THE STINGRAY SPECIAL
• Stingray index for easy reference • Which species are available locally and abroad? • • Stingray 101: The basics of their keeping • Why the P. motoro is a good first choice for beginners
Whenever there’s an exhibit or a home setup aquarium, freshwater (FW) stingrays are always the center of attraction, and I’m sure you’ll agree with at least one of these reasons. The main reason for their popularity may be how rare it is for the casual viewer to see one of them, as most of the fish ordinarily seen kept in aquariums are goldfish, arowana, or flowerhorns.
But to see what looks like a swimming UFO can bring about a big smile. Actually, fish keepers would have had more chances to see stingrays in the cooking pots of eateries, cooked in coconut milk, than seeing live ones in aquariums!
Other reasons for its appeal is the knowledge that it has a dangerous, venomous tail; it’s something we Filipinos believe, from the folktales we’ve heard, to be used by mythical creatures called ‘aswang’. Its unpredictable behavior, like its habit of hiding underneath the sand with just the eyes showing, or how groups of them tend to pile one on top of the other like pancakes, or swimming like a flying saucer, just hovering, staring at you. Lastly, there are the eye-catching patterns each species have.
No wonder many Filipino hobbyists have succumbed to the allure of keeping FW stingrays, and they’re suddenly selling like hot pandesal everywhere.
With websites and the surge in social media, it often only takes a click to acquire a pet these days. FW stingrays are among those that have become popular due to this, and hobbyists acquire them despite having little knowledge about how to keep them properly. It is our hope that this series of articles will help give all stingray hobbyists a better understanding of what this remarkable fish needs, where it started, how it reproduces…and even what to do in case you get stung!