Alligator Gar

Garfish | Alligator Gar

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(Please note that the fish shown in the photo is only a representative of what an adult specimen would look like. The color may vary based on the age and sex of the fish you receive.)

Scientific Name: Atracosteus spatula

Common Name: Alligator Gar

Adult Size: 8 feet

Life Expectancy: 50 years

Habitat: U.S. Gulf coastal plain from Florida west and south to Veracruz, Mexico. The historic range extends north in the Mississippi River basin to the lower reaches of the Missouri and Ohio rivers.

Minimum Tank Size: 1000+ gallons

Ideal Tank Conditions:

  • Temperature Range: 65 - 76°F
  • pH Range: 6.8 - 7.8
  • Water Hardness: 5 - 18

Temperament: Due to its predatory nature and potential size, the Alligator Gar is best suited for species-only tanks or large predator tanks with other large, aggressive fish. Tankmates should be carefully chosen, considering their compatibility and ability to coexist peacefully with the Alligator Gar.

Diet & Nutrition: Predator and live fish eater that feeds primarily on fish, crustaceans, and other small aquatic animals. Should be fed on a diet of live, feeder fish such as minnows and shrimp. However, it is possible to train gars from a young age to accept most frozen and pellet based foods.

Breeding & Spawning: At birth they are all males. Over time and needs, they will change sex becoming females. They are egg-layers and spawn in spring. In the aquarium, reproduction is very difficult, if not impossible.

Gender: Once they have reached the right age and sex, females will display a greater roundness.