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FAQs about Blue-Spotted Stingrays; Taeniura lymna, Dasyatis kuhlii...

Related Articles: Saltwater Ray Husbandry By Adam Blundell, Rays, Freshwater Stingrays, Wounds Articles, Sharks, Cartilaginous Fishes

Related FAQs: Batoids 1, Batoids 2, Batoid Identification, Batoid Behavior, Batoid Compatibility, Batoid Systems, Batoid Feeding, Batoid Disease, Batoid Reproduction, Shark, Ray Eggs, Wound Management, Freshwater Stingrays: FW Stingray Identification, FW Stingray Behavior, FW Stingray Compatibility, FW Stingray Selection, FW Stingray Systems, FW Stingray Feeding, FW Stingray Disease, FW Stingray Reproduction,

Saltwater Stingrays Hi I have a 120gallon tank and I wanted to get a saltwater stingray. I would also like to have a lionfish and some other fish is this possible. What kind of stingray would you recommend for my situation. thank you <Please read first here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/rays.htm then the accompanying FAQs file, on to other cartilaginous fish group materials. Bob Fenner>

Blue spotted stingray won't eat... other iatrogenic errors        12/13/14
Hi I was referred to you guys by someone I believe is one of your members
he told me that you guys can help me with my problem
<With grammar? You can easily do this w/ the devices software you're writing us with>
I have a blue spotted
lemna? An exceedingly poor species for home/hobbyist use. SIMPLY look up (the search tool on every of the 14k plus pages of WWM) and READ re>
that's roughly about 9 inches around I've had him for over three
weeks I've tried to feed him squid shrimp silversides clams and he's still not eating what should i do
I've even tried and he still not eating I've
tried varying the food and feeding times. There's even a ribbon eel
<... Henry... why have you set yourself up for failure by choosing difficult fishes to try and husband? These two rarely live/make it in captivity>

in the
tank along with two other stingrays
<... What, which species here? Am guessing some coldwater...>

and they're all eating pretty much
anything I throw in the tank Thank you for looking into this and please let me know what I can do my name is Henry
<Data please; and the reading. Bob Fenner>

Blue spot stingray quarantine - 6/30/08 Hello, <James> I spotted a Blue Spot Stingray today at the local LFS. It has been there for a while and is eating. I have a lot of space for him in my 900 g main tank and would like to try and give him a better life. This is probably a stupid question but do the same quarantine rules apply My Q tank is only 50 gallons with no sand in it. I don't think he would like it in there for a month. Thank you so much (again), James <Mmm, I would (myself) actually NOT quarantine, nor dip/bath this fish... Taeniura lymna are for the most part very "clean" parasite wise, and the damage, stress of forestalling installing specimens into suitable permanent homes is considerable. I would place straight-away. Bob Fenner>

Dasyatis kuhlii not eating  4/5/07 I have had this ray (again, Dasyatis kuhlii) now for 2 weeks, he is about 6-7 inches across. <Wow, small...> I picked him up from a LFS who flew him in special and purposely did not acclimate him to their system (I took him in the shipping cooler and acclimated him to my system within 2 hours of his arrival at the LFS). <A good idea... I would have done the same, encouraged you to do this yourself> He is in an 8¹ x 8¹ x 2.5¹ pond with only a panther grouper, who leaves him alone.  Water temp is 72-73 degrees, with an all soft sand bottom, and only 2 small piles of live rock.  System has been established for 8 months.   My problem is that I have never seen him eat.  He stays buried all the time the lights are on, but when they go off and it is dark he starts swimming and flapping at the surface (you can hear him start 10 minutes after ³dusk²).  I have been throwing live ghost shrimp in just before the lights go out, as well as partially burying small chunks of table shrimp, squid, and scallops every night.  Usually the next morning the buried chunks are still there.  I even put a live Astrea snail in there a week ago, and nothing, snail still scooting along.   Should he stay buried all ³day² long? <Mmm, I wouldn't be overly concerned either with the burying behavior nor the lack of apparent feeding thus far... two weeks is not a long time for such an animal to "settle in"> I tried slipping some food in front of him, and even under his snout, but if he does anything, he just swims away and re-buries himself.  Also ignores any food I throw in when the lights are on that circulates for the grouper to eat (same general menu).  Never actually seen him eat the ghost shrimp, which may be snacks for the grouper.  Any suggestions on getting him (it is a him) to eat? Thanks. Dan <Mmm... well, what you list are all good choices... According to fishbase.org: http://fishbase.org/Summary/speciesSummary.php?ID=4508&genusname=Dasyatis&speciesname=kuhlii this species feeds on crabs and shrimps in the wild... I would continue to try offering whole, bits of these... perhaps soaked in a vitamin/feeding stimulant like Selcon. Bob Fenner>

