A huge school of freshwater fish has arrived at a Cheshire Oaks attraction.

The 50-strong shoal is settling in to its new home at the Blue Planet Aquarium after being donated from an aquarium on the south coast.

The shoal, which includes a 1m long Siberian sturgeon and giant mirror carp, arrived in specially-constructed travel tanks following a six-hour journey from Portsmouth. The mix of mirror, common and grass carp, along with the sturgeon, tench, golden and blue orfe have all been re-homed by the wildlife destination.

RELATED STORY: Blue Planet Aquarium otters head for Ireland

“The Portsmouth aquarium is in the process of developing a new, tropical-themed display and got in touch with us to see whether we would be interested in the fish,” said Tom Fielding, Blue Planet’s freshwater aquarist.

“The mirror carp in particular are really good specimens with some measuring up to 70cms in length and the sturgeon is also a good size. The Siberian sturgeon and the orfe are already on display in our Northern Streams exhibit and the rest will follow them over the coming weeks,” he added.

A huge school of freshwater fish has arrived at the Blue Planet Aquarium, Cheshire Oaks. A Siberian sturgeon. Pic supplied by Blue Planet.
A huge school of freshwater fish has arrived at the Blue Planet Aquarium, Cheshire Oaks. A Siberian sturgeon. Pic supplied by Blue Planet.

Siberian sturgeon have been in steep decline in the wild. Up to 40% of the fish’s spawning habitat has been made inaccessible by damming.

RELATED STORY: Blue Planet Aquarium at Cheshire Oaks carries out research into jellyfish

As its name suggests the fish is found in all of the major Siberian river basins and also in Kazakhstan and China.

Grass carp originate in Asia and are found from Vietnam to the Chinese border. They were also introduced to North American rivers for weed control but became highly invasive and are now considered a pest.

Blue Planet says the common and mirror carp are extremely long-lived and can grow to enormous sizes. The record for the largest common carp is a specimen caught in France in 2013 which weighed more than 45 kgs.