Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Teacup Stingray

This post is dedicated to my reader, Tracy. Thanks for dropping an email about this blog. :)

Data Sheet

Scientific Name: Potamotrygon Reticulata

Other Names: Reticulated Stingray, Teacup Stingray

Origin: Amazon Basin, South America

Adult Size: 30-35cm (15 inches) disc, not including length of tail

Social: good, but will eat smaller fishes

Lifespan: ?

Tank Level: Bottom Dweller

Minimum Tank Size: 125 gallons

Diet: Carnivourous. Eats shrimps, or any fish small enough to fit in it’s mouth. Accepts worms and krills.

Breeding: Tough - in aquarium

Care: Medium - Difficult

Ideal pH: around 6-7 is usually optimal

Temperature: 78-82 degrees F

Tank setup: ideally with thick sand substrate for it to hide itself

Sexing: A male has 2 so called claspers on the bottom side of the disk.


The Teacup stingray is olive color with dark markings resembling a net. They have a white underbody. The tail is about half to three quarters the length of the body. Teacup stingrays can be distinguished from other freshwater stingray species based on its unusually long, pointed tail, flatter body shape, and smaller eyes. Their color pattern usually consists of numerous small, indistinct, light-colored blotches on a darker base color. As they grow older, the web pattern seems to diminish. At full maturity, these stingrays reach up to about fourteen inches in diameter, obviously not including the length of the tail.


A minimum aquarium of 125 gallons is required, although larger tanks are preferred. I do recommend anything smaller than this.

Teacup stingrays are great for aquariums with other fish as long as they are too large for the stingray to consume. They are very peaceful and spend most of their time ignoring other fish. However, males may be a bit aggressive toward other rays occasionally, especially during mating. Ensure that extremely aggressive fish are not housed in a community tank with your stingray or they may attack your ray, causing it severe harm or even death. Moreover, with their preference being the bottom of the tank, you will rarely see these rays venturing to the surface. Also, some plecos have been known to suck off the stingray’s mucus coating on their disk and they will eventually succumb to disease and die. Therefore, I do not recommend having other plecos in the same tank.

Teacup stingrays prefer water that has a pH around six or seven with a temperature being near the upper seventies or lower eighties (Fahrenheit). Even though they are relatively hardy, these stingrays are not recommended for those that are not familiar with caring for more than your average aquarium fish. One reason is due to their diet. These rays tend to eat worms (earth worms, black worms, blood worms) as well as small live fish that are within the aquarium.


Teacup stingrays are carnivorous and their diet usually consists of benthic invertebrates such as crustaceans and worms, and a limited amount of vegetable matter. In an aquarium, they will accept live worms, bloodworms, cut shrimp, krill, crayfish, cut white fish such as pollock or smelt, and other meaty items.

Some literature noted that it is difficult to wean Teacup Stingrays off of live blackworms and earthworms once they are large enough to eat other foods.

It is essential to understand that the teacup stingray, like all freshwater stingrays, is capable of stinging and have venom within its tail. Although this venom is not fatal it is very painful and requires medical assistance for proper treatment. If stung make sure you immediately apply pressure but avoid placing a bandage on the affected area. Submerse the stung limb or area within hot (but tolerable) water. Be sure to disinfect the area after following the procedure above. Again, make sure you seek medical attention to ensure that the venom is extracted from the area.


Teacup Stingray is one of the several species of freshwater stingray that has been known to breed in captivity.

As in all species of freshwater stingray, fertilization is internal. During mating, the male will grab hold of the female's disc with his mouth and attempt to roll underneath her, where he will subsequently insert one of his claspers into her cloaca and deposit sperm.

Freshwater stingrays are matrotrophically viviparous, giving birth to one to seven live young at a time after a gestation period of several months (dependent on species).The uterus is formed from the expansion of the oviduct. The embryos obtain nourishment from their yolk sacs early in their development. During the later stages of pregnancy, small, filamentous appendages called trophonemata develop within the uterus and penetrate the spiracle of the embryo, supplying it with a nutrient-rich fluid called histotrophe that feeds it until it is born.

