• Basic Rules of Stingray Keeping

    Since the lift of ban from selling rays in Singapore Local Fish Shop (LFS), I can see many newbies started to rear rays now. First of all, welcome to the ray keeping community in Singapore and welcome to AFT Forum.

    Rays have many different types of species to choose from. From the relatively more affordable rays like Motoro to High end rays like P14, P13 Black Diamond Variant. Whatever rays it is, it has its own beauty. The best thing is buy within your budget means and buy what you like and not for the sake of buying. It will be always entertaining to rear rays from pup stage till adulthood. Transformation on Rays is astonishing and great changes will be seen throughout the growing up stages. Be warned it is poisonous! Among all fishes, Rays are the ones more interactive with humans thus great fun to have such as tank mates in your tank!
    Alot of bros having phobia about getting sting by Sting Rays. Dont get the wrong idea that Sting rays are looking for people to sting. Sting rays use their only DEFENSIVE WEAPON (Sting) only on defensive mode. So unless get provoked, cornered and no way to run, will it use its sting to defend rather than attack. I swim with my rays and throughout my keeping of rays, I never get sting at all...... In short respect them in return they will respect you. When you are swimming with them, they will come near you and interact. A little tickle in the front of the mouth and/or head, they will want more. When rays are stress, kindly refrain from doing so as they are in defensive mode.

    Rays unlike other fishes are more prone to water parameters conditions. Before making decison to buy rays, check your water condition in your tank first. Most beginners tends to make such mistake as they would want to buy rays into their tanks asap. This is a grave mistake. If your water condition is not good for rays..... the new rays you bought will end up in the dustbin within a week. Do take note of such....

    Favorable water condition should be as such:

    Water PH Level: 6.5 to 7.5
    Nitrate : 0-0.25ppm
    Nitrite : 0ppm
    Ammonia : 0ppm

    For Nitrate, Nitrite and Ammonia, a slight difference is acceptable in the range of 25 but big difference will be a disaster. So please take note of such.

    1. SETUP

    For Hobbyist, favorable setup should be at least a 5 X 2.5 X 2.5 onwards with varies on the length & width of the tank. When keeping rays, it is advisable not to save cost on your media usage. Biohouse aka Dogshit, Biohome plus, bioballs, coral chip, Jap mat, ceramic rings are essential for your filtration system. Mentioning on Filtration type, I would prefer sump tank filtration for normal house tank or Filtration box for FGT. From my limited experience, OHF on house tank is not as strong as the sump thus water perimeter will not be able to reach an optimum water condition for rays. Practice 3 months ~6 months cleaning of your sump or over flows filtration.... if your water is good rays will be flying here and there lively. Remember all media MUST be washed by Tank water only and not tap water sources.

    To adjust PH value after a certain amount of time, one can either add coral chip/Oyster Shell to buffer up the ph value or add DW/peat to lower down the PH. Both will take sometime to adjust the PH Permanently. Thus be patient. Powdering form of buffering up/down on PH will only aid you in a short run. We should look in the long run to make sure PH is stable in your tanks for months/years to come.

    In addition, water flow in your tank should be ideally flowing freely thus getting a hi flow pump in your sump is therefore recommended. Stagnant water, low flow will not aid you in keeping rays as rays bioload is very high (1 ray equivalent to 4 arowanas). Ammonia is constantly building in your tank. Your setup will be matured only when your PH is stable and ammonia is 0 ppm when keeping rays inside.

    In my opinion, the ideal capacity of rays versus house tanks as follows:

    a. 4ft tank - 4 rays max.
    b. 5ft tank - 5 rays max
    c. 6ft tank - 6~8 rays max

    Thumb rule on Keeping Rays or I should say every fishes regardless - FIRST REAR WATER BEFORE REAR FISHES, WATER GOOD REAR ANYTHING ALSO GOOD (先养水后养鱼, 水质好养什么都好)

    2. ACCLIMATIZING OF RAYS

    Acclimatization is a process whereby introduction of newly bought fish to accustom to your tank water perimeter before intro it into your tank.

    When the above is done, it is time to venture into looking for your precious rays. Before going forward, you should be able to know by now what is your Tank water PH. As different tanks have difference PH level. A small difference in PH(+/-0.5) is still under acceptable region. A difference in PH on +/- 1.5. Extra care should be taken into consideration during acclimatization.

    If the PH Values is only a difference in 0.5, normal standard procedure of acclimatization should be readily enough. Normal procedure is simply mixing your tank water (in small amount) with the packaging water housing the rays with an interval of 5-10 mins, repeat the process till 15-30mins later. Once the movement of rays become active, it has accustomed to your water perimeter and time to intro in.

    For PH on difference of +/- 1~1.5, I would suggest using Tub for acclimatization of rays. Adding an air stone will be better as the process will take longer than the normal procedure. add small amount of you tank water every interval of 10~15mins. Total process will take at least 1 hour or till the moment your rays become actively moving around.

    3. WATER CHANGING HABIT

    Beginners should take note of is your water changing habit.... Practice Water changing habit twice per week about 10~20%. Changing water frequently helps reduce Ammonia and other toxic substances in your tank. During WC, it is advisable to use a better quality water conditioner before adding water directly from tap. A good quality water conditioner react to chlorine, chloramine very fast as these kills rays. Some bros use Storage water, some used Filtered water. If from direct Tap outlet, you are highly reminded that A SLOW FLOW OF TOPPING UP WATER IS A MUST. NO BLASTING OF TAP WATER IS RECOMMENDED AT ALL. Practice every feeding left over must be cleared off to prevent ammonia build up.

    4. FEEDING

    Train your rays to feed on Frozen food like Market prawn, Sotong, Tamban, Smelt and refrain from feeding Live Feeders as much as possible. Live parasite infested feeders are most commonly found in packets of Live feeders you bought in the LFS. All you need is just one live parasite infected feeder to be consumed by any of your rays.... you will have big problem later on... For everybody knowledge, there is no readily available medicine for any specific cure for rays if they got parasite and not visible sign of infection can be seen from the appearance. By the time you find your rays not eating and behaving strange... chance of survival is less than 15%

    ADDITIONAL EQUIPMENT IN RAY KEEPING

    Some of the Rays keeper they put salt into their tank ..... For me, I do not put salt at all .... Incorrect proportion of salt content will burn your rays. Thus to prevent such silly mistake, I would suggest not to do with salt.. Rather I would suggest ray keeper to have an UV light installed. It is the same effect of killing any harmful bacteria in your water as well as keeping your water crystal clean.... The next item is a must ... A heater set at 28degree. This heater will help heal scratches/scar faster than without it.... rays thrive at 28degree.....

    As long as any beginners remember the basic rules of ray keeping, I am sure everybody who started rays will be deeply poisoned and upgrades rays... Hope my limited experience, help for the future ray community. I am sure all the experienced brothers here are able to help anyone who needs aids. Enjoy Ray keeping and once again welcome to the dark side ....
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Basic Rules of Ray keeping started by uluaking View original post


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