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View Full Version : Are There Any Caribbean Pipefish That Can Work In A community Tank?


Michael Hoaster
03/16/2016, 09:01 AM
I have a 180 gallon caribbean biotope tank with macros and seagrasses. I currently have four barnacle blennies, seven royal grammas (a harem), and one atlantic blue tang.

I'd love to add some pipefish, but I'm afraid they couldn't compete at feeding time and/or they'd wipe out my pod population.

Is there a pipefish that can hang in a fast-feeding community tank? It would need to be more of a pelagic plankton picker, than a benthic plankton hunter. I am trying to avoid any fish that will systematically hunt down and wipe out my benthic plankton. And it has to be a caribbean species.

I know it's a long shot, but I thought I'd ask. Any thoughts?

jraker
03/17/2016, 04:12 PM
I would say harlequin pipefish (Micrognathus crinitus). There is another species that is commonly referred to as the harlequin ghost pipefish (Solenostomus paradoxus), but is from the Pacific and Indian oceans.

The harlequin pipefish is briefly mentioned in this (http://fusedjaw.com/aquariumcare/pipefish-reef-aquarium/) article.

TamiW
03/17/2016, 04:31 PM
I wouldn't recommend the ghost pipefish. They are very difficult to keep alive. Most don't handle shipping well and don't make it to their destination country.

There are a lot of interesting pipefish in the Atlantic, but few collectors differentiate and collect them. They just collect misc pipefish. That being said, most are going to be benthic feeders- it's only oddities like the flag tail pipefish that are going to feed in the water column.

You might have some luck if you can locate the Atlantic pygmy pipehorse. I've yet to find a collector willing to look for them.

Why don't you add a turf scrubber to your setup? That will help replenish benthic life.

TamiW
03/17/2016, 04:32 PM
Sorry jraker, I just realized you weren't recommending the ghost pipefish, only differentiating.

jraker
03/17/2016, 04:41 PM
It's all good. Tami, do you have any experience with micrognathus crinitus?

ThRoewer
03/18/2016, 03:07 PM
The only pipefish I would recommend for a reef tank is the blue stripe (D. escisus) - not Caribbean though but rather from Africa.
Especially the females are very outgoing. Mine is fearless and has no problems to compete for food even with such aggressive feeders as Banggai cardinals. She also has no issue with high flow and is the first out and at the surface for feedings.
The male is much more reclusive and prefers to hang out behind the rocks the most time.

Michael Hoaster
03/18/2016, 04:20 PM
My tank IS a turf scrubber.

Michael Hoaster
03/18/2016, 04:22 PM
Sounds like I need a flag tail from the caribbean. Google time…

ThRoewer
03/18/2016, 07:59 PM
Flagtail pipefish are to my knowledge all from the Indo-Pacific.

Michael Hoaster
03/18/2016, 09:50 PM
Oh well, thanks for your help, guys!

ThRoewer
03/19/2016, 02:01 PM
There are some suitable and quite colorful Caribbean pipefish, but the ones I found came from Brazil and are therefore likely no longer available (at least not from Brazil).

Your best bet may be to contact some of the Florida based livestock suppliers and see what they can get you:
KP Aquatics (http://www.kpaquatics.com/)
Tampa Bay Saltwater (http://www.tbsaltwater.com/index.html)
Reeftopia .com (http://www.reeftopia.com/)
Tom's Caribbean Tropicals Inc. (http://www.divertom.com/)

Things may get more interesting once Cuba can start shipping to the US

fabulousfavia
07/21/2017, 11:40 AM
The only pipefish I would recommend for a reef tank is the blue stripe (D. escisus) - not Caribbean though but rather from Africa.

Especially the females are very outgoing. Mine is fearless and has no problems to compete for food even with such aggressive feeders as Banggai cardinals. She also has no issue with high flow and is the first out and at the surface for feedings.

The male is much more reclusive and prefers to hang out behind the rocks the most time.



I agree. This species gets bigger than most pipefish, is a strong swimmer, and can usually hold its own with other pipefish. You may have to constantly add more copepods unless you train it onto frozen food.


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fabulousfavia
07/21/2017, 11:41 AM
Edit: other reef fish


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vlangel
07/21/2017, 02:00 PM
This might not be quite what you are looking for, but I have gotten a plain-ish brown gray pipefish when I order ghost shrimp from FL. They are more brackish than marine but I have acclimated them right along with the ghosties and they do fine at 0.023 specific gravity. I fed mine frozen mysis, the same as my seahorses. I was afraid to ever move them into the seahorse tank as seahorses are so susceptible to bacteria infections. As a result I do not know if they would go after your pod population. I also do not know that just because they are from FL if they can be considered even loosely caribbean. I assume they come from tributaries where fresh water and the ocean meet. The best I can figure is they were syngnathus scovelli but even that I am not sure of.