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Keeping Gars - A Short Review


If you take a quick look at this species they don't seem like aquarium fishes. They are large and highly predatory. But then again, these are qualities that attract some, like me! If you've been keeping aquariums for a while and have the room to keep large predatory fishes I recommend you try these fish, but not until you've done your homework and know the gars' requirements and what you are getting yourself into.

Species of gar:

Florida spotted gar, Lepisosteus platyrhinchus
A highly varied species of gar. Has more spots on its body and a shorter snout than many other gars. Easily mistaken for spotted gar.

Spotted gar, Lepisosteus oculatus
Long snout and spots. Spots to a higher degree towards the posterior of its body. Easily mistaken for Florida spotted gar.

Shortnosed gar, Lepisosteus platostomus
The shortnosed gar can be identified by its short snout, and by the lack of teeth rows in the upper jaw like the alligator gar, and the lack of spots on its body.

Long-nosed gar, Lepisosteus osseus
The long-nosed gar is, as the name suggests, identified by its long slender snout, and also by its slender body.

Alligator gar, Atractosteus spatula
The alligator gar has a short broad snout and two big rows of teeth in the upper jaw. This species is spotted on the posterior part of the body and to a lesser extent on other parts of the body.

Tropical gar, Atractosteus tropicus
A very rare species.

Manfari or Cuban gar, Atractosteus tristoechus
Looks very similar to the alligator gar and since it is very rare in the trade you can usually assume that your gar is an alligator gar and not a Cuban gar unless otherwise stated. The Cuban gar has a broader snout and lacks pattern on its body.

Beside these species there are a number of hybrids such as the crocodile gar.

Spotted, Florida and short-nosed gars are smaller than the other species and may be more suitable for aquariums. They usually don't grow larger than 2 feet in aquariums. Long-nosed and alligator gars grow to a very large size and larger ponds are recommended if you'd like to keep fully grown specimens. So if you don't have (or plan on getting) a large pond, stay with the smaller species. Even with the smaller species you are still going to need a rather large aquarium. The tropical gar also is possible to keep in aquariums as it doesn't grow as large; however this species is very hard to find. The Cuban gar is a red-list endangered species and shouldn't be kept even if you somehow find one.

In aquariums gars are quite demanding and require a lot of space and clean water. I recommend you to use as big a tank as you can for your gar, and I wouldn't recommend keeping gars in an aquarium smaller than 200 Gallon/720 L. And that should be considered a minimum; a 400 gallon/1400 L tank is preferable.

The tank should be decorated in accordance with gar behavior. Gars are ambush predators, and as such they appreciate hiding places from where they can stalk their prey. This is however not essential. They are very friendly towards fish that are too big to be eaten. In the wild gars often live in loose schools and if you have the space you may successfully keep several gars together, in fact I would recommend this.

Gars can be kept with most fishes that are too big to be considered food and not too aggressive. However, gars should never live with plecos. Plecos sometimes suck on gars and cause infections, and since gars are very sensitive to most medicines these infections may be very hard to treat.

Regarding water, the most important thing is keeping the water clean and well circulated. Gars accept most pH or hardness levels. Temperature can range from 60 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit (16 - 30 degrees Celsius). Gars breathe air and should be left with a few inches of space at the top of the tank to allow them to breathe atmospheric air.

Gars usually accept most kinds of living prey that are large enough. Feeders such as goldfish provide a good base for their diet but should never be the only thing they are fed, since this would not provide the gars with all necessary nutrition. Their diet should be diverse, and this can be achieved by also feeding minnows, shrimps etc. It is also possible to train gars to accept frozen foods and pellets.

Gars cannot be sexed externally. They have occasionally been breed in aquariums but are more frequently bred in ponds or are wild caught.

William berg has more then 20 years of aquarium experience and writes for aquatic community - a website with information on everything from crayfish to cichlids.


