Aquariums at Home may earn an affiliate commission when you buy through links on this site. See footer.

What Fish can Live with Freshwater Stingrays?

Freshwater stingrays are a type of tropical fish that vary in size and color, depending on the species. They’re wide and flat in form with long, whip-like tails. If you already own or are thinking of acquiring a freshwater stingray for your home aquarium, you may be wondering which fish make good tankmates for these aquatic creatures?

The best tankmates for freshwater stingrays are other stingrays. Fish that prefer the same water conditions, are big enough not to be viewed as prey, are peaceful in temperament, and like to swim/feed in the top half of the tank are all possible options. Avoid fin nippers as well as aggressive bottom dwellers that may compete with stingrays for space or food.

Now that you know what fish can live with freshwater stingrays in captivity, let’s explore this topic in more detail. Together we’ll discover which fish species can be kept in the same aquarium as stingrays as well as which ones to avoid. We’ll also learn what tank parameters are best for stingrays and why it’s so important to choose suitable companions for these unique underwater inhabitants.

So, if you’re ready to learn more about keeping and caring for freshwater stingrays in a community tank environment then let’s get started!

What are the Best Tankmates for Freshwater Stingrays?

The best tankmates for freshwater stingrays are other stingrays. Rays of different sizes and species can be kept together in captivity, provided they have ample space and proper filtration. Stingrays are non-aggressive and won’t attack or actively defend against an attack. Their instinct is to retreat or swim away rather than fight back.

Fish that are big enough not to be considered prey for freshwater stingrays and peaceful enough not to nip at rays or steal their food are also good options. Fish that prefer to swim in the top half of the tank are also recommended since they’ll stay out of the way of bottom-dwelling rays. Just make sure the fish you choose also prefer the same water conditions as stingrays otherwise stress and illness will result .

Can You Keep a Stingray with Bichirs?

Bichirs are large carnivorous bottom-dwellers and can be kept in the same tank as freshwater stingrays, provided they’re not overcrowded or competing for food. For this combination to be successful, you must have an extra-large tank (at least 180-gallons or bigger) and make sure they’re both well fed. If you don’t, bichirs can become aggressive and nippy which will cause stress for the rays.

Can You Keep a Stingray with Characids?

Large omnivorous schooling characid fish like silver dollars and pacus can be kept with stingrays in an extra-large tank – at least 180 gallons. Both species are peaceful and prefer to swim and feed in the top half of the tank. This prevents them from encountering bottom-dwelling rays. Also, they reach adult lengths of 6 inches (silver dollars) to 12 inches (pacus) – far too big to be considered potential prey.

Night characid fish
Night Characid

Can You Keep a Stingray with Cichlids?

Non-aggressive South American cichlids like geophagus or the banded type (also known as severums) make good tankmates for freshwater stingrays. Severums reach full-grown lengths of 8 inches whereas geophagus can grow as big as 12 inches. Both are too large to be seen as food for rays. Peaceful by nature, these ‘new world’ cichlids can get hostile in an overcrowded aquarium devoid of hiding places.

Can You Keep a Stingray with Dragonfish?

Arowanas or dragonfish are a type of tropical carnivorous fish. They grow to lengths of around 2 feet which is big enough not to be viewed as prey for freshwater stingrays. This species can be aggressive and territorial, but it shouldn’t be a problem if the tank is big enough – at least 150-gallons. They’re also top-feeding fish so they’ll stay out of the way of bottom-feeding stingrays.

Can You Keep a Stingray with Gourami Fish?

Giant gouramis are large omnivorous fish known to be quite docile in an extra-large community tank environment. They grow to around 16 inches in captivity making them too big to be considered prey for freshwater stingrays. They also don’t mind being alone in an aquarium with other species of tropical fish and prefer to swim at eat in the upper half of the tank, away from bottom-dwelling rays.

Can You Keep a Stingray with a Bala Shark?

Bala sharks aren’t really sharks, they just look like sharks with their long torpedo-like bodies, pointed dorsal fin and grey coloring. As a schooling fish, they can be kept in tank with freshwater stingrays since they prefer to dwell and feast in the top half of the tank. In captivity, they reach full-grown lengths of up to 15 inches so they’re far too big to be viewed as potential prey by rays.

Bala Shark

Can You Keep a Stingray with Plecos?

Plecos are low-maintenance bottom dwellers that can live with freshwater stingrays in a tank with lots of space for both species to forage and explore. A 180- to 200-gallon aquarium is recommended since plecos can grow quite large – up to 15 inches in captivity. Ensuring both species are well fed will prevent plecos from becoming aggressive, which can happen if they feel the need to compete for space or food.

Can You Keep a Stingray with Tigerfish?

Datnoid fish (or tigerfish) are calm and well-behaved, making them excellent pets and great tankmates for freshwater stingrays. They grow to lengths of 15 inches which is too big to be considered potential prey. As well, they prefer to feed and swim in the middle of the tank with their school, so they steer clear of bottom-dwelling stingrays. Just make sure the tank is large enough with plenty of hiding spots.

Which Fish Shouldn’t be Kept with Stingrays?

When it comes to freshwater stingrays, there are certain species to be wary of. Suckermouth catfish are one such example. They like to attach themselves to rays and pick at or suck on their soft bodies. This can cause both injury and stress for rays. You also want to steer clear of aggressive fin-nipping fish like bettas or territorial middle to bottom-dwelling species like Jack Dempsey fish.

blue spotted stingray

What Aquatic Conditions are Ideal for Freshwater Stingrays?

Freshwater stingrays require a balanced aquatic environment with non-fluctuating parameters. Abrupt changes in temperature and/or pH levels will lead to stress, illness, and ultimately death. Therefore, a meticulously clean and stable environment is a must! You must research the fish you intend to keep in a community tank with stingrays and acquire only those that thrive in the same aquatic conditions.

The temperature in a tank with freshwater stingrays should range between 75- and 82-degrees F. A pH of 6.8 to 7.5 is also required with an alkalinity reading between 18 to 70 ppm’s. Ammonia levels should test 0 while nitrites should read below 10ppm. Since stingrays generate a lot of waste, you must do weekly partial water changes (15%) and upgrade to a high-quality canister filtration system.

Final Thoughts

To conclude, freshwater stingrays can thrive in a community tank environment, provided the fish are peaceful and like the same water conditions. Other stingrays make the best tankmates. Ensure you choose fish that are big enough not to be considered prey as well as those that are non-aggressive and won’t compete with the rays for territory or food. Peaceful, mid-tank schooling fish are a great option.

I trust this article has been of help in answering your questions about freshwater stingrays and what fish make the best tankmates. Thanks for reading and good luck with your aquarist hobby!

Recommended Posts

Freshwater Stingray Aquarium Setup

Can a Bichir Live in a 20-Gallon Tank?

Are Bala Sharks Aggressive?