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FAQs about Cartilaginous Fishes

Related Articles: Cartilaginous Fishes, Sharks for Aquariums?, Sharks In My Living Room?, Blacktip Reef Shark, Sharks, Coldwater Sharks, Rays, Skates, Guitarfishes

Related FAQs: Sharks/Rays & Crypt, Sharks 1, Selection, Systems for Sharks, Feeding, Diseases, Shark, Ray Eggs, Coldwater Sharks, Remoras, Batoid FAQs, FAQs 2, Batoid Identification, Batoid Behavior, Batoid Compatibility, Batoid Selection, Batoid Systems, Batoid Feeding, Batoid Disease, Batoid Reproduction, Shark, Ray Eggs, 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,

A Nurse Shark, Ginglymostoma cirrhatum in the Bahamas.

Sharks and Rays in Aquariums
Gaining an understanding of how to keep these fishes in captive saltwater systems   

New Print and eBook on Amazon

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Photos needed please    2/29/16
We are looking for photographs for a shark education centre (not-for-profit) and were wondering if any of the members could perhaps help us. We need photos of the Bali Catshark (Atelomycterus baliensis ), Cloudy Catshark (Scyliorhinus torazame) and *Roughnose legskate (Cruriraja hulleyi). *
*I'd really appreciate your help.*
<Will post on WWM in the hope someone/s will come forward. Bob Fenner>
Heidi de Maine
Marine Biologist
Interpretive Design Consultant, Sunfish Consulting
Author of the Abby's Aquarium Adventures series

Possible Ray/Shark Tank... not yet     5/22/14
Hey Crew! Shea here. I have a question regarding a ray/shark system. I currently have a 72” X 24” X 29” FOWLR system. my current inhabitants are 2 Percula clowns and 1 Fridmani Pseudochromis.
<Would likely be eaten by any shark, ray in time>

So needless to say, the system is pretty bare. I am interested in adding a ray, shark, or both to the system.
<... see WWM re their selection; systems>

I’m aware that the shark can and probably will eat the current inhabitants so he is on the back burner. I have attached a picture of my system so that you can see my live rock setup and give me some feedback on space for the ray etc. The system is cloudy seeing as how I just did a water change. There is roughly 3 square feet on each side of the live rock for the ray to bury itself. I can always remove more rock if needed. I am looking into a Urolophus maculatus, as I understand these are one of the easier ray species to keep in captivity. If you have any other good species recommendations, I’d love to hear them!!
<Or scroll through here: http://wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/FishInd1.htm
Be chatting, reading. Bob Fenner>

Re Unknown eel incompatibility; now sys. -- 03/27/10
Hey so I'm looking for a bigger tank know, I'm hoping that will help my eel problem. I found a 125 gallon tank but the dimensions are 50 inches long and 60 inches high and 20 wide.
<Won't probably solve the problem of keeping the two together, but should be sufficient for one of your eels.>
I also found one that is longer and not as high and it is also 125 gallons. I want to add a sting ray and a banded shark. Is this a big enough tank?
<Certainly not for a ray and a shark. For the latter two you'd want to consider about 3 times the size or more. Please see http://www.wetwebmedia.com/sharks.htm and http://www.wetwebmedia.com/rays.htm . Also, their compatibility with moray eels is often rather poor in the long run.>
If not what size is the right one, I get confused with the right dimensions, should it be longer and not so high?
Please help, and also what's a good filter can I use my filter for my 46 gallon and buy another filter to add to this one?
<I'd prefer a live rock filtered setup with a large skimmer and strong water movement. Please see here for marine filtration and setups: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/setup/marsetupindex1.htm