TODAYS NEWS BY OFFICEJAX FREE ADVERTISING AND AD EXCHANGE SOLUTIONSMORE PETS INFORMATION RESOURCES updated Wed. May / 22 / 2024

Veterinarian Explains What Pets Want Before They Pass & It's Devastating - Yahoo Life
Veterinarian Explains What Pets Want Before They Pass & It's Devastating  Yahoo Life

Separation anxiety, guilt can be part of owning a dog or cat - The Washington Post
Separation anxiety, guilt can be part of owning a dog or cat  The Washington Post

As demand to insure pets grows in Maine, employers are starting to offer coverage - Press Herald
As demand to insure pets grows in Maine, employers are starting to offer coverage  Press Herald

Summit Lost Pet Rescue helps find 5 pets in 1 day as busy season for runaway pets ramps up - Summit Daily
Summit Lost Pet Rescue helps find 5 pets in 1 day as busy season for runaway pets ramps up  Summit Daily

All 4 Pets contest: Vote for your favorite finalist! - WDIV ClickOnDetroit
All 4 Pets contest: Vote for your favorite finalist!  WDIV ClickOnDetroit

Are Pet Food Recalls Rising? - Newsweek
Are Pet Food Recalls Rising?  Newsweek

Dogs, Guinea Pigs, and Other Rescue Pets Get a Fancy Hotel Photoshoot to Help Them Find Homes - PEOPLE
Dogs, Guinea Pigs, and Other Rescue Pets Get a Fancy Hotel Photoshoot to Help Them Find Homes  PEOPLE

Pets and Power Outages: Here's What To Know - Videos from The Weather Channel - The Weather Channel
Pets and Power Outages: Here's What To Know - Videos from The Weather Channel  The Weather Channel

Sea Pines confirms multiple recent encounters of pets and alligators, details are scarce - Hilton Head Island Packet
Sea Pines confirms multiple recent encounters of pets and alligators, details are scarce  Hilton Head Island Packet

Are cicadas harmful to pets? - WSMV 4
Are cicadas harmful to pets?  WSMV 4

Is your pet the cutest? Submit your pet's pic for our 2024 pet photo contest today - Mitchell Republic
Is your pet the cutest? Submit your pet's pic for our 2024 pet photo contest today  Mitchell Republic

Why are some plants poisonous to you and your pets? - Education in Chemistry
Why are some plants poisonous to you and your pets?  Education in Chemistry

Meet Nomi and Mango, Simba and Celie, this week’s Pets of the Week in the San Gabriel Valley - The San Gabriel Valley Tribune
Meet Nomi and Mango, Simba and Celie, this week’s Pets of the Week in the San Gabriel Valley  The San Gabriel Valley Tribune

I Tried TrustedHousesitters & Here's How It Went - Apartment Therapy
I Tried TrustedHousesitters & Here's How It Went  Apartment Therapy

Officials urge drivers not to leave kids or pets unattended in hot cars - WWLP.com
Officials urge drivers not to leave kids or pets unattended in hot cars  WWLP.com

Moxie and Mochi are our Pets of the Week - KTVL
Moxie and Mochi are our Pets of the Week  KTVL

Photo Gallery: Athens Pets Are Pawsitively Fetching! - Flagpole - Flagpole Magazine
Photo Gallery: Athens Pets Are Pawsitively Fetching! - Flagpole  Flagpole Magazine

Fur babies compete in pageant like competition - wmar2news.com
Fur babies compete in pageant like competition  wmar2news.com

Reminder: Keep pets safe in extreme temperatures - KIIITV.com
Reminder: Keep pets safe in extreme temperatures  KIIITV.com

Pets of the Week - Lewiston Sun Journal
Pets of the Week  Lewiston Sun Journal

Crews rescue several pets from fire at Turner duplex - NewsCenterMaine.com WCSH-WLBZ
Crews rescue several pets from fire at Turner duplex  NewsCenterMaine.com WCSH-WLBZ

Initiatives from Mayor's Fund brings hope to homeless pet owners in Las Vegas - Las Vegas Sun
Initiatives from Mayor's Fund brings hope to homeless pet owners in Las Vegas  Las Vegas Sun

VIDEO | Plants & pets at Artistic Greenery Unlimited - washingtoncountyinsider.com
VIDEO | Plants & pets at Artistic Greenery Unlimited  washingtoncountyinsider.com

WNCT.com's Best of Pets: Bug - WNCT
WNCT.com's Best of Pets: Bug  WNCT

New online marketplace for everything pets - FOX21News.com
New online marketplace for everything pets  FOX21News.com

PET OF THE WEEK: Meet Gracie and Oliver, a duo who are available for adoption - Tuscaloosa Magazine
PET OF THE WEEK: Meet Gracie and Oliver, a duo who are available for adoption  Tuscaloosa Magazine