Blue dotted stingray urgent! (more info nec.) 3/2/07 <Greetings.> Help as I type my sting ray blue dotted whiptail ray is swimming on his side and bumping into the glass what do I do. He's quarantined and I fed him Selcon and Maracyn. Is there something that fights parasites is that it? or something I can do hurry please! <You didn't mention the size of the system, the water conditions, how long you've kept it successfully, or how long this has been going on. I'm sorry, but the only thing I can think of without this info is to mention that most ray fatalities are due to it's being kept in too warm a system. -GrahamT>
Re: Batoid health, laziness/emotionality... No sale   3/5/07
Hi I had emailed you last week about my blue dotted stingray. He was swimming on his side and couldn't balance himself. Unfortunately he died. I cried for help no one knew. <Mmm... GrahamT did respond to you: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/batoiddisfaqs.htm You didn't supply further or enough information...> So anyway I was wondering if you could tell me what was wrong with him and if you could make a list for us ray keepers of a medical first aid kit. <This is already posted on WWM...> Containing all of the must haves  to medicate them in their quarantine tank. It was so upsetting to watch him die it was horrible. I don't ever want to go through that again Please tell me what I should have done in case this ever happens again. Thank you Michelle <Apply yourself... learn to/use the indices/search tool on WWM, the Net... Bob Fenner>

Feeding a blue spotted stingray (not ribbon tail)   2/26/07 besides live ghost shrimp, what else can you feed the blue spotted ray? <Not to be disingenuous, but whatever it will eat. Have only seen a handful of this species kept successfully in captivity... All had been conditioned to accept meaty foods... "on the fly" at a particular place, time in very large systems... "seafood stew", "frutti di mar/e" mixes available at human food stores are great for supplying variety here... at low cost... including shellfish, cephalopod, fin fish flesh...> I also have a Cortez ray, but it's teeth and jaws seem much stronger then the blue spotted rays (I've had one prior too in my old tank which already passed away, but now I have a 220 gallon using RO water) and the blue spotted ray can't seem to chew on any krill or chopped up squid, it tries for awhile but can't seem to chew them and then eventually swims away. <Yes... I concur that the Cortez species is much more a "dual" food mode animal... able to crush thicker-shelled bivalves... You'll need to shuck such for your Bluespot> I had this problem prior, making it hard to feed the ray because they had such poor chewing skills versus the Cortez ray, which can chew up stuff like live gold fish no problem. Any ideas? Thanks in advance! =) -- Douglas Chang, Pharm.D. <Do try fashioning a "feeding stick", defrosting such foodstuffs of size, offering them (after soaking in a vitamin/HUFA food-stimulant mix... you can make or buy commercially)... and placing down near the front of this animal... Bob Fenner>

I have a California round and a blue dot sting ray in a 150 gallon  2/18/07 Hi I have a quick question I have a California round and a blue dot sting ray in a 150 gallon. <Mmm, one's tropical, the other sub-tropical... see WWM, Fishbase.org re these species... incompatible> They are on their way to a 300 gal. but when I started the tank I put live rock bio Spira etc to get the good stuff going now I have pulled everything out so they have plenty of room. (this was 5 months ago w/ nothing in the tank they've been fine) Question is how does good bacteria get in there now? <Mmm, with transference of water, substrate, filter media... even the air in time> Will they be ok in there w/o anything? Do they need anything else.? Michelle <Mmm... no way to tell, as you haven't related what "they have" presently... Please skim over WWM re Batoids in captivity... http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/index.htm scroll down... Bob Fenner>

Trick question? Re Batoid hybridization 2/1/07 Hi I have a blue dot whiptail ray (MALE) and a round Stingray ( FEMALE) can they Have Babies? Love mom <Yes, but not with/by each other. BobF>

Tail-short Ray  11/14/05 Hi My Blue spotted Rays lost part of its tail will it grow back Thanks Edward <Mmm, possibly. Depends on how much/far the tail is gone, the local conditions (water quality, room, nutrition) of your system. Bob Fenner> 