Transitioning a fresh tank to a marine with spare part. A bunch of reading -- 03/20/10
Hello again everyone! Thank you for the quick response to my inquiries about acrylic repair/strengthening.
I said I would research before I asked about my setup and I can't find too much info about my equipment. Here is what I have and please tell me if it will work at least to cycle the tank for a few months to get the water perfect. I have a Clear For Life 135 acrylic with a corner overflow, 1" drain
<See WWM re: http://wetwebmedia.com/SystemPIX/PlumbingPix/Oneinchart.htm>
to an old 20 gallon Eshopps sump (it has a chamber approximately 10" long that has my asm G1 skimmer, then a trickle filter about 8" long where I removed the grate and plan to have 10-15 lbs of rubble rock, then 5" where
a Sedra 500 sat), I put a 1" drain from the sump to a little giant 4-mdqx-sc(1080 gph @ 6' head) plumbed with a 3/4 id tube to a scwd that drains to 2 1" bulkheads 1/3 of the way on both sides 2"s from the top. I also have a rio 2100 midway down blowing away from the overflow to attempt the flow of current below the surface of the ocean. I was planning on putting bioballs in the overflow but after reading the posts I will refrain from that. Also, there is about 160 lbs of fine live sand for a round ray and marble cat shark.
<Not compatible species... and the shark will get too large for this setting>
I saw a picture in one of the shark articles with live rock mounted to legs to lift it off of the bottom a few inches for the inhabitants, is this a possible way to add live filtration and a few corals?
<Mmm, yes, possible>
Right now there is only a 4' 2 bulb T12 fixture with 1 10k bulb and 1 actinic for the ocean effect. If corals is not an option I will be adding a UV sterilizer to help with filtration and parasitic control since rays and sharks cannot be treated chemically. I am open for all suggestions and recommendations you have.
Again Thanks for the info.
James B
<I'd keep reading for now... all the Cartilaginous fishes articles and FAQs files on WWM: http://wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/FishInd1.htm
and Scott Michael's work as well. Take your time here... there is much danger in what you propose. Bob Fenner>

Re: 135 gallon Clear for Life acrylic aquarium... repair and system for Chondrichthyans -- 03/20/10
Thanks for the direction! I contacted a local Plastics store and they carry Weld-On and will cut pieces to fit the interior dimensions to Weld-On to. No pun intended. In the corner where the overflow is, would I want to adhere the joints that are in direct contact with the water (the show side) or opposite?
<... all inside joints need to be done>
Would it be wise to do this to the bottom joints as well, while I am at it? In the end I want to jump to a 180 Hex for the shark and rays but until then, I'm stuck.
James B
<You sent this before... A hexagon shaped system of this volume will not work for these fishes. BobF>

Schooling fish/colorful fish for shark tank
Fish stocking for elasmo tank. 10/14/09

Hey Bob et al!
<Josh here tonight.>
My tank is in full swing now, with a pair of cownose stingrays, a California horn shark, and a young zebra shark (one more cownose coming). Also several urchins and starfish and misc cleaners that are
essentially food when the elasmos get hungry, but do a good job of cleaning up the detritus in the meantime (in fact, only one serpent star has been eaten so far). Filtration is keeping water specs well in control - temp is 75.4 degrees, salinity 1.022 SG, nitrates <10ppm, nitrites <0.25ppm, ammonia <0.25pmm, and pH of ~8.3. Attached a couple pics for your enjoyment.
<Thank you for the pictures, the tank looks beautiful.>
On to my question! I'd like to add some schooling fish, or something that will add color/flash to the aquarium. I was thinking anchovies, actually, though I can't find anyone who can get them for me (other than the pizza guy).
<Mmm, sounds tasty, although not the direction I would go in.>
Some people have suggested snapper, though I'm a bit wary that they'll decide to harass my beloved cownose rays and sharks.
Any suggestions?
<A couple of the tanks I take care of are 15'x15'x3, similar stocking minus the inverts. We have been very successful keeping mixtures of blue green chromis, blue devil damsels, as well as a number of Acanthurus bahianus.
The options are many.>
Again, tank is 12'x6'x3.5', and I've started work on the BIG (25K+ gallons) tank to be ready around this time next year, so fish that will eventually grow quite large are fair game. Thanks for your help!
<Wow, early congratulations on the new tank or should I say saltwater swimming pool.
Good luck,
Josh Solomon>

