It’s good to hear that so many of your Sunburst juveniles made it through their respite at the pet store in good shape. It was very accommodating of your LFS to look after the youngsters for you while you were away, but it’s unfortunate that some of them ran afoul of the filtration system.
It’s encouraging that so many of the six-week old juveniles are already accustomed to eating frozen Cyclops, but it’s a good idea to supplement the Cyclop-eze with regular feedings of newly hatched brine shrimp, just as you are doing, for the sake of the young ones that are lagging behind and still largely dependent on live foods.
In order to accommodate successful home breeders like yourself who are in danger of getting overrun with seahorse fry from their prolific ponies, Ocean Rider allows hobbyists to freely disburse their fry any way they see fit up until they reach the age of 30 days. If they are overburdened with a baby boom, the best bet for most hobbyists is to adopt the newborns out to surrogate parents who live within driving distance. Of course, this works best if they have a friend or neighbor or know a fish guy down at your LFS who are interested in rearing and can take the excess fry off your hands. It is more difficult to ship seahorse fry to interested parties long distance and the newborns often don’t tolerate long-distance shipping well.
But for the hobbyist whose only other recourse is to euthanize the fry and sacrifice the entire brood, shipping newborn fry overnight is still preferable to the alternative. However, shipping is definitely a better option for fry that have grown a little. Seahorse fry that are 2-4 weeks old are tougher and withstand shipping much better than newborns. (This is true when it comes to disease treatments as well; once fry have reached the age of 2-4 weeks, the can generally tolerate the same medications/chemotherapeutics and treatments as the adults.) So once your fry have reached as 2-4 weeks, you can ship them off to surrogate parents if need be and clear out your nursery tanks just in time for your seahorses’ next brood.
If there is an Aquarium Society in your area, Lisa, you can bet that they will have members who would love to get their hands on some of your Sunburst babies and take a crack at rearing them when the next brood is delivered.
Best of luck with your Sunbursts and their progeny, Lisa!