RE: NANFA-- Paddlefish?

Hoover, Jan J ERDC-EL-MS (
Tue, 6 Apr 2004 15:03:42 -0500

Nick writes:
>>> paddlefish are a CITES 2
animal...They are extremely long lived animals that
attain a very large size- over 5 ft and over 150 lbs.... if there
is no attempt to try to provide the proper accomodations, this is an animal
that will very soon perish in an aquarium, especially juveniles....
please don't think that if you (anyone) *can* keep the thing alive, that
"your" local public aquarium will take it...
I'll step off my soap box now ;) <<<

Jan adds:
I'll jump up on that soapbox for just a moment.
Paddlefish "fingerlings" do not travel well. We have had two separate
groups overnighted to us with only a handful of fish surviving despite
taking every possible precaution (i.e., saturating the water with oxygen
prior to arrival, immediate transfer on arrival, minimum handling/transit
Also, paddlefish juveniles kept in any kind of tank with flat sides and
corners usually get bruised or eroded rostra from bumping into walls. This
is not a "natural" type of injury for young paddlefish (at least not one
that I have seen in field-collected specimens).
Surviving paddlefish that we have kept in a flowing "racetrack" type tank
have thrived, feeding on a surprising range of foods, behaving normally, and
growing rapidly, but this type of tank is not practical for most aquarists.
Ultimately, paddlefish enthusiasts should ask themselves whether the
benefits of keeping a paddlefish (even a captively-propagated one) are worth
the costs. Do the educational/personal gains of having a paddlefish justify
high mortality, high liklihood of injury, and the inevitable need for
disposal ?
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