Pete Giwojna

Dear Nigel:

I don’t know any hobbyists that have kept shrimpfish in their home aquarium. They are sometimes displayed at public aquaria and are peaceful fish that might make good tankmates for seahorses if you can obtain healthy specimens and quarantine them properly before introducing them to your main tank.

They are normally fed with live Mysis and small live feeder shrimp. I don’t know if they would accept frozen Mysis or other nonliving foods.

They are very curious fish that make fascinating aquarium animals because their unusual behavior. It is their habit to swim upside down with their heads pointing toward the bottom in an up-and-down vertical posture. The striped shrimpfish have longitudinal stripes and are accustomed to sheltering amidst the spines of long-spined sea urchins (Diadema spp.). Their inverted, vertical swimming style and stripes help them blend in amidst the spines of the sea urchin. Once established in the aquarium, they seem to be fairly hardy, but they sometimes have a hard time adjusting to aquarium conditions.

If the price is right, and you can obtain healthy specimens from a reputable dealer, I think they may be worth a try. If you quarantine them properly and can keep them eating, and provide them with one or two long-spines sea urchins to make them feel at home, they might do well. And they should make fine companions for seahorses under the right circumstances.

Unlike seahorses, the armor-plated shrimpfish do not seem to be very susceptible to Gas Bubble Syndrome (GBS), but they are vulnerable to all the same diseases and disorders as other tropical marine fishes.

If you decide to give them a try, Nigel, be sure to quarantine them properly and by all means let us know how well they do in your aquarium and it they are indeed good tankmates for seahorses.

Best wishes with all your fishes, sir!

Happy Trails!
Pete Giwojna

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