Bulk food source 8/13/2009
Hey guys - just looking for the best prices for buying frozen foods for my sharks/rays/big puffers/eels (not all in the same tank). I searched the site, and found that you mostly recommended Quality Marine - which
isn't shipping right now, and hasn't been for a while. I'd like to buy silversides and frozen squid in bulk.
PS: I decided to go with cownose rays instead of sharks in my big tank.
Can't wait till they arrive.
<Neat animals... For such large fishes, in numbers... I'd be buying "human" seafood, and doing whatever further processing (cleaning, cutting up, storing as such) along with using vitamins for your cartilaginous fishes (see Mazuri.com... WWM re). Look in your "Yellow Pages" analog or electronic for seafood suppliers near you... and a handy chest type freezer (mine's from Costco) for the storage. Bob Fenner>

Breeding, housing Chondrichthyous fishes 9/5/08 Hello WWM Crew, <Howsit Ben?> I'm here at florida tech and looking up some reasonable research ideas on a few selected species of sharks. We currently have a 12'(long)x 5'(wide) tub. We can go bigger but would have to travel to Vero beach. I was wondering if you would think breeding a pair of Chiloscyllium punctatum (banded cat sharks) can be done in this size? <Can> We are also considering breeding a pair of rays in this size(not sure on what species yet) if not sharks. We are still looking in to a few topics... Best Regards, Ben <Good to keep reading, researching at this stage. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

500 Gallon stock list, SW FO, not mixing rays, sharks... 8/29/08 I'm looking into getting a 500 gallon tank Dims are 96"Lx 48"Wx 25"H, <Ahh, a very nice "shape" indeed> and I'm doing some pre-leg work. This is the fish list that I have in mind. The compatibility is based off of Blue zoo Aquatics quick facts chart <A worthwhile endeavour/project... though such charts/lists should not be considered/held as sacrosanct> and some of the FAQ's section from your site about Shark compatibility. Can you give me your opinion of what will and won't work together. I'm also going to try and get these fish in a smaller size. I already know filtration is going to be key, so what type of filtration or protein skimmer would you suggest for a system this size with a stock list of this level? 1 White spotted Bamboo Shark or a male and female pair 1 Blue spot stingray or Cortez which ever works better <Mmm... I would not place this ray here... nor really mix most any Batoid with Elasmobranchs... not really compatible... Sharks eat rays... they are their principal predators in the wild> A mix of about 20 Chromes: 10 Bicolor, 5 Green, 5 Blue <Food for the sharks> A mix of about 12 Altheas: 3 Square, 3 Lyre tail, 3 Disbar, 3 Resplendent <... Mmm, also food... And I would not mix such small numbers of any but the Pleurotaenia... see WWM re> 1 Bicolor Fox face Rabbit fish 2 Indigo Hamlet 1 Blue Tang 1 Blonde Nash 1 Spotted Unicorn 1 Horseshoe Filefish 4 Blue streak cleaner wrasse <Mmm, no... see WWM...> 1 Yellow head wrasse 1 Checkerboard wrasse 4 Pork fish 1 Zebra eel I know it may be a bit over crowded but that is why I came to the experts, thanks for all your answers. <Mmm, not really answers, but a request that you start over... what you list won't work. Either the sharks, and possibly some of the larger (start and finish size) fishes toward the end of your list... scratching off the Hypoplectrus, the Gymnomuraena... Take your time at this stage... I assure you, better time now than real troubles (induced) later. Bob Fenner>

Shark and ray tank 07/20/2008 Howdy, <Howsit?> I really hope that this does not sound ignorant! I have been searching the questions about rays, but I am not sure I have my answer. I have kept a 220g tank for the past two years rather successfully. I am thinking about building a bigger tank (8ftx4ftx2.5ft) I have successful kept a pair of small marbled cat sharks, because they are smaller species in my 220, thus the reason for the new tank. Would the pair of sharks and a small ray coexist in this next tank (about 600g)? <Mmm, possibly... The ray should be a tropical, stinger-less species or one that is "fixed"> Based on my research and LFS all signs point to yes, but I respect your opinion more than either of the above mentioned. I try to be the most responsible aquarist possible and I want to make sure that as the sharks grow they have the proper amount of space. Thanks for taking time to read my inquiry you guys and gals are fantastic! Jesse <Thank you, Bob Fenner>

