Most sturgeons can grow to very large sizes—e.g. Huso huso (Beluga) can reach around 26ft (8m)—and are therefore totally unsuitable for aquaria. However, the Shovelnosed Sturgeon, along with Acipenser ruthenus (Sterlet) and A. stellatus (Stellate Sturgeon), are smaller and can be housed in aquaria as long as they are spacious enough. One of the reasons for their growth in popularity in certain countries — beginning in the late 1980s/early 1990s—has been the expansion of the pondkeeping/watergardening hobby in general, and that of Koi keeping in particular. Shovelnoses, Sterlets, and Stellate Sturgeons are transferred to outside ponds once they outgrow their aquaria.
- Mississippi River basin, Mobile Bay drainage (Alabama), and upper Rio Grande River (Texas).
- Around 39in (1m) but often smaller.
- Peaceful; burrows in the substratum in search of food, and may prey on small fish.
- Chunky livefoods, deep-frozen and freeze-dried preparations, as well as sinking pellets and tablets.
- Very large, well filtered, with open swimming areas and a fine-grained substratum. Neutral, medium-hard water is preferred, but some deviation accepted. Temperature range: 50-68 F (10-20 C).
- No documented accounts of aquarium breeding available.