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Freshwater stingray care: horrible and honest mistakes to learn from

Freshwater Stingray Care

Water quality is the foundation to successful Freshwater Stingray Care. Every ray keeper knows this, and we all strive to ensure the very best conditions for our prized pets.

We have recently been contacted by two different clients with horrific situations that have been honest mistakes, but the consequences have been catastrophic.

Both these stories are terrible, and we are deeply sorry for the people concerned.  The purpose of this post is to raise awareness for fellow ray keepers and to try and prevent such tragedy for other people.

Story 1

Before starting his 50% routine water change on his tank this ray keeper decided make life a bit easier and buy a standard garden length of hose to stop using buckets to carry water. Happy with his new purchase, he connected the new hose pipe to his water source and started filling his tank.

After a few minutes he noticed all his rays darting around the tank, up the glass and falling backwards toward the bottom. Only having added about 20% freshwater through this new hose. He desperately emptied more water and started filling with the buckets.

But it was too late.  Within 15 minutes four out of his six rays are all dead. Only two survived out of six healthy rays.

The only difference that he did this time around was use a brand-new hose pipe. So, we can only assume that the hose pipe contained a strong chemical of some description that has poisoned the water.

A very harsh lesson to learn from.  Please ensure that you buy any hose pipe from your local fish shop.  Alternatively, please make sure the hose has been thoroughly rinsed before use.

Freshwater Stingray Care

Story 2

Another gent called us with another story about collecting some rays from another hobbyist. Collecting a total of four new rays. Because he only had two poly boxes he bought two black plastic containers to transport the other two rays. The total journey time was only 20 mins back to his house.

Sadly, upon getting back to his two rays in the plastic containers they were both dead and the two in the poly box were alive.

Again, there are possible other factors like stress, ammonia in the tub, lack of oxygen etc, but it does make you think that possibly something in the box contaminated the water?

We hope this post has been helpful.

For more information on Freshwater Stingray Care please read our Freshwater Stingray Guide

 

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What do freshwater stingrays eat?

What do freshwater stingrays eat

What do freshwater stingrays eat?

So what exactly do what do freshwater stingrays eat? Making sure your fish have a healthy and varied food diet to eat can help make sure they will thrive and have a long life span.

Stingrays and Arowanas have a high metabolic rate.  So you will find that your stingrays in particular, are continuously on the lookout for food.

Many stingray enthusiasts use sinking pellet food for carnivorous fish with good results. We have tried and tested various diets over the years.  Our stingrays love a diet which includes mussels, baby squid, prawns and white bait.  We can’t help but give them what they want.

If you are pellet feeding your rays maybe try and supplement their diet with frozen fish too.  We think you rays will love you for it.

If you would like to find out more about frozen food for your stingrays we would be happy to share our experiences with you – just let us know.

 

 

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Freshwater stingray care sheet

Freshwater Stingray Care Sheet

Freshwater stingray care sheet

Congratulations on becoming a privileged owner of these incredible creatures.  We hope this freshwater stingray care sheet will help your new stingray have an easy transition to its new home. Taking the time to get find out more about your new fishy friend will help ensure that it will thrive in your aquarium.

Please take the time to read through these care sheets and blog posts before introducing your new stingray to your aquarium.

Motoro Marble P01 Stingray Care Sheet

Leopoldi P13 Stingray Care Sheet

If you have any questions that you can’t find answers to here.  Please let us know because we are happy to help.  We value your questions and love to find new ideas for our future blog posts to help others.

Freshwater stingray care sheet | Stingray Origins

This species of Freshwater Stingray originates from the rivers of Brazil, South America; Rio Xingu, Rio Fresco, Rio Curua and Rio Iriri. The fish we supply are tank bred. They have not been taken from the wild so they are accustom to aquarium conditions and do not come with the inherent problems that some wild caught rays may come with; such as trouble feeding, worms, parasites and very low tolerance to
aquarium conditions.

Freshwater stingray care sheet | Acclimatisation

The acclimatisation process is critical to allow your fish to become used to your tank conditions, water parameters and temperature
after its journey. Failure to do this process may result in severe stress and fatality of your ray. We do not run R.O water systems with any of our rays which means that our rays should be easy to condition to your aquariums and are generally more hardy than rays which have been brought up in R.O systems.

We recommend following our 12 steps to introduce your new stingray to your aquarium. This advice offered in this freshwater stingray care sheet is offered with good intent, and is based on a system that works for us with the hundreds of rays that we have introduced to our
aquariums.

