View Full Version : companions for reticulated ray

08-31-2008, 06:36 PM
Hi all,
having found the 'ray' section i thought it a good idea to gauge peoples impressions of potential tank mates for my intended aquisition. I already have an Ornate Bichr and plec that will go into the tank. Now i know that people will warn me of the potential issue with a plec but i shall give it a go. So moving on from the unavoidable tank mates.

Currently my train of thought is the following tank;
1 x reticulated ray
1 x ornate bichir
1 x plec
2/3 x mid tank Cichlids- Discus, sevrum or angle fish
1/2 x BGK or mormyrid
perhaps a cat or 2...

I do fancy a lethargic pair or trio of medium sized Cichlids to roam the mid water of the tank but i don't want an overly messy eater that leaves lots of detritus.

I am also considering not having the larger fish and gonig for a shoal of smaller fish.

so errr...... Opinions/suggestions?

08-31-2008, 06:38 PM
What size is the tank?

08-31-2008, 06:58 PM
sorry, i mentioned it on another thread and forgot to put it here.

it is 75g. I have been told that a 75g is fine for a single Reticulated (i refuse to call it a tea cup ray) but considering that the ray will predominantly occupy the bottom of the tank, the upper levels are free for others to use.

A final note; i have been reading and am currently thinking that gradal introduction of new tank mates is key so as not to efect the biological balance to greatly. Is this correct procedure?

09-01-2008, 02:29 AM
the tank would be overstocked the bichir need at leats 95 gallons they can reach up to 60 cm

09-01-2008, 02:46 AM
no on the BGK, they need 300g+

09-01-2008, 10:56 AM
hmmm. Ok. I understand where you're coming from regarding the BGK but not so with the Bichir, however i will conceed i am using regurgitated information from various sources on the net where they say 30-40cm is more likley in a home Aquaria but perhaps thats a discusion for another day...

09-02-2008, 04:56 AM
i was on the net and searched for you and they said 90+ gallons

09-02-2008, 11:39 AM
When I said 75 for one, I meant that is it. No other fish. Rays are super sensitive when it comes to water quality and cramming a bunch of predators and other fish in that will almost guarantee problems. It may look fine for a while but the ray will only be living, not thriving which should always be the goal.

Ornate bichirs do get much bigger than one foot, and grow to that size in captivity when properly cared for. My cousin has one that is at least 15" if not 18" yet (which it is closing in on fast). Not to mention all the debate about what can actually safely go in with rays versus what some people have lucked out with putting in with rays.

If you want the ray stick with just the ray. If you want other things then skip the ray.

09-02-2008, 12:13 PM
fishguy hit it right on the head..... rays are soo sensitive

09-02-2008, 01:01 PM
ok well ive now been away, having done a bit more reading...

...i am now adding a second external canister filter to boulster the single external filter i have due to the volume of ammonia that rays produce. From what i can gather this is one of the biggest issues with keeping rays. I am also biting the bullet and calling this my 'nursery tank' as i will now be sourcing a 60" x 30" x 30". This will have to be made for me so the 75 gal will have to do for now, however the ray is only 5/6" at the moment and the reticulated rays growth rate is relativly slow. We are only talking until the end of the year/very early 2009 so it is a matter of months. I will also most likley leave the Bichir in it's current tank until the ray is settled and i am confident there won't be an issue. I have 3 tanks at the moment (all in my room)... whats a 4th?!!

If companions are not suitable in the current situation, i would rather a happy ray on it's own than a stressed/dead ray with others.

09-02-2008, 03:52 PM
The biggest issue is water quality, which is mainly water changes. Filtration keeps the water good between water changes, but without adequate water changes you are just letting things build up over time.

To complicate things further, water stability is absolutely vital with rays. You may do 80% water changes twice a week and have tons of filtration, but if the temp or pH is off a little it does a lot more harm to a ray than it would to an oscar. This is why so many ray keepers have giant vats of water they use to store water in to use for water changes. This way they can ensure the water parameters of the new water match those already in the tank when they do water changes. This was actually why I ended up not doing rays, I do not have a big vat to use for water changes to ensure stability and the pH changes over the course of a day or two after coming out of the tap.

