Nine Spined Stickleback
Description: The body of the nine spined stickleback (also known as ten spined stickleback) tapers to a very narrow caudal peduncle and the caudal fin is fan-shaped. The body is less deep and more elongated than that of the three spined stickleback. It has a thinner and longer caudal peduncle. The best way of distinguishing these two species is the number of spines in front of the dorsal fin. Despite it’s name, varies from seven to twelve spines, although nine is the commonest number. During the breeding season, the males develop a black area around the pelvis and the pelvic spines become white.
Maximum Size: Upto 2″ but on average 1 – 1.5″ when mature.
Environment: The Stickleback is well suited to smaller garden ponds but benefits from well filtered pond with vegetation. It is a shoal fish so benefits from 3 or more of the same species to fulfill it’s shoaling desire. They do best without competition from their 3 spined cousins. The nine spined stickleback naturally lives in streams, lakes, ponds and rivers and favors thick submerged vegetation. Its small spines do not offer much protection.
Water Conditions: Sticklebacks require a pH range of 7-8.5, Ammonia and Nitrite to be virtually 0ppm and dissolved oxygen saturation to remain above 8ppm. Sticklebacks are not noted to be sensitive to pond treatments but please seek professional advice before treating your pond.
As with any pet, please fully research for yourself to ensure that you can accommodate a fish of this type in your home.