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Influence of temperature and feeding regimes on growth and notochord deformity in reared Anguilla japonica leptocephali

Okamura, Akihiro, Horie, Noriyuki, Mikawa, Naomi, Yamada, Yoshiaki, Tsukamoto, Katsumi
Fisheries science 2018 v.84 no.3 pp. 505-512
Anguilla japonica, analysis of variance, artificial diets, basal metabolic rate, captive animals, feeding frequency, hatching, larval development, leptocephalus larvae, mortality, protocols, rearing, water temperature
The high mortality rate of reared Japanese eel Anguilla japonica larvae is largely due to lower growth rate and the higher rate of deformed larvae. To establish an effective rearing protocol for this species, we examined the effects of water temperature and feeding regimes on their growth and notochord kyphosis. Larvae at 165 days post hatching were reared for 28 days at mean temperatures of 24, 25 and 27 °C, and were fed 4 or 6 times per day. Larval growth rate was significantly higher in larvae reared at 24–25 °C and fed 6 times per day. However, growth rate was significantly reduced at 27 °C, suggesting a shortage of metabolic energy due to an elevated cost of the higher basal metabolic rate at higher temperatures and low nutritional performance of currently used artificial diet. Notochord kyphosis was promoted by elevated water temperature, and two-way ANOVA showed that water temperature and feeding frequency had combined effects on the deformity. These findings suggest the importance of concurrently manipulating both environmental and nutritional factors to produce healthy eel larvae in captivity.