Sting Ray Care  10/4/05 Hi, <Hello, Adam with you tonight.> I Love stingrays and have had very good luck with California Rays (Urobatis Halleri) <Very neat temperate species.> and extremely bad luck with a (Taeniura lymna) Bluespot Ribbontail Ray throughout my aquatic career.  <This is not surprising at all.  Often they die within the first week or two of captive life and rarely accept food.  Even when they occasionally accept food they seem to go on hunger strikes at times and often never resume feeding.  Very rare that this animal is kept successfully long term. This one is best left in the ocean.>  I have been lucky enough to obtain a baby Bali Bluespotted Stingray (Dasyatis Kuhlii) which is currently residing in my 50 gallon quarantine tank. <Ahh yes this 'look alike' species is much hardier. Generally they are easily coaxed into taking frozen fare such as fresh market fish, squid, krill, any meats of a marine origin really.  You should have a fine layer of sand on the bottom of the tank, at least 3' in which t can bury itself when threatened.  Coarse sand will cause irritation to its smooth skin, which can lead to bacterial infections and even death.  You'll also (eventually) need a tank of at least 300 gallons with lots of surface area and minimal rockwork.  Keep in mind that as with all elasmobranchs this species is sensitive to stray electrical voltages, heavy metals, and high nitrate levels.>  I have tried to search both WetWebMedia and the web and have not found much information on care about this stingray. Please help me learn to provide the best possible atmosphere for this animal. <I also will take this opportunity to plug Scott Michael's book 'Aquarium Sharks and Rays.' It is filled with tons of good general information. However I will say that I disagree with many of the listed tank sizes for some species. I believe all sharks and rays should be treated to X-large spacious tanks (not closets) or left in the ocean.> Obsessed Aquarist Dinesh Patolia <Adam J.>

Blue-spotted Stingray tank? 12/19/04 Hi, I am planning on building a tank for stingrays  - dimensions - 7 ft long x 3 feet wide x 2 ft high, <hmmm... just one small specimen hopefully. Very little rock in the display too... soft substrates (1 mm sand grain size)... heavy filtration... ozone use too perhaps> how many gallons is this and is this <LXWXH in feet X the multiple 7.4 (galls of water in a  cubic foot) = 310 gallons> sufficient for 1 stingray w/no tankmates to live out his life? <yes... several species could I believe. One specimen only though> It would house possibly Urolophus halleri (cool water?) <eh... I'm inclined not to recommend temperate species... harder to keep. More expensive usually too> but I would really like Dasyatis kuhlii, <an excellent choice!> although I cannot find anybody that sells it. <do put a special request in with rare fish collectors like the LFS oldtownaquarium.com in Chicago. They seek the rarest of the rare every week and ship nationwide.> My LFS has a Taeniura lymna but I think I should look for a different species. <Yikes! What a horrible species for captivity! I'm truly sorry to see it even offered :( Please avoid this one my friend> What is a good ray that would happily live in this tank? Thanks! <your first choice for blue spotted ray was quite excellent. Dasyatis kuhlii is an aquarium-use species of merit and beauty. Pasted below is the caption we will likely use for this fish in contrast to the other dreadful species mentioned above: **What a difference a genus makes! Dasyatis kuhlii (Muller & Henle 1841) is also known as the Blue-Spotted Stingray (or Kuhl's Ray). Like Taeniura lymna, this ray of shared common namesake is also found throughout the Indo-West Pacific, including the Red Sea. Growing somewhat larger, to twenty inches in width (50 cm) with the same electric blue spots, this species on the contrary makes an excellent aquarium specimen. They are reef associated and feed mostly on crustaceans with a tolerance for home-prepared substitutes (cocktail shrimp, packaged krill, etc.). What they lack in number of blue spots compared to the Ribbontail Ray, they make up for in hardiness, survivability and grace. Other common meats of marine origin are accepted readily like fish, Mysids, and squid, as well as commercial frozen shark food formulas and live feeder shrimp and crabs. A Best Bet elasmobranch. Venomous - pictured here off Heron Island, Australia.** [from the Natural Marine Aquarium Vol. 2 part one, "Reef Fishes" by Robert Fenner and Anthony Calfo (2005)] best regards, Anthony>

Stingrays Are stingrays (SW) sensitive to metal like sharks are? <Yes> Also, do you know of any places that sell Dasyatis kuhlii, I can't find this fish anywhere. <Try DrsFoster&Smith, Marine Center, Marine Depot (.coms)> Also, would a 72" x 24" x 30" suit this fish? Thanks! <Only for a small specimen for a short while. Bob Fenner>

