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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone. I've been absent for a while, but that doesnt mean I wasnt thinking about TRT :p.

I have recently decided to convert the Koi pond I have in my living room into a shark and ray tank. I need some information on keeping these guys and I know this is the place to get it. I'll appreaciate any advice and experience you can give.
 

· spaceman spiff
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So question one... what is the footprint of the pond? Also, what hardware do you have on it right now? Full list of hardware.

The biggest struggle with keeping large fish like that is providing the necessary space. Volume usually isnt the worry, it's the footprint. The second concern would be filtration. I know the ray tank they had at the Aquarium in Kemah usually had a nitrate level of around 250ppm, and while the fish did ok, it surely want the best scenario for them. So a sump/filtration area would be well adviced.
 

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So question one... what is the footprint of the pond? Also, what hardware do you have on it right now? Full list of hardware.

The biggest struggle with keeping large fish like that is providing the necessary space. Volume usually isnt the worry, it's the footprint. The second concern would be filtration. I know the ray tank they had at the Aquarium in Kemah usually had a nitrate level of around 250ppm, and while the fish did ok, it surely want the best scenario for them. So a sump/filtration area would be well adviced.
It needs to be huge and a great filter system.
Even small rays and sharks need room, and great filtration, plus frequent water changes and a lot of food, most elasmobranches are fairly specialized feeders
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
So question one... what is the footprint of the pond? Also, what hardware do you have on it right now? Full list of hardware.

The biggest struggle with keeping large fish like that is providing the necessary space. Volume usually isnt the worry, it's the footprint. The second concern would be filtration. I know the ray tank they had at the Aquarium in Kemah usually had a nitrate level of around 250ppm, and while the fish did ok, it surely want the best scenario for them. So a sump/filtration area would be well adviced.
Well I will not be able to use the pond I currently have because of the filtration needs. So I am going to have a custom acrylic tank built. The footprint will probably be around 4' by 12' and around a 1' 1/2" deep. This should be adequete swimming room considering what I have seen in the past at aquariums housing rays.

I only plan to keep two rays and one (maybe two) sharks. Its been done before, so I know I can make it happen.

The current design I am planning will light up the tank from beneath, through the substrate and I will have about 2 1/2 feet of space below it to hide equipment. So I need to figure out the filtration method and work from there. I think that will be the most important, as lighting and flow are not of major concerns.
 

· spaceman spiff
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4' x 12' should be great. Which rays are you looking at?

And about 30" below the tank for filtration? I'd probably start looking at multiple skimmers if you want to put everything under the tank. I don't think a single one would be adequate with those dimensional restrictions.
 

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4' x 12' should be great. Which rays are you looking at?

And about 30" below the tank for filtration? I'd probably start looking at multiple skimmers if you want to put everything under the tank. I don't think a single one would be adequate with those dimensional restrictions.
I like the bluespotted ones you can find on some seller websites. I am going to get with Minh and see what my options are. Unlike my 180 build, this project could take a while.......maybe. :rolleyes: I want to do it right so there are no upgrades or modifications to do later on down the road.

I am thinking that I will put in two overflow boxes, one on each 4 foot side. Do you think that a four foot length overflow would be too much? You said that 12' x 4' would be good....what about the 4' by 8' I have now? I cant make it work but I was just curious.
 

· spaceman spiff
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I like the bluespotted ones you can find on some seller websites. I am going to get with Minh and see what my options are. Unlike my 180 build, this project could take a while.......maybe. :rolleyes: I want to do it right so there are no upgrades or modifications to do later on down the road.

I am thinking that I will put in two overflow boxes, one on each 4 foot side. Do you think that a four foot length overflow would be too much? You said that 12' x 4' would be good....what about the 4' by 8' I have now? I cant make it work but I was just curious.
I've read that the blue spot stingrays can be very challenging, due to shipping risks and their likelihood to take a captive diet, but with patience and research I'd be you could do it. Even with a 4'x8', those would have the space they'd need. Some of the other rays would prefer the extra space, though.
 

