Join our zoo community

Mekong River - Giant Catfish and Giant Stingray exhibit

The tank houses: Mekong Giant Catfish (Pangasianodon gigas) Iridescent Shark (Pangasianodon hypothalamus) High-fin Catfish (Pangasius sanitwongsei) Wallago (Wallago micropogon) Siamese Giant Carp (Catlocarpio siamensis) Isok barb (Probarbus jullieni) Mahseer (Tor tambroides) Bala Shark (Balantiocheilos melanopterus) Asian Arowana (Scleropages formosus) Freshwater Giant Stingray (Himantura chaophraya)

Mekong River - Giant Catfish and Giant Stingray exhibit
Zooish, 16 Mar 2013
    • ThylacineAlive
      I know Mekongs have, don't know about the stingrays. There are actually farms, as Chlidonias mentioned, that specifically breed Mekongs and other fish.

    • Chlidonias
      the Mekong catfish is bred in large numbers on fish farms in Thailand (including many bred for release). Apparently the stingrays haven't been bred yet?
    • Chlidonias
      from IUCN, on the Mekong catfish:

      The Thai Department of Fisheries began releasing captive-bred individuals in 1985. Between 2000 and 2003, approximately 10,000 captive-bred fish were released into the Mekong. Captive-bred individuals are no longer released into the Mekong, however they are released into reservoirs in Thailand. Large fish are now caught regularly in some Thai reservoirs but there is no evidence of self-sustaining populations. The fish have also been artificial hybridized with P. hypophthalmus for aquaculture purposes.
    • Chlidonias
      from IUCN, on the giant stingray:

      There is no in situ protection for the species or its habitat (Compagno 2005). The Thai government started a project in the 1990s to breed this and other freshwater stingrays ex situ in captivity at Chai Nat above a dam on the Chao Phraya River to counter declines of freshwater rays in the river, and young were successfully bred. The breeding project ceased without specimens being released to the wild.
    • ThylacineAlive
      Both of those species are in this tank, are special conditions needed for them to interbreed or no?

    • vogelcommando
      Nice to know both these threatened species can and are being bred. Would be nice if some were send to Europe or America ( or both ) to start some kind of ex-sito breeding programm. I guess there would be enough intrest in them !
    • Chlidonias
      they won't breed successfully in this tank so there won't be any issues with that.
    • Chlidonias
      the reason giant fish can be bred well in Asia is because they are kept in huge pools outside. They aren't bred in aquariums. Very few places in Europe or the USA would be suitable. Potentially even Florida with all its outdoors fish farms might not be warm enough year round.
    • condor
      Chlidonias is entirely right; big pools, typically ponds dug into the earth, but sometimes big concrete containers instead. Not pretty, but they work.
      In addition to having more space than can be provided in an aquarium, these companies (in Asia, Florida and elsewhere) often use artificial hormones to mature the fish, incl. some catfish, and/or to get them into the breeding mood.
      Before all the habitat destruction and overfishing set in, Mekong giant catfish had a rather large distribution in the Mekong basin (even if assuming the unconfirmed old Yunnan records are mistaken), showing that it is capable of tolerating relatively cold temperatures, certainly down to 20 C/68 F, and likely even colder for periods. Indeed, the natural breeding migration of this species was northbound, towards the colder parts of the river. The giant pangasius does the same, but its Mekong population is divided in two by the Khone Falls (giant carp distribution is also divided by these falls; it's unclear if the same is the case for the MG catfish or stingray). As such Florida would be suitable for MG catfish, but I doubt there's much economic incentive to start doing it there with the large-scale operations going on in southeast Asia. Additionally, with the bad situation with introduced Asian carps in parts of the U.S., rules have tightened and I suspect it would require quite an effort+luck to be allowed to keep MG catfish in outside pool operations. Florida already has companies that do large-scale breeding in outside pools of various other tropical fish, but this is mainly smaller species for the private aquarium industry.
    • titin2k
      nice tour:p
    There are no comments to display.
  • Category:
    River Safari
    Uploaded By:
    16 Mar 2013
    View Count:
    Comment Count: