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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 Tue. November / 19 / 2019

Frozen cat food recalled over salmonella risk posed to pets and owners - USA TODAY
Frozen cat food recalled over salmonella risk posed to pets and owners  USA TODAY

Studies say owning pet can have positive impact on owners' physical, mental health - WZTV
Studies say owning pet can have positive impact on owners' physical, mental health  WZTV

Adoptable pets of the week: Lucky, Adams, Sara, Sugar Plum - The State Journal-Register
Adoptable pets of the week: Lucky, Adams, Sara, Sugar Plum  The State Journal-Register

Thanking all those who help support shelter, give comfort to pets - The Daily Journal
Thanking all those who help support shelter, give comfort to pets  The Daily Journal

Companion Cuisine prepares to feed 500 people and pets on Thanksgiving - WXIX
Companion Cuisine prepares to feed 500 people and pets on Thanksgiving  WXIX

Senior pets getting some extra help at animal hospital in Scottsville - wnky.com
Senior pets getting some extra help at animal hospital in Scottsville  wnky.com

A people party for pets - Chico Enterprise-Record
A people party for pets  Chico Enterprise-Record

Pet owners don't ignore your recommendations because they are bad people - dvm360
Pet owners don't ignore your recommendations because they are bad people  dvm360

It's A Zoo Out There: Pets, Service Animals And Emotional Support Animals - Forbes
It's A Zoo Out There: Pets, Service Animals And Emotional Support Animals  Forbes

Old dogs, new tricks: 10,000 pets needed for science - New Jersey Herald
Old dogs, new tricks: 10,000 pets needed for science  New Jersey Herald

Quest Cat Food Recalled, May Pose Danger To Pets, Humans - CBS Miami
Quest Cat Food Recalled, May Pose Danger To Pets, Humans  CBS Miami

NJ pets in need: Nov. 18, 2019 - nj.com - NJ.com
NJ pets in need: Nov. 18, 2019 - nj.com  NJ.com

Struggling pet parents can get the help they need - Marin Independent Journal
Struggling pet parents can get the help they need  Marin Independent Journal

Make your home more pet friendly | Animals - The Union Leader
Make your home more pet friendly | Animals  The Union Leader

Free preventative care clinic for pets for low-income, homeless pet owners happening Monday - KSAT San Antonio
Free preventative care clinic for pets for low-income, homeless pet owners happening Monday  KSAT San Antonio

Rabies confirmed in pet cat, Michigan county health officials say - MLive.com
Rabies confirmed in pet cat, Michigan county health officials say  MLive.com

Lost And Found Pets Of Will County: Week of Nov. 18 - Mokena, IL Patch
Lost And Found Pets Of Will County: Week of Nov. 18  Mokena, IL Patch

City warns pet owners to be wary of weather - Monitor
City warns pet owners to be wary of weather  Monitor

Freeze-Dried Pets Are Forever - Slate
Freeze-Dried Pets Are Forever  Slate

Here's how you can buy a beer and raise money for pets in need - WKYC.com
Here's how you can buy a beer and raise money for pets in need  WKYC.com

Shepherd mix, sweet shorthair pets of the week - Kansas City Star
Shepherd mix, sweet shorthair pets of the week  Kansas City Star

Commentary: Do we give pets, other animals space they need? - The Daily Herald
Commentary: Do we give pets, other animals space they need?  The Daily Herald

City to consider raising limit to six pets per household as part of its ‘Compassion Saves’ approach - Long Beach Post
City to consider raising limit to six pets per household as part of its ‘Compassion Saves’ approach  Long Beach Post

Pets of the Week for Nov. 19, 2019 - WKRN News 2
Pets of the Week for Nov. 19, 2019  WKRN News 2

Here's proof pets have unconditional love for their humans - WBAL Baltimore
Here's proof pets have unconditional love for their humans  WBAL Baltimore

Adorable Adoptable Pets Of The Week From Anne Arundel SPCA - Anne Arundel, MD Patch
Adorable Adoptable Pets Of The Week From Anne Arundel SPCA  Anne Arundel, MD Patch

