In order to evaluate the protein and energy requirement of Persian sturgeon (Acipenser persicus) sub-yearlings, eight experimental diets containing two protein levels (40% and 45%) and four lipid levels (10%, 15%, 20% and 25%) were tested. Sturgeons (W0 = 136.8 g) were fed the experimental diets to satiation four times daily for 150 days, resulting in a final mean weight of 375.8 g. Growth was significantly affected by lipid content of the diets. At 40% protein level, weight gain and specific growth rate (% per day) were significantly improved (P < 0.05) by increasing the dietary lipid (energy) content. Protein efficiency ratio (PER) was significantly affected by different dietary treatments for each dietary protein level tested, reaching a mean value of 3.58 in fish fed high lipid diets and a PER of 2.77 in low lipid diets. Results obtained in the present study suggest that the optimum dietary protein content for Persian sturgeon is 40%, with an estimated optimum protein-to-energy ratio of 18–20 mg kJ−1.