09-02-2008, 05:12 PM
the stability side is the only part that is causing issue. however, having spoken to a few of the 'ray guys' on MFK they seem adiment that general warm tap is perfectly fine. I asked about using RO and so on but their opinion was it was not necessary.

i guess i will jsut have to keep gonig on the research- i have bought a book that was recommended regarding the care of SA stingrays so while i wait for the tank to cycle i shall keep on reading.....

...And reading...

...And reading...

09-02-2008, 07:39 PM
Make sure that you understand the difference between stability and precision in parameters. Yes, in almost all cases tap water as it is (with dechlorination if it is city water) is perfectly fine. They do not need a pH of less than 6.5 to live or anything like that. However, if your tap comes out at 7.0 (most systems (city or well) have neutralizers) but over the course of the next two days goes back to its natural pH of 7.8, although 7.8 is fine, that change is not. That is how it is in my house. The water comes out at 6.8-7.0 but settles back to its natural state of 7.8-8.0. This shift is what would be problematic, not the fact that it is 7.8.

Take a pH test of your water right out of the tap. Then take a sample of water and put it in a small bucket with an air stone for three days. Test that sample after this time and see how different it is. If it is different by much then you should not just use fresh tap water, but water that has been aged for a few days (refill holding tank after a water change and then let it sit and aerate over the next few days until the next water change).

09-02-2008, 08:01 PM
that is very intersteding you should say that. I have done such a test and it comes out at 7.8, as mear as i can tell atleast and so far, the water test i have done on the tank have matched. Obviously the chemical tests i am doing have a certain margin of error as with all of the tests, but i am reasonably confident the water has not changed... yet.

I live right out in the country and most of the water comes from chalk aquifers so i have always thought we were in a hard water area. I'll keep an eye but so far.... no change.

EDIT- tonights result (left) compared from water straight from the tap (right);


It's not very clear but as far as i can see, there is no difference.

09-03-2008, 01:52 AM
Good. Hard water, but with stability and high water quality (lots of water changes) it should do fine if it settles in well.

09-03-2008, 08:56 PM
well i'm still smiling/pissing myelf laughing, having jsut won a 150 gal/700l tank on ebay with all equipment(tank, stand, heater, filters, lighting, substrate etc) for the grand sum of......

..... $160.

This will now be my Ray tank.

09-03-2008, 09:29 PM
Much better tank. I hope it is not a bunch of useless equipment, but at that price as long as the tank holds water it is worth it.

At first I would add one female. Once she settles in add a second. Once they are settled in add one male. If all goes well you could have baby rays.

09-03-2008, 10:37 PM
i'll be honest; it was a consideration i had.

I'm just happy i stopped messing around and sorted out an 'issue'.

The equpment is all good stuff and appears newish too. Recognised international brands too.

09-04-2008, 01:13 AM
What filtration system will it be?

I assume you are using sand, do you know what type yet?

09-04-2008, 02:15 PM
Fluval filtration so not too bad. Perhaps a bit too small as its only a 404/5 but i have an abundance of external filters at the moment so it will probably get 2 external filters as i had previously intended.

As for the sand, it is a very light, fine grain sand. I already have it in my 75 and it is the same as the LFS is using in their tanks including the ray's-

Here is my 75 about an hour after i filled it with water-


I have a lot of substrate left...

09-04-2008, 03:32 PM
I would use a Fluval FX5 and/or a heavy duty wet/dry sump with a Biowheel, not with Bioballs.

09-04-2008, 04:10 PM
not seem them before (just did a quick google). i'll ask at my LFS. Sounds like it's a US only brand that are donig them- marineland? Not seen them over here...

09-04-2008, 05:02 PM
Yes, Marineland is the only company with a Biowheel and that would definitely be my pick if it is available. A sump is good anyways because it is a good way keep the heaters away from the rays. If you can't get the Marineland sump you just have to rinse out the Bioballs every six months to prevent them from becoming a nitrate factory (preferably something like half of the Bioballs every three months or a third every other month).

