Sterlet (Acipenser ruthenus)

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Acipenser Ruthenus8845.jpg

Acipenser ruthenus

3785 Litres (1000 US G.)

100-150 cm (39.4-59.1")


1 - 1.015


7.5 - 8.0

4 -20 °C (39.2-68°F)

8-12 °d

1:1 M:F

Pellet Foods
Flake Foods
Other (See article)

15-20 years



Additional names


Additional scientific names

Acipenser gmelini, Acipenser kamensis, Acipenser kankreni


These fish are difficult to visually sex.

Tank compatibility[edit]

A relatively peaceful fish that can work with other pond fish such as Koi provided the pond is large enough and filtered. May eat smaller fish or fry. They also tolerate their own kind, but to keep several of these fish you need a very large pond.


Starvation is a serious problem in Sterlets and they can easily die from malnutrition, if they are at the surface or sucking on the sides of other fish, they are suffering. If they bend in half, then it's too late. They need a protein-rich diet, feed sinking foods with a minimum of 40% animal protein content, it should not contain wheat germ or cereals. A specialist Sturgeon food is ideal. May also accept other meaty foods like shrimp.

Feeding regime[edit]

As these are pond fish they need to be fed different amounts depending on season. They are best fed little and often through Spring, Summer and Autumn, best fed at dawn and dusk. During the winter, they will continue to feed down to 4°C (39.2°F) , feed carefully and remove any uneaten food.

Environment specifics[edit]

Requires a very large and established pond, they grow too large for the average home aquarium. They need extra oxygen in warmer months, this is important as if the pond is not oxygenated enough and too warm, they will die. They appreciate hiding places at the bottom and do not like strong sunlight. They do not tolerate a lot of pond chemicals such as formalin.


These are pretty slow growing and relatively hardy so the most suitable for the average pond. They are primarily bottom dwelling.


A large growing prehistoric-looking fish with a slender elongated snout, mouth on the underside, with spiked bony ridges running down the body, including down the spine. An albino variant is often seen. Albino Sterlets can range in colour from pure white to orange-brown. When young the Sterlet also has a white line along the back and down both sides.


Albino Sterlet in mixed store tank: In a public aquarium:

External links[edit]