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Ovoviviparously produced Artemia nauplii are a suitable live food source for the larvae of the African catfish (Clarias gariepinus: Burchell, 1822)

Bwala, Richard, Salie, Khalid, Van Stappen, Gilbert
Aquaculture research 2018 v.49 no.10 pp. 3319-3328
Artemia franciscana, Clarias gariepinus, aquaculture, catfish, environmental factors, fish larvae, food conversion, hatcheries, nauplii, ovovivipary, protein efficiency ratio, salinity, Africa, Great Salt Lake
Brine shrimp Artemia, the most common live food organism used in larviculture, can reproduce either oviparously (production of dormant cysts) or ovoviviparously (direct production of nauplii), depending on environmental conditions. Ovoviviparous Artemia nauplii have seldom been considered as a source of live food in aquaculture, partly due to the convenience and the developed techniques associated with the production and use of the dormant cysts. In many countries in Africa, however, hatchery managers do not have access to a reliable supply of affordable good quality cysts. In this study, we therefore demonstrated the potential of a system designed for the continuous ovoviviparous production of nauplii at low salinity, using Great Salt Lake Artemia franciscana and micronized agricultural material as feed. The suitability of the produced nauplii was tested by feeding them directly to Clarias gariepinus larvae in comparison with oviparous nauplii and decapsulated cysts. Higher survival (100%), better protein efficiency ratio (2.6 ± 0.1) and food conversion ratio (1.0 ± 0.1) was observed in larvae fed with the ovoviviparous nauplii (p < 0.05). Overall, we conclude that the ovoviviparous nauplii could serve as an alternative live food for larval fish. If optimized, the system could be validated for integration in hatcheries.