Stupid?... actually more like lazy, at least on the Net... Chondrichthyan nutr. 1/16/07 Sorry I have been searching what vitamins I should put in the tank for my round ray and bamboo cat shark. Cant find it. Please help. Also where do I buy? Thanks Michelle <? Please learn to/use the indices/search tool... Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/sharkfdgfaq2.htm and the linked files above. BobF>

Shark / ray tank... too small, under-mis-filtered... 11/20/06 I am working on a tank which I plan to put a bamboo shark, and a ray. <Mmm, the principal predators of rays (and sharks for that matter) are sharks...> I have a few questions for you. first of all, my equipment consists of a 220 gal tank, <Will be too small a volume...> 3 skimmers, two rated for 75 gallons, one rated for 120 gallons (this will allow me to stagger cleaning between each unit) for filtration I am running a Fluval FX5, with a large amount of bio material in it. <This won't work... insufficient filter capacity, too likely a too-large source of metabolites of nitrification> I also have a few powerheads, and a large AquaClear hang on filter to use for chemical filtration only. I am using 4 300 watt heaters because the room can be a little colder at times. <Such submersible heaters should be placed in a tied-in sump... too easily broken by cartilaginous fishes> I am keeping the temp about 77f. I have about an inch of live sand in the bottom of the tank, and it is mostly empty of decorations, and rock, other than a few tunnels I built in the center of the tank, leaving as much outside swimming room as possible, and as much sand bed open as possible. <Good> I am feeding frozen squid, mussel, and a few types of frozen shrimp. I am feeding them every other day, do you believe this is sufficient? <Yes> I was trying to figure out what I could put in the tank (one or two fish) to add a little to look at. I was thinking about a red and a black lion, but I have read some things saying these would work, some saying they wouldn't. <Too likely to "poke" or get run into by the Chondrichthyans...> if not, could you recommend something I could use to add a little to the tank, to seem less empty. <See WWM re...> is there anything I am forgetting? also could you recommend any good books about keeping these two creatures? Thank you for you time. Daniel <All posted on WWM... Please learn to/use the indices, search tool to find what you're looking for. Bob Fenner>

Urolophus halleri (Round Ray), not eating, not tropical 9/18/06 Hey Crew, We got a Cali ray that came in to our store last week on Thursday. The ray hasn't eaten yet. It seems like he doesn't want to eat. We have tried frozen squid, krill, gulf shrimp, and live ghost shrimp. None of them have worked. She swims all day and all night and rest for a little bit. Should the ray be eating by now? I've looked at some of the articles on your site and nothing helped. We have been hand feeding and stick feeding. Thanks, Ben <... is this fish in "hot water?"... See here: http://fishbase.sinica.edu.tw/Summary/speciesSummary.php?ID=2580&genusname=Urobatis&speciesname=halleri Subtropical... likely needs to just be placed in cool/cold water and allowed to acclimate. Bob Fenner>

Shark/Ray Compatibility 1/4/06 Hi, <Hello> I have a 220 gallon tank 72x24x36 I would like to put a Dasyatis sabina and a Banded Bamboo Shark in it... Is this a good match and size tank? <No> I have two 175 gallon Rena canister filters and a Prizm Pro Deluxe Protein Skimmer, 300-Gallon Capacity... Is my set-up adequate? <No, the Prizm Pro in my opinion will not effectively handle the huge amount of waste that is going to result from the keeping of these animals. The Bamboo Sharks do attain lengths of over three feet. Whether you are aware of that I don't know. I wouldn't mix the ray with the shark. Even though rays are not aggressive and will usually swim away from danger, in a closed in system they could very well sting/whip the shark. I suggest you do some research on these animals on the Wet Web Media and/or others before attempting to do this. Best to leave these fish to public aquariums or expert aquarists that have the means to keep these animals alive. Thanks for your help <You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Shark and stingray question 9/5/05 hello, I have a aquarium(6'x 18''x22'') and i was wondering if i could house a shark or stingray in that size tank. It would later be moved to a pool in about a little more then 2 years. Thanks a lot. Sincerely, coolfishboy aka Ben <Nope is the short answer. Please read... here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/index.htm See the pretty blue words? These are links to files with the information you seek. Left click on them and read. Bob Fenner>

