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Bluestripe Pipefish (Doryrhamphus excisus)

The Bluestripe Pipefish is a very odd shaped Pipefish who's scientific name is Doryrhamphus excisus. This saltwater fish can be kept in an aquarium setting, but it is considered to be an advanced aquarium fish.  The Bluestripe Pipefish has a slim body with a tubular mouth and an odd shaped tail which really defines this fish. The tail is shaped like a flag with bright yellow, orange, red and white colors, and is wider than any other part of its body. The rest of the fish is orange with a blue stripe that runs down both of the sides. The Bluestripe Pipefish is not very large, only growing to about 6" in maximum length. These fish are often much more active at night than during the day. You can check out the Bluestripe Pipefish in action in the video below...

One of the reasons these fish are so hard to keep in an aquarium is because they are easily harassed by other more aggressive fish including Blennies, Wrasses, Tobies, Triggerfish, and Porcupine Fish. They also have unusual carnivorous feeding requirements.  When first introduced to a tank they will only eat live copepods in a reef aquarium with lots of live rock to graze on. After they become accustom to their surroundings, they will start to accept frozen Mysis, Nutramar Ova and Brine Shrimp. An aquarium with plenty of hiding spots and at least 40 gallons in size is recommended. The following water conditions are recommended 72-78° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, and sg 1.020-1.025. This species of Pipefish does well in mater pairs or one male and many females. The Male Bluestripe Pipefish can become very territorial if they are kept in a small aquarium with multiple males. Some fish that are compatible with the Bluestripe Pipefish are Gobies, Seahorses, Dragonets, and Firefish.
Much like the Black Seahores, this species preforms a painstaking courtship dance before the female Bluestripe Pipefish attaches her eggs right to the underside of the male's trunk. It is said that they are quite easy to breed if you can get their feeding schedule down properly.

Top Photo by Felicia McCaulley.

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