Gender Differences:
Males display elongated, rolled copulatory organs called claspers on the insides of their pelvic fins. Females lack claspers and are generally larger than the males.


Teacup stingrays are highly vulnerable to argulus - commonly called Fish Lice. The small parasites attach themselves to the stingray’s disk and extract nourishment by piercing the flesh with a pointed organ called a style. The wound can cause bacterial or fungal infections. Although one or two may not cause a serious problem, a serious infestation can be fatal. To remove the argulus, one can carefully remove it with tweezers.

Got a photo? Contact me

References Cited:

1. TeaCup Stringray, [Online], Accessed on 12 June 2008 [Available]


2. Potamotrygon reticulata, Teacup Stingray, [ Online ], Accessed on 12 Nov 2009 [Available] http://aquaticpredators.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=26168

If you know of any good source of books or online sites, please do let me know.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Data Sheet

Semi Picasso Clownfish

Scientific Name: Pomacentridae Amphiprioninae
Other Names: anemonefish
Origin: Asia -Pacific Coral Reef
Adult Size: 2-5 inches, depending on species
Social: Very good. peaceful fish, but may get territorial
Lifespan: 3-5 years
Tank Level: bottom, coral

Tomato Clownfish

Minimum Tank Size: 20 gallons (but bigger recommended)
Diet: Omnivore
Breeding: Easy
Care: Medium
Ideal pH: 7.0
Temperature: 75° F. to 82° F.
Tank setup: With corals, etc
Sexing: Females are the largest.

two banded clownfish

Maroon clownfish

Goldbanded Clownfish

Sabae Clownfish

Tomato Clownfish

two banded clownfish

Amphiprion Clarkii

Saddleback Anemonefish

Allards Clownfish

Yellow Clownfish

Percula ClownFish

Black Ocellaris


Clown fish are a speices of very beautiful fish that comes in various colors from yellow orange to red, and usually have white strips on their bodies. It grows to be about 8 cm in length.


Saltwater fishes requires more space and care than freshwater fish. They are not recommended as beginner fishes as a result. For more information on requirements for saltwater fishes, please see the saltwater tank setup. In the wild they all form symbiotic relationships with sea anemones.Clownfish and certain damselfish are the only species of fishes that can avoid the potent poison of a sea anemone

When a sea anemone is not available in an aquarium, they may settle in some varieties of soft corals, or large polyp stony corals. If the fish settles in a coral, it could agitate the fish's skin, and, in some cases, may kill the coral. Once an anemone or coral has been adopted, the clownfish will defend it. As there is less pressure to forage for food in an aquarium, it is common for clownfish to remain within 2-4 inches of their host for an entire lifetime.

Clownfish that are far removed from their parents through captive breeding may not have the same instinctual behavior to live in an anemone. They may have to be coaxed into finding the anemone by the home aquarist. Even then, there is no guarantee that the anemone will host the clownfish.


Most clownfish are omnivores. They should be fed a diet of brine shrimp, or chopped shrimp, squid or clams. They will also eat plant matter and can eat flake food, although the majority of their diet should consist of animal protein. They will also nip at algae and plant matter that grows in the aquarium and benefit from live rock growth.


Since these fish live in a warm water environment they can reproduce all year long. Each group of fish consists of a breeding pair and 0-4 non-breeders. Within each group there is a size-based hierarchy: the female is largest, the breeding male is second largest, and the male non-breeders get progressively smaller as the hierarchy descends. If the female dies, the male changes sex, becomes the breeding female and the largest non-breeder becomes the breeding male. The fish apparently form lifetime pairs, exhibit courting behavior, and depending on the size of the female spawn about 400-1500 eggs per cycle

The fish lay their eggs in a safe spot close to the anemone from where they are easily protected, and the parents can retreat to the safety of the anemone if danger threatens. Anemonefish usually lay their nests in the evening after a few days of carefully cleaning and examining the chosen site. Preferred egg sites are flat or slightly curved rocks or some other item the fish have dragged near their nest for the purpose. (In captivity, clay pots and saucers are an attractive choice.) First the female deposits some eggs with her ovipositor (a whitish tube descending from her belly), making a wiggling pass over the surface, then the male follows behind her fertilizing the eggs. After many passes, the nest is complete and will hatch in 6-8 days shortly after sunset, usually on a very dark night. In the meantime, the male is very protective of the nest and ceaselessly fans the eggs to provide proper oxygen circulation, and checks them for any bad eggs, which he eats before they can rot and damage more eggs. Females may or may not help the male tend the nest. At hatching, the larvae burst free and swim up toward the moonlight and the open ocean to ride the currents and eat plankton for about a week, before the still tiny metamorphosed clowns return to the reef and look for an anemone to settle into.