Re: Call him, them Ray/s, of Sharky but don't crowd them 8/30/05 Only one ray not two if not do I stand a chance in a 265? If not could I get a coral Catshark (Atelomycterus marmoratus) in place of a ray since they don't grow past 27 inches And possibly the same tankmates as long as they are large and thanks for a quick reply. <... for cartilaginous fishes, their tanks need to be at least twice their width at adult size and three times their length... Bob Fenner>
Re: Call him, them Ray/s, of Sharky but don't crowd them 9/1/05
Only one ray not two if not do I stand a chance in a 265? If not could I get a coral Catshark (Atelomycterus marmoratus) in place of a ray since they don't grow past 27 inches And possibly the same tankmates as long as they are large and thanks for a quick reply. <... for cartilaginous fishes, their tanks need to be at least twice their width at adult size and three times their length... Bob Fenner> So that means a custom made at least 4' X 6' minimum. I was getting a little confused cause the Shark and Ray book had said a 180g on some of the ones I was interested in was OK, so I stood a chance w/220 or 265 So I'll look to get a custom of 4'X6'........Thanks again <Welcome. Bob Fenner>

"Death Curl" in a coldwater ray Bob, I have a 4 inch California ray that has been in my 90 gallon for about 3 months. Just recently he started swimming up and down the walls of the tank restlessly, and popping up out of the water. Is this common? <Yes, very> More importantly he is now curling the side fins every time he lays on the substrate. water quality is excellent, but I have not been adding iodine. Is this the cause of his behavior, or is there something else I can do to save my favorite aquatic companion. Thank you, Dan Getten Salt Lake City, Utah <Mmm, is the tank chilled? Is the substrate fine, soft/rounded? I do encourage the periodic use/supplementation of cartilaginous fishes diets with vitamins, iodine/ide... Please see WWM re shark and ray nutrition, disease. Bob Fenner>
Re: "Death Curl" ray systems, health
Thanks for your fast reply Bob...no the tank isn't chilled but it is set at about 75 degrees. is this too warm? <Yes... the water this species is found in is never this warm... more like 55-65 F.> Are trace elements not enough as far as supplements? <No... please read on WWM... Please. Bob Fenner> Thanks again for your info. Dan

Re: California Ray spots, ignorance Hey Guys, Just another quick question about California Rays. Mine just developed two small brown spots on the other side of his disc. Ever heard of this? If so, and remedies. Also what is the best temperature for this species? Thanks. Dan Salt Lake City <Don't write, read... on WWM. The questions you've been asking, need to know, are all posted there. Bob Fenner>

Ray goiter pic? Looking for image for new reef fishes book Date: Sat, 8 Jan 2005 17:36:08 -0800 (PST) Bobster... I have a note here to follow up with you on a pic of a Ray with a goiter you mentioned having. Can you check for/scan this image and send it along to Jas/I? thanks, mate Ant- <Yikes... I think the only such pic I/we have is one a querior sent to WWM... I suggest we place this msg. and hope for a response. BobF>
sting ray goiter picture WWM crew, A while back I wrote to you about our California Ray's goiter problem. It's getting a lot better with the addition of Seachem's Iodide treatment just over the last few weeks. Anyway, I thought your readers might be interested in seeing what goiter looks like, since it seems to be such a common problem with elasmobranches. This picture is of Norma the Ray at the height of her goiter problem. <Thank you for this pic and progress report Sherry. Good to hear of the improvement. Bob Fenner>

