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FAQs on Freshwater Stingray Stocking, Selection

Related Articles: Freshwater Stingrays,

Related FAQs:  Freshwater Stingrays, FW Stingray Identification, FW Stingray Behavior, FW Stingray Compatibility, FW Stingray Systems, FW Stingray Feeding, FW Stingray Disease, FW Stingray Reproduction,

FW Stingray sel.      8/8/15
Is a P. Orbignyi a good starter ray?
<In the sense that it's slightly smaller (by a few inches) than the average. But there aren't any hardy freshwater rays, so in general it makes no difference which species you select because they're all highly challenging fish for expert fishkeepers.>
Its been so long since I have kept a ray and I just want everything to go smoothly for this little guy
<You're wise to be cautious. Much is known about them now, not least in Richard Ross' books (plural) and a number of websites. This article by Heiko Bleher is good:
Provided you "go by the numbers" (i.e., measure water quality/chemistry parameters frequently and start off with the right size filter and aquarium) there are no surprises to be had. Many are bred routinely, and as one aquarist put it, they breed like guppies if they're happy. So the knowledge is there, and may have been tweaked a bit since you last looked into this sort of fishkeeping. Good luck, Neale.>

Freshwater Stingray    9/23/14
I'm curious if you guys have a recommendation for an online freshwater stingray vendor.
<There are a few worldwide... none that I know well enough to endorse>

I have a 220 gallon discus fish tank. I've looked into getting a Motoro stingray (and actually ordered one from Affordable Pet Solutions before they went belly-up). I'm willing to spend a little more to get a healthy stingray. Any recommendations? Thanks.
Shay Wells
<Which part of the world are you in? I'd be looking to order thorough a local LFS of repute. Bob Fenner>
Re: Freshwater Stingray    9/24/14
Thanks for getting back to me so quickly. I'm in Reno, NV (US). I know there is no one local who sells them, but I'll look for something in the Bay Area in California. Thanks again.
<Again; I lean toward special ordering such animals (expensive, rare, large) through local dealers (LFS). They're more likely to be able to handle the order, get credit/satisfaction should something go sideways.

11th Pramong Nomjai Thai Tuala - surprise winner for Reserve Best In Show    4/3/12
 This sting ray won the Reserve Best In Show and HRH Princess Soamsawali's Trophy. I am not familiar with sting rays so I really don't know why they picked this entry Perry
<Unusual markings perhaps; rarity? B>

Teacup stingray and tankmates, stkg/sel., sys.  -- 12/5/11
I have been trying to do some research on what I can keep with a teacup stingray.
<You mean a juvenile Stingray. There's no such thing as a "teacup stingray"
as such, any more than there's any such thing as a "kitten". You can buy a kitten, but you actually end up with a cat. Same here. Teacup Stingrays are simply smaller, even more delicate versions of the 30-60 cm/12-24 inch disc-width Stingrays kept by very advanced, very rich aquarists.>
I have an 85 gallon fish tank
<Much too small.>
and was looking to populate it.
<You mean with OTHER things beyond the Ray? Not a chance. Even for the Ray, this is, at best, a temporary home for a few weeks while you buy the 200, 300, 400 gallon aquarium you need. Let's be CRYSTAL clear about this.
Stingrays are incredibly difficult to keep alive, and most are killed by their owners within a few months. Unless you have a HUGE amount of money, LOTS of space, and a VERY understanding family, they're not viable pets.
Put it this way: I'm an expert fishkeeper, and I wouldn't touch a Stingray with a bargepole. Don't have the money, space or time.>
I was considering a black ghost knifefish, tire track eel, teacup stingray and possibly a hammers cobalt blue lobster and snails (snails for food and for cleaning).
<Not in this tank. In 300, 400 gallons perhaps the Tyre-Track Eel and the even the Knifefish might work. The crayfish would simply be an unnecessary risk (both ways -- the Ray might eat the crayfish, but just as easily, the crayfish could damage the Ray). Snails, sure, why not. As you say, live food.>
I was going to do a sand substrate or a fine gravel.
<Or no substrate at all, depending on your aquarium. There are arguments both way, and I urge you to review them. If nothing else, what sort of sand or gravel do you intend to use?>
I have a pretty powerful filter (canister).
<"A" filter won't be enough. You're aiming for turnover rates of 8 times the volume of the tank per hour. Let's say you start with a bare minimum 200 gallons, which would be okay for growing out a youngster for a year or two. That means a filter 8 x 200 = 1600 gallons/hour. That's almost twice the 900 gallons/hour rating of the MASSIVE Fluval FX5 filter.>
I also wanted to be able to hand feed my fish.
<Sure. But do be aware of how dangerous Stingrays can be. Furthermore, there's a small risk that chemicals on your skin, e.g., soap, can get into the water and poison your Stingray. Much better to use satay sticks or forceps to lower food into the aquarium.>
I know the teacup and the knifefish can be fed by  hand.  I was also thinking of an Arowana (which I have also seen hand fed).  I just wanted to know if those seemed like compatible tank mates.
<A single Arowana can't be kept in 85 gallons, let alone with a Stingray. I like your choice of fish, I really do. Some great species there. But you need a massive tank for these. A pond, really. Since Stingrays are wildly expensive pets, I'm assuming you're a rich chap. That's great. So, run to your nearest bookstore, and buy one of these two books: Freshwater Stingrays (Complete Pet Owner's Manual) by Richard Ross, or else Freshwater Stingrays by Hans Gonella & Herbert Axelrod. Both will set up back around 10-20 $, but if you can't afford that, you can't afford to keep a Stingray.
After all, you'll be spending at least that much a week on water changes because of the RO filter you need to produce soft, nitrate-free water (tap water is essentially unusable unless you happen to have soft water with less than 10 mg/l nitrate out of the tap, which hardly anyone does).>
I know that some eels will snap at an invertebrate that is in the tank, but the cobalt lobster is pretty big, almost 6 inches. 
<And yet precisely the sort of prey Rays would eat in the wild.>
Than I was thinking if the lobster would snap or pinch the stingray since they're both bottom dwellers?
Any feedback would help.
Thank you,
<Hope that this isn't too negative! I don't mean to be harsh here, but you're bought an INCREDIBLY difficult animal to maintain, and unless you have many hundreds of gallons of water, even keeping the Stingray alive, let alone the other fish, will be hard/impossible. Best of luck, Neale.>
Re: Teacup stingray and tankmates -- 12/5/11

