Orchard Fisheries sturgeon / sterlet food has been especially formulated as a complete foodstuff for all sturgeon species, including sterlets. This food is made and used by one of the largest sturgeon farms in Europe. It is also a great supplementary food for other bottom feeding fish.
Sturgeon Feeding Guide
Sturgeons cannot digest most plant proteins or carbohydrates so their food needs a high fish meal / shrimp meal content. Not all foods sold for sturgeons are suitable, many are simply sinking pellets made with vegetable proteins, which may be fine for some other bottom feeding fish species but are no good for sturgeons. Avoid foods made from mainly soya and wheat as 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. Recent studies have shown that a small percentage of the required protein can be obtained from soya but it cannot replace fish-meal altogether. Orchard Fisheries sturgeon foods are made specifically for sturgeons by sturgeon farmers and contain the correct protein, oil and all the nutrients necessary to keep your sturgeon healthy.
A sturgeons gut is short and has a small capacity so little and often is better than one big meal a day. Sturgeons are most active around dusk and dawn so early morning and evening are the best times to feed, especially in hot weather when they are unlikely to be interested in food during the hottest part of the day. Sturgeons are more sedate feeders than koi and goldfish so it is important to feed the other fish first to stop them eating all of the sturgeon food. Sturgeon food is very attractive to other fish and they will rush after it before the sturgeon have realised it is there.
In the same way that foods formulated for koi and other pond fish will not provide for sturgeons nutritional needs, sturgeon food is not a suitable replacement for koi and other pond fish foods. Their requirements are different, which is why there are different foods for them. While it is fine for other fish species to eat a little sturgeon food, it is too high in oil and protein for it to be suitable as a main diet for them. Feeding koi and goldfish solely on sturgeon food would be like feeding them burgers and chips every day, not a healthy diet. It is therefore important that the other fish mainly eat their own food. Wait until the other fish have eaten their food before throwing in the sinking food for the sturgeons.
Feeding Sturgeons in Winter
Like most fish, sturgeons reduce their food intake in colder weather as, being cold blooded, they don't use as much energy. Feeding can be reduced in quantity and frequency but they still require food if they are active, as do all fish. In the recent mild winters it has become more important than ever to feed during the mild temperatures, otherwise the fish will waste away and die from malnutrition/starvation. Malnourished fish will be more susceptible to disease in the spring as the water warms up, the number one problem time of year for fish and their owners. It is safe for the other pond fish to eat sturgeon food in the winter, it will not do them any harm. If they want to eat, let them. If it is too cold to eat, they won't.
How to feed your sturgeon
Spring: Sturgeon like any fish become more active in spring as the temperature rises and will need an increase in food, feed a little and often. Best times are dawn and dusk.
Summer: Sturgeon will be feeding very well in summer so make sure the food is available and the rest of the fish are well fed.
Autumn: Sturgeon will be fattening up for the winter so keep the food going in but watch out and remove uneaten food.
Winter: Feed a few pellets at a time and wait until eaten, before adding more. Sturgeon will feed down to 4C it is very important that you feed them in winter, most sturgeon die due to starvation in winter.
Pellet to Sturgeon size
- 3mm pellet- sturgeon size 15-36cm (6-14in)
- 4.5mm pellet - sturgeon size 30-50cm (12-20in)
- 6mm pellet - sturgeon size 36-61cm (14-24in)
- 8mm pellet- sturgeon size over 61cm (24in)