Lionfish In Trouble Hi everyone, <Hi! Scott F. at the keyboard tonight!> I have just bought a lionfish 2 days ago and put him in my 200 gallon tank. <Yikes! No quarantine? Please do read about this simple procedure and utilize it in the future!> I also have had a small Snowflake Eel, 10 pounds of live rock, and have ordered a Blue-Spotted Stingray and a Banded Catshark. <Yikes!!!! RED ALERT!!! PLEASE, PLEASE cancel this order, unless you are 100% certain that your "Blue Spotted Stingray" is Dasyatis kuhlii, which is an infinitely better choice for aquaria. The typical "Blue Spotted Stingray" found in the hobby is usually Taeniura lymna, which is one of the worst species you can have! In fact, even Dasyatis, hardy though it may be, is not recommended for a tank under several hundred gallons. This tank is simply too small to support this fish-not to mention, the tankmates that you are considering. I'd be similarly wary of the Banded Catshark. Really belongs in a very large, dedicated system. Sorry to "attack", but I really want you to think about the high potential for failure with both of these species. Only by "just saying no" to these types of marginally adaptable species can we, as hobbyists, prevent the needless importation and death of such animals...> My problem is that my lionfish hasn't eaten since the day I got him (and that was at the pet shop). Also his side fins seem to shake and he has barely moved from one spot. Any suggestions would be wonderful. Thanks. <Well, the behavior that the Lion is showing can be indicative of a number of things, ranging from shock to the possibility of a parasitic disease. You did not mention water conditions, so I'll assume that all environmental parameters are acceptable. Many Lionfish do go through a periodic "shedding" of body slime, and appear to "cough" and "shudder" during the process, only to return to normal behaviors after the process is complete. Before you rush to treat the fish, I'd observe him a couple more days to see if other possible disease symptoms manifest. If it looks like the fish is declining, or displaying other symptoms, such as rapid respiration, white spots, etc., do consider the possibility that you may be looking at a parasitic illness. Read up on the WWM disease FAQs for more on the diagnosis and treatment of such maladies. Observe carefully, and take decisive action when you make a positive ID as to what you are dealing with. Treatment of any disease, by the way, should be performed in a separate tank. Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Sharks in stingrays in a small tank - 3/15/04 I have an 80 gallon saltwater tank; it has been set up for about 2 years. I had a Blue spotted sting ray, and a black banded cat shark. <Much too big in the long run> The sting ray we have had for about a year. I don't know how old he was. The shark was about 2 months old; he was born into our tank from an egg. All of a sudden the sting ray just died no signs of foul play, only a small green mark on his belly. The shark died 2 days later. <Sorry to hear. Your description does nothing to implicate anything concrete> I could tell something was wrong with the shark a couple of days before he died, he was swimming erratically, and bumping into things, as if he couldn't tell which way was up or down. <Electrical current or magnetic field, metal poisonings, inadequate water chemistry, many things could be the issue here or a combination of them> The water tested fine. <Means nothing to me> The only thing I could think of is, it has been a while since I changed the filter in the wet dry, (about 2 months) apparently the filter needs to be changed every 3 weeks, I did not know that. <Hmmm.....maybe but not entirely convinced> If that is the reason why then why didn't my blue damsel die or my maroon clown fish? <That is easy. These are typically very hardy fish. Cartilaginous fish are very sensitive to water quality.> Looking forward to hearing from you. <Not sure what I can tell you here. Please read through our ever expanding section on sharks and rays for more information on nutrition, water quality needs, tank sizes, etc. Sorry I couldn't be of more help ~Paul> Cindy & George

