Pipefish And Seahorses (Syngnathidae)

Seahorse And Pipefish Family Characteristics:

Every fish keeper ends up fascinated with the seahorse, and the equally appealing pipefish, which could be described as a 'straightened out' version of the seahorse. Pipefish are found among crevices on coral reefs, whereas seahorses, being poor swimmers, anchor themselves to coral branches with their prehensile tails. Many pipefish are estuarine species, and are therefore able to tolerate varying salinity, sometimes even entering fresh water.

When seahorses reproduce, the female uses her ovipositor tube to deposit the eggs into the male's abdominal pouch, where they are fertilized and subsequently incubated. Incubation periods range from two weeks to two months, depending on the species.

Diet And Feeding:

Seahorses and pipefish have small mouths and require quantities of small live foods to thrive; brine shrimp and rotifers are suitable, even Daphnia would be satisfactory if other live foods are in short supply.

Aquarium Behavior:

Pipefish and seahorses do best in a quiet and still aquarium. Many hobbyists have great difficulty in keeping seahorses for any length of time; these are sensitive fish requiring excellent water quality all of the time, and they are constant feeders and three or four good feeds a day is highly recommended.

Collection from the wild usually occurs by accident, when the fish are caught up in shrimp nets. This is extremely traumatic for the fish and may give some clue as to their unwillingness to adapt well to aquarium conditions. Always make sure seahorses and pipefish are feeding well before you buy them and buy captive bred specimens whenever possible.

List Of Popular Aquarium Pipefish And Seahorse:

  • Bluestripe Pipefish (Doryrhamphus excisus)
  • Black Seahorse, Florida Seahorse, Northern Seahorse (Hippocampus erectus)
  • Kuda Seahorse, Yellow Seahorse, Pacific Seahorse (Hippocampus kuda)
  • Estuary Seahorse (Hippocampus kuda)
  • Banded Pipefish (Doryrhamphus dactylophorus )
  • Dragonface Pipefish (Corythoichthys sp.)
  • Janss' Pipefish (Doryrhamphus janssi)
  • Striped Shrimpfish (Aeoliscus strigatus)
  • Yellow Multibanded Pipefish (Doryrhamphus pessuliferus)
  • Dwarf Seahorse (Hippocampus zosterae)


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