Looking into doing a species only in my frag tank and have Questions


Reefing newb
I am new to the forums and have been in the hobby for a few years now. I currently have an 8'x15"x15" tank with a center divider. One side is for coral frags and the other has nothing in it at all. To fix that problem I decided to set up the side that has nothing as a species only tank.

The system is as I said 96"x15"x15" (90 gallons?) with a 55 gallon sump/refugium. It has been running and doing quite well for a few months now. As I said above, there is a center divider and one side in for corals so that leaves me with 48"x15"x15" to play with.

My original Idea was to introduce a sand bed, add more live rock, and do macroalgae, corals, and gorgonian. To go along with that I was thinking about doing seahorse, pipefish, and possibly a mandarin. After some reading I have began to rule out seahorses due to a few reasons (temperature, tank height, feeding process, etc...).

With that said, I have been looking for information on pipefish, specifically dragon pipefish. So here are my questions:

1. Are pipefish susceptible to bacterial infections in higher temperatures 77-80?
2. Can dragon pipefish survive solely on pods? How hard are they to feed?
3. Are pipefish a better option than seahorses in my setup or are both out of the question?

All opinions and advice is welcome, thanks!
It looks like all the dragon pipefish eats is copepods. I would assume a pair would do well in my system after a little more time of establishing.
I believe that both pipefish and seahorses are more susceptible to infection at temps higher than 76 - It's been done successfully, but most people keep the temp around 68-74 if they are tropical.
Actually the pipefish will be fine in there and it sounds like you are going to create a great habitat for them. You can get them to eat frozen, which i highly suggest just so you never run the risk of starving them out. A mandarine would also do very well with them once the tank is established.
Thanks for the comments. I am going to avoid seashorses for now. My concern with a pair of pipefish and a mandarin is that the 3 will inflict to much damage on the pod population before I can get the pipefish to eat frozen foods. On the positive side, my refugium is 3/4 of my 55g sump and I will have a lot of well established live rock (40-50lbs in sump, and 50-70 in display).
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Wow a 90 gallon eight footer. :shock:

It originally was setup to hold live rock, coral, and certain fish, but I've changed plans but still want something to hold and propogate coral. It actually works really well because it isnt to shallow or to deep so I can hold quite a few things in it. Another plus to having it 96" is that 2 48" fixtures fit it perfectly. I run halides on one side and t5's on the other.
Actually you can buy captive breed pipefish that are already trained to eat frozen. They arent the dragon face, but i still think they are very cool.

Oh cool, thanks for the link. I am not picky on the type of pipefish, I was just reading that the dragon faced are a pod eating species.
Thanks for the help.

What would be a good resource to learn more about gorgonians, seafans, and macro algae. I am trying to create a reef that is a good habitat for the pipefish. I will have corals in there as well under 2x150w Halides.
Today I bought my livestock for the setup. I ended up buying a very nice 55g setup from a local reefer. The only issue is that my tank is currently holding some fish until I find good homes for them. The rock is nice and purple and I acquired some new coral as well. I will snap some pictures tomorrow to make the thread a little more interesting.


The pipefish will go on the left side once I get rid of the fish and get it the way I want it. I went ahead and threw some corals that are in the right side as well.