RE: NANFA-- paddlefish: was A couple of items

Hoover, Jan J ERDC-EL-MS (
Sun, 10 Dec 2000 18:49:47 -0600

>>> At the MMNS (Mississippi Museum of Natural Science) they maintain a few
paddlefish. I have
been observing them over the years and they do not seem to have grown much
at all.<<<

Paddlefish grow very quickly during the first year of life (e.g., to
350-450 mm EFL), slower during the second (another 200 mm), slower than that
during the third (another 100 mm), and much slower after that. Those fish
did most of their growing a couple of years ago and are slowing down.

>>>They actively feed but are not gaining any real mass.<<<

Paddlefish show a lot of variation in robustness. We catch some locally
that are fairly slim and streamlined, others of comparable size that are
downright fat.

>>>Does anybody have any practical experience with these animals, who can
offer feeding suggestions?<<<

We got our advice on feeding from MMNS. A couple of times during the
day, they turn off filters and add a plankton cocktail suspension and allow
the fish to filter feed. We did something very similar. A fish hatchery
that I know of feeds continuously (fine pellets) but in a closed-system
display tank, this would be very impractical.

Some "container effects" are to be expected when keeping large active
species fish like this, but all in all, those fish look good to me. Other
specimens that I have seen (and the one that I maintained) in captivity were
usually a little darker, slimmer, and smaller than those in nature. I think
that is normal for that species in captivity.

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