Stingray (Dasyatis kuhlii) Hi, I was wondering what ray besides the blue spotted stingray would live happily in a 240 gal for it's entire life (no tankmates)? Also, I cannot find any websites that sell the Dasyatis kuhlii, they only sell the Taeniura lymna. Do you know of any reputable sellers? Thanks! -Alex <I know the companies Dr.s Foster & Smith and Marine Center (.coms) to be honest and competent. I would contact them re what rays they advise, can get. Bob Fenner>

Ray question, and tank repair/bracing Hi,  I was at my LFS recently and there was a ray there.  I asked what kind and they said  it was a Bluespotted Ribbontail.  I didn't think it was but I thought I guess they are right.  It was white with a lot of dark whitish spots on it.  I was thinking it was a yellow stingray or possibly a Cortez stingray.  But the question is are ribbontailed rays white when they are born?  This one probably had a 4-5" disc width and I can't get any pictures of it either. <Mmm, the only Ribbontail ray, Bluespotted or otherwise that comes up on fishbase.org is Taeniura lymna, http://www.fishbase.org/Summary/SpeciesSummary.cfm?genusname=Taeniura&speciesname=lymma go see there, click on the one pic, look at the others... then look up this animal on www.WetWebMedia.com, not a hardy aquarium species.> I also have another question.  The support beam on the top of my aquarium has fallen in on one side (one side is in the water).  The other side is barely hanging on.  We called around and my LFS said that my aquarium is shot (all the water would fall out).  We immediately started draining the tank. <Good idea... for safety's sake. The brace can be repaired, re-installed...>   Right now there is about 6" of water in it.  It is a 200 gal. tank so I estimated there is probably about 40 gal. left in it.  I took my eel to the LFS and they are going to take care of it for me.  I currently have a bamboo shark egg and some snails in it.  The shark still has a few months before it will hatch.  Nothing is on in the aquarium right now.  I was wondering will the shark be ok with no water flow or anything? <Not likely. Better to set up filtration like a canister or sponges with air or powerhead drive...> Also we are going to try to repair the beam.  What do you think our chances are that it will still work and not break? <Very good if done "properly"... I would "double up" the current brace... with either more glass/pieces on top, bottom or along the two sides at the top. Bob Fenner> Thanks Adam Siders

Bluespot with golf ball up its butt - 4/28/04 Hi, My 12 in Bluespot ray had for 2 yrs. has a blood ball on his anus! It is 1 inch in diameter, like if you put a golf ball in the ray's anus.<Sharks and rays have the ability to invert their intestine out their anus. No science as to why, but likely that it is trying to evert shell pieces, fish spines, calcium, and other theories stuck in the intestine. This could be what the ray is doing.  If it is doing this, it should retract it without any problem. Keep an eye on it. It should not last too long. (48 hours at most in our past experiences with this)> Water is fine, and I have fed him his normal foods: / shrimp/fish/ crab/ squid/ yesterday he did not eat as aggressively like normal. Today, I noticed he did not eat at all. <Hmmmmm. Simply not enough here to tell you what is going on.> The ray is not moving much. Tankmates are zebra eel and a epplt shark. <How big is this tank?? Are you sure water quality is not an issue> I have no idea of what to do. <Nor do I. To be honest, would it be possible to send a few pics of the ray and the affected area to my attention?? This will help me to diagnose a little better> or what it is. Please help . <Need more info. Sorry I couldn't be of more help ~Paul> thanks Bart

