Freshwater pipefish - Just how difficult are they? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-10-2019, 04:40 AM Thread Starter
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Freshwater pipefish - Just how difficult are they?

My dream fish for my aquascape are a pair of freshwater pipefish. I couldn't find any for the longest time so I kind of forgot about them but an internet seller just got some in stock.

From what I've read, the complicated part is feeding them. Not only are they picky and require moving food, they also need to be fed more than once a day. I can handle the picky part as I have to jiggle bloodworms for a single pea puffer for him to bite. The hard part is guaranteeing the low-fat body of the pipefish can be fed when I go on vacation, say for a week or more at once.

Is this true of them? If so, are there any automated systems used for tossing live brine shrimp or something into the tank a few times a day?
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-10-2019, 05:13 PM
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I've never owned them but like you, did "get the bug" and researched quite a bit a few years back. My experiences keeping seahorses combined with the reading up on FE pipefish I did discouraged me from trying a small group. My plan then was to set up a 30 long and partition off 1/3rd of it where the fish couldn't get to for pods to produce. At the time, Lee's made a divider with big enough openings for scuds and such to pass through (they still may, just haven't seen one in years). I tend to have huge populations of these in my shrimp only tanks and had thoughts of keeping a food colony within the tank that couldn't be reached to become exhausted. I seem to recall videos on YouTube of people feeding them prepared frozen foods, but many articles are out there saying that most won't.

Unaware of a live brine feeder or even how on earth you could create one. The reservoir would need to be aerated, it would be near impossible to dose a consistent amount, and would add salt to your tank. Not saying no one has done it, but seems a very tall order.

If you do set up a tank for these, this will be one tank journal I'd hit the subscribe button for! Good luck.

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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-11-2019, 07:16 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Ridge Reef View Post
I've never owned them but like you, did "get the bug" and researched quite a bit a few years back. My experiences keeping seahorses combined with the reading up on FE pipefish I did discouraged me from trying a small group. My plan then was to set up a 30 long and partition off 1/3rd of it where the fish couldn't get to for pods to produce. At the time, Lee's made a divider with big enough openings for scuds and such to pass through (they still may, just haven't seen one in years). I tend to have huge populations of these in my shrimp only tanks and had thoughts of keeping a food colony within the tank that couldn't be reached to become exhausted. I seem to recall videos on YouTube of people feeding them prepared frozen foods, but many articles are out there saying that most won't.

Unaware of a live brine feeder or even how on earth you could create one. The reservoir would need to be aerated, it would be near impossible to dose a consistent amount, and would add salt to your tank. Not saying no one has done it, but seems a very tall order.

If you do set up a tank for these, this will be one tank journal I'd hit the subscribe button for! Good luck.
Darn. I guess its no surprise you don't see these around often then.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-12-2019, 09:46 PM Thread Starter
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So I stopped into my (kind of) LFS and they had pipefish in too. One normal size and one smaller sized ones. He said they only get about two shipments a year. This must be the time everyone is getting theirs then.

The thing is, this experienced nature aquascape creator said even he has trouble keeping them because they rarely ever eat unless it's live. The smaller ones are particularly hard to feed because the bigger live worms don't fit in their mouths.

Also, the big ones were being treated for fungus. The majority had some fungus growing from the same spot near the back of their tails.
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