Thank you very much for your feedback.  I am aware of the teacup term, I just use it out of habit.  I have read that they only get around 12cm around
<Uh, no. Definitely not. These are Potamotrygon species of some sort.
Potamotrygon orbignyi and Potamotrygon reticulatus are two common species.
Both get to at least 30 cm across, which means they need a tank twice that in width front to back, and four times (preferably six times) that from left to right. Depth is largely irrelevant. But that's still an aquarium about 60 cm in width and 120, ideally 180 cm from left to right. That'll be around the 200 gallon mark rather than 75 or 85 gallons.>
and other sites have said that a 75 gal would be the smallest doable aquarium for it.
<Not a chance.>
In regards to my filter:  I think my filter does 250gph, and I already have the 85 gallon aquarium, I'm not going to replace it, I'm going to get what I can in it, if that means a couple substitutions to my list than so be it.
<Substitute what? Filter media?>
To the substrate: I was thinking a sand or a fine gravel, maybe 1.5 inches deep (that was cause I know rays like to hide in it)
<Ah, now, that's the thing. Yes, they like sand, and a couple cm/1 inch would be about right. Enough for them to hide under. But at the same time sand and gravel trap dirt and are difficult to clean. This means you don't see things like faeces and uneaten food, and that in turn means you can't keep nitrate levels low. Plus, sand and gravel can encourage bacteria to grow on the bottom of the tank, and these bacteria can irritate, even infect, the underside of the Stingray. So while you can keep Stingrays in tanks with sand, there's a good argument not to. I'd read what people like Richard Ross have to say before making your decision. As you observe, there are psychological benefits, and ultimately you have to balance them against the potential for problems through trapped dirt.>
I really appreciate your comments they helped, but its so hard when so many different sites say such different things (and by different, I mean opposite ends) some say that rays are not THAT hard to care for,
<Ask yourself who's saying they're "easy". Someone who's kept a Stingray for a few months? A year? Then go read what someone says who's kept them for 12, 12 years; someone who breeds them. I urge you to read one of those two books I mentioned. They're experts in Ray keeping and will tell you the truth.>
others say that a 75 gal is ok,
<Crazy talk. If this was true, we'd all be keeping Stingrays.>
others say a 200 gal is required
<Starting to get realistic, but the surface area of the tank is even more critical than it's volume.>
and the list goes on with discrepancies.
<Really, if you read the solid, reliable stuff -- it's actually very consistent what Stingrays need. A big aquarium, sized as mentioned above, twice the width of the ray front to back, and 4-6 times, minimum, from left to right. A sump is recommended for extra water volume so pH fluctuation is minimised and nitrate diluted. Massive filtration. RO filter for nitrate-free water at water changes. Discus buffer or similar to hold the soft water at a steady pH (actually, you can keep them in moderately hard, slightly basic water successfully, but water quality MUST be excellent). No tankmates ideally, but if you must have tankmates, choose VERY peaceful species that won't cause problems, e.g., Oscars. The problem with Stingrays above all else is that once they get sick, they die. There is very little medication that works, and many medicines kill them quickly, e.g., copper and formalin. So you must PREVENT problems, and that means the biggest tank and the best water quality you can provide. And that's before we even talk about diet!>
I'm sure you're right so I may have to adjust my list a little.
<Glad to help. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Teacup stingray and tankmates -- 12/6/11

I mean to say 12 inches ~ 30cm  (I'm American, sorry, we use the SI not metric).  I understand what you're saying about the size, yeah my tank is about 122cm by 55cm (area of bottom).
<Which will be fine for a Ray up to about, what, 27 C/11 inches disc width.
At least, in terms of "square footage". Volume will still be a problem. Do understand the real issue you'll have keeping nitrate low (below 10 mg/l) and pH stable.>
And I meant substitutions to my fish list.  I may have to erase the stingray (so sad) and the Arowana.  If that's the case I'll just get the knife fish and the fire or tire track eel and maybe a puffer.
<Not in the same tank, I hope! Puffers are one fish, one tank animals in almost all cases. On the other hand, the African Brown Knifefish, Xenomystus nigri, is an exceptionally good choice for tanks in the 50-100 gallon range and can be kept with Spiny Eels of appropriate size, e.g., Mastacembelus favus.>
Im glad I got your advice first, I would love to have a stingray and an Arowana; however, I'd be heartbroken if they died.
Thank you
<Glad to help. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Teacup stingray and tankmates  12/6/11

