Maidenhead Aquatics breed leopoldi stingrays

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An aquatic store has bred a rare and colourful species of freshwater stingray.

The St Albans branch of Maidenhead Aquatics told Practical Fishkeeping that one of their female Potamotrygon leopoldi recently gave birth to two babies.

We would like to a report a happy event, said Andy Gabbutt, a Maidenhead Aquatics partner who runs the St Albans store.

Due to the restrictions on rays I started to collect what stock I could that were in the UK. At the beginning of last year I collected two large females and a male, from other stores and over the Internet, and put the trio together in our 10 tank.

The fish reside in a 10 x 3 x 3 shop display tank along with a Red tail gold arowana and until recently, a snapper.

We saw the male mate with the large female though she didn t get any bigger and we thought nothing of it.

He was very rough with her, so we separated the pair for her to recover. It was a complete surprise when we found two new born males in the tank.

Potamotrygon leopoldi are a freshwater stingray, hailing from the Rio Xingu basin in South America, and are threatened by over-fishing and the prospect of damming on the Xingu River.

The export of leopoldi and other Amazonian stingray species has been restricted by Brazilian environmental authority IBAMA for several years, so the captive breeding event is especially significant.

Gabbutt didn t think that the babies were feeding yet, though admitted it was difficult to tell as they are putting so much food in for them.

The parents are fed on giant meal worms (that fall down while feeding the arowana), whitebait, mussel and cockle, and are kept in water conditions necessary for keeping Discus, being warm, soft and with low nitrate.

Wild fish are now going for 2500 each, said Gabbutt. I ve already had offers for the two F1 juvenile males, and expect to sell them for around 600 each.

The snapper that did reside with the rays and the arowana was earlier found dead, with the barb from a stingray s tail stuck in it.