Excited to onboard Blue Stripe Pipefish!

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nastronaut

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Hey there!


Just thought I'd share my approach to these 3 new additions and what I'm doing with my tank and them to (hopefully) keep everyone happy and healthy! (They're arriving tomorrow so I can continue to update as we go.)

A little about my tank: 40gal mixed reef, good amount of live rock, loads of pods and no pod-specific eaters. I also keep high-density copepod cultures and live phyto and macro going 24/7/365. Filtration is mostly biofilter, I do run carbon and or polyfilter at times too and try to give the filter a good clean every month, and run prefilters pretty often, cleaning throughout the week.

Tank mates include: a single Occelaris, mostly friendly - doesnt seem to care about pipefish, a female black molly, and currently I have about 30~ 1inch~ saltwater raised molly, but throughout the QT process I'll be rehoming majority of my babies where they can school in much larger local reefs :)

About the newcomers: I've ordered 3 Blue Stripe Pipefish, they're not labelled as a direct import or captive bred, so either is possible. I'm hopeful that 2 will form a pair and the 3rd will no be a victim of aggression, but I do have an extra nanno reef, or if I absolutely must rehome the 3rd atleast it'll be QT'd. The 2nd nanno is a small clown breeder, if the 3rd pipe had to go down there I'd likely just upgrade the entire nanno to a larger setup, as there's room.

QT process: We're going to go with the hyrbid TTM. I've got a large amount of pods at the ready, and can stagger use of each culture to make repopulation a non-issue. I plan to use general cure instead of prazipro for the anti-parasitic to also cover uronema.

I've kept Dragonfaced pipefish in the past, and when I was newer to the hobby. So I'm quite aware of their susceptibility to secondary's, and am hopefully they won't be predisposed upon arrival. That said, I can adjust the QT method a bit throughout the 1st four days if any physical injury or antibacterial are required.

I'm also installing a 50gph UV pump to the DT, as well as heavily cleaning prior to their arrival, dosing the algal-remedy levels of peroxide daily to help break down organics, and increasing my WC schedule and volume over the past month.

Goals - I'm hoping throughout the winter to experiment raising fry from a breeding pair, and it also helps put more of my copepods to work. I enjoyed raising my saltwater mollies and think that pipefish would be a great opportunity to become more proficient at marine breeding, plus I'm just a pipefish fanatic.
 

nastronaut

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I looking forward to following your journey and wishing you good luck!!

I am also thinking about adding a pair of pipe fish, so your thread will be a great learning experience of how to QT.
Awesome thank you!

It'll definitely put all my reef-knowledge to the test. Sort of had a moment a couple days ago where I realized I've got this entire culture system, that's really taken on a life/business of it's own, and yet I'm sitting here not really leveraging it, granted I've been busy haha. Plus my personal DT which has come such a long way, and despite a little neglect here or there, is super solid with no new fish in over half a year (aside from babies born here).

I'll do my best to keep a good track on feeding metrics, largely visuals, schedules, culture volumes w/ pics, etc - I think this will be the tricky part, but should be helpful for others when they're making cultures for these purposes and preparing everything :)
 

nastronaut

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Always a fan of bluestripe pipefish comments/posts! Are you planning on hatching out bbs for the pipes as well?
Yes I've got some bbs that should start hatching an hour before I pick the pipes up from local FedEx.

Just finished setting up their first QT and making sure the heater is dialed in, added Tisbe and Tigri pods in all stages and good dose of phyto to get them going.

May add some Ulva for them to hide in but we'll see.
 

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Yes I've got some bbs that should start hatching an hour before I pick the pipes up from local FedEx.

Just finished setting up their first QT and making sure the heater is dialed in, added Tisbe and Tigri pods in all stages and good dose of phyto to get them going.

May add some Ulva for them to hide in but we'll see.
Nice! I've never seen kitchen towels used that way, what's the reasoning behind it?
 

nastronaut

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Nice! I've never seen kitchen towels used that way, what's the reasoning behind it?
Basically just a visual barrier, we're in a pretty small apartment and between all the lights, us walking by, and other things I've found it keeps my mollies way more calm and restful throughout the day when in holding. I know pipefish don't really get scared and are all pods all the time as long as they're healthy, but hoping they'll feel more secure like this when they first get here.

I'll be peaking in on them often though! :)
 
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nastronaut

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Danger noodles have arrived! Holy crap they're tiny.

All are eating a ton of pods upon introduction. No obvious signs of distress or injury. The smaller male has a heart shaped tail fin, which could be an injury but I've seen some slight morphology in their tail shape so it could be naturally heart shaped.

Basically I just matched temp and salinity and added them right away.

It does seem like I've got 2 males 1 female. I'm seeing the more dominant male definitely show a bit of territorial behavior, but they're all eating and doing their thing right now - going to keep an eye on it.