Would the spotted puffer cause trouble to an eel or something much bigger?
<The Green Spotted Puffer, which is the one you see in the shops, is a brackish/marine fish. It should not be kept with anything except, perhaps, other GSPs.
Pet shops sell them as freshwater fish, but they're not. It's a lie!!!
Cheers, Neale.>
What about the SAP?  12/6/11

<What about it? Do read:
A small, nervous, hyperactive and quite gregarious species that looks best kept in groups in planted tanks. Not entirely community-safe, but can be kept with fast-moving barbs, Danios, etc., as well as catfish that hide away a lot (not Corydoras!). Too small to be kept with anything aggressive or substantially larger. One of my favourite fish, but approach with caution. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Teacup stingray sys.   12/6/11
If I told you my tank specifications would you be able to tell me what I'd still need to buy in terms of setup:
I have an 85 gal tank:
an Eheim canister filter (250 gph) - Should I buy one of those little Hob filters to compliment it?
<Honestly, I'd get another external canister filter, even a generic one, but it's up to you. You've got a turnover rate of about 3 times the volume of the tank per hour. That may well be adequate if the tank isn't heavily stocked, but I'd go with 4 times turnover rate for small fish up to, say, about 8 cm/3 inches, and 6 times for bigger fish that produce more waste (both solid waste and ammonia). Canister filters are useful because you can position them anywhere in the tank, and thereby get optimal water circulation. Have one spray bar at one and, another spray bar at the other, a sucking-in pipe at the bottom, and a sucking-in pipe higher at the other end of the tank. Hang-on-the-back filters largely limit you to one position. They can be good value, and they do aerate the water nicely, but they do mean you have a big opening at the back of the tank through which jumpy fish (such as Spiny Eels, Loaches and Puffers) will surely escape.
Internal canisters can be a good compromise, and some of the heavy-duty ones are very convenient. They're super-easy to clean, can be placed anywhere in the tank, and they only require a small opening for the power cable, easily blocked with filter wool if you're worried fish might escape.>
2 heaters - 200 watts each 12" I think  (do I just need one?)
<Depends on the temperature of the room. But these two should be easily adequate together, whereas one might have to work too hard, which will increase the chances of it failing. Consult the aquarium size guide on the packaging that came with the heaters, or Google aquarium heater wattage or some such to find tables published online.>
Do I need an air pump or would the canister filter do a good job at agitating the water enough? I initially thought they were mandatory than research told me otherwise.
<Quite so. If you have adequate water circulation from the filter, i.e., water is sucked up from the bottom of the tank and sprayed out at the top, an airstone isn't essential. Try without it, and if the fish seem lethargic or hang around the surface of the tank too much, add the airstone. In a correctly filtered tank, airstones aren't usually needed, so I tend to spend the money on an extra filter, even a little clip-in internal canister filter, than on an air pump and airstone.>
Also, what type of media do I put in my canister?  I just read that you said carbon is basically worthless if you're doing water changes,
<In freshwater aquaria, yes, this is so. Carbon removes dissolved organic chemicals that acidify the water and turn it yellow. In a well-run aquarium you'll be doing water changes every week or two that will remove these chemicals anyway, so the carbon does little of use. Plus, carbon needs replacing every couple weeks. In practice, carbon left in the filter for a few weeks becomes a rather good biological filter, hosting the bacteria, but you can use sponges or ceramic noodles for that. If you have the carbon, go ahead and use it, but do understand that it isn't likely to be doing what you think it should be doing.>
I was going to order mechanical (Ehfimech) and biological media (Ehfisubstrat pro), so what should I put in the third level, the blue pad? 
or should I do wool and sponges for all 3?  What do you think?
<Any combination sounds good. The Eheim media are excellent. In my bigger community tank, I simply fill the Eheim 2217 with blue sponges and the Fluval with ceramic noodles.>
I haven't decided a 100% what I'm going to put in my tank, but I was thinking of getting some fine gravel (rounded edges) incase I get a bottom dweller?
<Sounds good. There are pros and cons to gravel, but a fairly fine, smooth grade is a good default substrate. The only fish I'd avoid keeping with gravel on principle are Spiny Eels, but otherwise most fish, even medium to large Loaches, will prosper in a tank with this substrate.>
Also, would i be able to use a siphon to clean the gravel if its fine or will it come up the tube with the water?
<Some will, but it ends up in the bucket and you can just pour it back in.
With a bit of care though, you'll find this isn't really a problem.>
And if so what can you use to clean fine gravel?
<Ideally, you stir the gravel with a stick first (a chopstick or bamboo cane is ideal) and then as the dirt comes into the water, you siphon out the water. You'll never remove all the dirt this way, but you will remove enough, and some of the silt is helpful in providing nutrients for plants such as CO2 and providing a substrate for filter bacteria (though neither of this benefits is a big deal). You can get gravel vacuum attachments to stir the gravel as you siphon, and these do help keep the gravel cleaner, but I don't find them particularly good value. Or at least, in a well-filtered tank, the sediment that accumulates in the sand (I rarely use gravel) doesn't seem that big of a deal.>
<Cheers, Neale.>

