Fun Facts on the Rays Touch Tank at Tropicana Field
The tank will hold 30 Cownose Rays.
The tank contains approximately 10,000 gallons of water. It is three feet deep, and the length is approximately 35 feet. It one of the ten-largest in the United States.
This is the only ray touch tank in a professional sports venue.
The tank is made of fiberglass.
The bottom of the tank will be sand.
The tank was installed at Tropicana Field by two cranes on May 23.
For every ball hit into the tank during a game by a Rays player, the Rays will donate $5,000 to charity with $2500 going to the Florida Aquarium and $2500 going to the player’s charity of choice.
The front (viewable from stands) portion of the tank is 20 feet wide, utilizing clear acrylic.
Rays are monitored, "cared-for", and “owned” by the Florida Aquarium. An interpreter (biologist) will be on-site during games.
There will be a limit of 50 fans in tank area at any time. Fans will pick up a card near the tank with a designated time to visit. Fans may purchase ray food with the proceeds going to the Florida Aquarium and the team's charitable foundation.
The blunt snout of a Cownose Ray resembles that of an actual cow's nose. Cownose Rays are considered mild-mannered sea animals. They can be called "Cownose Rays" or "Cownose Stingrays".
Rays are light to dark brown on its dorsal (top) side and white or yellowish white with the outer corners of the pectorals being more or less brownish on the ventral (lower) side.
Cownose Rays migrate long distances to as far north as Massachusetts in the late spring and to as far south as Brazil in late fall. Many groups of Cownose Rays settle into Chesapeake Bay for the summer, and they often go to Trinidad & Tobago and Venezuela for the winter. There are Cownose Rays found in the Tampa Bay area and in the Gulf of Mexico.
A mature adult Cownose Ray is usually 45 inches in width and can weigh 50 pounds or more.
Cownose Rays feed on invertebrates, and often eat clams, oysters, shrimp, squid, lobsters, and crabs.
Fans will predominately be feeding squid to the Rays. There is concern that Cownose Rays are harming the already declining oyster population in the Chesapeake. This has led to discussion of opening a market for Cownose Rays.