Another aquacultured species is now available through Quality Marine: the banded pipefish (Dunckerocampus dactyliophorus). They are a popular aquarium species, especially for seahorse aquariums. However, their wild habitat is under threat due to coral reef degradation, coastal development and pollution, which in turn makes them vulnerable to overharvest, making this successful captive breeding all the more important.
In the wild, banded pipefish inhabit rocky crevices in coral reefs of depth from 5- to 50-meters deep all throughout the tropical and subtropical waters of the Indo-Pacific. They feed primarily on planktonic organisms. Like other pipefish, males carry the eggs in a brood pouch, which is found under their tail. The banded pipefish are ovoviviparous, meaning they will carry the embryos until live birth.
In aquariums, pipefish make excellent tank mates for seahorses, dragonets and other peaceful, slow-moving species. Pipefish are poor swimmers, thus it is important to keep the flow of the tanks gentle and non-laminar. Choosing aquacultured animals will increase your chance of success in keeping pipefish, especially if provided the right diet and aquarium conditions. Cultured pipefish are raised on frozen small meaty foods, eliminating the need for offering live foods. However, since they are such poor swimmers and hunters, aquariums with high food densities or target feedings are essential for success with this species.
“Increasing the number of cultured species we offer to our customers is an integral part of making the aquarium trade more sustainable,” the company said in its press release. “Quality Marine is very proud to now offer the Banded Pipefish to our ever growing list of captive bred species.”