Cat food sold nationwide is recalled over risks to pets and humans - CNN
Cat food sold nationwide is recalled over risks to pets and humans  CNN

Is your pet feeling the stress of the holidays? - WNDU-TV
Is your pet feeling the stress of the holidays?  WNDU-TV

Pet Parents: This Is Your Holiday-Travel Essential - Refinery29
Pet Parents: This Is Your Holiday-Travel Essential  Refinery29

Cat food sold nationwide is recalled over Salmonella risk to pets, humans - KOMO News
Cat food sold nationwide is recalled over Salmonella risk to pets, humans  KOMO News

Bob and Bumper are Pets of Week - Mississippi's Best Community Newspaper | Mississippi's Best Community Newspaper - Natchez Democrat
Bob and Bumper are Pets of Week - Mississippi's Best Community Newspaper | Mississippi's Best Community Newspaper  Natchez Democrat

Pet Startup Pawp Wants To Take A Bite Out Of Chewy - Forbes
Pet Startup Pawp Wants To Take A Bite Out Of Chewy  Forbes

'They're like children': How to keep pets safe amid record-breaking cold weather - USA TODAY
'They're like children': How to keep pets safe amid record-breaking cold weather  USA TODAY

Pets and people run to support SPCA of Wake County - WRAL.com
Pets and people run to support SPCA of Wake County  WRAL.com

Pets Get An Oppawtunity To Explore David Lawrence Center - CBS Pittsburgh
Pets Get An Oppawtunity To Explore David Lawrence Center  CBS Pittsburgh

Puppies found in bad shape at pet shop in Pembroke Park - WPLG Local 10
Puppies found in bad shape at pet shop in Pembroke Park  WPLG Local 10

Pets with Potential: Meet Kitty - WCAX
Pets with Potential: Meet Kitty  WCAX

Where do your pets fit in with your holiday plans? - WTOP
Where do your pets fit in with your holiday plans?  WTOP

Cat food sold nationwide is recalled because of risks to pets and humans - WAFB
Cat food sold nationwide is recalled because of risks to pets and humans  WAFB

Adopt-A-Pet: Camilla, Mara & Bandit - 9&10 News
Adopt-A-Pet: Camilla, Mara & Bandit  9&10 News

South Florida’s Pet Detective Jamie Katz Reunites Lost & Missing Pets With Owners - CBS Miami
South Florida’s Pet Detective Jamie Katz Reunites Lost & Missing Pets With Owners  CBS Miami

Alert for holiday pet scams when looking to buy a new pet online - CBS19 News
Alert for holiday pet scams when looking to buy a new pet online  CBS19 News

When pet love comes to seniors, everybody's tail wags - The San Diego Union-Tribune
When pet love comes to seniors, everybody's tail wags  The San Diego Union-Tribune

Old dogs, new tricks: 10000 pets needed for canine aging study - STAT
Old dogs, new tricks: 10000 pets needed for canine aging study  STAT

Licenses, fees and penalties to increase for pet owners - KCAU 9
Licenses, fees and penalties to increase for pet owners  KCAU 9

7OYS: Are dog boots the answer to keep your furry pet warm this winter? - WJLA
7OYS: Are dog boots the answer to keep your furry pet warm this winter?  WJLA

St. Mark's Episcopal Church to hold pet food pantry - TribDem.com
St. Mark's Episcopal Church to hold pet food pantry  TribDem.com

Toledo shelter fielding numerous calls about pets left in the cold - 13abc Action News
Toledo shelter fielding numerous calls about pets left in the cold  13abc Action News

Hurricane Katrina inspired a national pet evacuation policy. The plan could save human lives, too. - Vox.com
Hurricane Katrina inspired a national pet evacuation policy. The plan could save human lives, too.  Vox.com

Protecting your pets from the cold - WITN
Protecting your pets from the cold  WITN

'It's a commitment': Avoiding unwanted pets this holiday season - News3LV
'It's a commitment': Avoiding unwanted pets this holiday season  News3LV

