Brown Trout (Salmo Trutta)

brown trout

Last updated on July 23rd, 2022 at 04:46 pm

The brown trout (Salmo trutta) is one of the most popular freshwater fish in the world, and if you are interested in keeping this species as a pet, you’ve come to the right place!

Brown trout are relatively easy to care for, but before you can house one, you need to understand how to take care of it.

They are ancient and native fish to the lakes and rivers of Europe and Asia. If you’re interested in keeping these fish as pets, there are some important things you should know to ensure their care and happiness.

They are popular freshwater game fish found throughout Europe and North America. These fish are relatively easy to catch, making them popular among anglers, and their tasty flesh makes them just as sought after by home cooks.

Brown trout descriptions

brown trout

Brown trout are native to Europe, but their spread and adaptation around the world have led them to become one of the most widely fished freshwater fish species in North America. They have made their way into every continent except Antarctica.

The brown trout is also very popular among recreational anglers because it’s highly compatible with typical fishing gear and is largely tolerant of changes in habitat and water quality, especially compared with other game fish species.

Species profile

Brown trout (Salmo trutta) is one of several subspecies within the salmon family, Salmonidae. They’re popular as freshwater and game fish for their high food conversion efficiency, low-fat content, and adaptability. They’re found in both cold and warm water, depending on location.

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Generally speaking, brown trout prefer clear waters with average temperatures below 18 degrees Celsius (64 degrees Fahrenheit). However, there are several strains that have adapted to survive in higher temperatures. They live for about five years and reach sexual maturity around two years of age.

Brown trout scientific name

The brown trout scientific name is Salmo trutta

Brown trout habitat

Brown trout prefer cold water (with temperatures between 55 and 68 degrees Fahrenheit) but can survive in warmer conditions. They’re also opportunistic feeders that feast on insects, crustaceans, worms, and smaller fish. Before taking your brown trout home with you, ensure it’s accustomed to its new environment by keeping it for at least two weeks in a well-maintained tank or pond.

Brown trout size

Brown trout tend to be larger than other species of trout, growing up to a size between 14 and 24 inches (36-61 cm) in length, and weighs around 2-10 pounds (907-4,536 g). A U.S. world record of 41 pounds (19 kg) has been recorded and was caught in Michigan.

Tank size

Due to their large size, the minimum recommended tank size is 250 gallons (946 liters) for a single brown trout. The size may be doubled if you’re planning to add other fishes.

Tank requirements

Brown trout are coldwater fish, so their environment must be cool and stable. A water temperature of 60-70°F (16-21°C) works well for them. If your tank falls below 57°F (14°C), you will need to consider installing a heater but do not go above 70°F or you risk harming your fish!

Colder temperatures result in a slower metabolism and lower waste output, which makes maintaining optimal health easier. Plants don’t grow nearly as fast at colder temperatures; so adding live plants in the aquarium may not be necessary, although, artificial plants may work well.

Other decorations such as gravel, rocks, and driftwood can be used in the aquarium. However, they prefer pebbles over sand and smooth rocks over rough ones; so try not to introduce these materials into your tank.

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Tank mates

Every fish has its own personality, and brown trout are no exception. If you’re keeping them in an aquarium with other species, it is essential that you choose compatible tank mates. Generally speaking, these fish will get along with similar-sized fishes; you should also try to select tank mates that have similar activity levels.

Some good tank mates are goldfish, koi, and koi-crossbreeds; rudd; barbel; perch; chub; minnow species such as roach, dace, and Vasey. Avoid keeping them with livebearers (such as mollies), loaches, catfish, or aggressive species like basses. It should also be noted that brown trout can become territorial with their own kind.


brown trout

Brown trout breeds at temperatures between 10 and 15°C (50 and 59°F). Breeding begins in late winter or early spring when water temperatures reach 12–13°C (54–55°F) with at least 0.5 cm (0.20 in) of dissolved oxygen, although hatchery-bred fish can be induced to spawn year-round depending on water temperature.

Females lay an average of 1,000 eggs in smaller-sized streams, while larger rivers can see upwards of 100,000 eggs per female per year. After spawning occurs between May and June, females will die after incubating their eggs while males will generally live another two years before dying themselves.

The eggs hatch after seven days into translucent larvae which feed on zooplankton for another week before beginning to metamorphose into juvenile brown trout. The transformation from larva to juvenile takes 25–42 days depending on water temperature. Most mortality occurs during metamorphosis, especially during August.

Brown trout show some tolerance to low levels of salinity, provided they are not exposed to freshwater for extended periods of time. However, many populations are limited by their preference for clean and well-oxygenated waters. They also show some adaptation to brackish water conditions as is evident by their presence in estuaries along most of Europe’s Atlantic coast as well as other continents such as South America where there are several landlocked species such as Salmo trutta lacustris present.

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Are they aggressive or peaceful?

They may become piscivorous (eating fish) and more aggressive as they get larger, and also become more territorial. In general, they are considered more aggressive than rainbow trouts.


brown trout

The hardy salmo trutta is generally considered among the most well-known freshwater fish species in its range. In addition, it is among those fish species that are best cared for by both commercial fish farmers and hobbyists alike. For example, common brown trout care generally consists of a combination of several key components.

First, for successful farming or conservation efforts, water quality must be maintained at healthy levels. It is essential that local government officials establish regulated standards regarding water quality before initiating any projects related to fish conservation or aquaculture.

Brown trout diet

The brown trout is an omnivore that eats both animal and plant matter. The diet of adults consists primarily of terrestrial, or land-based, insects and other invertebrates. Young trout feed on plankton in lakes or along stream bottoms. Adult trout will eat smaller fish when given an opportunity but are not true predators.

How long do brown trout live

brown trout

This species can live for up to 8-10 years, a longer lifespan of 15 years has been recorded somewhere in New Zealand.

Parasites and diseases

Common parasites and diseases include ich, an external parasite that causes white spots on fish; anchor worm, which causes wounds or irritation where they attach; and rainbow trout virus (RTD), which is most common in cooler temperatures. Brown trout are also susceptible to whirling disease, hemorrhagic septicemia, and bacterial kidney disease.

The right salinity level helps ensure that your fish remain healthy, with levels around 15–20 parts per thousand (ppt) considered ideal for normal activity. This salinity level allows them to function properly while minimizing salt build-up on their scales and gills. Excessive exposure to freshwater can cause ulcers.

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There are several other animals looking for an easy meal. Watch out for predatory fish like pike, muskie, and lake trout, as well as large birds such as loons and eagles. Even raccoons can be troubled for your stocked trout population, especially when fish are trapped in small ponds or water bodies.

Do they make good pets?

Although they do make good pets, they’re not as common as other types because they’re typically more expensive. Their need for oxygenated water and constantly clean environments can be costly and labor-intensive. But if you have a budget for all those requirements and some time on your hands, brown trout are an amazing pet that will keep you entertained for hours!