RE: NANFA-- Gar growth: was "Redfin pickerel"

Hoover, Jan J ERDC-EL-MS (
Sun, 28 Mar 2004 12:05:06 -0600

Gastropodman asked:
>>>Will any gar/pike/pickeral ever except dead food? Also, do you think a
spotted gar would fit in a 125 gallon tank?<<<

Ray responds:
>>>spotted gar should work fine. They do get just over three feet in the
However, I kept several for around ten years atleast, and the largest one I
think was 21 or so inches long. Well fed to boot....Start them out small,
and gars will take to floating pellets. Then its as
easy as pie to keep them fed. A big bag of fish chow is cheap by unit

Jan adds:

Some of my gar eat frozen fish chunks within days of capture; others refuse
to accept anything except live crayfish and fish (and some of those are
fussy about the kinds of live food they will eat). It all depends on the
species, age of capture, individual behavior, and your set-up. Ray is
certainly correct that some gar will feed readily on floating pellets.
Several Florida tourist attractions sell generic pellets from "gumball" type
machines. Gar, tilapia, and koi seem to thrive on them.

A 125-gallon tank seems like very good starter-size tank for your gar. Like
Ray, I have found that captive gar (and bowfin) do not always get as large
as specimens in the wild. In the lower Mississippi Basin, young-of-year
gar and bowfin occur in shallow, floodplain pools that are warm (26-30 C)
and packed with fish -- their metabolism is in high gear and fuel supplies
are almost unlimited. When those fish are moved to cooler water and feeding
become less frequent, growth rates (and ultimate size) may be reduced.

Still -- gar enthusiasts can spend a lot money and time buying and
collecting feeders, building, and maintaining jumbo-size accomodations.

Its not incumbent on the fish to adapt to the conditions provided by the
aquarist. Its the responsibility of the aquarist to accomodate the needs of
the fish.
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