A Ray Of Hope? Hi, <Hi there. Scott F. here with you today> I have just acquired a Taeniura lymna.  He is about 6-7" and was at the LFS for  only 4 days before bringing him here.  I place him in a 7" (220 gal) with mostly angels as tankmates. <Yikes! Please be sure to quarantine all new arrivals for a minimum of three weeks before placing them in the display tank...Better for everyone...>   I have looked everywhere and cannot find much info on these guys.  Even on your site, there really isn't much.  I've also heard that Bob has one of these beautiful creature's?? <I don't believe that he does have one...It's one of the worst of a pretty bad family of fishes to keep in captive systems. I don't like to sound negative, but I think that, despite your good intentions, you purchased a fish that really should not be kept in captivity. These fishes almost always starve to death for lack of available food sources in captive situations. They need a huge sand bed area, filled with infaunal life. If you can get this fish to eat prepared foods (like Mysis, frozen Cyclop-Eeze, or the like would be among the better choices), it will still have a very difficult time adapting to captive life...Sure, you might have the one in a million that does, but I'm afraid the odds are not in your favor.> Do you know what he feeds his? how he feeds it, temp he keeps it at etc.  Also, my French is a little nippy with it...is this a big problem?? Can the ray defend himself? Or is this too stressful? <Well, the added challenge of a nippy tankmate is really reinforcing the odds of failure, I'm afraid. At best, he fish may hang in for a while, but if you are going to have any chance at all, I'd recommend a tank of his own...> Thank you so much  I for one have really truly appreciated all the help I've received from you guys.  My French would not be alive today if it weren't for you!!  Hopefully now you can help me with Raymond! Thanks again, Lynn <Well, Lynn- I'm afraid that we cannot be of too much help here. Regretfully, retailers continue to stock these beautiful, but non-viable (for aquarium use) animals. The best thing that we can do for them is to vote with our wallets, and not buy them. Once there is no market for such animals, there will be no reason to import them. I know that you meant well, and I encourage you to do your best with this animal, but please read up and know the odds ahead of time when you decide to purchase ANY animal, especially one with such a difficult reputation. Do your best...Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>
A Ray Of Hope? (Pt. 2)
Thank you,  just wanted to let you know that I returned the ray the next day.  He was looking stressed to me, and what little info I found... encouraged me to return him.  After getting your opinion I am glad I did so.  I'll not make this mistake again. Thanks again Lynn <Well, Lynn- I'm glad that you were able to get him back to the dealer. I can only hope that they can find this fish a more suitable home (perhaps a public aquarium?). Despite this unfortunate experience, I think that your compassion and enthusiasm will serve you well in the future...Don't be discouraged...Keep learning and growing in the hobby, and share with others! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Blue Dot Stingray I have a Blue Dot Stingray and I can not get him to eat. I have tried a lot of food clam , shrimp , krill , and fish but he will not eat yesterday he looked like he was eating some krill but he was not I need help please my tank is 150 gal and the water is fine I also have a Snowflake Eel with him and have no problems at all with him eating. I have had him for 2 weeks. Please help what can I try to feed him and how can you tell if it is a male or female thanks again. Thanks again for any help <Mmm, not an easy fish or even group (stingrays) to keep in aquariums. Easily sexed... they have internal fertilization as the closely related sharks... males have claspers (narrow, tubular processes) for pelvic fins... females have more fan-shaped pelvics. Feeding? Perhaps try a feeding stimulant like the supplement Selcon... soaking a mix of meaty foods in this material for fifteen minutes or so before offering down near the animal (on a feeding stick). Please see WetWebMedia.com re Taeniura lymna here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/rays.htm and the linked FAQs file beyond. Bob Fenner>

Mixing stingray species I'm going to get a southern stingray is it compatible with my blue spotted stingray? -Carrie <Should be okay as long as there is sufficient space for both (hundreds of gallons). The Blue-Spotted is not easily kept, mainly due to shipping, handling damage enroute from the wild. Bob Fenner>

Good vs. Bad Blue-dot Stingray Species- what's the diff?   Dear Bob, <Anthony Calfo in his stead, my friend> We've been wondering about blue spotted stingrays and were wondering if they are reef compatible <not really. Even if your definition of reef-safe excludes their crustacean (shrimp/crab) diet... you still have to contend with their need for large spacious sand flats. A rockscape is a recipe for disaster with skates and rays (causing abrasions and perhaps leading to their demise) in the confines of captivity> and also what size tank you would recommend for keeping one. <200 gallons bare minimum... and more importantly, the most common species in the trade- Taeniura lymna, is staggeringly difficult to even keep alive (truly for experts and public aquaria only). If you must have a blue spotted ray, please seek the hardier Dasyatis kuhlii... less blue spots but much more likely to survive (small and adaptable). Scott Michael's "Sharks and Rays" is a must have book for you before you proceed too, mate> Look forward to hearing from you soon. Many thanks in advance, Martin & Lynsey <with kind regards, Anthony>

