Pikes can be kept in an aquarium, provided their specific requirements are taken care of.
Pike needs a large fish tank (100 gallons or above) as they can quickly grow to big size (average length 40-55 cm).
Generally speaking, it can get quite difficult for fish owners to have pikes as pets unless they are well prepared.
Let’s look at keeping pikes in an aquarium in more detail.
Aquarium Requirements for Keeping Pike
Since pikes need special attention, you will have to go the extra mile to make sure your aquarium is capable of keeping pikes in it.
Below are some of the conditions you need to fulfill.
Tank Size (at least 80 Gallons, preferably 100+ Gallons)
Most people prefer to keep young pikes in their aquarium. Pikes need a lot of space to move around as they can grow to huge sizes.
An aquarium tank of 80 gallons capacity is perhaps the bare minimum when it comes to tank size for pikes.
The ideal tank size should be more than 100 gallons. Such fish tanks will naturally need special features in them to keep the fish happy.
Pikes prefer living in colder temperatures.
If you are keeping pikes in your fish tank, you should avoid putting tropical fish in it as they will never survive in such cold temperatures.
The water temperature in your aquarium needs to be 50 degrees Fahrenheit at the maximum.
The closer you keep the temperature to 50 degrees Fahrenheit, the better it is for the pikes.
The pH level of the water is to be kept neutral (7.0) as much as possible.
Although you can put gravel or stones, a sand substrate is best for pikes. This is because they like to search the sand for food.
You should be careful in putting décor items in the fish tank. Pikes generally have very soft skin, and sharp objects can hurt them quite easily.
Avoid putting any sharp rocks or decorative items. Rocks with completely smooth surfaces are best for keeping in your fish tank.
Pikes Are Game Fish
Pikes are categorized as game fish. This fact is important because keeping game fish is regulated by laws that determine the minimum size.
These laws detail what the size of a fish should be if you want to be its legal owner.
If you were to find a very small pike and keep it in your aquarium, you could possibly be breaking the law.
Also, being a game fish, pikes generally exhibit aggressive behavior that will prove detrimental to other fish.
Pikes are carnivorous and are able to eat almost anything small enough for their mouths. This can include frogs, insects, crayfish, goldfish, and other smaller fish.
To give them their required nutrition, it is best to give high-quality pellet food. You can feed them once or even twice a day, and it should be enough.
Because of the high metabolism in pikes, you may find them searching for food even after being full. You must remember to make sure they are not overeating anything.
In case your pikes don’t eat the food they are given, try changing the feeding ring for a more appropriate size.
Also, make sure they eat different types of food. Pikes also have a preference for bloodworms or brine shrimps.
The smaller size of insects, along with the nutrients in them, are excellent for feeding pike fish. Fish owners should feed live insects like earthworms.
What Fish Can Live with Pikes?
Pikes are generally aggressive, and their large size allows them to dominate other docile fish species. Hence, they should be kept with other predator fish.
Predator fish like Oscars, tiger barbs, and catfish make good companions for pikes.
You can also keep armored catfish. These catfish like to live near the bottom and don’t have any scales. This makes them unpleasant to eat for the pikes.
What Diseases Can Affect Pikes?
Pikes can repeatedly suffer from intestinal worms as they are a common parasite found among them.
Fish owners should take care of these parasitic diseases and treat the tank as soon as possible. For different parasites, there are specific medications available.
In order to rid your tank of these parasites, you can also use salt. Salt is a good prophylactic and should be used at the start and end of each month.
Another way of reducing the chances of parasitic infections is to have pond plants.
Pond plants, like water lilies, secrete a special chemical that is highly effective in eliminating parasites.
The more fish you keep in your aquarium, the higher the chances of your pikes getting infected.
Some fish are especially prone to diseases because of their weak nervous system. If such fish come in regular contact with pikes or even become their prey, they can transmit diseases and infections.
When that happens, you need to quickly act on it to make sure it doesn’t spread to others.
How to Breed Pikes in an Aquarium
Experts and pike owners are of the consensus that breeding pikes in your fish tank is a difficult task.
You need to have very specific water conditions to trigger their breeding process.
When you want your pikes to start breeding, you need to first lower the water temperature between 40 degrees Fahrenheit to 45 degrees Fahrenheit.
Also, you need to ensure your fish tank is well-suited for pikes.
This can be done by having a suitable substrate that makes breeding easier. The substrate can be flower pots, rocks, or large leaves.
Pikes should be properly fed throughout to ensure a greater chance of reproduction.
Once your fish tank is all set, the female will then lay her eggs on a flat, vertical surface. Most pike females prefer using the walls of the aquarium.
Once the eggs are laid, they are fertilized by the male pike. These eggs need to be protected as they are especially vulnerable to being eaten by predators and other fish.
Eggs take about two weeks to complete their hatching process. The newly born pikes have a voracious appetite, and they need an abundance of food.
Once all eggs have been hatched, fish owners should remember to separate the young pikes from their parents.
Putting them in a different tank increases their chances of survival.
Young pikes should be given live food like daphnia or brine shrimps. These are full of nutrients for the young pikes.
What Factors Affect the Growth of Pikes?
Below are the factors that can affect the growth of Pike in an aquarium.
Gender of the Pike
Pikes grow rapidly to their adult sizes; hence you should be ready to have a large tank big enough to accommodate them.
Male pikes take 2 to 3 years to become sexually mature, while females require 3 to 4 years to do so.
As mentioned before, the environment plays a huge role in pikes’ growth.
The aquarium should be large enough as pikes like to swim around and are also a little curious by nature.
Your fish tank should have a suitable décor. You should make sure the décor resembles their natural habitat as much as possible. Try keeping a sand substrate instead of a rocky one.
Pikes can grow to huge sizes. While the newly born pikes are in constant need of food, the adult pikes also have a huge appetite.
Depending on the number of pikes you have, you should be careful about what and how much you are feeding your pikes.
If you have a few pikes in your fish tank, you will need a large food supply to keep every one of them well-fed.
Mistakes to Avoid When Keeping Pikes in Home Aquariums
Since it is generally difficult to keep pikes in an aquarium, many fish owners tend to make a lot of mistakes.
Pikes are surprisingly fragile when it comes to their health. Even in their natural habitat, there are very specific conditions that allow them to live comfortably.
This is why experts recommend fish owners replicate their natural environment as much as possible in the fish tank.
Since pikes like to live in cold water, the water temperature in the aquarium needs to be checked constantly.
Otherwise, it will either hamper their growth rate or cause serious health issues.
Pikes are quite messy when it comes to eating their food. Since they produce a large amount of food waste, your fish tank will need a good filtration system to improve the water quality.
The more the pikes grow, the more space they require. Hence fish owners should always keep their sizes in mind.
If you plan on keeping more than one pike, a 200-gallon tank is recommended for this.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is the average lifespan of pikes?
Pikes, generally, can live up to fifteen years. Some pikes may live for twenty years if they are well-fed and well taken care of.
How big can pikes grow up to?
Pikes can grow up to an astonishing 3 meters in ideal conditions.
Although pikes can be kept in a home aquarium, most people avoid doing so as they aren’t usually up for such a task.
However, with the right knowledge and expertise, you can definitely keep them. Pikes make wonderful pets for a fish owner if the fish owner themselves take good care of them.
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