AsiaOneNews: More Singaporeans rear exotic stingrays as hobby   8/22/11
This message was forwarded to you from AsiaOne (http://www.asiaone.com.sg) by Perry
Comments from sender:
Getting popular
<Expensive Per! And... IMO boring... Potamotrygonids mainly lay about... and need large systems, good water quality... BobF>
Tue, Aug 02, 2011
AsiaOneNews: More Singaporeans rear exotic stingrays as hobby
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Where to find Reticulated Stingrays   6/20/11
<<Hello Tasha>>
I was reading information through your FAQ about freshwater stingrays. My boyfriend and I are very interested in having one as a pet. I am doing extensive research about the care, upkeep, etc about these beautiful creatures and I was wondering if there are any pet stores in Ohio (similar to the one mentioned in PA) that deal with stingrays. We found one (called Best in Pets) but I would like to keep searching to make sure we get as much information possible. We have PetSmart and Petco but I would prefer going somewhere that I can speak to someone who has them, carries them, and has first hand care for these animals. Please let me know if there is any place we can go! Thank you!
<<Tasha as far as obtaining one locally in your locale this may be difficult as they aren't normal stock even in dedicated aquaria stores especially that far North/East in the United States. I would see if you can get a local dealer to specifically order one for you from their importer or wholesaler, or even join some of the internet forums to see if anyone has some they are looking to sale (and for education as well from those experienced with the animal). We have a forum here but I think you'd have better luck finding a local breeder/seller at MonsterFishKeepers.com as their forum is more dedicated to obtuse freshwater aquaria specimens. There is always the option of ordering one from an online vendor of which there are many (I believe Petsolutions carries them from time to time as does Cichlid Station). As far as education/research I'd like to give you a few links.
Also a few book suggestions; Ross Richard has written a few on their husbandry.>>
<<Adam J.>>
Sent from my iPod
<<Sent from my MacBook pro :) >>
Re: Where to find Reticulated Stingrays   7/1/11

Thank you for your help and support! I do know that not many places in my area carry the rays but they can order them. I just want to be sure that I can trust the person/people who order them will take the up most care. Thank you again for your help!
<<I understand Tasha, happy to be of some help. -AJ>>

motoro stingray, stkg.   7/9/10
Hi I have some questions about mixing a reticulated and a motoro stingray together. They are both males but I have had the retic for a while now and thinking about adding a motoro. My question is will this stress out the retic adding a motoro?
<Can't tell yet...>
And since they are both males will they pick on each other and fight over food?
They are both about 5 to 6 inches right now. How big will the retic and the motoro get and how long will it take to reach maximum size?
<Depends on foods/feeding, and maintenance, mainly water changes>
The retic is in a 125 gallon but will move to larger aquarium within a year. What do you think?? Thanks, Kimberly
<Could be done if all are small currently... under 6 inch disc size. Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwstingrays.htm
and the linked files above.
Bob Fenner>

how to move a stingray  10/5/09
Hi crew,
I'm in need of some advice. I have a stingray pup (teacup) in a 55 gal aquarium. I've purchased a 240 gal to be its home as soon as i get it placed and cycled.
Do you have any experience/advice on how to capture the little guy when it comes time to move it. I was considering putting a container in the tank large enough for the stingray to swim into, baiting it with food, and
removing it once the stingray enters. I've read that it is not advisable to net them. Do you know how they are captured in the wild?
<Yes... mostly in large fence and cast nets, some on barb-less hook and line. I would use a large, softer netted, metal handled net in your case.
Keep your hands clear. Bob Fenner>
Thank you

Stingrays, Eels, and Brackish Water Fish... sel., sys... -- 06/10/09
Hello Crew,
I'm in need of some advice about what tank mates are most suitable for a Stingray.
<Depends on the Stingray; but for the Amazonian species (usually Potamotrygon spp.) they're best kept with docile midwater fish:
Osteoglossum spp. Arowanas, tinfoil barbs, Panaque spp. catfish, Oscars, etc.>
I'm going to get a custom made tank (3' wide 2' tall 4' long) I hope this will be big enough!
<The rule of thumb is that the tank should be at least twice as wide, front to back, as the maximum disc diameter of the species in question. So a tank measuring 3 feet front to back would be adequate for a species up to 18 inches disc diameter. That said, four feet length is really not much space at all, and you would be very well advised to get something around the 6 foot mark in this regard. Depth doesn't matter at all. There are some excellent books on Stingrays, including a very inexpensive one published by Barron's, "Freshwater Stingrays" by Richard Ross. I'd heartily recommend spending the $8.99 on this book before spending the $100s if not $1000s on the Stingray and what it needs.>
If I do fw I'm looking to put in 5 Silver dollars, 1 Fire Eel and a Stingray.
If I do bw I'm looking to put in a Stingray and a Monoray Eel, please advise me if this will be ok, if not can you please give me a list of fw and bw that will be compatible with my Stingrays.
<Amazonian Stingrays are not brackish water fish, so can't be kept with such tankmates. Asian freshwater Stingrays are often brackish water species. These are typically Himantura spp., or family Dasyatidae at the
least. These could be mixed with robust but non-aggressive brackish water fish: monos, archerfish, Siamese TigerFish, large sleeper gobies, etc.>
Thank you in advance
<Cheers, Neale.>