Blue Spotted Stingray health Hi, can you help? i wonder if u could help at all, i have a blue spot stingray in my aquarium at home, it is a female and in the last 2 days i have noticed a small but concentrated red patch right below the start of the tail, right where the rays waste/reproductive openings would be, between the anal fins.  the ray does not seem 2 bothered by this and is swimming normally and feeding well, i am still very worried by this small mark as it doesn't look very pleasant, i am sure it is either some sort of infection as i know these rays can sometimes get (although the ray is totally clear of all redness or infection everywhere else, or perhaps it is some form of sexual thing? <Likely a sore spot, possibly infected secondarily... and does worry me as well> as i had a male stingray b4 for  over a year and it never had anything like this, despite suffering from a short infection which did cause redness. pls can u advise whether this is likely 2 be some sort of sexual/ female trait which occurs naturally or an infection and what i need do about it (if anything)   <Likely resultant from a mechanical injury. Your system is too small for this fish... crowded with other fishes listed> My tank is 150 gallons and also living with the ray is a banded catshark, adolescent, a dolphin wrasse, a yellow tang, clown, Sailfin tang, and some corals and hermits, these are slowly becoming snacks though.  I recently removed and gave away a Regal Tang and Damsel which had started to peck at a sore on the rays tail.  This sore is now healed and in all other respects she is very healthy looking. many thanks  Scott Evans <If you have another system that is at least this large I would move your ray to it. Bob Fenner>

Bluespot Stingray injury/infection? Please help me.   I recently asked about housing my ray and eels together...now I have a problem with my ray.   My Bluespot ray has what appears to be a tear on the "hump" of her eye.  At first I thought it was debris stuck to her, but one of the blue spots is torn away, but still attached.  The "injury" (only thing I can think to call it) is about 1/8 of an inch in diameter.  After reading FAQs, I am about to assume I should treat with antibiotics, but am very worried about:  which ones to use, how to figure dosing; can I dose in my tank--I'm guessing "no" (180g, 3" DSB, good h20 parameters); how can I avoid her sting if I have to handle her; how the heck do you weigh a stingray--in water?? <I would not administer antibiotics to this fish's water or likely inject it with same> My Q tank is 20g, and bare (no sand)...oh no!   Would a massive water change help?  I would rather not have to dose at all if I can avoid it. <I wouldn't and would not move this animal... too much likelihood of further injury, trauma... being placed in a too small volume>   I just noticed the problem today while feeding her.  Have had her close to a year (9 months maybe?) with no previous problems.  She (so far) still has her typical appetite.    I do NOT want to lose this ray.  I'm worried.  I've consulted my books, various message boards, your site and Google for answers...and am now thoroughly overwhelmed.  Whatever you tell me I will do.  Thank you. <If in good initial health, these fish are tough and have good powers of regeneration. I would augment the fish's diet with vitamins, HUFA and iodide and leave it where it is. Bob Fenner>
Re: Bluespot injury/infection?
Mr. Fenner, So no dosing then.  What if the tear becomes infected? <At that point I would consider a topical... like mercurochrome, Merthiolate... applied with a "Q-tip", lifting the animal gently up to the surface> I am aware how dicey these rays are to keep, and have made deliberate efforts to make sure she is in a healthy environment.  Until yesterday, she looked great.  I'm probably over thinking this.  I soak her food in Selcon normally, will go find the others today.  Thank you. <Glad to help. Bob Fenner> Vicki
Re: Bluespot injury/infection?
Mr. Fenner, <Here> I'm sorry to bother you again.  Have taken your advice on vitamins, and there does seem to be a bit of improvement in the area.  However, it no longer looks like a wound, but a sore. <These injuries take time... weeks, sometimes months to heal>   I'm not quite sure how to tell if the sore is infected.  I have never had a fish with an open sore before.  I should now treat w/Mercurochrome? <I don't think so. If the area seems to be improving I would not likely damage the animal by restraining it.> This IS the red stuff my mom used on me as a kid, isn't it? <Yes>   I don't suppose something like a triple anti-biotic ointment would be useful, or would the petroleum base be bad? <It will not stay on the animal> Another problem: my ray is breathing very hard now (began about an hour before I prepped her to feed).  She is still eating very well, but I am concerned about the breathing.  For some reason my pH dipped to 7.8 (this was after her regular water change Sunday and a test today, previous water change pH was 8.2)...is it safe to buffer right away, or should I do it gradually? <Add it gradually. Ideally don't change the pH more than 0.1 point in a day> I do have a two powerheads and a skimmer in the tank...so I don't think it's oxygenation. All of a sudden everything is falling apart here.  Would she be better off at LFS until she heals and I figure out what the heck happened in my tank? <Not likely. Have faith that you are doing your best here> Thanks again for your initial advice.  I believe it did help. Vicki <You are welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: Bluespot injury/infection?
Got it.  I WILL try to chill out about this.  Raised the pH .1 today, will continue each day till normal again. <Very good> She looks much better.  Breathing has slowed a bit and she's swimming around again.  Her color is still a bit dark, but her sore looks better.  Cautious optimism. <Keep it up> Thanks so much. Vicki <Bob Fenner>
Re: Bluespot injury/infection?
Mr. Fenner, Quick update on my Bluespot...she's looking markedly better.  Her wound is much less dramatic-looking.  Color is back to normal.  Appetite still good, she's breathing and behaving normally again.  Am keeping a very close eye on her still, but so far we're in OK shape.  My SINCERE thanks for your advice and patience. <Good to hear of the progress. Bob Fenner> Vicki

