Re: NANFA-- Alligator gar

R. W. Wolff (
Sat, 21 Feb 2004 12:17:06 -0600

That is the real deal, not a Florida gar mislabeled. The color seems a bit
brown, but could be an artifact of the camera. It is tempting in case it is
a rarely imported Tropical Gar, another in the same genus as the Alligator
and the Cuban.

Alligator gar are mild mannered, and appear to be very intelligent. Most gar
ingnore fish too big to eat, though in the dark can damage fish in a bothced
attack on something they might have sensed as food before realizing it was
too large to eat. Generally a slow moving fish that seems to move only to a
predetermined point. I have had a couple that baited fish. I was feeding
worm pieces in the pond. They would lay down by the wriggling worm chunk and
wait. At first I thought it was going to eat the worm. Then when smaller
fish came to investigate the worm piece, the alligator gar would grab one
and slide off into the weeds to eat the larger meal. This was repeated many
times. They also act different in the aquarium compared to the other genus
that includes spotted, shortnose, longnose and Florida. They just seem to
know what they are doing. Checking you out and aware of their surroundings.
The other gar species just wander around and beg for food. The gator gar
seems to eye you up as a potential food source if you don't feed him. It is
all about attitude.

Great fish, but be aware they get big. I don't know what the "average"
growth in captivity is, since I lost my big one last year to winter kill in
the pond. Winter still sucks. I would gather for certain they should reach
four to five feet, and require large food items at that size. Cats and small
dogs possibly =). Also, one this long is a heavy girthy fish as well. An
indoor pond would be ideal, maybe twenty by ten feet and five foot deep.
Outdoors a large inground swimming pool would be of proper size. But,
remember that movie about alligators in the sewers in New York?

Ray W.
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