Don’t be too hard on yourself — you’ll get the hang of hatching out brine shrimp in no time, and the newborns have a yolk supply that can get them through the first day of life without newly-hatched brine shrimp.
Don’t worry about losing the deformed baby, either. That’s fairly common for seahorses. In a large brood, there are often many stillborn young (up to 1/3 of the entire spawn are born dead in some cases; Bellomy, 1969). Other newborns will be alive but still attached to their yolk sacs, and some of the fry may have obvious deformities (Giwojna, Jan. 1997). Such pug-nosed ”preemies” and crippled specimens must also be weeded out since their chances for long-term survival are very poor (Giwojna, Jan. 1997). If I hadn’t died, the best thing you could do would be to call out the deformed offspring anyway.
The article of mine you found during your search describes how to set up a basic nursery tank which is useful enough but most beneficial for rearing benthic babies. I have a lot of other information on the kriesel-pseudokreisels nursery tank designs that work best for pelagic seahorse fry such as Mustangs and Sunburst (Hippocampus erectus). If you contact me off list at , I would be happy to send you those files for future use.
In the meantime, don’t get too discouraged. There’s always a fairly steep learning curve when it comes to raising seahorse fry, and it’s not uncommon for the home hobbyist to lose the entire brood during their first attempts at rearing.
Best of luck with your new seahorses and their progeny, Carrie!