Re:spilled eggs

#4034
Pete Giwojna
Guest

Dear seahorse love:

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. 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.

Here are the instructions for enriching baby brine shrimp with Vibrance 1:
For enriching or “gut packing” live Artemia (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.
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
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.

Not only should Vibrance + Beta Glucan help keep healthy seahorses healthy, it should also help ailing seahorses recover faster. Research indicates that it helps prevent infections and helps wounds heal more quickly (Bartelme, 2001). It is safe to use in conjunction with other treatments and has been proven to increase the effectiveness of antibiotics (Bartelme, 2001). It will be great for new arrivals recovering from the rigors of shipping because Beta Glucan is known to alleviate the effects of stress and to help fish recover from exposure to toxins in the water (Bartelme, 2001)

For more information on the potential benefits of Beta Glucan for aquarium fish, please see the following article:

Click here: Advanced Aquarist Feature Article
http://www.advancedaquarist.com/issues/sept2003/feature.htm

Adminstering Beta Glucan orally via Vibrance-enriched frozen Mysis, which are so naturally rich in highly unsaturated fatty acids (HUFA), is the perfect way to boost the immune response of our seahorses since vitamins and HUFA enhance the capacity of immune system cells that are stimulated by the use of beta glucan (Bartelme, 2001).

Ocean Rider (seahorse.com) doesn’t offer any sort of feeding stations, but they are easy to contrive and readily available from a number of other sources. And certain forms of macroalgae make great natural feeding stations that seahorses are naturally drawn to, so that’s another good option.

As you know, once your seahorses have adjusted to their new home and they are eating well, you will find that it’s fun and easy to train them to take frozen Mysis from a feeding station. I wrote an article in Conscientious Aquarist explaining exactly how to set up a feeding station and train your seahorses to use a feeder in some detail that you may find to be helpful in that regard. It discusses all the different kinds of feeding stations, including natural feeding stations. Please check it out when you have the chance. It’s available online at the following URL:

Click here: Seahorse Feeders
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/volume_2/cav2i5/seahorse_feeders/seahorse_feeders.htm

All kinds of different objects will make a suitable feeding post or feeding trough. The following link will take you to a site with photographs of different types of feeding stations that seahorse keepers have devised to give you a better idea of the possibilities:

http://www.lostmymarblz.com/hh-feeding-stations.htm

You can also buy ready-made feeding stations if you feel that would be easier than improvising one of your own. For example, the Aquarium Fish Dish sold here works well in some seahorse tanks:

http://www.thatpetplace.com/pet/group/10853/product.web

Or better yet, you could try the following feeder that was designed specifically for seahorses:

http://www.boyerwebsite.com/feeder/id1.html

Best of luck with your new seahorses and their future progeny!

Happy Trails!
Pete Giwojna


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