Motoro stingray or ocellate river stingray, scientific name Potamotrygon motoro is, without doubt, one of the most well-known and popular freshwater rays.
Motoro Stingray profile
We ought to point out that regardless of the motoro stingray reputation in aquarium husbandry, there’s nonetheless no fairly exact classification of these family representatives.
This variety is kind of widespread in South America. The fish can be encountered in Columbia, Peru, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay, and Argentina. Motoro stingray inhabits each Amazon River and its tributaries: Orinoco, Rio-Branko, Parana, Paraguay rivers.
Like, different representatives of the sort, the fish are encountered in numerous biotopes. Mainly these are sandbanks of huge rivers and their tributaries the place the substrate consists of mud and sand.
During the wet season, this stingray strikes flooded forests and throughout the dry season – to the lakes that have been shaped earlier.
Motoro Stingray Description
Rays are family members of sharks and sawfishes, which have a skeleton that differs from the one which bizarre fishes have, because it doesn’t have bones, and it utterly consists of cartilageous tissue.
The scientific name of this type is an ocellate river stingray, which signifies that the ray can sting. Really, the ray has a toxic backbone on its tail (really, it was once a scale as soon as).
The ray makes use of this backbone to guard itself. The poison is produced by the glands positioned close to the underside of the backbone.
Contrary to frequent perception, rays don’t assault people with their spines. You ought to step on one in every one of them or disturb one way or the other to make the fish sting you.
Motoro stingray loses its backbone sometimes (each 6-12 months), and yow will discover it on the underside of the tank. This is a traditional scenario, and it shouldn’t trouble you.
Another function of freshwater rays is the ampullae of Lorenzini. This is a particular tube or channel positioned on the fish head (round its eyes and nostrils).
Using these, cartilaginous fishes detect electrical fields, they usually assist them to navigate based on the terrestrial magnetic area.
In the wild, stingray is as much as 50 cm giant in diameter and as much as 1 m long. It weighs as much as 35 kilos. When protecting it within the tank, the fish, after all, doesn’t develop that enormous.
The ray is disk-shaped, and the disk is nearly round. The fish eyes are updrawn above its back. The latter is often beige or brown color with quite a few marigold yellow spots and darkish circles.
The ray stomach is white. The coloration and size of the spots might considerably differ from one fish to a different one. In the Amazon river basin, there have been outlined three fundamental coloring forms of stingrays, however, every one of them consists of a number of subtypes.
Difficulties in protecting
P. motoro is, without doubt, one of the most popular representatives of the sort among the many aquarists. Many of them get very stunned after they discover out that some rays dwell in freshwaters.
Freshwater rays are slightly intelligent, they usually can work together with people. You may even prepare them to hand-feed. Nevertheless, this fish shouldn’t be for everybody. It requires giant tanks, good situations, and a particular diet.
But for many who are able to put efforts to maintain a ray in a tank, the fish will develop into a novel and essentially the most cherished pet. In the previous, most rays on sale have been caught within the wild.
It signifies that they have been fairly careworn in addition to introduced some parasites and diseases with them. Most rays bought these days have been bred in captivity.
This fish is harmful. Most locals within the international locations the place rays dwell are afraid of this fish more than of different life-threatening species corresponding to the piranha.
On occasion, in Columbia, yearly, more than 2000 circumstances of accidents and even unintentional deaths on account of ray assaults are registered.
The toxic backbone is positioned on top of the ray’s caudal fin, the place you’ll be able to clearly see it. It is roofed with a skinny outer cover that serves to guard the ray itself from its toxic glands.
The inside backbone floor has a row of reverted spines. They assist to tear the cover when the ray makes use of its backbone and to widen any wound it makes.
These spines route additionally permits utilizing them as a fly-hook, which makes it more durable to take away them from the wound.
Although poisonous properties of poisons of assorted ray varieties might differ, their composition, generally, is alike. The poison relies on proteins and has a cocktail of chemical compounds aimed to trigger each extreme ache and quick tissue degeneration (necrosis).
If a ray has stung you, be ready for extreme ache on the chunk size and headache, nausea, and diarrhea. You ought to go to a physician no matter how robust the signs are.
It goes without saying that when protecting rays in a tank, you need to be extraordinarily cautious. However, the possibilities of being stung are very low when you behave respectfully. As a rule, these will not be aggressive fishes, they usually use their backbone solely as a safety measure.
Actually, rays develop into very home; they are taught to acknowledge their owner and are available to the water floor to ask for meals. Most accidents occur when reckless house owners attempt to ‘stroke’ the fish or catch it with a scoop-net.
You ought to by no means use it for this function. It’s higher to take some stable containers as a substitute.
Motoro Stingray Feeding
Freshwater rays are flesh-eaters that feed primarily with fish and crustaceans within the wild. These are lively fishes with high metabolism levels, and that’s why you need to feed them a minimum of twice a day.
They are also called gluttonous ones, thus the meals for them can be fairly expensive for you. In common, the fish diest must be natural, although some might eat artificial meals.
Young species eat stay or frozen blood worms, tubifex, brine shrimps, prawns, and so forth., whereas adult ones must be fed with meals of a bigger size.
It could be complete mussels, shellfishes, prawns, calamaries or fish juveniles (or another recent fish), and earthworms. Diverse diest is a should maintain the fish in its greatest situation.