Family, pets safe after mobile home fire in Eastwood - Sandhill Sentinel
Family, pets safe after mobile home fire in Eastwood  Sandhill Sentinel

In photos: Winsted kids step off with pets in celebration of 86th annual parade - Middletown Press
In photos: Winsted kids step off with pets in celebration of 86th annual parade  Middletown Press

Ikea Launches 'Cat-alogue' And 'Dog-alogue' For Abandoned Pets - House Beautiful
Ikea Launches 'Cat-alogue' And 'Dog-alogue' For Abandoned Pets  House Beautiful

Pets for adoption locally - Tucson - Arizona Daily Star
Pets for adoption locally - Tucson  Arizona Daily Star

Petco Love Launches Animated Campaign to Reunite Lost Pets – MY RUFF DAY series spotlights cutting edge ... - The Suburban Times
Petco Love Launches Animated Campaign to Reunite Lost Pets – MY RUFF DAY series spotlights cutting edge ...  The Suburban Times

Pima Animal Care Center (PACC) - Pima County
Pima Animal Care Center (PACC)  Pima County

Pets Fur People's Pet of the Week | News | jacksonvilleprogress.com - Jacksonville Daily Progress
Pets Fur People's Pet of the Week | News | jacksonvilleprogress.com  Jacksonville Daily Progress

Pets of the Week - Southwest Virginia Today
Pets of the Week  Southwest Virginia Today

Displaced Taneytown pets adoption event at PetSmart in Westminster | PHOTOS - Baltimore Sun
Displaced Taneytown pets adoption event at PetSmart in Westminster | PHOTOS  Baltimore Sun

Student artists help shelter pets find fur-ever homes - Wareham Week
Student artists help shelter pets find fur-ever homes  Wareham Week

Athens GA Live Music Recap: Songs for Sleeping Dogs, Your Ex's Pets, Joseph Bones and More - Flagpole - Flagpole Magazine
Athens GA Live Music Recap: Songs for Sleeping Dogs, Your Ex's Pets, Joseph Bones and More - Flagpole  Flagpole Magazine

Pets of the Week at Pasadena Humane - Pasadena Now
Pets of the Week at Pasadena Humane  Pasadena Now

How to keep pets flea and tick free - FOX 13 Tampa
How to keep pets flea and tick free  FOX 13 Tampa

Yellowstone Valley Animal Shelter needs people to adopt pets - NonStop Local Billings
Yellowstone Valley Animal Shelter needs people to adopt pets  NonStop Local Billings

Adopt Me! digital pets move from Roblox to the toy aisle - Kidscreen
Adopt Me! digital pets move from Roblox to the toy aisle  Kidscreen

Ice Cream for Dogs: Pet Parents Are Springing for Human-Like Treats - PYMNTS.com
Ice Cream for Dogs: Pet Parents Are Springing for Human-Like Treats  PYMNTS.com

Love 4 Pets: May 21, 2024 - KOB.com - KOB 4
Love 4 Pets: May 21, 2024 - KOB.com  KOB 4

California Adopt-a-Pet Day - The Turlock Journal
California Adopt-a-Pet Day  The Turlock Journal

Judge orders Paragould man to never own a pet - Jonesboro - KAIT
Judge orders Paragould man to never own a pet - Jonesboro  KAIT

Donate Now: Help Alexandria's King Street Cats Save Cats From Afghanistan - The Zebra
Donate Now: Help Alexandria's King Street Cats Save Cats From Afghanistan  The Zebra

Humane Society of the U.S. Pets in Poverty - 21 Alive News
Humane Society of the U.S. Pets in Poverty  21 Alive News

Judge orders Paragould man to never own a pet - KAIT
Judge orders Paragould man to never own a pet  KAIT

Weis Markets lends a paw in Paws for Pets campaign - PAHomePage.com
Weis Markets lends a paw in Paws for Pets campaign  PAHomePage.com

WATCH: Cloning technology, how pet owners are using it to clone their pets - KMID - Local 2 News
WATCH: Cloning technology, how pet owners are using it to clone their pets  KMID - Local 2 News

All Safe in Hooks Airport Rescue, Crews Save Passengers and Pets from Aircraft Plunge in Harris County - Hoodline
All Safe in Hooks Airport Rescue, Crews Save Passengers and Pets from Aircraft Plunge in Harris County  Hoodline

