It’s good to hear that your pet shop pony is eating better now that the hyposalinity has cleared up the outbreak of Cryptocaryon you have been battling. I would continue the hyposalinity for several more weeks to make sure you have eradicated all of the parasites from your seahorse tank.
In the meantime, live adult brine shrimp enriched with Cyclop-eeze and frozen brine shrimp enriched with vitamins should be enough to keep him going until you can wean him on to something more substantial. The Cyclop-eeze is very nutritious but only newborns will eat it by itself, so you’ll have to keep feeding the Cyclop-eeze to the live adult brine shrimp before you feed it to your seahorse in order to provide him with this excellent source of nutrients.
For best results, I would also recommend soaking both the live and frozen brine shrimp in an enrichment product that’s rich in highly unsaturated fatty acids such as Vibrance 1, Selcon Concentrate, Selco or Culture HUFA before you feed it to your seahorse.
Adult brine shrimp are a good source of protein, but they have very little fat content. The lipid-rich formulation in Vibrance 1 (the original Vibrance) is thus ideal for enriching brine shrimp, transforming them from nutritionally barren, empty calories into a high-fat powerhouse of vitamins and nutrients that’s loaded with color-enhancing carotenoids. As an added benefit, enriching brine shrimp with Vibrance is also an excellent way to get your seahorses to ingest beta-glucan, which will boost their immune systems and help keep them healthy. Vibrance is an enrichment formulation developed specifically for seahorses by Ocean Rider and you’ll need to order it directly from Ocean Rider since pet shops don’t carry it:
Click here: Vibrance I
In order to convert your pet shop pony from adult brine shrimp to the more nutritious frozen Mysis, I would suggest that you obtain some of the small Hikari frozen Mysis that are bite-size and begin soaking the brine shrimp in some of the Mysis juice from the thawed Mysis before you offer the brine shrimp to the seahorses. That way, they will associate the scent of the Mysis with the food they are accustomed to eating, and once that has been accomplished, you can begin including a few frozen Mysis along with the brine shrimp during the first feeding of the day when the seahorses are the hungriest. Once he begins accepting some of the frozen Mysis, you can gradually increase the amount of frozen Mysis and decrease the amount of adult brine shrimp until he eventually the seahorse is eating the frozen Mysis exclusively.
Just be extra diligent about vacuuming up leftovers while the seahorses are making the transition to frozen Mysis. Otherwise, the frozen food that doesn’t get eaten right away while it’s still suspended in the water column or shortly after it has settled on the bottom will begin to degrade the water quality in your seahorse tank.
I wrote an article that explains how to go about training wild seahorses to eat frozen foods, which may be helpful in your case. It is available online from the Breeder’s Registry at the following URL. Just copy and paste the following URL into your Web browser and it will take you directly to the article:
Click here: FAMA Nov 1996. Seahorse Nutrition – Part II: Frozen Foods for Adults
It should give you a pretty good idea of how to proceed, but bear in mind that in several years old; the article was written before the advent of captive bred seahorses and doesn’t apply to farm-raised ponies. Captive bred seahorses are trained to accept frozen Mysis as their staple, everyday diet and should not go on hunger strikes or require live foods at all except as an occasional treat.
Best of luck treating your pet shop pony to eat frozen Mysis, FERS4REEF! It sounds like you did a great job of getting him eating in the first place, and now that he is excepting frozen brine shrimp as well as live brine shrimp, half the battle is won. Keep up the good work!