Shark and ray pond I'm making a shark and ray pond. The dimensions will be 8X4X2.5 with an arc on one end (the skinny one) being 2 feet. How many gallons is this? <Let's see... assuming that these dimensions are "square", and multiplying all in feet... I get 80 cubic feet... multiplying 80 by 7.5 (there are about seven and a half gallons per cubic foot), it looks like about 600 gallons> The pond will be somewhere between 3-4 feet of the ground in its special room. The reason being that for the 4 foot side opposite the arc will be a viewing window a little small than 4X2.5 and I'm not sure how thick to make the glass. What would you suggest? <Read through the "custom aquarium" (on the marine index) and "pond construction" (on the pond index) FAQs files on WetWebMedia.com> The glass will be part of the wall like a regular window that allows viewing of outside such as your yard, but this will allow you to view the pond. The idea came upon me while at a public aquarium. Many of there beautiful displays are set up this way. <Yep, have built some myself> The substrate will be fine white sand (it is actually sand for a sandbox) will this work? <Possibly... hopefully this is NOT silica... you want more round, soft carbonaceous substrate... like coral sand... which is sometimes sold as play sand as well... e.g. "Southdown" by Home Depot.> I would prefer to get tropical species. I plan on having only 1 shark maybe adding another later on down the rode. The Species I'm deciding from are Coral Catshark, Marble(d) Catshark, or Whitespotted bamboo shark. Will there be any problem with keeping any of these with rays. <Not likely> If so Pls tell me which one(s), and the problem(s). Only one ray is to be kept in the tank as well. I'm not sure which species, because so many sites say different stuff about rays. It is a real headache when it comes to researching rays. <Keep studying... the headaches will go away when you understand what is factual, useful and which is noise> Just when I thought I found the right ray, Urolophus halleri, which is said to be a tropical ray... I reed some of your FAQ's about them and you the a cool water species. Where you referring to a different species? <Please see fishbase.org here... a cool water species> or did I read it right. If they are cool water species what commonly available species would you recommend for my pound? <Actually, none that are regularly offered... Lymna is about it and has a dismal survival record. My advice is to contact a specialty marine livestock supplier like Marine Center (.com) and ask them to "special order" you a tropical species that doesn't get too large> Also Is a clean-up crew even possible with these species or should i forget the idea? <Not desirable or necessary... the animals will too likely be consumed... Your aeration/circulation, filtration and regular maintenance (water changes, gravel vacuuming) should take care of these arenas> If so what clean-up fish/crustaceans could i put in the tank to help. I was also thinking of a moray eel later on. Would it be a thing to look into? <Possibly... if the shark, ray are small enough to allow its presence metabolically. Bob Fenner>

Re: shark and ray tank Hi, I just recently bought a 180 gal salt water tank and I want to put a shark and ray in there. But I don't know what kind of equipment I need to get started. The tank came with a pump and that's really it. Do I need a sump, skimmer???? If you could help with any suggestions of where to start that would be great. Thanks <Much to say, learn here. Please start reading: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/sharks.htm and on to the "Shark System" FAQs, where you lead yourself. Bob Fenner>

Sharks/Stingrays Hi: I'd like to have a tank with 1 small shark (i.e. leopard) and or one small stingray. Is it difficult to maintain. What size tank would you recommend (length etc..) Is there a species that would remain relatively small and hardy? Any suggestions, comments, insight, it is too difficult? <You can read Bob's thoughts are sharks here and please follow on to the subsequent FAQ files, http://www.wetwebmedia.com/sharks.htm -Steven Pro> Thanks, DT

Sharks and Rays Book Did Scott W. Michael's book on sharks and rays come out yet? <Yes... about a half year back> I searched Amazon.com and there were two books by him on sharks and rays, sharks and rays of the aquarium and reef sharks and rays. On your FAQs I read that there was a re-do of a book, <It's the former title> I was wondering if one of these is the new book he just made or if these are both older books and the new one he is going to publish soon still hasn't been published. Thanks a lot. <Take a look on Microcosm's site... Link on WetWebMedia.com's links pages. Bob Fenner>

