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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 Sun. May / 31 / 2020

Pet Scene: Summit County's adoptable pets for the week of May 31, 2020 - Summit Daily News
Pet Scene: Summit County's adoptable pets for the week of May 31, 2020  Summit Daily News

3 Ways Your Pets Feel the COVID-19 Anxiety, Too - Nextgov
3 Ways Your Pets Feel the COVID-19 Anxiety, Too  Nextgov

Keep your pets cool! Tips to keep them safe during the heatwave - KUTV 2News
Keep your pets cool! Tips to keep them safe during the heatwave  KUTV 2News

Gallery: Pets of the week: Meet Kenny - nwitimes.com
Gallery: Pets of the week: Meet Kenny  nwitimes.com

How to ease your pet's separation anxiety if you're going back to work - Business Insider - Business Insider
How to ease your pet's separation anxiety if you're going back to work - Business Insider  Business Insider

Veterinarian, a COVID-19 survivor, on trying to care for pets, her staff and herself - WBAL Radio
Veterinarian, a COVID-19 survivor, on trying to care for pets, her staff and herself  WBAL Radio

Pets and People: Meet Sabrina | Pets And Animals - Frederick News Post
Pets and People: Meet Sabrina | Pets And Animals  Frederick News Post

Pets of the Week - Morganton News Herald
Pets of the Week  Morganton News Herald

Bailey's Bark offers pet grooming, sitting, and walking with a personal touch - News-Herald.com
Bailey's Bark offers pet grooming, sitting, and walking with a personal touch  News-Herald.com

Healthy pets, healthy people - Arts & Living - Wilkes-Barre Citizens Voice
Healthy pets, healthy people - Arts & Living  Wilkes-Barre Citizens Voice

Researchers look at role of pets in COVID-19 transmission - American Veterinary Medical Association
Researchers look at role of pets in COVID-19 transmission  American Veterinary Medical Association

Pets of the Week: A kissing dog and a cat with a boopable nose - Duluth News Tribune
Pets of the Week: A kissing dog and a cat with a boopable nose  Duluth News Tribune

Free Veterinary Care Provided to LA Pets in Need - Spectrum News 1
Free Veterinary Care Provided to LA Pets in Need  Spectrum News 1

5 ways pets support mental health while social distancing - The Southern Maryland Chronicle
5 ways pets support mental health while social distancing  The Southern Maryland Chronicle

Survey shows benefits of pet ownership during pandemic - Atlanta Journal Constitution
Survey shows benefits of pet ownership during pandemic  Atlanta Journal Constitution

Owners are the ones jumping through hoops to get pets back to US - Stars and Stripes
Owners are the ones jumping through hoops to get pets back to US  Stars and Stripes

Prized as pets, are ball pythons being traded out of wild existence? - Mongabay.com
Prized as pets, are ball pythons being traded out of wild existence?  Mongabay.com

Animal services providers make adjustments to keep pets cared for amid pandemic - Charleston Gazette-Mail
Animal services providers make adjustments to keep pets cared for amid pandemic  Charleston Gazette-Mail

Brittany Voie Commentary: Beware of the Danger Rodent Poisons Pose to Pets, Wildlife - Centralia Chronicle
Brittany Voie Commentary: Beware of the Danger Rodent Poisons Pose to Pets, Wildlife  Centralia Chronicle

Hope And Auggie Are Warrens Pets Of The Week - Warren, NJ Patch
Hope And Auggie Are Warrens Pets Of The Week  Warren, NJ Patch

Galveston County Animal Resource Center pets of the week - Galveston County Daily News
Galveston County Animal Resource Center pets of the week  Galveston County Daily News

P.E.T.S. Clinic of Lubbock set to open after delay due to COVID-19 - KCBD
P.E.T.S. Clinic of Lubbock set to open after delay due to COVID-19  KCBD

Shelter's Biggest Event Of The Year Goes Virtual, More Than 1480 Pets Found A Home In 2020 So Far - The Suburban Times
Shelter's Biggest Event Of The Year Goes Virtual, More Than 1480 Pets Found A Home In 2020 So Far  The Suburban Times

