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Gulf Pipefish
Gulf Pipefish
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Gulf Pipefish

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Syngnathus scovelli - The Gulf Pipefish is a hardy pipefish species native to the seagrass beds of the Western Atlantic. This species is very similar to their seahorse cousins in appearance and behavior, and they make excellent seahorse tank mates. 

Gulf Pipefish are a demersal variety of pipefish, spending most of their time meandering around on the substrate and rocks. During feeding time, however, they become very lively and will free-swim in the water column hunting down frozen mysis shrimp. Pipefish are playful and socially engaging animals that make unique and wonderful pets. 

Wild caught pipefish are extremely difficult to keep because they typically only eat live foods. Captive bred pipefish are raised on prepared foods, making them much easier to keep. They're quite hardy when provided with when provided with the proper seahorse-specific environment and care. Biota's captive bred pipefish are healthy and robust, being bred and raised in Biota's North Carolina facility by marine biologists with decades of seahorse experience.

Feeding

Pipefish should be fed a staple diet of frozen Mysis shrimp along with occasional feedings of other small, meaty foods like frozen Spirulina enriched brine shrimp and large species of copepods like frozen Calanus copepods. Young pipefish should be fed 3 - 4 x a day, and fully grown adults at least twice a day. 

Compatibility

Young pipefish should ideally be kept in seahorse & pipefish-only tanks or with only the smallest, most peaceful fish species like our nano gobies. As they grow and mature, other appropriate peaceful species may be added to their aquarium. Choose slow moving tank mates that won't outcompete the pipefish for food. Basslets, Cardinalfish, Filefish, and similar species can make good tank mates for full grown, acclimated adults.

Pipefish are slow and easily injured by other life forms in the tank. Very small hermit crabs are safe, but do not keep them with larger crabs and hermit crabs or any animals that could pinch or harm them physically. Stinging anemones and any stinging corals like Euphyllia are not suitable tank mates for demersal pipefish.

Soft corals like mushrooms, Zoanthus, Toadstool, Sinularia, Tree corals, Xenia, Green Star Polyps, and gorgonians are excellent additions to a pipefish tank. 

This species prefers cooler waters up to 74°F. A heater may be provided for stability, but make sure the heater is covered or placed in a sump, as pipefish can be burned by wrapping themselves around the heater. Adults can reach up to 7" long. A 20 gallon aquarium is suitable for up to four young pipefish. 

Seahorses and 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 support@thebiotagroup.com