KCBD’s Pet of the Day: Meet Bufford - KCBD
KCBD’s Pet of the Day: Meet Bufford  KCBD

'Bring your pets inside.' MACC on protecting your pets in the cold - NewsChannel5.com
'Bring your pets inside.' MACC on protecting your pets in the cold  NewsChannel5.com

Fire destroys Lakeville home, leaves 3 pets dead, officials say - Boston.com
Fire destroys Lakeville home, leaves 3 pets dead, officials say  Boston.com

People are freeze-drying their pets after they die: ‘They don’t want to let go’ - Yahoo Food
People are freeze-drying their pets after they die: ‘They don’t want to let go’  Yahoo Food

Best Pet GPS Trackers for Your Cat or Dog - Reader's Digest
Best Pet GPS Trackers for Your Cat or Dog  Reader's Digest

Keeping your pets safe during the winter months - 10TV
Keeping your pets safe during the winter months  10TV

Scientists develop sensor to save children and pets from hot car deaths - CNN
Scientists develop sensor to save children and pets from hot car deaths  CNN

Area pets available for adoption (PHOTOS), Nov. 13, 2019 - OregonLive
Area pets available for adoption (PHOTOS), Nov. 13, 2019  OregonLive

California Veterans Can Soon Get Free Pets - Military.com
California Veterans Can Soon Get Free Pets  Military.com

Hints From Heloise: A teacher’s pet? - The Washington Post
Hints From Heloise: A teacher’s pet?  The Washington Post

Fish and Game issues Wildlife Alert for wolverine attacking pets - KTVA
Fish and Game issues Wildlife Alert for wolverine attacking pets  KTVA

Pet cat tests positive for rabies in Birmingham - Detroit Free Press
Pet cat tests positive for rabies in Birmingham  Detroit Free Press

The Mysterious Relationship Between Pets and Their Owners - The New Yorker
The Mysterious Relationship Between Pets and Their Owners  The New Yorker

Hampton pet owner reunited with cat more than a year after it disappeared - WTKR News 3
Hampton pet owner reunited with cat more than a year after it disappeared  WTKR News 3

Russia corruption: Putin's pet space project Vostochny tainted by massive theft - BBC News
Russia corruption: Putin's pet space project Vostochny tainted by massive theft  BBC News

Cute animals on demand: Business makes pet toy look-alikes, fetches celebrity clientele - WCVB Boston
Cute animals on demand: Business makes pet toy look-alikes, fetches celebrity clientele  WCVB Boston

As Homelessness Surges, Volunteers Work to Keep Pets and Their Owners Together - Los Angeleno
As Homelessness Surges, Volunteers Work to Keep Pets and Their Owners Together  Los Angeleno

Learn More About the Valley's Coolest Pets - Phoenix New Times
Learn More About the Valley's Coolest Pets  Phoenix New Times

More Twin Cities apartments welcome pets — for a price - Minnesota Public Radio News
More Twin Cities apartments welcome pets — for a price  Minnesota Public Radio News

You can adopt 19 remarkable pets on Staten Island this weekend: Nov. 16-17 - SILive.com
You can adopt 19 remarkable pets on Staten Island this weekend: Nov. 16-17  SILive.com

San Antonio Pets Alive! waives adoption fees as it reaches maximum capacity - KSAT San Antonio
San Antonio Pets Alive! waives adoption fees as it reaches maximum capacity  KSAT San Antonio

Beware the legal ramifications when re-homing lost pets - WHNT News 19
Beware the legal ramifications when re-homing lost pets  WHNT News 19

A Crucial Blind Spot in Veterinary Medicine - The Atlantic
A Crucial Blind Spot in Veterinary Medicine  The Atlantic

Adopt pets for free at IACS Adopt-A-Thon Friday night - WTHR
Adopt pets for free at IACS Adopt-A-Thon Friday night  WTHR

The Curious Tale of the Stolen Pets review on PSVR. - The Digital Fix
The Curious Tale of the Stolen Pets review on PSVR.  The Digital Fix