Stingrays Hi Crew, <Hello Joe> Just a quick one for you.  I have a 220g FOWLR tank, with tangs, clowns and a couple triggers (niger, Humu Humu).  My LFS is getting in a blue spotted stingray and was wondering if it would be compatible with my set-up.  Also, are they a difficult fish to care for ( I was going to make sure it was eating before I buy it), do they have specific needs, will they eat my small perculas, knock over my live rock etc. <Not a good choice. Rarely live for any time in captivity. Please see here re Taeniura lymna: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/rays.htm> P.S.  The other fish I was considering is either a queen or emperor (juveniles) angel.  I've read on your site that the queen is easier, I have access to an emperor though and was wondering if it is that much more of a difficult fish then I would not buy it.  By the way how long would a juvenile take to get the beautiful colors of the adult. <Depends on several factors w/in (feeding, water changes...) and w/o your control but a few to several months to years from whatever size you're referring to> thanks for your help Joe <Bob Fenner>

Eels/stingray cohabitants? Hello! <Hi there> I currently have two tanks housing a 9-10" Bluespot stingray and 2 eels (20" Tesselata and 15" Blackedge) respectively.  I would like to create a habitat for both the eels and ray to live together.  Am thinking of establishing one 300g tank to do this. <Ahh, a good size system>   Have already solved the cave, substrate, surface area and water flow issues on paper and am about to begin creating a working prototype.  What I need to know is:  can these animals live together without menacing or trying to eat each other? <Yes... given attention to feeding, general husbandry (big skimmer, large water changes...>   Some folks say yes, others say "good luck with that!"  Would very much appreciate your expert opinion on the viability of such a venture.   Thank you in advance!   Vicki <Should be a spectacular exhibit... given one or two "piles" of caves, soft, deep substrate for the ray, attention to getting foods to all, a secure top to prevent eel escape...  Bob Fenner>
Re: eels/stingray cohabitants?
Hooray, hooray!  I'm relieved to know I won't be putting my animals at risk (especially my ray).  I should have the new system ready to go no later than the start of summer then.  THANKS for the fast reply. Vicki <And you, for your earnest involvement, enthusiasm for our hobby, life. Bob Fenner>

Blue Spotted Rays Bob, I have a 10 gal tank with sharp glass for a substrate. I don't like to clean the tank and like fish that naturally live for a long time. Should I get a blue spotted ray? <You're making my morning> Seriously, thanks for your advice, I did have my heart set on one for my 135 gal, but will have a change of heart based on your feedback. Thanks. Jim <Better to try other life that will do better in such captivity. Bob Fenner>

Blue Spotted Stingrays Hi, I have a 115 gallon tank that has a DAS system, and I added a UV sterilizer. It has 150pds of live rock along the back wall. I have had the tank running for 1and half year. In side the tank I have a large dragon wrasse, 2 damsels, 2 urchins, and 4 starfish. For my birthday my father purchased a Blue spotted stingray. The person who sold it to him, said it could live in crush coral, but I was told it could not. It would die soon. I cleared a spot for it wear I used 40pds of sand for the ray. Is that going to help. What is a good feeding diet. Right now I feed it shrimp soaked in Zo? and I also feed it squid. Is that ok or do I need to feed it something else. I was wanting to know how can I tell if it is male of female. The ray is about 6in wide, and 1foot long. Can you give me some advise on how to take care of the Ray. What is the Temperature and hydrometer supposed to be. Sincerely, Jon <It is irresponsible to buy something and then try to figure out how to take care of it. Please begin reading here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/rays.htm and follow on to the linked FAQ files (in blue at the top of the page). -Steven Pro>

Blue spotted ray (larger questions of knowledge, morality) Why would the store sell something that would die?? <Perhaps they're ignorant of the species historically low aquarium survival. Maybe to "make money"...> don't you think you're pushing the dying fact a little to far.  <Mmm, no. Put yourself in my/our place/s. Having been in the trade for decades, seen, had many of this (and other notorious species) die so easily, it seems only realistic to warn others of their "chances"... perhaps spare a few specimens untimely loss. What would you do? Perhaps a romp through the various marine hobbyist listservs, asking for input of how others have fared would convince you? Bob Fenner> Miguel

