Please correct me if I have any of this wrong:
When I run rake test this first re-cerate's my test database, however
because I am using a data type that is unsupported by rails, rake is
Where are you using this data type?
I don't know if a non-primitive data type will interact correctly inside a fixture, but you should at least be able to put this in the top of your fixture:
<% require 'my_esoteric_type' %>
Is there a way to run the tests without recreating the database?
Yes. Use rake test --trace --dry-run, find the name of the low-level task that calls the actual tests, and invoke that on a command line instead of test.
Tip: You want to use fixtures in your tests. You need them now, and you need them later. Trust me! Work a little, now, to fix them with this data type.