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February 20, 2015

Good afternoon, folks. I’m sure plenty of you have noticed the winter storm and chilly weather over much of the US – because of the inclement weather in Louisville KY, UPS has been suffering delays on all shipments outside of local ground networks. We have a moratorium on shipping to any locations east of the Rocky Mountains at this time – we are hoping to be able to resume regular shipping soon. Please note that we are NOT ACCEPTING NEW ORDERS for customers we cannot ship to and CANNOT HOLD FISH. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Please keep in mind our Live Arrival Guarantee parameters: Overnight lows in Portland, OR and Louisville, KY must both be over 20°F, as well as the overnight lows at the destination. We may ship in lower temperatures, but this is at our discretion and will not include our Live Arrival Guarantee. We will only ship at lower temperatures if we feel the fish have a good chance of survival and there are no listed UPS delays. We truly care about the wellbeing of the fish and also want your experience to be successful as well and appreciate your understanding in this matter.

Now, on to the fish – hopefully they will bring a little sunshine to those of you buried under snow.

It’s been a while since we’ve had Pipefish on hand, and we’ve received some interesting ones! The Pipefish are closely related to the seahorses of the marine world and rather look as though someone has taken a seahorse and straightened it out. They float sedately through the water column, camouflaging themselves as fallen sticks, branches and stems. Doryichthys martensii “Malayan Freshwater Pipefish” isn’t exactly new to us, but it’s always amazing to see in person. These particular fish have bronze backs and silver to orange-cream bellies. The sides of their heavily armored bodies are marked with vertical stripes and bands in white, chocolate brown and cream. At adulthood, the largest of these fish will be about six inches in length. When these fascinating fish breed, the males will hold the bright red fertilized eggs in a specialized pouch on their underbelly until they hatch. Our Malayan Freshwater Pipefish are currently feeding on fresh hatched baby brine and acclimated to a pleasant, neutral pH of 7.4 and relatively low hardness.

Doryichthys martensii

New to us, is the closely related Microphis brachyurus “Long Nose Freshwater Pipefish” or “Redline Pipefish”, a slightly larger species with an adult size of six to eight inches or more. They have quite an assortment of common names, also occasionally being called the Opossum Pipefish or Short Tailed Pipefish. They are much less frequently found in the hobby. When settled into the aquarium, they show a bright red line down the side of their bodies and beautiful chocolate brown and creamy white spotting over their extended snouts. These particular fish are known to be anadromous – adults are almost always found in freshwater, but juveniles and subadults may be found downstream in slightly brackish estuary conditions. Our specimens are acclimated to pure freshwater and doing fine with a neutral pH and a diet of live blackworms.

Microphis brachyurus

Microphis brachyurus face

While freshwater pipefish are easy to keep in terms of water chemistry, being unfussy as long as their water is near to neutral and they are properly acclimated, they require specialized feeding – some specimens can be trained to frozen foods, but most will never accept anything but live feed. Keep in mind that, in order to keep them safely and successfully, it is recommended to secure a reliable source of live food, whether you are culturing it yourself or purchasing it from a local supplier.

Thank you for reading and we’ll see you next week!

Jessica Supalla