2-03-2019, 22:24
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Acipenser ruthenus

The Acipenser ruthenus is one of the smallest species of sturgeon still known. However, even this fish can reach a length of more than one metre. The largest known specimen was 125 cm long. In the wild this fish can be found in the river basins of the Volga, the Don, the Dnieper, the Yenisei, the Ob and the Black Sea. It should be said that this fish used to inhabit larger areas, but due to uncontrolled fishing, pollution of rivers and destruction of their traditional spawning grounds, their population has significantly decreased. Keeping Acipenser ruthenus is recommended only for experienced aquarists.

The Acipenser ruthenus has a very unusual appearance. The scales are arranged in peculiar rows of sharpened plates that are clearly visible on young fish. The tail plumage is lyre-like, with the upper ray much longer than the lower ray. Since the sterlet is bottom dwelling, its mouth is located at the bottom of the head, which allows it to easily take food from the bottom without tilting its body. There are four small antennae on the snout in front of the mouth. The body is dark grey in colour. The belly is white. The body has bony plates, which are lighter in colour compared with its basic colouration. Young fish are darker, but gradually become lighter as they mature. Sex differences are not pronounced. The sex of the sterlet can only be determined unambiguously during the spawning period when males have a whitish patina on the head. The same plaque is also present in females, but it is fainter than in males. The average size of these fish in the wild is about 60 cm, while in aquariums they are usually considerably smaller.

Acipenser ruthenus

The Acipenser ruthenus is much easier to adapt to aquarium life than other sturgeon species. Acquiring captive-bred young fish is the most suitable option. In this case, the fish will quickly become accustomed to the aquarium conditions and, in addition, will immediately eat common aquarium fish food.

The Acipenser ruthenus should be kept in an aquarium with a capacity of 300 litres or more. Can be kept in a common aquarium with gambusii, goldfish, catfish corydorasami and other fish. By and large, neighbours to the sterlet suits almost all non-aggressive fish that require cool water, but not quite small, which the sterlet can eat.

Water parameters: temperature 20-22° C, hardness dH 5-25°, acidity pH 6,5-8,5. It is very important to maintain the water temperature in the specified range, as sharp jumps in temperature are very hard for the fish. Powerful filtration and aeration as well as a weekly change of ¼ of the aquarium water with fresh water. A fairly strong water current should be created in the aquarium by means of a water pump, which will remind the fish of the flow of a river. Otherwise, it is easy for the sterlet to jump out of the tank.

Acipenser ruthenus

A mixture of sand and medium-sized gravel can be used as a substrate. Plants do not need to be planted in the aquarium. Various shelters are also not necessary.

Under natural conditions, the Acipenser ruthenus feeds on fish fry and eggs. In an aquarium, it is fed with Tubifex, bloodworms, fish fry, fish fry, squid and shrimp. Do not refuse a variety of dry sinking feeds.



The Acipenser ruthenus does not breed under aquarium conditions. Spawning can only be achieved in ponds or fish farms.

The life span of the Acipenser ruthenus in the wild is 25-30 years.

The sterlet (Acipenser ruthenus)

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