Re:Pipefish around new dwarf seahorses babies

Pete Giwojna

Dear Ken:

That depends on the size of the pipefish, sir. If they are large enough, the pipefish might predate newborn dwarf seahorses (Hippocampus zosterae). For example, alligator pipefish would have no trouble eating dwarf seahorse babies.

However, I have kept dwarf seahorses with dwarf pipefish and small Gulf pipefish (the ones the collectors sell as tankmates for wild dwarf seahorses) on a number of occasions and they never bothered the dwarf seahorses or their babies in any way. I believe the mouths of these small pipes are too small to handle a meal the size of a newborn dwarf seahorse, and they are not inclined to try at all when they can have their fill of the bite sized baby brine shrimp instead.

So if you have the dwarf Gulf pipefish with your dwarf seahorses, then you should be fine. In that case, Ken, I would be more concerned about the ghost shrimp. I can tell you that shrimp cannot be trusted with baby seahorses and will gobble them up like popcorn if they have a chance. This includes decorative shrimp such as Scarlet cleaner shrimp (Lysmata amboinensis), fire shrimp (Lysmata debelius), large peppermint shrimp (Lysmata wurdemanni), banded coral shrimp (Stenopus hispidus), grass shrimp, glass shrimp, and adult ghost shrimp.

In my experience, the only shrimp that are safe to keep with dwarf seahorses are the tiny red volcano shrimp from Hawaii (Halocaridina rubra), which feed only on microalgae and bacterial film.

Best of luck with your dwarf seahorses and pipefish, Ken!

Pete Giwojna

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