Your pets are stressed out, too - Purdue News Service
Your pets are stressed out, too  Purdue News Service

Free Pet Food Bank distribution event set for Saturday in Greenfield | The - King City Rustler
Free Pet Food Bank distribution event set for Saturday in Greenfield | The  King City Rustler

Looking for a home: Adoptable pets in Lane County - The Register-Guard
Looking for a home: Adoptable pets in Lane County  The Register-Guard

Briona and more pets up for adoption in Phoenix-area shelters this week - AZCentral
Briona and more pets up for adoption in Phoenix-area shelters this week  AZCentral

Pets of the week: Muese is a sight for sore eyes - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Pets of the week: Muese is a sight for sore eyes  Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

How safe are pets from COVID-19? - The Japan Times
How safe are pets from COVID-19?  The Japan Times

Pet of the Week: Chaz - County 17
Pet of the Week: Chaz  County 17

Pet Of The Week And Free Food For Pets - The Transylvania Times
Pet Of The Week And Free Food For Pets  The Transylvania Times

Bear spooks Charlotte-area neighborhood. ‘Watch your kids and pets.’ - Charlotte Observer
Bear spooks Charlotte-area neighborhood. ‘Watch your kids and pets.’  Charlotte Observer

10 things to do with pets in L.A. this coronavirus summer - Los Angeles Times
10 things to do with pets in L.A. this coronavirus summer  Los Angeles Times

Colorado Springs area pet organizations | Lifestyle | gazette.com - Colorado Springs Gazette
Colorado Springs area pet organizations | Lifestyle | gazette.com  Colorado Springs Gazette

Titusville Police Officials Encourage Launch Viewers to Leave Pets at Home for Their Own Safety - SpaceCoastDaily.com
Titusville Police Officials Encourage Launch Viewers to Leave Pets at Home for Their Own Safety  SpaceCoastDaily.com

Pet of the Week 5-31-2020: Chandler - Tyler Morning Telegraph
Pet of the Week 5-31-2020: Chandler  Tyler Morning Telegraph

Animal Welfare League of Alexandria distributes 5K pounds of free pet supplies during coronavirus pandemic - WTOP
Animal Welfare League of Alexandria distributes 5K pounds of free pet supplies during coronavirus pandemic  WTOP

Fish and Game warns of annual Tularemia outbreak affecting pets - webcenter11
Fish and Game warns of annual Tularemia outbreak affecting pets  webcenter11

Pet adoptions on the rise amid COVID-19 pandemic - WTRF
Pet adoptions on the rise amid COVID-19 pandemic  WTRF

Are you paying more attention to your dog or cat during coronavirus quarantine? You're not alone, survey shows - USA TODAY
Are you paying more attention to your dog or cat during coronavirus quarantine? You're not alone, survey shows  USA TODAY

Cherokee County offers help getting pets vaccinated - Atlanta Journal Constitution
Cherokee County offers help getting pets vaccinated  Atlanta Journal Constitution

Pets perish in fire | News, Sports, Jobs - Fort Dodge Messenger
Pets perish in fire | News, Sports, Jobs  Fort Dodge Messenger

Pet of the Week: Pan | News | dailyindependent.com - The Independent
Pet of the Week: Pan | News | dailyindependent.com  The Independent

Adorable & Adoptable–Pets of the Week: Hazel, Abby, & Hot Rod - SweetwaterNOW.com
Adorable & Adoptable–Pets of the Week: Hazel, Abby, & Hot Rod  SweetwaterNOW.com

Rio animal shelter delivers pets to Brazilians in lockdown – in pictures - The Guardian
Rio animal shelter delivers pets to Brazilians in lockdown – in pictures  The Guardian

10,000 Pounds of Free Pet Food to Give Away on Monday - Times of San Diego
10,000 Pounds of Free Pet Food to Give Away on Monday  Times of San Diego

Craven-Pamlico pets of the week - New Bern Sun Journal
Craven-Pamlico pets of the week  New Bern Sun Journal

Local pet kennel comes to aid of victims of abuse and their pets - Steamboat Pilot & Today
Local pet kennel comes to aid of victims of abuse and their pets  Steamboat Pilot & Today