Blue spotted stingrays update Robert, about a couple of months ago I asked for your help with stingrays. Unfortunately I lost the female but I appreciated your help so wanted to let you know that the male is doing great and he's growing so I hope I am out of the rough bit with him. <Ah, good to hear, read> One thing you may want to know is that they are very sensitive to water changes. Even just 10% really puts them down. I thought he was going to die after a 25% change! He lost a lot of body weight and didn't feed for 3 weeks. <Yes, thanks for reinforcing this fact.> I think stability is the key to these guys. no hassles and they seem to do well. Water changes need to happen real slow and make sure that a dechlorinator is used and that the salt concentration is a perfect match. <Well-stated> I have had nitrate peaks and dips but they seem unaffected. From what I have seen I would guess that most die prematurely due to the changes in water chemistry. esp. from a wholesaler to shop to home. <Agreed. And much damage physically in-between the wild and home... stands to reason such large, messy eaters would be tolerant to waste matters> If anyone else writes to you about these guys, I don't mind if you send them this email address. <Will post it on our site: www.WetWebMedia.com under "Rays" section for alls perusal> Once again, thanks for your help Colin <Thank you my friend. Bob Fenner>
Re: Blue spotted stingrays update
Thanks very much for the reply. I do have one more question though...(groan!) sorry. <No worries> The ray is a bit of a pain when it comes to feeding because HE knows what HE likes and I know what is good for him. It is a battle of wills sometimes.  <Sounds like having children!> A bit like red tail cats and pampered Oscars etc. I used to pack dead feeder fish for my red tail cat with green foods and stuff for roughage. What would you recommend that I can sneak into this rays food without him realizing? <Yes... this is done every day at public aquariums> I use mineral supplements for reptiles I keep, normally inserted into, or dusted onto their food. Is there something I could try for the ray to make sure he is getting a full balanced diet?  <I would insert pelleted foods in its diet that have been soaked in a vitamin complex> I feed him on frozen (defrosted in aquarium water) prawns, octopus, krill etc. already. Thanks in advance, Colin <Be chatting my friend. Bob Fenner>
Re: Blue spotted stingrays update
Can you recommend a "ray-safe" vitamin complex? <All the ones sold in the pet-fish interest. Micro-vit comes to mind> What sort of dry food would offer a complete diet for rays? <None that I am aware of. I would soak a dry pellet with the vitamin complex for ease of introduction...placing the dry food in turn within a meaty item> On another note of interest. My ray shares his tank with some other inhabitants which include two cleaner shrimps. He does lie still to let them clean him but the shrimps have just started something really annoying; when the ray is eating they have started sitting on his head and putting their claws into his spiracles and pulling out the bits he is trying to eat! Taking the food straight out his mouth! Ouch, imagine that!? Needless to say these little robbers will be getting removed 1st chance I get. In the meantime I am hand feeding the shrimps to make sure they have full bellies before I feed the ray. Thanks again, Colin <Those shrimp better be careful... your ray could easily include them as a meal. Bob Fenner>

Blue Spotted Stingray... treatment Help, My beautiful lady is ill! I have a pair of 18" long blue spotted Lymna taeniura. The female has started to become increasingly thin. I have had them over a year and I noticed that this started about 5 weeks ago. <A good long time for this species in captivity> She is starting to look quite bad and I can now see that she is a washed out yellow colour with pale spots. More disturbing is that I can clearly see her pelvic bones through her skin. These are non-existent on the male. <yes> What can I treat her with which will be elasmobranch friendly? The male, typical male, is totally unaffected by the whole thing. He is still feeding and acting as normal <If the fish is still eating, I would try a combination of Piperazine and the anti-protozoal Metronidazole/Flagyl... are you familiar with these materia medica? Do you have a way of weighing this animal to calculate dosage? I strongly encourage you to chat with a veterinarian locally (you may refer them to me), and have them provide you with these compounds.> I am assuming that she has some type of worm infestation. Tankmates are only one cleaner shrimp and a star fish, not a problem to re-locate if treatment demands so. Lastly, she has now started going off her food. Rather than the greedy ganet she was she merely picks at small bits of krill. Other foods are prawns, octopus etc. can you help? <You may have to force feed this animal. Or if worse comes to worse, inject it with the vermifuge and possibly an antibiotic... Chloromycetin in a succinic acid base if your vet. has it/can get it... Bob Fenner> Colin

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