Family: Potamotrygonidae (River stingrays)
Class: Elasmobranchii (sharks and rays)
Max. size: 40.0 cm WD (male/unsexed; Ref. 36687)
Environment: benthopelagic;; freshwater; pH range: 6.0 - 6.8
Climate:tropical; 20 - 25Â°C
Importance: aquarium: show aquarium
Resilience: Very low, minimum population doubling time more than 14 years (tm=3-4; assuming Fec < 10)
Distribution: South America: Xingu River basin (Xingu and Fresco rivers).
Biology: Buried in sand during day, hunting for benthic invertebrates during night (Ref. 13614).
Threatened: Data deficient, see IUCN Red List, Rosa, R.S. & AraÃºjo, M.L.G., (Ref. 36508) A rare river ray, possibly endemic to the Xingu River drainage in Brazil where freshwater habitat is threatened by illegal mining activity. It is caught for food by natives and exported in large numbers to the ornamental fish trade. There are no life history or population data for this poorly known freshwater ray. Further #study and a new assessment in the near future is highly recommended, due to the limited geographic range and threatened habitat of this ray.
Above information from: http://www.fishbase.orgDescription
A robust ray with very little polymorphism when compared with other Potamotrygon species. Generally jet black with brilliant white evenly distributed ocelli, although when young or distressed they may show a paler grey colouration. They have a short muscular tail with three parallel rows of spines along the upperside. Leopoldi are often confused with Henlei but the ocelli on Leopoldi never continue onto the underside of the disc & the tail spines on Henlei are much more irregular in shape & position.
It is easy to determine the sex of any stingray even at an early age, males have claspers attached to the base of their pelvic fins at either side of the tail on their underside that elongate with age/maturity.Tank Size Recommendations and General Husbandry
A small 6" diameter specimen can be housed in tank with a minimum volume of 75 gallons for a while as a "grow out" tank but be prepared for a few upgrades to accommodate a ray that can grow to over 18" in diameter. An approximate guide to the growth rate of Leopoldi would be around 3-4" per year, depending on water conditions & quantity/type of foods offered.
As with all freshwater rays maintaining pristine water quality is the main priority for ensuring their health & well-being, so you should ensure that you provide a more than adequate filtration system & adhere to a strict water changing routine.
Substrate is a matter of personal choice/preference, sand, gravel or even bare bottom. If you do use a substrate though always ensure that it is non abrasive & will not damage the rays delicate underside.
Tank decor is best kept to a bare minimum so as not to obstruct the rays swimming space but a nice piece of bogwood with no sharp edges will be appreciated by an inquisitive ray.
Stingrays being elasmobranchs are sensitive to a lot of medications that you could safely use on regular fish, so it is best to ask for info on the Catfish & Bottom Dwellers section of this site or do your own thorough research before adding any meds to your ray tank.Personal Experiences and Thoughts
One of the most beautiful of the myriad of South American freshwater Rays that are available to the aquarist. Leopoldi are one of my favourite rays, constantly active, extremely greedy with an outgoing personality. They are an hardy ray and introducing them to new foods is relatively easy when compared with most other rays, which makes them an ideal first ray. A good starter food is live earthworms, either chopped up or fed whole depending on the size of ray. Once you have got your Leopoldi eating the worms with gusto then gradually introduce other foods such as fresh shrimp, whitebait/silversides to provide a varied balanced diet.
On the negative side though I have found Leopoldi to be very aggressive with other tankmates be they fish or other less robust rays. As they mature & grow this can cause problems.
Dave (Flyingsaucer Owner)http://www.stingrayuk.co.uk