Doryrhamphus excisus - Pipefish are close relatives of the seahorse. Bluestripe pipefish are among the most beautiful syngnathids with their bright blue and orange coloration. They are one of the "flagtail" pipefish and have relatively large, colorful caudal fins used for sailing around the tank in the current.
Wild caught pipefish are extremely difficult to keep because they typically only eat live foods. These captive bred pipefish from David Sowash at Reef Life Creations are raised on prepared foods like frozen baby brine, chopped mysis, and PE Calanus, making them easier to keep. They're quite hardy when provided with the proper environment and care. Pipefish should be fed 3 - 4 x a day.
Seahorse specific tanks are perfect environments for small pipefish. Unlike seahorses, Bluestripe pipefish may also be suitable in a reef-style tank with proper tank mates.
This pipefish species is small, and adults typically grow to 2" or 3" max. At sale size, young pipefish are about the size of a toothpick. Aggressive fish or fish large enough to eat small pipefish are not suitable tankmates. Beware larger crabs and hermit crabs or any animals that could pinch or harm them physically. Stinging anemones and any stinging corals like Euphyllia are risky tank mates for pipefish. Corals with large mouths can consume pipefish. Many Doryrhamphus species are known to be active cleaners in the wild, picking tiny parasitic crustaceans from other fishes.
At sale size, these pipefish are too young to accurately sex. Adult male Bluestripe Pipefish are very territorial with each other and will fight even in very large systems. This species is best kept singly or in pairs or harems with one male and multiple females. Adult males have tiny bumps on the snout that may only be seen with a magnifying glass. We recommend introducing new fish with an acclimation box.
Pipefish are very different from other aquarium fish, and their care and requirements are also unique to them. Feel free to reach out to us with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org