Albany DA: Justice reforms to burden animal shelters, pets could go back to abusers - Times Union
Albany DA: Justice reforms to burden animal shelters, pets could go back to abusers  Times Union

Norman Animal Welfare waiving adoption fees during event for all adoptable pets - KFOR Oklahoma City
Norman Animal Welfare waiving adoption fees during event for all adoptable pets  KFOR Oklahoma City

Perfect Pet: Bring home a furry friend for the holidays - WSAV-TV
Perfect Pet: Bring home a furry friend for the holidays  WSAV-TV

Eco Adventures Presents Responsible Pet-Keeping Open House - Severna Park Voice
Eco Adventures Presents Responsible Pet-Keeping Open House  Severna Park Voice

A guinea pig was thrown at a Kentucky pet store owner during a reported robbery attempt - The Cincinnati Enquirer
A guinea pig was thrown at a Kentucky pet store owner during a reported robbery attempt  The Cincinnati Enquirer

Meet Bishop, this week's adoptable pet! - Williamsburg Yorktown Daily
Meet Bishop, this week's adoptable pet!  Williamsburg Yorktown Daily

The Hoxton Hotel Debuts Cozy, Pet-Friendly Coworking Space In Fulton Market - Block Club Chicago
The Hoxton Hotel Debuts Cozy, Pet-Friendly Coworking Space In Fulton Market  Block Club Chicago

Pets also need protection in cold weather - KSAT San Antonio
Pets also need protection in cold weather  KSAT San Antonio

Multiple pets, including dog, cats, lizard, bird, rescued from Denver house fire - The Denver Channel
Multiple pets, including dog, cats, lizard, bird, rescued from Denver house fire  The Denver Channel

Nekoosa Police: Couple moved leaving animals behind, several pets dead - WSAW
Nekoosa Police: Couple moved leaving animals behind, several pets dead  WSAW

Former Casper execs launch DTC pet wellness company Jinx - Digiday
Former Casper execs launch DTC pet wellness company Jinx  Digiday

Dallas Dog Owner Appealing Pet’s Double Designation As ‘Dangerous’ And ‘Aggressive’ - CBS Dallas / Fort Worth
Dallas Dog Owner Appealing Pet’s Double Designation As ‘Dangerous’ And ‘Aggressive’  CBS Dallas / Fort Worth

Do alternative diets work for pets like they do for people? - WTHR
Do alternative diets work for pets like they do for people?  WTHR

Instagram pets don't live forever, but their content can - The Outline
Instagram pets don't live forever, but their content can  The Outline

NJ pets in need: Nov. 11, 2019 - NJ.com
NJ pets in need: Nov. 11, 2019  NJ.com

California Wildfires Displace Shelter Pets - Mental Floss
California Wildfires Displace Shelter Pets  Mental Floss

Saving Senior Dogs Week celebrates adopting older pets - Today.com
Saving Senior Dogs Week celebrates adopting older pets  Today.com

Lakewood Ranch Publix employees adopt dog for loyal customer whose pet was hit by car - WFLA
Lakewood Ranch Publix employees adopt dog for loyal customer whose pet was hit by car  WFLA

Cartwright woman loses home, pets to fire - KXII-TV
Cartwright woman loses home, pets to fire  KXII-TV

Pet owners protest Beaverton veterinarian accused of animal abuse - KGW.com
Pet owners protest Beaverton veterinarian accused of animal abuse  KGW.com

Adoptable pets from Arizona Humane Society and Maricopa County Animal Care (11/13/19) - ABC15 Arizona
Adoptable pets from Arizona Humane Society and Maricopa County Animal Care (11/13/19)  ABC15 Arizona

Boca Raton pet store under investigation by Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control - WPTV.com
Boca Raton pet store under investigation by Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control  WPTV.com

10 Best Pet Birds — Best Birds for Family Pets - WomansDay.com
10 Best Pet Birds — Best Birds for Family Pets  WomansDay.com

Protect pets and plants during cold weather with these tips - WAFB
Protect pets and plants during cold weather with these tips  WAFB

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