May 17, 2022 at 2:29 pm #76792munmachiParticipant
I’m about to start diversifying my seahorses’ diets. I am trying to add supplements (unfortunately, Vibrance I and II are not within my budget for long-term feeding plans) and if I am able to receive feedback on my plan, that would be great.
I am hoping to alternate between these three brands of mysis shrimp for their twice daily feedings:
– Hikari Bio-pure Mysis Shrimp
– Ocean Nutrition Mysis Shrimp
– San Francisco Bay Brand Mysis Shrimp
I read from an old post of Pete’s that keeping a variety of mysis shrimp brands available will help diversify their diet and also reduce the chances that the seahorses will become picky and reject other types of mysis shrimp in the case that their usual brands are not in stock, so I chose to constantly buy these brands that my local shops have in stock.
I also am hoping on mixing these supplements to their thawed mysis shrimp for at least one, if not both, feedings a day:
– American Marine Selcon
– Bulk Reef Supply Paracoccus Powder (Astaxanthin supplement)
– Pure Spirulina Powder (Human food grade, I checked the ingredient list and it is pure spirulina with no additives)
I am really hoping to add more carotenoids to their diet with these supplements, but I have two questions about this plan.
1. I am also looking to see if there is a way to add a more concentrated source of lutein and zeaxanthin into their diet, because I would like to encourage them to be more on the yellow side than orange or red. Astaxanthin and the high beta-carotene content from the spirulina both encourage more red and orange colors respectively, so I wanted to put more effort into also including additional lutein and zeaxanthin, which are usually associated with more yellow/gold colors.
However, all of the supplements that I can find are for human consumption (eye supplements). I’ve found a few brands that have no other additives for human benefit like bilberry or blueberry antioxidants and are solely just lutein & zeaxanthin, but they are almost always in softgel capsules dissolved in safflower or sunflower oil. If I were to open the gel capsules and sprinkle a little bit of this onto the mysis shrimp during thawing would this be safe? I’m concerned about how safflower or sunflower oil might affect the health of my seahorses.
I did find a few brands that were dissolved in fish oil instead so I was considering using these instead, but they are also high in additional omega-3. I am concerned with the Selcon that I’m already planning to add, and with mysis shrimp already being HUFA rich, I’m worried that I would be increasing the risk of Fatty Liver Disease in my seahorses.
2. This leads my to my second question. With my current plan, is there any way to decrease the chances of Fatty Liver Disease in my seahorses? They are still fairly young and growing so I’m okay with this diet for now, but with the combined Selcon and intrinsically rich HUFA content of mysis shrimp, I’m concerned I might be increasing the risk of developing fatty livers.
I did read on another one of Pete’s advice posts that instead of a fasting day, it is possible to offer nutrition-poor adult brine shrimp for one day, so I wanted to ask if it would still be possible and beneficial to gutload the brine shrimp with just spirulina. We do have a brine shrimp culture already set up for our other fish and it would not take that much effort to let them grow into adults before feeding them to the seahorses instead.May 18, 2022 at 1:05 pm #76829Pete GiwojnaModerator
Sure, and as long as your ponies eat all three brands readily, alternating between Hikari, Ocean Nutrition, and San Francisco Bay Brand Frozen Mysis should work well.
Likewise, the supplements you mentioned (Selcon, Paracoccus power, and Spirulina) are also good choices for fortifying frozen Mysis and I don’t foresee any problems with any of those particular supplements…
As for the softgel capsules containing lutein and zeaxanthin, I think you can certainly try opening the softgel caps, squeezing out the contents, and applying a bit of it to frozen Mysis. It will all depend on whether or not seahorses will eat the frozen Mysis after you have applied some of the gel with lutein and zeaxanthin. There’s a chance that the seahorses will not like the taste of the lutein and zeaxanthin, or that the traces of safflower or sunflower oil will prove to be unpalatable to your ponies, causing them to refuse the Mysis. (To my knowledge, I don’t think that safflower oil or sunflower oil would necessarily be harmful to the seahorses, but those are things they do not normally ingest, and the ponies may simply not want to swallow it; I don’t know…)
The best way to prevent fatty liver disease is to fast all of the seahorses one day a week. As an alternative, you can indeed provide unenriched adult brine shrimp on your fasting days, since they are just empty calories when they have not been fortified.
However, if you go ahead and fortify the adult brine shrimp with Spirulina, that will increase its nutritional value, and therefore defeat your purpose, leaving your seahorses at risk for hepatic lipidosis. All things considered, it is usually simplest to fast your ponies for one day a week, especially if you don’t have a good source that can consistently provide you with clean, healthy adult brine shrimp.
Best wishes with all your fishes!
Pete Giwojna, Ocean Rider Tech Support
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