Dear Diamond Dancer:
The short answer to your question is that if you will be keeping a mature pair of seahorses, then Vibrance II is all you will need. However, if you are planning on breeding your seahorses and raising some of their offspring, then you will need the original Vibrance as well in order to feed the babies and juvenile seahorses properly. Allow me to elaborate.
Vibrance is a unique enrichment product developed specifically for seahorses by the professional aquaculturists and marine biologists at Ocean Rider, and it is only available through the Ocean Rider aquaculture facility. You can order it online from their website (seahorse.com) — just look under “Feeds.”
Here is some additional information regarding the Vibrance formulations and how to use them for best results:
Vibrance 1 & Vibrance 2
There are two Vibrance formulations which differ primarily in their fat content. One of them is a low-fat formula, whereas the other is rich in highly unsaturated fatty acids and other lipids.
As you know, the two different Vibrance formulations are intended for entirely different purposes. The lipid-rich formulation (Vibrance 1) was designed for enriching live foods that are low in lipids or fat content, such as brine shrimp (Artemia spp.), whereas the low-fat formulation (Vibrance 2) was designed to enrich frozen Mysis which are naturally rich in HUFAs, thereby protecting adult seahorses from hepatic lipidosis (fatty liver disease).
I keep both Vibrance 1 and Vibrance 2 on hand at all times, and which formula I used to enrich the frozen Mysis depends more on the behavior of my ponies than their age. I like to use the lipid-rich Vibrance 1 as long as the seahorses are actively breeding, whether they be yearlings or old reliable pairs. Likewise, I prefer to use the low-fat Vibrance 2 for mature seahorses that are not currently breeding, whether they are five months old or five years old. And, of course, Vibrance 1 is perfect for enriching baby brine shrimp for newborn seahorses. Finally, regardless of which type of Vibrance I am using for any particular seahorses, I always observe fast days in one form or another religiously as part of my feeding regimen.
There are a number of commercially made food supplements for marine fish that will work well for enriching frozen Mysis, but in my opinion, Vibrance is the best of these since it was developed specifically to provide a long-term balanced diet for seahorses. It includes additional highly unsaturated fatty acids (especially the DHA Omega 6 DHA series), along with Vitamin C and essential minerals, in the proper proportions to further enhance the nutritional profile of the protein-rich frozen Mysis. Studies indicate the DHA it includes is essential for high survivability, nerve development, stress management, and proper reproduction. Vibrance is a bright red-orange powder that gets its characteristic color due to its high content of carotenoids, which are an abundant source of Vitamin A and act as natural color enhancers for yellow and red pigmentation.
In short, Vibrance is the supplement that produces the best results for me. It was designed by a research team of nutritionists and fish biologists for use with frozen mysid shrimp in order to meet the dietary requirements of these unique fishes, and it comes in two different formulations — Vibrance 1 (the original Vibrance) and Vibrance 2 — which are tailored for seahorses with different needs.
Among other things, Vibrance 2 includes beta-glucan, pure Astaxanthin, carotenoids, water-soluble vitamin C, and various other vitamins and minerals in the proper proportions. It is a no-fat formulation intended for enriching frozen Mysis. As such, it’s perfect for fortifying frozen Mysis for adult seahorses, further enhancing their nutritional value while safeguarding against hepatic lipidosis (fatty liver disease).
The original Vibrance (i.e., Vibrance 1) is a lipid-rich formula including beta-glucan, the proper balance of long chain fatty acids (DHA and EPA) derived from natural schizochytrium algae, and color-enhancing carotenoids, all combined with just the right amount of vitamins, minerals and water-soluble stabilized vitamin C. It is ideal for enriching live foods with poor nutritional value that are naturally low in lipids, such as newly hatched brine shrimp or adult Artemia.