After you purchase a Motoro stingray, it usually eats fairly unwillingly, and it’s not in the very best form as properly. It should start consuming as quickly as possible due to its quick metabolism.
Blood and earthworms (the latter could be minimized in small items) are thought-about the very best meals to assist the ray to adapt to new tank situations.
They shouldn’t be fed with flesh from mammals corresponding to ox heart or rooster. The fish can’t correctly digest the lipids that this meat accommodates, and this will trigger extreme lipopexia and even some organs necrosis.
Also, there isn’t a use in feeding it with some edible fish, corresponding to livebearers or small goldfish. Such a diet will be the purpose for the possible unfold of diseases and parasites.
Motoro Stingray Keeping in a tank
Freshwater rays are very delicate to ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates content in water, that’s why it is very important to have an understanding of a nitrogen cycle and maintain the tank water crystal clear.
The latter is kind of a difficult process since rays produce a considerable amount of ammonia. Large-sized tanks, efficient organic filtration, and regular water renews – are the one method to maintain the correct tank and water situations.
Most freshwater rays could be stored in a tank at рН from 6,8 to 7,6, alkalinity from 1° to 4° (from 18 to 70 ppm) and water temperature from 24 to 26°C. Ammonia and nitrites levels must be zero, and nitrate levels must be decreased by 10 10 ppm.
In phrases of the tank size for rays, the next strategy works greatest – the bigger, the higher. The partitions height shouldn’t be an important parameter, however, the tank must be from 180 to 220 cm long and from 60 to 90 cm vast to maintain a ray in it for a long time.
A tank from 350 to 500 liters capability will do to maintain younger rays in it, however, for long-term protection of adult species, you’ll need a rank not lower than 1000 liters giant. Small-grained sand can be utilized because of the tank substrate.
What to make use of like a tank substrated to a big extent, relies upon by yourself preferences. Some aquarists use river sand that could be a slightly good choice in this case, particularly for younger rays.
Others use standard aquarium gravel of assorted manufacturers. Another choice is to not use the substrate in any respect.
This simplifies the tank upkeep however makes it look a bit extreme and unnatural. Besides, rays like digging into the sand when they’re wired, and often within the wild, they dwell in waters with sandy or muddy backside.
Thus, it appears fairly merciless to allow them to stay without having an opportunity to seek out shelter within the tank.
As for the tank decorations, they need to be easy with no sharp edges. Actually, tank decorations will not be actually necessary for a tank with rays. However, you’ll be able to put some giant snags or easy stones, when you like.
Leave as a lot as possible free house for the fish to swim, to allow them to transfer and dig into the sand. Heaters ought to have safety around them or put them out of the tank to make sure that the rays won’t get burnt.
There must be some dim light with a 12-hour cycle (day/night). The fish will eat tank crops that require rooting within the substrate, however, you’ll be able to attempt some crops that may be fastened to the decorations corresponding to java moss or Anubias spp.
However, even these might not survive the fish’s consideration.
Motoro Stingray Compatibility and tank mates
Rays spend most of their time on the underside. Their eyes and branchial apertures are on top of the body, which permits the fish to spend time beneath the sand ready for meals. They have good eyesight, they usually leap out of the sand to catch their prey.
Other sorts of rays would be the greatest tank mates for stingray. Although Cichlasoma severum, Geophagus, silver arowana, and Polypterus species will even do as stingray tank mates.
Rays are one of many predominant predators in ecosystems the place they dwell within the wild, and it’s not secure to maintain them along with many of the different fish varieties in a tank.
Their tankmates must be giant sufficient to not develop into meals for them, however peaceable sufficient as properly to not chunk rays or steal their meals.
Thus, fish that swims in higher and medium water layers would be the most suitable option in this case. I’d advise avoiding armored catfishes as rays tank mates since there are numerous documented studies saying that they get caught in rays and injury their pores and skin.
Female species are bigger than males, they usually have two uteruses, which signifies that they’ll have offspring from two completely different males concurrently.
Males have modified fins that they use to fertilize the females.
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Motoro Stingray Breeding
Many aquarists succeeded in freshwater rays breeding, however, this process takes time, you’ll need a big tank and dedication. Ocellate river stingray reproduces by ovoviviparity.
The feminine carries from three to 21 species, they are usually born utterly able to stay on their very own. The gestation interval lasts from 9 to 12 weeks. An fascinating truth is that this era is sufficiently shorter for rays that breed in tanks.
Possibly, as a result of plentiful provide of meals they’ve if in comparison with the fishes within the wild.
Rays could also be fairly choosy when choosing their mate. So, simply by shopping for a fish couple and placing them collectively in a single tank, you won’t have any assure of profitable breeding.
An ideal manner of making a fish couple is to get a bunch of juveniles, put them in an enormous tank, and allow them to choose their mates.
However, that is fairly a pricey process, and most aquarists can’t afford it. Besides, it might take a number of years for the rays to develop into reproductive.
We also need to point out that males of this type are thought about as essentially the most furibund throughout the spawning interval, and the females might not be prepared for this.
If you retain a pair or a bunch of rays, be very attentive to their behavior throughout this era and be able to separate them if necessary.
Sergey is a founder and writer of Meethepet.com. He’s been keen on aquarium husbandry since his early childhood.
His favorite aquariums are biotopes (Amazon River), with Echinodorus and Angelfish. However, by way of the years, he’s had the experience of protecting virtually all forms of freshwater fish and shrimps. Learn more about oscar-in-fish-hooks.