913_163229.jpg
    20200913_162820.jpg

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  12. #8
    Moderator Rank = Supreme Champion Feline's Avatar
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    It’s certainly challenging keeping sturgeon and koi together!

    But it does sound like these fish have found a good home with you as you’ve done some research and have a big enough pond for them
    The sturgeon sticks for sale at garden centres and some aquatic outlets are utter rubbish for them. You’ve discovered the orchard fisheries food which is excellent for them though
    Most of the sturgeon keepers I know just feed the koi first and while they are busy scoffing feed the sturgeon elsewhere.
    In the winter though it’s inevitable that the koi will pinch some sturgeon food when they are not getting much of their own. Although you read all kinds of scarey stuff about koi rotting from the inside out if they eat in low temps, I think you will find they will be absolutely fine

    There are a whole list or parasite treatments you can’t use by the way (I’m sure you’ve also read about that). But worth a thought for anyone thinking of getting them. The sturgeon themselves don’t really suffer with parasites in the same way as koi, but treating a mixed pond is a real challenge.

    Have you made sure there is nothing in the pond for them to get stuck in? (They can’t reverse out of pond weed etc.)
    Their high oxygen requirement particularly as they get bigger can be a challenge in warmer weather.

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  14. #9
    Yes, I have tried to read what I can, sad that the aquatic centre sell these without any questions on care or pond size etc, no doubt some of them will end up dying due to misunderstanding their needs.
    I do have some plants but I try to keep them in control as the Koi just shred them anyway. I did see one of the sturgeon when we first bought them having a struggle as he tried to swim across a part of the plant but nothing since.
    They have become a real focal point in the pond now, almost every morning when the wife or I go to look at the pond we both check for both of the sturgeons and ask each other if we have seen them as the little one tends to be out of sight more under the waterfall in the deepest part of the pond.
    Our friends kids think they are sharks and fascinated as well!

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  16. #10
    Senior Member Rank = Grand Champion Ajm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mags View Post
    Yes, I have tried to read what I can, sad that the aquatic centre sell these without any questions on care or pond size etc, no doubt some of them will end up dying due to misunderstanding their needs.
    I do have some plants but I try to keep them in control as the Koi just shred them anyway. I did see one of the sturgeon when we first bought them having a struggle as he tried to swim across a part of the plant but nothing since.
    They have become a real focal point in the pond now, almost every morning when the wife or I go to look at the pond we both check for both of the sturgeons and ask each other if we have seen them as the little one tends to be out of sight more under the waterfall in the deepest part of the pond.
    Our friends kids think they are sharks and fascinated as well!
    They are beautiful mate I love them like next spring I will have one but am having the sterlet bit smaller in full grown size and am going for a golden one me and my little one say they are sharks aswell lol . . 1 question I have that you or feline might be able to clarify is I know a lot of medications for koi cant be used with sturgeon but from my understanding its an oxygen problem more than medication reaction? If this true false unproven ????
    Johnathan

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  18. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Ajm View Post
    They are beautiful mate I love them like next spring I will have one but am having the sterlet bit smaller in full grown size and am going for a golden one me and my little one say they are sharks aswell lol . . 1 question I have that you or feline might be able to clarify is I know a lot of medications for koi cant be used with sturgeon but from my understanding its an oxygen problem more than medication reaction? If this true false unproven ????
    I've only read that blanket weed treatment is an oxygen problem, I had previously used blanket answer and it states on the tub increased oxygen is required for river fish and lists a few out.

    I keep meaning to start a thread on my pond filtration upgrade but I just don't get the time, hope to do it within the next couple of weeks.

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  20. #12
    Senior Member Rank = Grand Champion Ajm's Avatar
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    Sure some one in here put a link up to a you tube vid where they ppd with sturgeon and a few other treatments. I know worse case pop up qt .
    Johnathan

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  22. #13
    Try getting a 5ft sturgeon out of your pond ...........

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  24. #14
    Senior Member Rank = Grand Champion Ajm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Djstiles999 View Post
    Try getting a 5ft sturgeon out of your pond ...........
    We gunna need a bigger net ��
    Johnathan

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