Re: NANFA-- sturgeon & paddlefish in aquaria

Christopher Scharpf (
Thu, 14 Sep 2000 16:00:00 -0400

>I'm not sure about paddlefish but I'll assume they all get huge, but the
>shovelnose sturgeon is not a huge fish, in the wild it seldom weighs more
>than a few pounds or so and is a very skinny maneuverable fish.

86 cm is plenty big to me! Not that any get that big in captivity. Still, it's
hard for such a fish to turn around in a typical (narrow) aquarium. With that
said, if you gotta have a sturgeon, then the shovelnose is the one to have.

> Lets be clear what is a large fish and what is really too large to keep.

Point taken. However, it's not that some fish are too big for aquaria. It's the
fact that some fish get too big for the average fishkeeper. I'd put many
tropicals (e.g., pacu, red-tailed cats) in that category. They look all cute and
cuddly when they're babies, but they grow and grow and grow and usually become
an unwieldly burden for the fishkeeper who cannot keep buying bigger aquaria.
The fish may live in its cramped quarters, but is it a good life? Often these
fish die from malnutrition and stress. And what's the good in that?

Listen, if you have the room and the dedication to keep large fishes, then I say
fine, go for it. But for every arowana-sized fish that's pampered by a
fishkeeper who has the room, tens of thousands suffer and die in the tanks of
fishkeepers who have no business keeping such fishes. And that's a crying shame.

Chris Scharpf

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