Ray Fish – Saltwater
About Ray Fish – Saltwater
Rays are a large family of saltwater fish closely related to marine sharks. The ray fish’s skeleton is made up entirely of cartilage and it is characterized by its flattened body and large pectoral fins which are fused to its head. Rays also have elongated tails tipped with a sharp spine and when threatened use this spine to deliver either an electric shock or a venomous sting. Aquarists should be extremely careful when handling rays in an aquarium environment. Most species of rays are extremely large in size and can easily exceed a few feet in length. Most aquarium species however are much smaller in size. Ray fish are also a highly predatory species and should only be kept by experienced aquarists.
Rays are a large family of saltwater fish closely related to marine sharks.
Rays are found in almost all the oceans across the world.
Rays usually come in dark colorations of brown, grey and black.
Maintenance and care
The most important consideration when purchasing a ray for the home aquarium is its potential size. Most aquarium varieties grow to well over 2 feet in length and require extremely large aquariums with vast swimming spaces to survive.
Ray fish are a bottom dwelling species of fish and often enjoy burying themselves in the ocean floor. For this reason it is important to house rays in an aquarium with a soft substrate of sand or very fine gravel. Rays also require optimal water conditions to survive and careful attention should be paid to the filtration and water parameters of the aquarium. It is important to note that rays are extremely sensitive to copper and cannot be medicated with medicines that contain copper. This is because the ray’s cartilaginous skeleton absorbs the copper, often resulting in sickness or death.
Rays are a highly predatory species of fish and are best kept in a species tank or, in the case of very large aquariums, with smaller species of sharks.
The most important consideration when purchasing a ray for the home aquarium is its potential size.
Rays are carnivores and can be fed on a diet of fish, shrimp, squid and scallops.
Due to their large size it is virtually impossible to breed ray fish in the home aquarium.
Bluespotted Sting Ray, Bluespotted Ribbontail Ray, Fiddler Stingray, Haller’s Stingray, etc.
Photo credit: jon hanson/Flickr; BS Thurner Hof/Wikimedia
Amy Tokic, Editor of PetGuide.com, is a passionate animal lover and proud pet parent of Oscar, a Shih Tzu/Chihuahua cross, and Zed, a Japanese Chin. Her love of animals began in kindergarten, when she brought her stuffed dog Snoopy into class with her every day. Now, she writes about her adventures in pet ownership and tirelessly researches products, news and health related issues she can share with other animal enthusiasts. In her free time, Amy loves perusing used book and record stores, obsessing over the latest pet products available and chasing squirrels with wild abandon (a habit attributed to spending too much time with her pooches).
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