How to Cope with Losing a Pet - Tufts Now
How to Cope with Losing a Pet  Tufts Now

Pet Owners Making the Cannabis Connection - Progressive Grocer
Pet Owners Making the Cannabis Connection  Progressive Grocer

Channel 4's Pet Project - WJXT News4JAX
Channel 4's Pet Project  WJXT News4JAX

Resources for Pet Owners During the Pandemic - The Zebra
Resources for Pet Owners During the Pandemic  The Zebra

Pets of the Week: Speckles and Blythe - Daily Bulldog
Pets of the Week: Speckles and Blythe  Daily Bulldog

Is it safe to take your pet to groomers as states reopen? Here’s what experts say - Miami Herald
Is it safe to take your pet to groomers as states reopen? Here’s what experts say  Miami Herald

Animal Humane Society hoping families adopt pocket pets who still need a home - KSTP
Animal Humane Society hoping families adopt pocket pets who still need a home  KSTP

Meet our pets of the week: A beagle mix and more horses - STLtoday.com
Meet our pets of the week: A beagle mix and more horses  STLtoday.com

Families Foster Classroom Pets During Coronavirus Shutdown - NPR
Families Foster Classroom Pets During Coronavirus Shutdown  NPR

Mass. Pets Getting Seriously Hurt in Grooming Mishaps, Veterinarians Say - nbcboston.com
Mass. Pets Getting Seriously Hurt in Grooming Mishaps, Veterinarians Say  nbcboston.com

Should you be quarantining with your pets? - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Should you be quarantining with your pets?  Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Virus delays flooding solutions at Austin Pets Alive! building - KXAN.com
Virus delays flooding solutions at Austin Pets Alive! building  KXAN.com

This is what happens to the pets left behind when their owners die from coronavirus - CNN
This is what happens to the pets left behind when their owners die from coronavirus  CNN

Man’s grooming routine for ‘pets’ will make you ROFL. Watch - Hindustan Times
Man’s grooming routine for ‘pets’ will make you ROFL. Watch  Hindustan Times

Pet owners flock as groomers reopen with new precautions - HollandSentinel.com
Pet owners flock as groomers reopen with new precautions  HollandSentinel.com

DIGGING DEEPER: Pandemic pet problem - KVOA Tucson News
DIGGING DEEPER: Pandemic pet problem  KVOA Tucson News

Coronavirus and pets: Scams exploit animal lovers in crisis - Los Angeles Times
Coronavirus and pets: Scams exploit animal lovers in crisis  Los Angeles Times

AWLA Provides 5,000 Lbs. of Pet Supplies to Pet Owners This Spring - Alexandria Living Magazine
AWLA Provides 5,000 Lbs. of Pet Supplies to Pet Owners This Spring  Alexandria Living Magazine

Local veterinarians seeing an increase of pets with snake bites - WBRC
Local veterinarians seeing an increase of pets with snake bites  WBRC

dvm360® and Banfield Pet Hospital Set to Host Virtual Career Fair - Business Wire
dvm360® and Banfield Pet Hospital Set to Host Virtual Career Fair  Business Wire

Your quarantined pet may be acting odd. Here’s how to help. - The Washington Post
Your quarantined pet may be acting odd. Here’s how to help.  The Washington Post

Pet Stores Cited For Illegally Selling Puppies: Humane Society - San Diego, CA Patch
Pet Stores Cited For Illegally Selling Puppies: Humane Society  San Diego, CA Patch

Pet of the Day: May 29 - WRAL.com
Pet of the Day: May 29  WRAL.com

How to prevent separation anxiety in pets as you head back to the office after Covid-19 - KVIA El Paso
How to prevent separation anxiety in pets as you head back to the office after Covid-19  KVIA El Paso

Pets strange behavior amid COVID-19 - 11Alive.com WXIA
Pets strange behavior amid COVID-19  11Alive.com WXIA

Expert Tips on How to Keep Pets Happy and Safe at Home During the Coronavirus Pandemic - PEOPLE
Expert Tips on How to Keep Pets Happy and Safe at Home During the Coronavirus Pandemic  PEOPLE

