The Sterlet, Acipenser ruthenus, is one of the smallest species of sturgeon known so far. However, even this species can grow to more than one meter in length. The biggest specimen known was 125 cm long, but around 60 cm is a more common size. Like all sturgeons this species is endangered due to overfishing and – this is by far more important – by destruction of the natural habitats. So it is protected by international law (CITES). It is still not necessary to have a special licence for selling live specimens in Germany. The sterlet is one of the very few species of sturgeon that are able to live their whole life through in pure fresh water. Most species spawn in fresh water, but return to the sea as well as the young go to the sea as soon as they are able to. The sterlet also is a wanderer, but it wanders only upstreams as it lives already in freshwater. The keeper must nevertheless be careful in spawning season, as the fish tend to leave the pond during that time. Our sterlets are – like all sturgeons in the ornamental fish trade – bred by specialized breeders. We can offer as a very rare sport also some albino specimens. These are on a very high demand for garden ponds, as they can be observed much better due to their white colour. All sturgeons, also the sterlet, become very tame in captivity and search for food on the surface of the pond. They can become easy prey for cats as long as they are small fish. So take care that pussycat doesn´t get an extremely expensive dinner! For our customers: albino sterlets have code 801016 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale market.
Text & Photos: Frank Schäfer