12 steps to introduce your stingray to an aquarium

Please download our freshwater stingray care sheet for reference during the acclimatisation process

  1. Your ray will be packed in a plastic bag inside a poly box. Once you receive your ray or arrive home don’t delay.
  2. There are a few methods that people adopt but we will offer you advice on our preferred method which is to slowly empty the bag with the ray and its water into the poly box (make sure it’s clean).
  3. Once the ray is safely in the poly box in its water that it has arrived in you can start a trickle of water into he box from your aquarium. A tip; use a 6mm airline tube and start a syphon. The water will very slowly start to fill up the box.
  4. Using a 6mm airline tube the water will be slow enough that the ray should easily be able to become used to your tanks water parameters and conditions.

    Freshwater Stingray Care Sheet

  5. When the box becomes full empty the water out of the box until a quarter empty and repeat process. As an approximate guideline you want to complete at least 2-3 complete fill and empties of the poly box approx. 45 mins to 1 hour.
  6. Watch your ray. Its breathing should be relaxed and slow. If it seems like the ray is gasping continue to acclimatise and check your water parameters.
  7. Now your ray is ready to enter into your tank.
  8. Scoop the ray up in a plastic container and lower it into the tank – this is the least stressful way for the ray to enter your tank.
  9. If this is not possible then using a net slowly allow it to swim into the net.  Try to have its head in the belly of the net and the tail out the end so that the chance of the barb becoming tangled is limited.
  10. Turn the light off so your ray can become accustomed to its new home.
  11. Your ray will have been starved for its trip, therefore it will be hungry. After about 30 mins try it with a small amount of food.
  12. If your ray is entering a tank with other tank mates we advise that you keep a watch to ensure the ray is not being bullied or the other way round too.

Freshwater stingray care sheet | Feeding and Diet

All our rays are fed a varied diet to help healthy growth. They have a high metabolism and therefore require good food to allow it to develop well. Rays will except sinking pellet food, but in our experience you will get the best out of your ray feeding more nutritious food. Here are our recommendations:

Frequency  – Pups should eat at least twice a day, while adults at least once a day

Pup Food – Frozen blood worm, chopped, white bait, chopped mussel, chopped prawn

Adult Food – Mussels, prawn, white bait

Especially relevant, is that we recommend frozen blood worm rather than fresh as it reduces any chance of bacteria in the food. Avoid live food if possible.  Rays can struggle to eat other food after live food is on the menu.

Freshwater stingray care sheet | Keeping Healthy

First of all, watch and study your ray and learn its habits. Rays are very good at telling you if there is something wrong. They will quickly go off their food, become less active and may start to breath heavily. These can be signs of something wrong with the conditions. If you are concerned contact us and we will be happy to try and offer advice.

We very much hope that this freshwater stingray care sheet has been helpful for you and as a result, your ray is now safely swimming around your aquarium.


Would you like to learn more about your new fishy friend?  You might also like to read some of these blogs we have written for you

12 simple steps to get your new stingray into your aquarium

9 Fascinating Facts about the Freshwater Stingray

How easy is it to keep stingrays?

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Freshwater stingray tank mates

Freshwater stingray tank mates

Freshwater stingray tank mates

Freshwater Stingrays are generally not aggressive fish.  There are many freshwater stingray tank mates which generally can live side by side with your rays. However, it is important to note that stingrays are still predatory fish and anything too small may end up inside your ray. As rays spend most of their lives patrolling the bottom mid-water and top-level swimming fish make excellent tank mates and give your aquarium great contrast.

So here are our top tank mates for your freshwater friend


1.Asian Arowana

The Asian Arowana are great companions for your freshwater stingrays.  They are top dwelling fish so they like to swim at the top of the tank, leaving the rays in peace at the bottom.  We often have stock of Asian Arowana and import several times a year.  Contact us if you have your heart set on these magnificent fish

arowana
Asian Arowana


2. Tinfoil barbs

The tinfoil barb is an active, peaceful species. It spends most of its time in the mid-level and bottom of the water. A greedy eater, it will eat almost anything provided to it. Yes, even stingray waste which we thought was a great idea.  However, the rule what goes in must come out does apply.

