So...I made an impulse buy
. Doryichthys martensii, the black barred pipefish. One currently resides in my 29 gallon planted tank...and I know next to nothing about it. I also haven't seen much on keeping them, aside from E. ansorgii advice...so I guess this is some first documentation on the internet? Here's what I've got so far:
Observations at the LFS showed that the pipefish didn't seem very social shoaling wise. There was plenty of room in the tank, so the fish didn't really seem to socialize that much, if at all in the short time I observed them. I only have a 29 gallon tank, which has a decent copepod population. I was scared that if I got more than 1, I might deplete the pod population too quickly, which would not be very good.
At least two would hide in the flame moss bush at the back of the LFS tank at all times, which is why I put the fish in the planted tank I have. It shares the tank with 3 Danio tinwini currently, and about 10-15 cherry shrimp. I plan to get amano shrimp in the future for live food purposes, as well as increase the number of D. tinwini to about 8, as well as add in some ghost catfish and harlequin rasboras. I may skip on the rasboras, since they seem a bit too active for feeding purposes. Plants in the tank include java moss, flame moss, Cryptocyrne undulata, some struggling Pogostemon helferi and Staurogyne repens (a failed attempt at carpetting), newly planted Lilaeopsis brasiliensis, struggling Alternanthera reineckii, what I think is Polysperma hygrophila (I have no idea how it got into my tank, but I'll take it), and three mini Echinodorus swords. The tank still looks pretty bare.
Water parameter wise, I'm keeping the water soft and at a comfortable temperature (78F).
Food: I don't know what these guys eat. I picked up blackworms at my LFS, and will try feeding with those. I also have some brine shrimp cysts I plan to hatch, and am currently trying to culture more copepods with the blackworms I have currently. I also have some FD Cyclop-eeze, some homemade breeder's gel food for clownfish, and a Tetra vacation gel block I'm trying out so far. My reasoning is this: I'm going to treat this like most people treat mandarin dragonets-give the fish a big enough tank with pods so that if nothing else works, the fish can still thrive, while staying in sight of the aquarist. I'll also treat it like a pencilfish, which gel foods have been reported to work well with.
I'll also be keeping a similar (if not exact repllica) of this thread at TPT. Any advice y'all could give me (especially any small saltwater pipefish enthusiasts) would be greatly appreciated!!!
EDIT: Foods that don't seem to work include grindals (too big). I'm going to see if I can't find micro worms, or see if vinegar eels will work....