18 products that actually remove pet hair - USA TODAY
18 products that actually remove pet hair  USA TODAY

Pets and the Humans Who Loved Them - The Wall Street Journal
Pets and the Humans Who Loved Them  The Wall Street Journal

First-ever national virtual pet super adoption hopes to place thousands of pets - KUTV 2News
First-ever national virtual pet super adoption hopes to place thousands of pets  KUTV 2News

How Safe Are Pets from Coronavirus? - Bloomberg
How Safe Are Pets from Coronavirus?  Bloomberg

What to know before hiring a pet sitter or boarding facility - KELOLAND.com
What to know before hiring a pet sitter or boarding facility  KELOLAND.com

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

pet abandonment - The Batavian
pet abandonment  The Batavian

Veterinarians reveal the biggest mistakes you're making when buying toys for your pets - Insider - INSIDER
Veterinarians reveal the biggest mistakes you're making when buying toys for your pets - Insider  INSIDER

A Guide for First-Time Pet Owners During the Pandemic - The New York Times
A Guide for First-Time Pet Owners During the Pandemic  The New York Times

Can it be a ‘family’ vacation without the family pet? - OCRegister
Can it be a ‘family’ vacation without the family pet?  OCRegister

Increasing awareness of child and pet danger in hot cars heading into summer - KOAA.com Colorado Springs and Pueblo News
Increasing awareness of child and pet danger in hot cars heading into summer  KOAA.com Colorado Springs and Pueblo News

How to adopt your next pet safely and virtually - The Verge
How to adopt your next pet safely and virtually  The Verge

How's your pet's life in quarantine? - Herald-Mail Media
How's your pet's life in quarantine?  Herald-Mail Media

Warwick Public Library's pet tarantula temporarily living at librarian's house - Turn to 10
Warwick Public Library's pet tarantula temporarily living at librarian's house  Turn to 10

How to tell your dog or cat that Beshear said it's OK to leave and go back to work now - Courier Journal
How to tell your dog or cat that Beshear said it's OK to leave and go back to work now  Courier Journal

'Office' star Rainn Wilson hosts Zoom call with 900 pets - Insider - INSIDER
'Office' star Rainn Wilson hosts Zoom call with 900 pets - Insider  INSIDER

Berthold Police Department hosting pet microchipping event on Saturday - KX NEWS
Berthold Police Department hosting pet microchipping event on Saturday  KX NEWS

Sophisticated new scanner to aid cancer research, treatment for pets, people - Augusta Free Press
Sophisticated new scanner to aid cancer research, treatment for pets, people  Augusta Free Press

How to Make Your Garden Safe for Pets - 7 Unexpected Solutions for a Pet-Safe Garden - HouseBeautiful.com
How to Make Your Garden Safe for Pets - 7 Unexpected Solutions for a Pet-Safe Garden  HouseBeautiful.com

Pet of the Week, May 29, 2020 | News | kokomotribune.com - Kokomo Tribune
Pet of the Week, May 29, 2020 | News | kokomotribune.com  Kokomo Tribune

Diagnostic Performance of PSMA-Targeted PET Tracer Excels in Relapsed Prostate Cancer - OncLive
Diagnostic Performance of PSMA-Targeted PET Tracer Excels in Relapsed Prostate Cancer  OncLive

Pet of the Week | Cherry Garcia - WHP Harrisburg
Pet of the Week | Cherry Garcia  WHP Harrisburg

How to Handle Your Pet's Anxiety - Lifehacker
How to Handle Your Pet's Anxiety  Lifehacker

Left on the streets, these pets have found their forever homes during lockdown - The Hindu
Left on the streets, these pets have found their forever homes during lockdown  The Hindu

Cats, Dogs and COVID: How Safe Are Your Pets? - WebMD
Cats, Dogs and COVID: How Safe Are Your Pets?  WebMD

Thinking Of Adopting A Pet? Here Are Tips To Help You Find A New Furry Friend - WBUR
Thinking Of Adopting A Pet? Here Are Tips To Help You Find A New Furry Friend  WBUR

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