Common sense pet safety for hot summer weather - The JOLT - The Journal of Olympia Lacey & Tumwater
Common sense pet safety for hot summer weather  The JOLT - The Journal of Olympia Lacey & Tumwater

MC Animal Services talks adoption, how to register your pets - WesternSlopeNow
MC Animal Services talks adoption, how to register your pets  WesternSlopeNow

WoW Cataclysm rare hunter pets - PC Gamer
WoW Cataclysm rare hunter pets  PC Gamer

Post sees pet owners flock to budget brands as sticker shock sets in - Star Tribune
Post sees pet owners flock to budget brands as sticker shock sets in  Star Tribune

Glam Dogs Recreate the 2024 Met Gala's Most Iconic Looks for the Pet Gala - PEOPLE
Glam Dogs Recreate the 2024 Met Gala's Most Iconic Looks for the Pet Gala  PEOPLE

Pawsing For Pets with St. Augustine Humane - WJXT News4JAX
Pawsing For Pets with St. Augustine Humane  WJXT News4JAX

PETS OF THE WEEK | Local News | hjnews.com - The Herald Journal
PETS OF THE WEEK | Local News | hjnews.com  The Herald Journal

Pet Project: Meet Willhelmina - Wausau - WSAW
Pet Project: Meet Willhelmina - Wausau  WSAW

Pet Gala 2024: The Best Dog Couture Recreating Celeb Met Gala Looks - Hollywood Reporter
Pet Gala 2024: The Best Dog Couture Recreating Celeb Met Gala Looks  Hollywood Reporter

In pictures: Adorable designer dogs strut their stuff at the Pet Gala - Euronews
In pictures: Adorable designer dogs strut their stuff at the Pet Gala  Euronews

See the Dogs Who Dressed as Bad Bunny, Nicki Minaj and Cardi B in Met Gala-Inspired Looks - Hollywood Reporter
See the Dogs Who Dressed as Bad Bunny, Nicki Minaj and Cardi B in Met Gala-Inspired Looks  Hollywood Reporter

THE THR3E(Recurring) EXTENDED - Pet of the Week: Raven - KBTX
THE THR3E(Recurring) EXTENDED - Pet of the Week: Raven  KBTX

National Rescue Dog Day reminder to ‘adopt, don’t shop’ for pets - KLTV
National Rescue Dog Day reminder to ‘adopt, don’t shop’ for pets  KLTV

Petco promotes image recognition for lost pets with animated series - Chain Store Age
Petco promotes image recognition for lost pets with animated series  Chain Store Age

Caring for Strays: One Woman's Mission to Help Abandoned Pets in the RGV - Fox Rio Grande Valley
Caring for Strays: One Woman's Mission to Help Abandoned Pets in the RGV  Fox Rio Grande Valley

How to become a pet foster parent with Albuquerque Animal Welfare - KRQE News 13
How to become a pet foster parent with Albuquerque Animal Welfare  KRQE News 13

Formulation software allows pet food modeling - PetfoodIndustry.com
Formulation software allows pet food modeling  PetfoodIndustry.com

San Antonio Father Burns Saving Family and Pets from Destructive House Fire on West Side - Hoodline
San Antonio Father Burns Saving Family and Pets from Destructive House Fire on West Side  Hoodline

Clark County Pet of the Week - Springfield News Sun
Clark County Pet of the Week  Springfield News Sun

Value Pet Center in Pennsauken, New Jersey searching for bird stolen by couple - WPVI-TV
Value Pet Center in Pennsauken, New Jersey searching for bird stolen by couple  WPVI-TV

Invasive boa constrictors, pythons take over Puerto Rico - New York Post
Invasive boa constrictors, pythons take over Puerto Rico  New York Post

Pet Gala 2024: Anthony Rubio Recreates Met Gala Looks - DogTime
Pet Gala 2024: Anthony Rubio Recreates Met Gala Looks  DogTime

Champaign County Pet of the Week - Springfield News Sun
Champaign County Pet of the Week  Springfield News Sun

Hill's Partners with Actress Cecily Strong, PetSmart Charities to Encourage Senior Pet Adoption - Pet Age
Hill's Partners with Actress Cecily Strong, PetSmart Charities to Encourage Senior Pet Adoption  Pet Age