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1.5' may be a bit too shallow, my LFS has a ray/shark tub, the blue spot is always poking his snout out of the tub about 3-4" and he can't touch the bottom, I think if it could push off the bottom w/tail he would jump out. Then again if the tank is shallow enough not to allow the ray to get it's tail verticaly below it may not be able to push upward. The tub they use is 6'x12'x3'D holding 2 big (12"+)clams, fuge macro algae, rock and substrate, two sharks and two rays. The two 4' overflows soung good, maybe excessive but that will depend on much warer you plan on moving. I would think doors or removable pannels along the long sides will give you best access, long shallow sump & multiple skims due to hight on one long side, pumps, fan(s), other equip. & storage along the other. With the lighting frome below sounds cool but the rays will be dark from above, so you might not see the blue spots w/out some overhead lighiting, and not sure how they will acclimate/react to finding more light when the dig in to cover themselves since this is not the natural direcrion of illumination they are acustomed to. Overall sounds like an outstanding goal and hope to see you making progress soon. Best of luck.
 

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IDK about sharks and rays but I have seen some FW fish acclimate to a 45 degree angle to match the light source. I have heard that you could trick some fish to swim totally upside down to match the light. I'm not sure if this could negatively effect rays or sharks but I thought I would mention it
 

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oh, ok that make a lot more sense! I was thinking you meant lighting it only from the bottom and it sounded like a shark psychology experiment! lol have you done any experiments in minature to see if you can get the look you want? what substrate and how deep are you thinking?
 

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This link is to a great resource for keeping sharks.
http://www.colszoo.org/internal/elasmo_2005/page2.htm

You will find it is not directed towards the home aquarium but there is some great info to be picked up from it. Most people do not have the room or resources to care for sharks long term. A 4'x8' will be ok for the small young cat sharks but that's about it. When they reach full size, you will need a bigger tank. Most sharks require round or dogbone shaped tanks, they do not navigate corners or obstacles well. A large sandbed area with minimal rockwork will be required to keep the sharks or rays happy. The biggest problem with keeping sharks is most people tire of them quickly. The expensive seafood diet along with the otherwise boring (laying on the bottom like a catfish) behavior that cat sharks exhibit gets old quick. You will never have a Discovery Channel shark feeding frenzy in your living room tank. I would go for a lagoon style reef instead. Maybe with a top down viewing window, that would be cool.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
oh, ok that make a lot more sense! I was thinking you meant lighting it only from the bottom and it sounded like a shark psychology experiment! lol have you done any experiments in minature to see if you can get the look you want? what substrate and how deep are you thinking?
There's a good question...I need to figure out if aragonite will be too coarse. If I choose sand, then I worry about them stirring it up when people are looking at the tank. I may just have to find some heavier sand.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
This link is to a great resource for keeping sharks.
http://www.colszoo.org/internal/elasmo_2005/page2.htm

You will find it is not directed towards the home aquarium but there is some great info to be picked up from it. Most people do not have the room or resources to care for sharks long term. A 4'x8' will be ok for the small young cat sharks but that's about it. When they reach full size, you will need a bigger tank. Most sharks require round or dogbone shaped tanks, they do not navigate corners or obstacles well. A large sandbed area with minimal rockwork will be required to keep the sharks or rays happy. The biggest problem with keeping sharks is most people tire of them quickly. The expensive seafood diet along with the otherwise boring (laying on the bottom like a catfish) behavior that cat sharks exhibit gets old quick. You will never have a Discovery Channel shark feeding frenzy in your living room tank. I would go for a lagoon style reef instead. Maybe with a top down viewing window, that would be cool.
Thanks for the link!

The tank will be larger than 4 by 8 unless my acrylic guy can't do it seemlessly, since most sheets come in 4 by 8 size. Im sure he can find something bigger.......with a bigger price tag :mad:. Rockwork will certainly be minimal, if existant at all. I can see how sharks laying on the bottom can be boring but honestly that's pretty much all the Koi fish do that I have now and I am not tired of the them. They are just a victim of circumstance and my latest project....poor guys. I will definitly be more focused on the stingy ray aspect they can become accustomed to eating from your hand like my Koi do. And who would not by excited by watching a stingray!

Here is a thread of my current Koi pond... http://www.thereeftank.com/forums/f123/my-300-gal-indoor-pond-build-114473.html
 

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Really research the sand out. I have heard in the past that shark tanks need very fine sand so they do not scratch their belly up, leaving them susceptible to infection.
 
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