Personally, aside from enriching live foods, I prefer the high-fat formula (Vibrance 1) for young seahorses that are still growing, and for adult seahorses that are actively breeding, churning out brood after brood, since they need all the calories and energy they can get. Vibrance 1 is also great for fattening up skinny, underweight seahorses of any age. On the other hand, I like the low-fat formula (Vibrance 2) for mature seahorses that are no longer breeding. This includes younger adults that are taking a break from breeding during the off-season, unpaired adults that have no mates at the moment, and older individuals that have been retired and put out to pasture. No longer growing and no longer producing clutch after clutch of eggs (or nourishing a pouch full of babies, in the case of males), these older specimens don’t need as much fat in their diets. Switching them to a low-fat formulation can help protect them from age-related conditions such as fatty liver disease (hepatic lipidosis).
Vibrance 1, the high-fat formulation, is ideal for enriching newly-hatched brine shrimp that will be fed seahorse fry, so it’s especially useful for hobbyists that are into breeding and rearing their seahorses. Vibrance 1 is the formulation you want for fortifying newly hatched brine shrimp (Artemia nauplii) to feed the seahorse fry, and it’s also the one I use for my breeding pairs.
The medium pairs of Mustangs and Sunbursts (Hippocampus erectus) you order from Ocean Rider will be young adults approaching sexual maturity. The no-fat Vibrance 2 formulation is best for enriching their frozen Mysis as long as they are not actively breeding. When they begin breeding regularly in your aquarium, it’s better to switch to Vibrance 1, since they will need all the calories they can get when they are churning out brood after brood of young.
What really sets Vibrance apart from other enrichment products is that it is the only one that includes beta-glucan as a primary ingredient. Beta-glucan is a potent immunostimulant that provides important health benefits for fishes. Thanks to Vibrance, we can now boost our seahorse’s immune systems and help them fight disease as part of their daily feeding regimen. Enriching our galloping gourmets’ frozen Mysis with Vibrance will give them a daily dose of Beta Glucan to stimulate phagocytosis of certain white cells (macrophages). If the research on Beta Glucan is accurate, this could be a great way to help prevent infections from bacteria, fungus, and viral elements rather than attempting to treat disease outbreaks after the fact.
Here are the simplified instructions for storing and using Vibrance:
Vibrance 1 Instructions
How to use Vibrance: our original high fat formula, a must when feeding Artemia (brine shrimp) of all sizes. Use with all feedings.
For enriching or “gut packing” live artmeia (brine shrimp), or other live shrimp or live food of all sizes. Blend 1 teaspoon of Vibrance into 1 cup of water for 3 minutes. Add this to the live food vessel for 30 minutes, or until you see the gut of the animal turn red. Rinse the animals with clean salt water and feed immediately to your seahorses or other fish.
For feeding invertebrates such as corals make a slurry buy blending or mixing well 1 teaspoon of Vibrance into 1 cup of salt water for 3 minutes. Pour this slurry right onto the polyps and watch them open up with hunger!!
With proper use, you will ensure the long term high health and vibrant coloration in your seahorses and other marine animals. See for your self!!
Vibrance 2 Instructions
For seahorses and other marine fish that eat frozen Mysis: simply sprinkle a “pinch” of Vibrance onto the frozen Mysis. Allow the Mysis shrimp to thaw. Gently mix the Vibrance into the Mysis so that the head is red. Just a light dusting of Vibrance is all that’s needed to enrich the frozen Mysis. Apply the feed to seahorse tank. You will see that they recognize this food quickly taking the Mysis directly from the feeding station or from the tank bottom.
For other frozen foods simply sprinkle a “pinch” of Vibrance onto the frozen food. Allow the food to thaw and mix the Vibrance gently into the food. Feed to your fish.
Storage instructions: Please store in a cool dark place. The freezer or refrigerator is fine, but not necessary. Because Vibrance is packaged in a bag that does not allow light to penetrate and is a dry product the shelf life is indefinite as long as the bag is stored in a cool place and kept sealed. Once the bag is opened the shelf life is approximately one year.
After using the Vibrance, seal the packet tightly to keep out as much air as possible and store it in a cool, dry place. Avoid exposing the Vibrance to heat, light, or moisture. Storing the sealed packets in the fridge works great for most folks.
Okay, that’s the rundown on the two different Vibrance formulations, Diamond Dancer, and how they differ and how to use them properly.
Best wishes with all your fishes, Diamond Dancer!
Pete Giwojna, Ocean Rider Tech Support