09-04-2008, 09:38 PM
well i need to get the new tank now... and re decorate my room.

I had to consult a structural engineer to make sure that the tank would not fall through the floor!

I think my H. Malabaricus is looking forward to his new 75g. He hasn't out grown his 30g but he is growing too fast to leave him where he is at the moment. Shame i can't put anything with him but he is so entertaining. And rays will be jsut as fun.

09-06-2008, 09:04 PM
ok well now i have the tank (after a 6 hour round trip) and am now ready for the installation.

So i guess we need to re-visit the topic. 150g tank, 1 maybe 2 reticulated rays but what else? I'm still very tempted by Angels, Geophagus or Discus. Maybe even oscars, though i think they are too messy and potentially boistrous. Thoughts?

09-07-2008, 12:39 AM
I would keep it to just the rays. If the rays work out well enough you could end up with a breeding trio and that is all you would want in there.

09-19-2008, 08:33 PM
well the phrase 'ready for tank installation' is thrown arround way too much. After getting it back we reallised the scale of things and decided we needed to get a structural surveyor in to make sure that it wouldn't fall through the floor into the resturaunt below.

Well the verdic was it was ok and that was last week and lacking time i have not been able to get it in until Tuesday this week. Having put a hole in the celling.... whoops. So it is sat next to me now with substrate and bugger all water, waiting for some time to fill the bloody thing.

Mean while the rays i have ear marked are looking very healthy still. And i am also considering the adition of 2 Hydrolycus tatauaia as opposed to geophagus but we will see. Whilst a completly ray tank would be nice, i don't want to attempt to breed rays without first getting a grounding in their care so it'd be nice to have a small community of fish.

09-19-2008, 09:40 PM
The problem with that is that many times the presence of other fish is the reason why people don't do well with rays.

09-11-2009, 01:45 PM

After reading all of this about the tank, the inhabitants, looking at the picture of the tank, and guaging what you actually what to do with this.

This tank is not suitable for a ray at all. for a couple of reasons.

1. the tank depth is nowhere near big enough for a ray at all. you need at least 18" or more to house a ray as all rays get to a MINIMUM of 14" in diameter.. (turning room...)

2. Tank is not mature enough (trates, trites and ammonia need to be at a constant zero.)

3. Filtration. Cannister filtration is nowhere near good enough at all. I use 2 Fluval FX5's.

4. At no point has anybody touched on tank decoration. you need places for the ray to hide..

5. Tank mates. think carefully then decide that an Arowana is too big for this tank, a plec will actually suck the ray to death, and really the only thin kthat is suitable for this type of tank is either discus (your own risk on this mate...) or purebred angelfish (not hybrids, theyre too small and will get hunted..) or Silver Dollars....

You need to be looking into this more closely than you have as youll simply find that youll spend you money and have a dead ray for no apparent reason. I field emails from loads of people asking me about ray problems, issues, deaths and dilemmas that th eLFS cant tell them about. My LFS even recommends me to their onw customers!!!!

I keep a 200g tank specifically built for my rays and I keep the following...


1 pair of mated peruvian pearl Motoros (Valued in excess of 50,000)
1 pair of mated Leopoldi Motoros ( you dont want to know!!!)
1 pair of mated Marble Motoros (Again,,, dont ask!!!)

The arowanas I keep are
1 Chillian red
1 asian black
1 asian pearl

All have been hand fed from a juvenile stage to adulthood so that they dont attack the rays.

My point is, I clearly know my stuff, and even I make mistakes. As an amateur fishkeeper, I would suggest you get a book, sit down read, and plan. It is expensive keeping motoros, but worth it if youre putting in the effort.

hope this helps


09-11-2009, 01:59 PM
This thread is over a yr old - not sure the scenario is still the same

09-12-2009, 10:47 AM
Best to check the date next time eh????