Shark and Ray Question Dear Mr. Fenner, I'm recently very interested in buying a shark and a ray for my aquarium. I bought a 360 gallon aquarium and is all set up already for the past 2 1/2 months. <Good to wait> I would like to know if you can help me know which species of sharks is best kept in an aquarium and also which species of ray. Can they be kept together? <Some, yes> If not, can you suggest any other fish/invertebrate which I could keep in this aquarium together with them? <Most any that won't be eaten...> Also, can eels be placed in the same aquarium? <Yes...> I know that sounds like many questions, but I'm having a hard time getting the information from a resourceful place. I'm a researcher doing my Zoology Master's in studying both rays and reef sharks, and the aquarium is placed in my home. <Come out to the ASIH meetings, the Elasmobranch division...> I look forward to hearing from you soon. Regards, Marcela Araujo <Let's keep chatting here. Bob Fenner>

Question about sharks what do you recommend for someone interested in a shark/ ray tank? <A very large aquarium, lots of bottom room... study to ascertain compatible species, feeding... BIG filtration, pumping...> how well you the live together? <Some eat each other... others get along fine> I'd prefer to get both in the smallest available species possible, without going into the realms of the rare or fragile. I read about dwarf sharks a few years ago and I was wondering about your personal opinion on them. <Please read over the sections on our site, starting here: http://wetwebmedia.com/sharks.htm and the FAQs sections beyond. Bob Fenner> Thank You For Your Time, Chris

55 gallon startup with stingray I am about to convert a 55 gallon fresh to salt. I am going to put sand on the bottom (any recommendations?) I am looking to put live rock in 1/3 of the tank and just a few fish. I really want to purchase a ray for the tank. 1. Do you think it will get along with the live rock. 2. Will it have enough room to swim around? Thanks so much. Michael Bunnell >> Be very careful here... Most all the tropical rays sold in the marine aquarium interest have absolutely dismal survival records... And a fifty five with nothing else but soft substrate is too small for any of these species... Bob Fenner

Feeding Blue Spotted Sting Rays I purchased (2) Blue Spotted Sting Rays on Thur (2-17-00) Today is (2-21) They have yet to eat. I offered ghost shrimp, tiny shrimp, cut up shrimp, gold fish I do understand it's a difficult species to keep in captivity; however I think I'm doing all I can do. They appear to be on a hunger strike (losing weight) I'm afraid they may die. Can you please help with any suggestion(s)? Tank Capacity: 100g part sand part crushed coral. Should I remove all the coral and replace with sand? >> Yes to removing the coral, replacing with sand... and hoping for the best.... These animals don't generally live for any period of time in captive hobbyist systems... I wish the trade wouldn't offer Taeniura lymna period. They may/might eat... so do keep trying, offering them these foods daily... Bob Fenner

Re: Feeding Blue Spotted Sting Rays my sting ray is DYING.... HELP... water is fine they haven't eaten in days like i said earlier.. one is thin wrinkly.. the other is in his floating on side stage.. still breathing.. what can i do.. help...!!!!!!!!1 >> >> Did you receive my previous response? Unfortunately there is little that can be done for these specimens... or this species in captivity... Blue Spotted Stingrays almost always are short-lived in captivity... One of my endless campaigns in the marine aquarium interest has been/is to warn people/consumers of such realities... Do not buy these stingrays... They almost never live in captivity... Bob Fenner

Rays Could you give me some info on the Californian Stingray like how big it grows and your opinion of keeping it in an aquarium. Thanks >> "The" California Stingray? Do you know which particular species? There's a Butterfly, Round, Diamond and Pelagic... smallest to 22 inches across, largest to 5 feet! They're all cold/cool water, and will therefore require a chiller... Need LARGE quarters... At least five times their length... a soft substrate... Anyway, skipping ahead to my opinion... Poor candidates for captive aquarium use... and no worse than even the tropical species... like the Blue Spotted (Lymna taeniura)... They all rarely live for any period of time in small volumes. Bob Fenner

Sharks and Rays in Aquariums
Gaining an understanding of how to keep these fishes in captive saltwater systems   

New Print and eBook on Amazon

by Robert (Bob) Fenner
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