Quality Marine announced that it has received the first commercially aquacultured Glow-Tail Pipefish (Dunckerocampus chapmani), as part of an ongoing effort to promote sustainability and responsibility in the aquarium trade.
According to the company, the fish are available exclusively at Quality Marine, and due to the natural range of the animal being limited to the southwest Pacific surrounding New Caledonia, the wild specimens are only very infrequently available, making the announcement even more exciting for hobbyists.
The Aquarium Des Lagons in New Caledonia has successfully captive bred the Dunckerocampus chapmani, more commonly known as the Glow-Tail Pipefish. In May 2016, the Aquarium Des Lagons successfully captive bred the Half-Spined Seahorse (Hippocampus semispinosus), which is also available exclusively through Quality Marine.
In the wild, the Glow-Tail Pipefish tends to live in the rocky crevices of sheltered lagoons, some as deep as eight meters, according to a press release from the company. They are endemic to the southern half of New Caledonia and the first described individual came from the peninsula of Ducos in Noumea. They feed on small crustaceans and zooplankton, and like other pipefish, the males carry the eggs in a brood pouch, which is found under their tail. The eggs are gray and fairly large compared to the body. The males only carry about 30 eggs at a time due to the size of the eggs.
In aquariums, pipefish should be kept in tanks with very peaceful, slow moving tank mates like seahorses and dragonets. They are poor swimmers—thus, it is important to keep the flow of the tanks low. As a result of their plodding swimming style, they are poor hunters, making it important to target feed.
According to Quality Marine, pipefish kept with the right diet and water quality tend to do well in aquariums, and choosing aquacultured animals will increase hobbyists’ chance of success in keeping pipefish. Cultured pipefish are raised on small frozen meaty foods, eliminating the need for offering live foods. Wild caught specimens often need to be fed live foods, which can prove difficult and expensive in some cases, according to the company.