Hi. Question on type of stingray 5/17/09
Hi. I need your expert advice :P I just ordered a Motoro stingray online. I have been wanting one for over a year now and finally got up enough courage to 'just go for it'. I have a 250 gallon tank with discus, knife fish and an ornate.
<Do make sure you quarantine the Stingray in its own tank before adding to this collection of fish; I'd be worried that a Stingray would starve in this tank. Yes, Stingrays can be mixed with other fish *once feeding*, but the tricky bit is getting them to that point.>
I have a few plants but mainly open space in preparation for my Motoro.  I'm just wondering if you think I made the right decision because I was also looking at a hystrics.
<Potamotrygon hystrix.>
I wanted the hystrics because it stays small but I wanted the Motoro because of its cool patterns. The Motoro I will be getting will be 8' in diameter which isn't big at all but wondering how long you think it ll be happy in my 250 gallon?
<It's not the volume really, it's the front to back width that matters; disc width is typically 40-50 cm, so the aquarium should measure at least 80-100 cm front to back. If that's the case, you're fine! If not, then an upgrade will be on the cards...>
Also another reason why I didn't get the hystrics is because the person selling it said it is 8-9 inches 'across' which didn't make sense to me because they only get 15 inches in diameter. Also the picture she has doesn't look like ones I've seen of hystrics- hers is like a flat brown color. The ones I've seen have some pattern on it and a striped/ringed tail- which she describes in her ad but then she says the picture is what I will be getting (confused). Here's her ad-
<Stingray colouration does vary; but if all else fails, use Fishbase, and compare the photos to the gallery of photographs presented there.
Can you please tell me your opinion and is it true stingrays like salt added to their water??
<Who told you this? None of the Potamotrygonidae likes salt in the water on a permanent basis. In fact they prefer fairly soft water with low mineral content. That this seller is calling these fish "hardy" would ring all kinds of alarm bells for me; Potamotrygon hystrix is "hardy" in about the same way as an ice cube is "long lasting" in the Sahara!>
Thank you so much
<Please, there are numerous inexpensive books on Stingrays: read one before spending any money. The questions you're asking are fairly elementary ones, and because Stingrays are so delicate and frankly easy to kill, it's important you have all these facts at your fingertips. Sad to say, in a crisis, by the time anyone at WWM could get around to answering your query, a Stingray could be dead! Take things slowly, read everything you can *from printed, reputable sources* and then enjoy your Stingray! They are fantastic fish. Good luck, Neale.>

Re: Hi. Question on type of stingray 05/19/09
Thank You so much. I had a saltwater stingray before I recently switched to freshwater which was easy to care for.
<Hmm... not sure you'll find a freshwater ray any easier to keep than a saltwater one, to be honest.>
But now that I have freshwater I just wanted to be certain. I will continue to read information on the Motoro and will do my best to care for him.
Thanks again
<Most welcome.>

Re: Hi. Question on type of stingray 05/19/09
One last question- Can a Motoro and a hystrix live together?
Thanks again
<It's generally not recommended to mix different species -- especially different sized species -- together because of issues with aggression and competition for food. Some expert fishkeepers may do from time to time, but I'd get the hang of the foibles of one species first, before making things
difficult. Cheers, Neale.>

Stingray toxicity to humans   10/24/07 Hello <Hi there> I was thinking about getting a blue spotted ray and have read on your web site if you are stung that you could have a allergic reaction. How dangerous are they and what percent of the people getting stung have a bad reaction? <Mmm, folks with allergens to proteinaceous stings might be in trouble... how much, how many? I don't know. Much collateral damage is done physically with such injuries....> I have read about the blue ring octopus, it's nothing like that is it, or is it more like a lionfish sting. <More toward the Lion end of the scale> What kind of ray would you recommend that's not to toxic, if the blue spotted is? <One of the non-stingray ray species... See WWM, the Net, Scott Michael's popular cartilaginous fishes book re. Rays are not easily kept BTW... as you will find by reading. Bob Fenner> Thanks Todd

Freshwater Stingrays   2/26/07 Greetings Crew,   Is it possible to provide an accurate list of the species of Freshwater Stingrays that are currently banned? <Mmm, in California, the entire family (Potamotrygonidae) is banned... I think the States that do ban one, ban all...>   I have found conflicting information on the internet, and it looks like you can get hold of just about anything if your wallet is thick enough. <?... a problem in this world...>   I am always looking to add to my collection, and want to do what is environmentally sound.   Much thanks in advance,   Amy <I am in agreement with your philosophy, attitude... And hasten to add that most FW rays get too big for home/hobbyist use, and that they are venomous... Re the issue of legality, I encourage anyone interested to check at their State's level... likely this info. is available on the Net... "Your State" Fish and Game" or such. Bob Fenner>

F/W Stingrays  1/5/07 Hi,      This will be my fist time keeping F/W Stingrays and I was wondering how much they usually cost. <Have seen some about in  various U.S. States for a few tens of dollars in 07 buck values... to several tens of dollars>   I also was wondering if it would be okay for the ray if I kept it alone instead of in a group because some of the sites I read said to keep them in a group of 3 to 5. <Can be kept individually> And also, what type of F/W stingray would be best for a first time ray keeper?  Email me at as soon as possible okay.                             Bye,                                 Jacob <Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwstingrays.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner> Re: F/W Stingrays, Sel.   1/6/07 Hi,   It's me again and I was wondering if you knew if F/W Stingrays are allowed in Alabama ?                  Bye,                      Jacob <Mmm, I don't know... Potamotrygonids are still outlawed in CA as far as I'm aware. Simple for you to check... Look on the Net for the AL "Fish and Game" and either read through their posted statutes and/or contact them with this question. Bob Fenner>

