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A pulse feeding strategy for rearing larval fish: an experiment with yellowtail flounder
Rabe, J.; Brown, J.A. (2000). A pulse feeding strategy for rearing larval fish: an experiment with yellowtail flounder. Aquaculture 191: 289-302
In: Aquaculture. Elsevier: Amsterdam; London; New York; Oxford; Tokyo. ISSN 0044-8486, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Rabe, J.
  • Brown, J.A.

    Providing a good foraging environment for the larviculture of marine fish must take into account a number of factors including water temperature, light intensity, prey type, prey density, and frequency of feeding. We designed an experiment to determine if larvae require continuous exposure to live prey, or if feeding in "pulses" is adequate to promote good growth and survival. Larvae of yellowtail flounder (Pleuronectes ferrugineus) were fed once (1×, at 10 AM), twice (2×, at 10 AM and 10 PM), four times (4×, at 10 AM, 4 PM, 10 PM and 4 AM), or continuously (by automatic feeder) at 8000 prey per liter (p/l). Larval growth, survival, and foraging behavior were monitored during weeks 1-7 post-hatch. Larval growth rate was significantly reduced in the 1× treatment. The growth rate of larvae was similar in other treatments. Larval survival was lowest in the 1× treatment, but was not significantly affected by feeding frequency. The consumption rate of larvae in the 1× and 2× treatments was significantly higher than that of larvae in the continuous treatment. This behavioral response to hunger probably enabled larvae in the 2× treatment to grow as rapidly as larvae in the continuous prey treatment. It is concluded that yellowtail flounder larvae do not require continuous exposure to high prey densities and there may be potential to reduce the cost of live food and labor in the culture of this and possibly other species.

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