Okay, that sounds better. If he is breathing more easily now but is simply not as active as the established seahorses in your tank, then I would not be overly concerned about his behavior at all.
It sounds like he’s a relatively new addition to your herd, Tammy, and if so, he probably just needs a little longer to get adjusted to his strange new surroundings, and he is probably still a little unsure of how his new tankmates are going to react to him. Most likely, all he needs is a little more time before he starts to feel more at home and begins to explore the tank more freely.
If there is a good population of copepods in the tank, then it’s highly unlikely that he is starting himself. If he is on the shy side, he may be more comfortable feeding secretly when he thinks he’s not being observed.
Under the circumstances, I would not administer any of the dips to him at this point. In order to catch him and handle him for the dips, it would necessarily be a stressful procedure for him and I don’t believe it’s warranted right now. Just give him plenty of peace and quiet and allow him to adjust to his new environment at his own speed.
Do you know if the newcomer is a wild-caught seahorse or if he is captive bred and raised, Tammy? If he is captive bred or tank bred, try to find out what brand of frozen Mysis he is accustomed to eating, and then order some of the same Mysis. Then try judiciously target feeding him, using a turkey baster or a large eyedropper or small pipette or something of that nature, to release individual frozen Mysis a few inches above his head so they will slowly drift down right in front of his snout.
If all else fails, you can provide him with some choice live foods such as red feeder shrimp or Hawaiian volcano shrimp (Halocaridina rubra) or live Mysis (Mysidopsis bahia) or even adult brine shrimp (Artemia) to help make his transition to his new surroundings a bit easier.
Best of luck with the new seahorse, Tammy!
Pete Giwojna, Ocean Rider Tech Support