California animal shelters to host statewide 'Adopt-a-Pet Day" - KSBW Monterey
California animal shelters to host statewide 'Adopt-a-Pet Day"  KSBW Monterey

Storm recovery is that much harder when you have pets in tow - Houston Public Media
Storm recovery is that much harder when you have pets in tow  Houston Public Media

Advice | What's your favorite Carolyn Hax column about pets? - The Washington Post
Advice | What's your favorite Carolyn Hax column about pets?  The Washington Post

Norfolk SPCA caring for rescues despite 'capacity crisis' - 13newsnow.com WVEC
Norfolk SPCA caring for rescues despite 'capacity crisis'  13newsnow.com WVEC

Adorable & Adoptable–Pets of the Week: Admiral Meowington, Luca & Poppy Adorable & Adoptable–Pets of the Week ... - SweetwaterNOW
Adorable & Adoptable–Pets of the Week: Admiral Meowington, Luca & Poppy Adorable & Adoptable–Pets of the Week ...  SweetwaterNOW

Four Pets Killed in Buffalo County House Fire - seehafernews.com
Four Pets Killed in Buffalo County House Fire  seehafernews.com

Pet of the week-What you should know before bringing home a pet - WDIV ClickOnDetroit
Pet of the week-What you should know before bringing home a pet  WDIV ClickOnDetroit

New Animal Care Center Open in Anderson, Expanding Cincinnati's Premier Pet Care Services - StreetInsider.com
New Animal Care Center Open in Anderson, Expanding Cincinnati's Premier Pet Care Services  StreetInsider.com

Pet Simulator 99: Prison World Guide - Sportskeeda
Pet Simulator 99: Prison World Guide  Sportskeeda

KRDO’s Tuesday Afternoon Pet of the Week - KRDO
KRDO’s Tuesday Afternoon Pet of the Week  KRDO

Humane Society to host first ever Kitten Shower Adoption event on Memorial Day - Monroe Local News
Humane Society to host first ever Kitten Shower Adoption event on Memorial Day  Monroe Local News

Pima Animal Care Center (PACC) - Pima County
Pima Animal Care Center (PACC)  Pima County

Florida Pet Owners Warned of Invasive Toad: 'Highly Toxic' - Newsweek
Florida Pet Owners Warned of Invasive Toad: 'Highly Toxic'  Newsweek

PET PUZZLE: Surviving the Storm: A guide to easing your pets' anxiety - The Leader News
PET PUZZLE: Surviving the Storm: A guide to easing your pets' anxiety  The Leader News

Keep kids, pets safe from heatstroke during hot months - WTOL
Keep kids, pets safe from heatstroke during hot months  WTOL

Newsworthy Pets: Tucker gets a ride | News | columbiagorgenews.com - Columbia Gorge News
Newsworthy Pets: Tucker gets a ride | News | columbiagorgenews.com  Columbia Gorge News

Pet of the Day for May 21, 2024 - WRAL News
Pet of the Day for May 21, 2024  WRAL News

Vets warn pet owners of leptospirosis - The Witness | Your compass in the community
Vets warn pet owners of leptospirosis  The Witness | Your compass in the community

Adopt a Pet in Alexandria: Meet Max - The Zebra
Adopt a Pet in Alexandria: Meet Max  The Zebra

Meet Central Jersey's Cesar Milan: This vet can help your pet behave - My Central Jersey
Meet Central Jersey's Cesar Milan: This vet can help your pet behave  My Central Jersey

Pima Animal Care Center (PACC) - Pima County
Pima Animal Care Center (PACC)  Pima County

Puppy Dog Eyes Are Not Exclusive To Pets, African Wild Dogs Make Them Too - IFLScience
Puppy Dog Eyes Are Not Exclusive To Pets, African Wild Dogs Make Them Too  IFLScience

HILL'S PET NUTRITION PARTNERS WITH ACTRESS AND SENIOR DOG OWNER CECILY STRONG ON NEW ... - PR Newswire
HILL'S PET NUTRITION PARTNERS WITH ACTRESS AND SENIOR DOG OWNER CECILY STRONG ON NEW ...  PR Newswire

Meet our Pet of the Week: Raven! - KBTX
Meet our Pet of the Week: Raven!  KBTX

Pima Animal Care Center (PACC) - Pima County
Pima Animal Care Center (PACC)  Pima County

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