Fresh Water Stingray???   7/30/06 Hi there! <Howdy> I have a simple question concerning my tank. My 250 gallon freshwater tank currently is home to one young stingray (male), a pair of angels, and four smallish starter fish. I have been working with an upscale marine specialty store to obtain a mate (female ray) for my male. Today, they obtained a full grown red-blotched ray from a individual who is no longer able to care for her. She is almost twice the size of my male, but in excellent health. My question is what should I expect to pay for her? They claim they don't really want to make a profit on her, but they gave the previous owner a credit for her, so I would expect to pay what she is worth. She is truly a beautiful creature. <Mmm, not able to say... I would ask them... offer to pay the credit plus...> Also, what should I be aware of when introducing her to tank, any advise? Or precautions? <None that aren't posted on WWM> I am assuming my 250 is suitable as the owner of the store came by today to inspect the tank to ensure she would be going to a good home. Much Appreciation, Amy <For a time. Bob Fenner>

Buy freshwater stingray  7/15/06 Dear Sir, Hello, I am Ferry Wibowo from Indonesia I will order freshwater Stingrays from Brazil do you have these species :   1. Potamotrygon Leopoldi ( Black Ray ( Polkadot) )   2. Potamotrygon Henlei ( Black Ray ( P. Henlei ) )   3. Potamotrygon Histrix ( Histrix )   4. Potamotrygon Castexi ( Otorongo ( Pintard ) )   5. Potamotrygon Menchacai ( Tiger Stingray )   6. Potamotrygon Bracyura ( Ahaia Grandy )   7. Plesiotrygon Iwamae ( Antenna Ray )   8. Potamotrygon Reticulata ( Teacup Stingray ) Please give me the special price and exact measurement How's the maximum length of each species? <Mmm, we don't sell livestock... You can find information on the maximum size of these Potamotrygonids on fishbase.org. Bob Fenner> Thank you and we are looking forwards to your prompt reply. Best regards Ferry Wibowo Info on T cup stingray Hi, I'm considering purchasing a freshwater stingray. Could you give some information on these beautiful animals? I currently have a 50 gallon community tank with Bala sharks, tetras, ghost catfish, a Cory, and 2 Plecos. Thanks Jeff Lawson <Thanks for the prompting... Wrote a review of this group (the family Potamotrygonidae... I'll place this article and the accompanying images on the www.WetWebMedia.com site later today (or tomorrow when I move off this FAQ onto the new (to be made) FAQs pages on FW Stingrays...  These South Americans can be gotten and kept... but most get pretty big for captive use... and a fifty is small... and it will be eating your other fishes... Bob Fenner>

Freshwater Sting Rays Hi Robert, I am writing from the South West of England and have recently found out about fresh water stingrays in particular the Motoro. Is this a good choice for beginners?  <Mmm, not really... venomous... needs quite large quarters (a square meter of bottom space really... subject to damage, bacterial infections. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwstingrays.htm > We have always kept tropical fish but would like something a little less ordinary! I have heard that you need 1 meter square per Ray is this enough?  <Wow! I must be getting on... talk about coincidence of "pat answers"> How hard are they too look after? What sort of money is a good price to pay? <I would rather direct you to more suitable, hardier "oddball" aquatic livestock. Please do read through the WetWebMedia.com site here... write if there is a group missing (there are many), and I'll get on to it> If you would be kind enough to help me out with this info it would be much appreciated. Best regards, Nathan Potts. <Be chatting my friend. Bob Fenner>

"Lookin' for (fw) Rays in all the right places..." Can you give me information on where I can purchase a freshwater ray? We live in TN <Mmm, you might get lucky by asking your local fish shops if they can special order you one... Otherwise, there are etailers that deal in odd/rarer aquatics you can contact via the Net. Do read the survey piece and FAQs we have stored on the family here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwstingrays.htm Bob Fenner>