Amphiprion ephippium clownfish looks very similar to the Tomato and Cinnamon clownfish in body shape, but it lacks the single white stripe behind the eye in the adults. A white stripe may appear in juveniles and a very small white stripe in sub-adults.

Amphiprion frenatus is usually bright red as juveniles, older females will often be mostly dark red or black on the body. Juveniles can often be seen with 2 or 3 white stripes, but it will only have one stripe behind the eye as an adult.

Amphiprion melanopus (Cinnamon) normally has a red face and dorsal fin and a predominantly black body, pelvic and anal fins, and a pail yellow tail. Most have a white stripe behind the eye, but in some fish in some populations the white stripe can be absent.

Amphiprion ocellaris (Ocellaris/False Percula or Nemo) is the most common clownfish in the hobby. This fish is nearly identical to the Percula clownfish (Amphiprion percula) in appearance. The general differences between the two species is the thicker black border surrounding the white stripes on the Percula, and the amount of dorsal spines, Ocellaris having normally 11 and Percula having normally 10. The thickness of the black border can vary on Ocellaris, on some fish it is very thin while on others it can be a couple millimeters wide. The color of Ocellaris is variable, from light yellow, orange, brown, and in rare specimens black (reported to come from Darwin, Australia).

Amphiprion percula The color on this fish is variable from light orange to red, and often with such thick black borders around the white bands that they often connect the white bands.

Amphiprion perideraion (Pink Skunk) is normally a pink color with a white stripe down the back and a white stripe down the operculum (gill plate).

Amphiprion polymnus (Saddleback) is variable colored, ranging from light brown, black, and orange and black. This clownfish has 2 or 3 broad white bands with the middle band starting mid body and extending into the to back of the dorsal fin. The middle stripe often resembles a horse saddle. The black color form of this clownfish is often misidentified as a Black Percula, of which is also a misidentification of the Black Ocellaris.

Amphiprion sandaracinos (Orange Skunk) is very similar to the Skunk Clownfish in color, except that the overall color of the fish is orange, and the white stripe down the back extends all the way to the top of the upper lip.

Premnas biaculeatus (Maroon) is the largest clownfish with females some times reaching as much as 7 inches (16.25 cm). Females of this species are usually a dark maroon red or brown in color while the males are more bright red. This clownfish most often has 3 white or yellow bands. It is often difficult to pair this clownfish. Large females will some times if not often kill a potential mate when introduced to an aquarium together.

Got a photo? Contact me

References Cited:

SeaView Aquarium, Keeping Clown Fish CareSheet, [Online][Available], http://www.seaviewaquariums.com.au/images/caresheets/caresheet-clown.pdf ;

Peto, Clownfish Care Sheet http://www.petco.com/caresheets/fish/Clownfish.pdf

Wikipedia, Clownfish, [Online], [Available], http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amphiprion_percula

The Aquarium Wiki, Amphiprion Percula, [Online], [Available], http://www.liveaquaria.com/product/prod_display.cfm?c=15+2124+755&pcatid=755

Live Aquaria, Ocellaris Clownfish, [Online] [Available], http://www.liveaquaria.com/product/prod_display.cfm?c=15+2124+755&pcatid=755

AquaWorld Aquarium, Clownfish and their Host Anemone, [Online], [Available] http://www.aquaworldaquarium.com/clownfish_and_their_host_anemone.htm

John H. Tullock, Clownfish and Sea Anemones: Everything about Purchase, Care, Nutrition, Maintenance, and Setting Up an Aquarium

Friday, December 12, 2008

Blue Crayfish

One of my readers has submitted some pics of his blue crayfish. :) Thank for sharing!