The most dominant one seems to snick at the other male and the one I think is female. Hoping he's just initiating them and isn't just aggressive all the time.

I'd taken about a gallon of my cultures Tisbe and Tigri yesterday, strained and added to this tank with the phyto. Just added the early hatching bbs and everyone's eating like crazy :)

P.s. visual barrier quite the non issue with these guys, forget how pipefish give 0 cares about anything other than pods, removed for extra light.

Update: Pair has definitely formed, keeping an eye out for how far the aggression goes, the smaller male seems to know to keep some distance, Going to add a few pieces of Ulva weighed down w/ ceramic bits for extra visual barrier and hiding spots from eachother.
 

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Danger noodles have arrived! Holy crap they're tiny.

All are eating a ton of pods upon introduction. No obvious signs of distress or injury. The smaller male has a heart shaped tail fin, which could be an injury but I've seen some slight morphology in their tail shape so it could be naturally heart shaped.

Basically I just matched temp and salinity and added them right away.

It does seem like I've got 2 males 1 female. I'm seeing the more dominant male definitely show a bit of territorial behavior, but they're all eating and doing their thing right now - going to keep an eye on it.

The most dominant one seems to snick at the other male and the one I think is female. Hoping he's just initiating them and isn't just aggressive all the time.

I'd taken about a gallon of my cultures Tisbe and Tigri yesterday, strained and added to this tank with the phyto. Just added the early hatching bbs and everyone's eating like crazy :)

P.s. visual barrier quite the non issue with these guys, forget how pipefish give 0 cares about anything other than pods, removed for extra light.

Update: Pair has definitely formed, keeping an eye out for how far the aggression goes, the smaller male seems to know to keep some distance, Going to add a few pieces of Ulva weighed down w/ ceramic bits for extra visual barrier and hiding spots from eachother.
They are so frickin cute!!!
Where did you get them from?
 

nastronaut

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They are so frickin cute!!!
Where did you get them from?
First time ordering fish online, got these from saltwaterfish.com, my local LFS usually keeps some too but just happened to be out of stock right now or I'd have picked them out in person. Placed order 2 days ago in the evening and they arrived to the local fedex pickup locations at 9am this morning.

I've been slowly preparing for pipefish again, I hadn't quite decided til end of last week what species, but wanted to get the ball rolling pretty quick once my mind was made up.

That said these were labeled eastern asia - I'm hoping this pair gets it on soon (they're acting very close very quick), and we can have access to non-imported if all goes well :D
 
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First time ordering fish online, got these from saltwaterfish.com, my local LFS usually keeps some too but just happened to be out of stock right now or I'd have picked them out in person. Placed order 2 days ago in the evening and they arrived to the local fedex pickup locations at 9am this morning.

I've been slowly preparing for pipefish again, I hadn't quite decided til end of last week what species, but wanted to get the ball rolling pretty quick once my mind was made up.

That said these were labeled eastern asia - I'm hoping this pair gets it on soon (they're acting very close very quick), and we can have access to non-imported if all goes well :D
The pipefish look amazing!
I get saltwaterfish.com’s emails (every day, sometimes more) but have not ordered from them yet. I was actually thinking about unsubscribing, but gonna stay signed up now. It’s reassuring you had a good experience(y)
 

nastronaut

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The pipefish look amazing!
I get saltwaterfish.com’s emails (every day, sometimes more) but have not ordered from them yet. I was actually thinking about unsubscribing, but gonna stay signed up now. It’s reassuring you had a good experience(y)
For sure, I really like their option that recommend local hotspot pickup. I've had some bad experiences w/ live reptile delivery delays in the past especially being in an urban area, so this pickup option was great. Also I'd added notes requesting a m/f and maybe another male, they responded really quick passing notes to team, and just letting me know they can't guarantee anything. Though I did receive a female and two males.

I do admit that I mainly just wanted to secure a pair, but they offered free shipping at the cost of 3, I was pretty sure they couldn't guarantee sexing anyways, I really didn't want only two males, and am up for making accommodations for 3 as needed - it seems they're all calming down a bit and maintaining their little zones in the QT, eating non stop.
 

nastronaut

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Little update, yesterday evening I was observing and the dominant male simply wouldn't leave the smaller one alone. I didn't want him subjected to that for any longer, as he could easily die.

So, I did break protocol a bit. The pair is remaining in their QT but the other male received a 30 minute peroxide dip, and got added to my little 10gal clown breeder.

It's not ideal, but the clown pair and seahare are very healthy down there, theyre not going anywhere other than a possible tank upgrade in the future, it's currently 10g super simple with a few softies, I could pull coral and treat the whole tank of absolutely needed. Doing 1ml/5gal peroxide twice a day for the time being to keep organics and pathogens low. Been also doing big water changes, and ordered a small UV for it last night since this new pipe is down here.