A question of ethics regarding freshwater stingrays... Hello again Bob! I'm sorry I've become such a pest - hopefully you don't view me as such. I had a disappointing experience at Wal-Mart a few weeks ago. They had an empty tank that was labeled "baby freshwater stingrays".  <What? I'm very surprised... that this retail chain would carry such animals.> I inquired about them, since I was surprised that Wal-Mart would carry such livestock. The employee said that the stingrays sell so fast, that they're hardly ever in stock (which is good, I suppose, since the tank in which they're kept is about the size of a shoe box). The next week, a co-worker and fellow hobbyist told me she bought one of the stingrays the previous night, on a whim (she had a 40-gallon tank that was ready for livestock).  <Arrgghhh!> I gave her my lecture on buying livestock at our Wal-Mart (horrible conditions, at least two dead fish in every tank at all times, and uneducated, unconcerned employees in the pet section), and further expressed concern to her about Wal-Mart stocking these animals (which she identified as Potamotrygon orbignyi after I showed her your article on freshwater rays). Of course it was too late, and the ray happened to die a week later. (Please note that I am not commenting on the Pet Section Employees in ALL Wal-Mart stores, but merely on my numerous experiences with the one store in my area.) <I understand. Friends of mine (the Bailey brothers here in San Diego) told me years back that Wal-Mart was their biggest customer. Will be sending this note off to them as well as WMT corporate... Not smart... touchy, venomous organisms being offered by such an icon of commerce> I really want to do something to influence our Wal-Mart to stop selling these animals. My reasons are these: 1.) In my opinion, Wal-Mart shouldn't sell fish if the employees know nothing about them. These are live animals and deserve to be cared for correctly. 2.) Wal-Mart doesn't provide adequate space to house their fish, and this results in a high death rate. They also buy their fish from apparently less-than-reputable suppliers, and I'd be willing to bet that 25% of their livestock shows up with signs of disease and is still put in the display tanks. 3.) Given the reasons above, if this store can't keep a tank full of guppies healthy, then they shouldn't be selling freshwater rays. 4.) As your article states, freshwater rays are venomous. The employees are not aware of this, and therefore the customer is not informed. I would think the very least they could do is let the customer know that he or she is about to purchase a venomous animal. Not only would it be safer for the customer and allow him or her to make a more informed decision about the purchase, but I would think Wal-Mart would like to cover their own "posterior" in the case of a lawsuit resulting from an injury. People seeing these rays in the store usually know nothing about them, and may assume that they're as user-friendly as most of the other fish sold there. <Agreed, of course... no one should be doing this. Wal-Mart's corporate contact information: : Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. Bentonville, Arkansas 72716-8611 If you're a customer, call 1-800-WAL-MART If you're an investor or analyst, call 501-273-8446 If you're a journalist, call 501-273-4314 The message I sent them: Are you folks really offering Freshwater Stingrays for sale to the public? Not a good idea on a few counts... they're not hardy, easily lost... and quite venomous. Please see the coverage, FAQs posted on this family of fishes on our website: http://wetwebmedia.com/fwstingrays.htm Bob Fenner> Do I have reason for concern? <You do as a human, citizen, concerned individual, possible shareholder...> What would be the best course of action? <Write, call their offices. This company is blessed with some of the best minds, people in business... It is no "accident" that they are the best, largest companies of their genre.> Thank you in advance for any insight you may have. Sincerely, Gina <Will be investigating. Bob Fenner>

A question of ethics regarding freshwater stingrays... an incident of their sale at Wal-Mart? I spoke with Nevin Bailey (a supplier to WMT, located in San Diego, California). He assures me that Wal-Mart does not, would not sell anything dangerous to the public. They don't offer reptiles, even hamsters/guinea pigs... for this same set of rationale... And definitely the family is illegal to import/export in many States...  Bob Fenner

Re: A question of ethics regarding freshwater stingrays... Hi Bob! Thanks for the update and for taking part in the pursuit of this matter. I'm confused, though - is it possible this store in my area "slipped through the cracks" in selling this particular species?  <Very doubtful, but Nevin Bailey (a supplier to WMT) did mention this possibility... These are NOT part of the 89 sku's that are corporate approved... Perhaps some "loose cannon" saw a deal, wanted to wow and zow folks at "their" fish department/location... Real trouble if so.> I plan on pursuing it as soon as I can make a good I.D. on the animal. I may try to snap a picture so I can get your opinion. In the meantime, I am going to make a respectful comment to Wal-Mart's national customer service line about the overall lousy condition of the livestock in our area's store. Once again, thank you so much for your support. Sincerely, Gina <Be chatting... and do look at "Today's FAQs": http://wetwebmedia.com/dailyq&a.htm  (hopefully get to soon) re Nevin's input. Bob Fenner>

Freshwater Tank Set-Up Hi, <Hello!> I have a 180 gallon tank well decorated with large lava rocks and 1/4 inch gravel. There is 12 inches of head room and 12 inches of room in the front of the tank. The reason being is that I raised two silver Arowanas from 2 inches in size with their sacs to over 2&1/2 feet in size easily just making regular water changes. After 5 years one of my Arowanas got sick from some internal illness and died. The other Arowana couldn't handle the change became very jumpy and committed suicide breaking the over head glass ending up on the floor. Because I got rid of all my other fish for the ever growing Arowanas, I found myself with no fish. After a two year break I want to start up a new tank with one Arowana, fire eel, l lung fish, Polypterus (if I find the colorful one I want). The difference being is that I want to add a stingray (small species), I willing to change the gravel to sand and leave 18 inches of space in front of the tank. I'm would like to know if this setup is suitable for the ray, the reason I'm keeping the rocks is I really want eels in my tank. If you don't think the ray will have enough room I'll let the ray go and concentrate on the other fish.           <Rick, IMO a ray is a bad choice all the way around. Yes they are gorgeously menacing, but these guys don't live long in captivity regardless of the setup. Keeping rays is an exercise in frustration for most all hobbyist...unless you are really willing to go the extra mile, I suggest...skip the ray. David Dowless> thanks a lot.  Rick  <You're welcome! David Dowless>  

Freshwater stingrays (not in CA) I am interested in buying 2 freshwater sting rays...can you help me by any chance but I live in California... any thing near hear?? <As far as I'm aware the family Potamotrygonidae is still illegal to possess (or sell) in California. Bob Fenner>

