Quick Care Facts
• Care Level: Moderate • Temperament: Semi-Aggressive • Maximum Size: 24"
• Minimum Tank Size: 180 gallons • Water Conditions: 74-82° F, KH 8-12, pH 6.0-7.5
• Diet: Carnivore • Origin: South America • Family: Potamotrygonidae
• Species: Stingrays • Aquarium Type: Large-Bottom-Dweller
Jaguar Ray native habitat, distribution, behavior & aquarium compatibility.
Jaguar Rays (Potamotrygon Otorongo) inhabit the many river basins of South America and the Amazon. They are a bottom dwelling species that spend much of their time hunting along the riverbed for worms, crustaceans and small fish on which to prey. When not searching for food, Jaguar Rays will often partially bury themselves in the sandy substrate of the riverbed to provide them camouflage and provide a sense of protection from potential predators.
As with other species of freshwater stingrays, it is often difficult to make positive identifications based on pattern and coloration alone. When attempting to positively identify a Jaguar Ray it is important to look for a powerfully built tail which is noticeably longer than the body. The upper surface of the tail should have either irregularly light spots or a dark background covered in dark lines on a lighter background. The lower half of the tail appears striped or barred when viewed laterally. The body disc has a fine light edge which is not always noticeable. Jaguar Rays are fairly common within the aquarium hobby, especially with specialized dealers that deal in the more exotic rays and cichlids of South America.
How to successfully keep Jaguar Ray in the home aquarium.
Jaguar Rays are considered moderately difficult to keep; however, if some standard rules for caring for rays are adhered to, the Jaguar Ray should be reasonably easy to keep. Aquariums containing rays need to have very clean water that allows for consistent stable water parameters with minimal fluctuations in pH & nitrates, along with ammonia and nitrite that are kept at non-detectable levels.
Strong mechanical, biological and chemical filtration will need to be supplemented by regular water changes or some form of nitrate/nutrient export, in order to keep nitrate levels consistently low. Rays eat quite a bit and are a large bodied fish that will put out a sizable amount of waste for the filtration system to keep up with. Therefore, a properly running filtration system will generate a good amount of nitrates in response to the heavy bio-load. Typically frequent water changes are used to keep nitrates low, but other methods like nitrate removing aquatic vegetation within a sump can also be used in conjunction with water changes to keep nitrates low.
The aquarium decor should be designed with the ray in mind, which means a soft sandy substrate and a large amount of swimming room with minimal rock, wood and plant decor. Jaguar Rays can sometimes be difficult feeders when first introduced into the aquarium. In this case it is best to substantial dim or turnoff the aquarium lights, then offer earthworms or black worms to help stimulate feeding. Once feeding, Jaguar Rays are known to be very aggressive feeders that will consume a large variety of meaty offerings.
Feeding & Nutrition
How to properly feed Jaguar Ray and provide a healthy diet.
Jaguar Rays can be fed a wide variety of different meaty foods including: beef heart, fish flesh, earth worms, krill, blood worms, table shrimp, clams and small fish like minnows, silversides or similar feeder fish. Earthworms black worms and invertebrates rank up very high on the Jaguar's favorite foods list and is a good food choice to get them eating when first introduced to the aquarium.
They can then be fed a more varied diet as they become settled within the aquarium and become more accustomed to accepting food from their owner. Any crustaceans present in the aquarium will be treated as a prey item and should only be present within a ray aquarium if intended as a food source. They are aggressive feeders once they become fully acclimated to the aquarium environment and have begun accepting foods.
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