Leaving the pair in their QT hybrid TTM (mainly for atleast 2 peroxide dips, and deworming before they make it to my main display mainly because I want to minimize my mollies being subjected to new pathogens.

So far things are looking good after splitting them up, my clowns seem only 1% curious in the pipefish and not atall threatened, and the pipefish made it through it's first night and is still healthy and eating this morning.

The pair in Qt are looking really healthy and doing their thing too.
 

nastronaut

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Aight, *warning* not as happy a post :(

Something went wrong yesterday with the pair.

Water parameters all seemed normal. No ammonia, nitrate, nitrite, a little evaporation had happened so we went from 30ppt to about 33ppt. The pair also hadn't gone through a peroxide dip yet as their first would've been today.

The only stand out think is the baby brine shrimp. I'd been adding pods daily and the water was still light green. I think the bbs were too big and too many, and I didn't take them out soon enough - their constant molting could have mucked things up a bit, but it's not noticeably dirty.

Not quite sure honestly, within the time of me going to take a shower yesterday evening, they were eating hanging, doing good, then I came back and the male was dead, female basically rested on the bottom when moved to clean SW, struggled a bit, and then passed away.

Other aspect may be the air filter, it is closer to my kitchen and my other hypothesis would be chemical fumes may have affected them, like bleach for example while cleaning, it wouldn't have been much if it happened and no readings on it to prove :l

Super sad, they were doing good. Definitely need to adjust my QT filter/cleaning to at least double, probably rethink their filter/airflow.

All that said, the smaller male who was getting beat up has done great after his peroxide dip, and addition to this little 10g clown breeder. He's been exploring and being super brave, clowns seem to like him too, and they've all got a new 50 gph UV setup to replace their powerhead which was pretty overpowered, keeping things more clean, and peroxide dosing has been going good down there.
 
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Paradise_Reefer

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Aight, *warning* not as happy a post :(

Something went wrong yesterday with the pair.

Water parameters all seemed normal. No ammonia, nitrate, nitrite, a little evaporation had happened so we went from 30ppt to about 33ppt. The pair also hadn't gone through a peroxide dip yet as their first would've been today.

The only stand out think is the baby brine shrimp. I'd been adding pods daily and the water was still light green. I think the bbs were too big and too many, and I didn't take them out soon enough - their constant molting could have mucked things up a bit, but it's not noticeably dirty.

Not quite sure honestly, within the time of me going to take a shower yesterday evening, they were eating hanging, doing good, then I came back and the male was dead, female basically rested on the bottom when moved to clean SW, struggled a bit, and then passed away.

Other aspect may be the air filter, it is closer to my kitchen and my other hypothesis would be chemical fumes may have affected them, like bleach for example while cleaning, it wouldn't have been much if it happened and no readings on it to prove :l

Super sad, they were doing good. Definitely need to adjust my QT filter/cleaning to at least double, probably rethink their filter/airflow.

All that said, the smaller male who was getting beat up has done great after his peroxide dip, and addition to this little 10g clown breeder. He's been exploring and being super brave, clowns seem to like him too, and they've all got a new 50 gph UV setup to replace their powerhead which was pretty overpowered, keeping things more clean, and peroxide dosing has been going good down there.
How is the single male fairing? I’m in the process of setting up a second DT (17gal) and really wanting to add a pipefish or two and a mandarin to it with some east corals and rock flower nems.
 

nastronaut

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How is the single male fairing? I’m in the process of setting up a second DT (17gal) and really wanting to add a pipefish or two and a mandarin to it with some east corals and rock flower nems.

Did you ever get some more?

Hey there, sorry for the delay - sadly the survivor male seemed to already have some damage from encountering the other male.

I think the few I'd got were just sooooo small (less than an inch) and I wasn't quite prepared for how delicate they wer (though I understand pipefish are very delicate). He seemed to fair well in my tank but bacterial infection took off quick and he was gone before I could really do anything.

I do hope to try more in the future but will opt to find a specimen doing well in person and not worry go through shipping or mismatching a pair, etc. It was rough and I felt really horrible about this whole thing and have avoided new fish since.

Since then, I've been focusing on improving my baseline more with cleanliness, and focusing on my saltwater mollies, that I've raised, grow out.
 

nastronaut

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Some future tips, to myself or others trying in the future to avoid mistakes I made:
-be careful with baby brine, I think they fowled up the QT water because I added too many along with my copepods (should've probably not done BBS, and added less to the QT, too many microorganisms added)
-more water changes on QT - along with above point, I should proactively done more water changes even if parameters were fine to reduce potential bacteria buildup
-have an extra QT available - I should've had another QT setup ready to roll for separating them or medicating one separately for example. Was a bit too optimistic about the whole endeavor and should've prevented interaction between them until I was even more certain. (maybe dividers would've worked too)
-buy/source in person so I can vet their size and sex in the future.
 
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