MI Rays hello I live in Michigan and I  was wondering whether not freshwater stingrays were illegal or not here please e-mail                                                  thanks                                                          CJ <Don't know, but do know where to check. Your State Fish and Game. Likely have a website, can contact them through this if they don't have a list of illegals posted... Potamotrygonids are legal in many states. Bob Fenner>

FW Stingrays Hi, First I would like thank you for your advice and answers in the past. My question is are FW stingrays legal in Cali? < No, Sorry. And there is a big fine too if you are caught.-Chuck> My former elementary school has an interest in setting up a stingray tank, since it is their mascot. I have own FW and reef tanks but have never owned stingrays and do not know much about them, although I have read the section about FW stingrays on this website. If you don't know then perhaps where could I find this information? Thanks! -Alex

First Freshwater Stingray, Selection - 10/17/2005 I was wondering what ray would be best suited for a beginner and would work in a 110 gallon tank <In my opinion, none are suited to this size/shape tank, if this is a "common" 110 - 48" by 19" footprint, roughly.> and I was planning on housing it with a royal Pleco (Panaque nigrolineatus) and 5 Sorubim lima. I am currently looking at Potamotrygon leopoldi. Any other suggestions would be helpful. <You might possibly get by with something like Potamotrygon scobina, which reportedly stays closer to 12" to 14".... But I would absolutely not, in a system with a footprint anything less than 48" by 24". Preferably larger. Wishing you well, -Sabrina> 
First Freshwater Stingray, Selection - II - 10/18/2005
The tank that I am buying has the following dimensions 48" long 24" wide and 18" high, if that helps. <Mm, somewhat....  I would not put leopoldi in this system, to be sure, but you might be able to get by with a single P. scobina.  It would be better to have it in a larger system, though; after discussing with Bob, he recommends a 72" by 24" tank, so you might consider upgrading in the near future at least.  Wishing you well,  -Sabrina>

Illegal Rays? - 11/22/2005 Could you tell me if freshwater stingrays are illegal in Georgia? <You will need to find that out through your local (Georgia) wildlife or fish and game department.> If they are what requirements must be met to keep them? <If they ARE illegal to own/sell/etc., again, you'll need to find out through the government body that regulates them. I know in California it's essentially impossible for an "average Joe" (including myself) to obtain a permit for keeping these animals. Major bummer.> Thanks in advance. <Wishing you well, -Sabrina>

Freshwater Stingrays, Sabrina's Envy - 12/15/2005 Around 6 moths ago after 15 years of fish keeping I decided to try freshwater stingrays. <I envy you.  Deeply.  You've no idea how much I love these animals, wish I could keep, breed....  Not in California.  Sigh.> The most frequently available and affordable to were Potamotrygon reticulatus. <Beautiful.> I set up a 6' x 2' x 18" high tank filter using 2 canister filters - an Eheim 2213 and a Fluval 304) with a sand substrate about 1/2" thick. The pH was and still is 7, temp 80degrees C, ammonia zero and nitrates controlled with weekly water changes. <Nitrite, I trust, is zero as well.> About mid June I purchased 2 Retics (only males were available) about (XX)" dia <Unfortunately, portions of your email are garbled....  the lettering I can figure out, but this is impossible for me with your numbering, unfortunately; not sure what happened here.> and settled them into the tank with the intention of getting 2 females at a later date. These 2 males settled within the hour and were eating earthworms the same day.   <Wow, excellent!> About the end of October the shop finally got more retics in and I got (XX) <Same trouble....> females again about 2" dia. The males are now about (XX)5"-4" <I'm assuming this is 3.5-4 inches?  Blast this webmail....> and the females were added to the same tank. <Yikes!  I'd've quarantined the newcomers, to be sure....  there's just SO much that can go wrong with rays....> Although I could see no problems between the rays the 2 new females have not settled like the males and do not seem to be eating anything I put in the tank. <VERY bad news....  At this tiny, tiny size, they may not make it without food urgently....> I have tried blood/earth worm, prawn, mussels, flake, tablet and I have even tried Live deformed Endler's guppies (which is normally a big no no for me) all without success. <Try live bloodworms, failing that, try live blackworms.> I am now at a stage where I have placed a divider in the tank as one female is extremely skinny (hollow in the head and showing pectoral bones) and the other seem not as bad but fear it will go the same way. <Very, very dangerous....> I feel the possible mistake has been adding them at different times and if so then lesson learned as I feel I will lose these 2 females. <I fear you may....  The urgent lesson here is QUARANTINE your newcomers....  Not only to protect your existing, healthy stock, but to help the newcomers chill out and eat.> Sorry for the length of this mail but the more info u <Not 'u', 'you'....  we have to correct these for posting on the site.> have the less speculation you will need to make. <Quite correct.  Thank you for the detailed info.> If you can help or advise it would be appreciated. <I would advise removing the females to a separate quarantine system if possible - and NEVER add to your main tank without a four week quarantine for new rays.  If these girlies don't make it, I will also *strongly* advise that you start with slightly larger specimens next time, and make the shop owner show you the animals eating prior to purchase - if they don't eat, don't buy.> Thanks,  Stuart,  Scotland. <Thank you very much for sharing, Stuart - Keep up hope, and try to get some live bloodworms or live blackworms into these girlies.  If you get them to eat, keep them eating - get 'em fattened up a bit before you wean them off onto dead or prepared foods.  All the best to you,  -Sabrina>

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