Tinfoil_barbs_01
Tin Foil Barbs


3. Gars

Gars have swim bladders that can function as lungs and most gars surface every so often to take a gulp of air.  They are often called living fossils as they have changed very little over millions of years.  They are pretty slow swimmers, unless they are hunting.  Random fact for you to impress your fish keeping friends is that their eggs are highly toxic to humans.

1280px-Gar_shedd
Gars (or garpike)

 

We would love to hear what your favourite freshwater stingray tank mates

Comment below:

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12 simple steps to get your new stingray into your aquarium

How to get your new stingray into your aquarium

How to get your new stingray into your aquarium

How to get your new stingray into your aquarium is a question we often get. We recommend following our 12 simple steps to introduce your new stingray into your aquarium.  This advice is offered with good intent and is based on a system that works for us with the hundreds of rays that we have introduced to our aquariums.

1.Your ray will typically be packed in a plastic bag inside a poly box. Once you receive your ray or arrive home don’t delay.

2.There are a few methods that people adopt but we will offer you advice on our preferred method which is to slowly empty the bag with the ray and its water into the poly box (make sure it’s clean).

3.Once the ray is safely in the poly box in its water that it has arrived in you can start a trickle of water into the box from your aquarium. A tip; use a 6mm airline tube and start a syphon. The water will very slowly start to fill up the box.

4.Using a 6mm airline tube the water will be slow enough that the ray should easily be able to become used to your tanks water parameters and conditions.

6mm tube

5.When the box becomes full, empty the water out of the box until a quarter empty and repeat process. As an approximate guideline you want to complete at least 2-3 complete fill and empties of the poly box over a 45 min to 1 hour period.

6.Watch your ray.  Its breathing should be relaxed and slow. If the ray is gasping continue to acclimatise and check your water parameters.

7.Now your ray is ready to enter into your tank.

8.If it is possible to scoop the ray up in a plastic container and lower it into the tank this is the least stressful way for the ray to enter your tank.

9.If this is not possible then using a net slowly allow it to swim into the net. If possible, try to have its head in the belly of the net and the tail out the end to help limit the chance of the barb becoming tangled.

10.Turn the light off and allow your ray to become accustomed to its new home.

11.Your ray will have been starved for its trip so it will be hungry. After about 30 mins try it with a small amount of food.

12.If your ray is entering a tank with other tank mates we advise that you keep a watch to ensure the ray is not being bullied or the other way round too.

 

 

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How easy is it to keep stingrays?

how to keep freshwater stingrays

How to keep freshwater stingrays?

One of the first questions we get from potential ray keepers is How to keep freshwater stingrays? Or How easy is it to keep stingrays? Despite popular belief freshwater stingrays can be easy to look after providing you have good water and filtration.

Yes, stingrays have a very low tolerance to ammonia, but as long as this is zero and  you have the right size aquarium you should be fine. Also make sure you use a water conditioner to remove chlorine.

Stingrays have a very low tolerance to ammonia.  As long as this is zero and you have the right size aquarium you should be fine

A lot also comes down to the stingray you choose. The cheapest freshwater stingray that some people try is a teacup ray.  They are capture from the wild in Asia which makes them very cheap.

Sadly, they have a very slim chance of surviving in tanks.  They struggle to adjust to tank life and feeding. Often they come with parasites and worms which can lead to their death unless treated. A lot of people get put off keeping stingrays because they buy a ray like this and it doesn’t survive.

We respond to messages daily to this effect trying to help people having problems with these types of stingray.

Which stingray to choose?

If you really want to know how to keep freshwater stingrays take the time to research which ray would be best for you. In terms of tank size, it depends on the breed of stingray and the amount you want to keep. Always remember males stay smaller too. For example one of our 5ft by 2ft aquariums would keep a ray up until about 1.5-2 years old then if it is a bigger breed you may need to upgrade. Staying with a smaller breed like a pearl you would be able to house an adult ray in this.

You could easily have a pair of something like pearls or hybrids in that sort of set up as long as the filtration is good.

Our stingray are all tank bred. They are used to aquarium conditions and are very happy. We have hybrid stingrays that start from £150-£200 and up.

In our experience, our most popular ray that people buy as a first time stingray is a black diamond X motoro hybrid. They look stunning and are pretty resilient too.

If you are an experienced fish keeper, and already know what you are looking for please visit our online shop to see our current stock of stingrays for sale.

Otherwise, if you need advice or help selecting your fish just let us know.  We are always happy to chat to you about what you are looking for.  So if you have any questions please contact us