Freshwater Stingray Care Requirements and Tank Selection for Hobbyists
Housing Requirements for Freshwater Stingrays
Simply said, when it comes to choosing the right aquarium size for freshwater stingrays, the larger the better. Height is not necessary, but for long-term habitation, a length of 72" to 84" and a depth (width) of 24" to 36" should be regarded the minimum. Juvenile stingrays may be kept in a 75 or 90 gallon aquarium, but adults should not be kept in anything less than a 180 gallon tank. Fine sand should be used as the substrate, and any ornamentation should be smooth and devoid of rough edges. Allow the rays to swim and bury themselves in the sand as much as possible on the bottom. To keep your stingrays from burning themselves on the heaters, they should have a guard around them, be in-line, or be in a sump. With a 12-hour day/night cycle, lighting should be modest.
Behavior and Compatibility of Freshwater Stingrays with other Oddball Fish
Stingrays spend the most of their time at the bottom of the tank. Their eyes and gill inlets (called spiracles) sit on top of their bodies, allowing them to stay buried in the sand while waiting for food. They have exceptional vision and spring out of the sand to use their body to catch prey. Other rays are the greatest tank mates for freshwater rays
, however severums, Geophagus species, silver dollars, arowanas, and bichirs
are other options. Stingrays of various kinds and sizes may be mingled as long as there is enough room and filtration. Complementary fish should be big enough to avoid being eaten by the rays while yet being placid enough not to peck at them or take their food. Swimmers in the middle to higher water levels are great for allowing your rays easy access to the bottom. Avoid plecostomus
and other suckermouth catfish, since their soft bodies have been known to hurt rays.
What Do Freshwater Stingrays Eat in the Aquarium Exactly?
In the wild, freshwater stingrays are carnivores that eat largely fish and crustaceans. To start young rays feeding as quickly as possible, many hobbyists feed live blackworms
, although frozen bloodworms, mysis shrimp
, raw shrimp or white fish (tilapia), and live earthworms
are preferable alternatives after they've adapted to their new environment. Freshwater rays may be trained to feed themselves using tweezers or even your fingers. Monster fish food
, Bottom Feeder Tablets
, Shrimp Pellets
, and Cichlid Pellets
are all sinking pellet
or tablet meals that many rays, particularly captive bred individuals, will consume.
Information and Buying Tips for Freshwater Stingrays by State
Private persons are prohibited from possessing Potamotrygon species in Arizona, Arkansas, California, Georgia, Hawaii, Mississippi, Nevada, Oklahoma, Texas, and Utah as of 2017, while Colorado and Florida need a permit. Before acquiring any animal, be sure to verify local and state rules. Make sure the edges of the disc are not curled upward (known as the "death curl") and there are no apparent injuries before purchasing a stingray. Ask to observe the fish eat and stay away from someone who isn't interested in food. Never purchase a stingray that has just arrived at the shop; let them at least a week to adjust before bringing them home. When adding new rays to an established population, quarantine them for at least 30 days before releasing them into the wild.
How difficult is Breeding Freshwater Stingrays
Freshwater stingrays can be successfully bred by a lot of enthusiasts, but it requires time, space, and attention. Females have two uteruses and are bigger than males, allowing them to bear litters of pups from two separate men at the same time. Males have claspers, which are modified pelvic fins that they utilize to inseminate females. Freshwater stingrays are thought to give birth to live pups.
Are Freshwater Stingrays related to Sharks?
Stingrays have cartilaginous skeletons rather than actual bones, like sharks, sawfish, skates, and guitarfish. Stingrays have a poisonous barb - really a modified scale - on their tails that they utilize as a defensive strategy, as their name indicates. Stingrays do not come at you waving their stingers, contrary to common perception; you must walk on one or agitate it severely to get stung. The barbs are shed and replaced on a regular basis, and discarded spines may be discovered on the aquarium's bottom. Rays' heads also include "Lorenzian ampullae," which enable them to detect electrical impulses in the water.
The fact that certain stingrays survive in freshwater astounds many people. Freshwater stingrays are very clever and interact with people often. They may even be trained to feed themselves by hand. They are, however, not for everyone. They need huge tanks, perfect water conditions, and specific foods, but they are genuinely unusual fish that soon become treasured companions for anyone willing to put in the work. Most rays for sale in the past were taken in the wild, which meant they were usually agitated and carried parasites and ailments. Many of today's rays are captive bred, making them a better alternative for aquarists.
What are the Natural Habitats like for Freshwater Stingrays
In Southeast Asia, Australia, Africa, and South America, freshwater stingrays may be found in river systems. Members of the genus Potamotrygon (Family Potamotrygonidae), which are native to South America, are often seen in aquarium stores in North America. The majority of ray species are endemic to a certain river system, with the Amazon River accounting for the most. They may be found in a range of environments, including slow-moving sandy-bottomed rivers, but they can also be found during the rainy season in flooded forest regions.
What are the water requirements, temperature and pH for keeping Frehswater Stingrays
Because stingrays are very sensitive to ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate, understanding the nitrogen cycle and maintaining pristine water quality is critical. To make things worse, they create a lot of ammonia in comparison to their size. The best approach to maintain optimal water conditions is to use large aquariums with good biological filtration and regular water changes. Most freshwater rays can be maintained at a pH of 6.8 to 7.6, an alkalinity of 1 to 4 (18ppm to 70ppm), and a temperature of 75 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit. Ammonia and nitrite levels should always be nil, while nitrate levels should be less than 10 parts per million. Many stingray owners use RO/DI water that has been supplemented with a trace element restorative. Salt should only be introduced to the aquarium if it is being used to aid the fish's immune systems fight stress or infections, or to lessen the negative effects of high nitrite levels. Before using it, always verify the salt tolerance of the other fish in the tank! Maintain correct temperature with an Eheim Aquarium Heater
, excellent filtration, and a 25% to 50% weekly water change using an Aquarium Water Changer
or Siphon Vacuum Gravel Cleaner
. Before refilling your aquarium, be sure to treat the tap water with API Water Conditioner