Classic Car Intelligence
  • Source: Copyright Aqualog

Lepisosteus oculatus(Spotted gar)

A very large, long-bodied fish with a narrow snout filled with sharp teeth. The body has a silvery to brassy colouration and is marked with irregular brown spots. The fins are similarly marked.

The spotted gar Lepisosteus oculatus and the Florida gar Lepisosteus platyrhincus are notoriously difficult to distinguish, being very similar in size and appearance. The best way to tell them apart is by looking at the head, because Florida gars have longer jaws than spotted gars. If the distance from the front of the eye to the back of the gill cover is less than two-thirds the length of the jaws, then the gar is a Florida gar; if that distance is more than two-thirds the length of the jaws, it's a spotted gar.

Fish information (behaviour and breeding):

Gar are peaceful, gregarious predatory fish that are safe with tankmates too large to swallow. They are best kept in twos or threes and seem to enjoy the company of their own kind.

Wild fish are distinctly opportunistic predators, and besides small fish will also take insects, crustaceans, particularly crabs, and other small animals. In the aquarium they are easily satisfied with frozen foods including lancefish, squid, prawns and mussels. Good quality carnivore pellets are also accepted. There is no reason to use feeder fish with any gar species: they will all accept other foods, and will be much healthier on a varied diet based on pellets, frozen foods, and occasional live invertebrate treats such as earthworms and river shrimps.

Water chemistry is not critical, but water quality should be excellent. Because of their large size, gar need a big tank with generous filtration. They find it difficult to turn around in confined spaces because of their armoured body, so the tank should be reasonably wide as well as long; aim for a tank not less than twice as wide as the gar is long.

Family Group: Temperate
Distribution United States, Canada, Mexico
Temperature 15-20 C
Size 150 cm (60 cm more typical in aquaria)
Water Parameters Adaptable, including brackish water
Water PH 6.5-8.0
Water Chemistry Adaptable
Diet Adaptable
Care Level Difficult
Schooling Fish No
Sociability Peaceful

Shop stock

The latest shops to have this fish in stock are listed below. Click on a shop name for full shop details, or click the link below the shops to view ALL shops that stock this fish.

Maidenhead Aquatics@ Oxford Oxfordshire OX33 1YJ View shop

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