Re:Dragonface Pipefish

#4330
Pete Giwojna
Guest

Dear Grant:

Pipefish in general are a bit more delicate than seahorses, and the dragon pipes are no exception. This is mainly because the pipefish are collected from the wild — unlike domesticated seahorses, they haven’t been captive bred and raised for generation after generation and they are therefore not adapted for aquarium life or accustomed to eating nonliving foods.

For this reason, the dragon pipefish are usually recommended for experts only who can provide them with an aquarium of the type that is optimized to meet the specialized needs and requirements of seahorses and other syngnathids. They normally ship well enough and acclimate without undue difficulty, but feeding them can sometimes be a problem.

They have a very small mouth and are adapted for feeding on micro-crustaceans, such as copepods and the smallest amphipods. Their diet does include the dreaded "red bugs" and they have a reputation for eating them, so dragon pipefish may indeed be helpful in controlling the numbers of these pests in a reef system. Dragonface pipefish are reef safe and should get along with other small reef-safe fish.

Dragonface pipefish have very long, slender, snakelike bodies and they will wrap their tails around corals and cling to them while they are feeding. Corals with powerful stings and anemones can therefore be harmful to the dragon pipes, just as they would be to seahorses.

It’s very difficult to say how many of the dragon pipefish you may need to control the red bugs throughout your reef tank, but I should think a pair of them would be sufficient for the average "mini reef."

Best of luck eradicating the "red bugs" that have invaded your reef tank, Grant!

Respectfully,
Pete Giwojna who


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