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Round Stingray

(Urobatis halleri)

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 Quick Care Facts

• Care Level: Expert   • Temperament: Semi-aggressive   • Maximum Size: 10"
• Minimum Tank Size: 180 gallons   • Water Conditions: 65-75° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.020-1.025
• Diet: Carnivore   • Origin: Eastern Pacific, California
• Family: Urolophidae   • Species: Rays   • Aquarium Type: Fish Only

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Native Habitat and Species Information

Round Stingray native habitat, distribution, behavior & aquarium compatibility.

The Round Stingray is a temperate water species that is found living off the western coast of the United States, Northern Mexico and nearby areas of the Eastern Pacific. Due to the large numbers of this species found living off the coast of California, many retailers and hobbyists have begun calling them the California Stingray. The relatively small size (10 inch main disc) has made the Round Stingray very popular with advanced aquarium hobbyists who keep shark / stingray tanks. Even though the Round Stingray is considered a smaller ray species, they still require a minimum of a 180 gallon aquarium with at least 2 feet from front to back to allow them to turn around comfortably within the aquarium.

Stingray aquariums should provide a minimum of 2 feet from front to back, 6 feet in length and 2 feet high in order to provide even smaller stingrays with room to swim and turn. As with most stingray species, the tail spine of the Round Stingray is venomous and can inflict a nasty wound if the ray is provoked. Hobbyists should be aware of the rays location within the aquarium when performing maintenance within the aquarium. The Round Stingray also needs to be transported with caution as the tail spine can become entangled in nets, which will stress the ray.

Aquarium Care

How to successfully keep Round Stingray in the home aquarium.

Stingrays kept in the home aquarium have some specific requirements that are crucial to successfully housing them over the long term. The Round Stingray being from the temperate Eastern Pacific needs water temperatures between 65° F and 75° F, which is typically cooler than the average (78° F to 82° F) aquarium temperatures of the more common tropical marine aquariums. The aquarium foot print is critical to housing stingrays as they need plenty of room to swim and turn, which means that the aquarium needs to be at least 2 feet wide and 6 feet long.

Larger aquarium foot prints are of course better, with an aquarium of 4 feet in width and 8 feet in length being much more preferable. Secondly, the Round Stingray needs to have a soft sandy substrate that will allow them to both rest and hunt as they would in the wild. The Round Stingray needs to be able to dig into the substrate to both camouflage itself when sleeping or resting and to hunt for invertebrates buried in the substrate. Coarse substrates like crushed coral are not suitable for Stingrays as its coarse composition will scratch the belly of the ray, which will cause it irritation and infection. Coarse substrates also inhibit the natural actions of the Stingray, which will stress the Stingray and reduce the effectiveness of its natural immune system.

Lastly, Round Stingrays need high levels of dissolved oxygen within the aquarium water to properly replicate their natural environment. Proper aquarium size, substrate and oxygen levels combined with good nutrition will allow the Round Stingray to avoid diseases and thrive within the marine aquarium environment.

Feeding & Nutrition

How to feed and provide proper nutrition for Round Stingray.

Round Stingray's can be shy feeders when initially introduced into the home aquarium. New specimens should be fed with the aquarium lights dimmed or turned off. It is best to offer them fresh squid or shrimp, by placing the food item onto the substrate near the ray. They can also be fed live saltwater feeder shrimp, which will allow the Stingray to hunt the prey in a more natural way. Over time even shy feeders will begin to accept a variety of fresh or thawed frozen meaty foods including: shrimp, squid, scallops, mussels, chopped fish or other similar meaty marine food items.

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