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Effect of an experimental microparticulate diet on the growth, survival and fatty acid profile of gilthead seabream (Sparus aurata L.) larvae
Pousão-Ferreira, P.; Santos, P.; Carvalho, A.P.; Morais, S.; Narciso, L. (2003). Effect of an experimental microparticulate diet on the growth, survival and fatty acid profile of gilthead seabream (Sparus aurata L.) larvae. Aquacult. Int. 11(5): 491-504.
In: Aquaculture International. Springer: London. ISSN 0967-6120, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Pousão-Ferreira, P.
  • Santos, P., more
  • Carvalho, A.P.
  • Morais, S.
  • Narciso, L., correspondent

    In recent years, a great deal of interest has emerged in the development of microdiets as an economic alternative to live food, in the larval culture of marine fish species. The ability to grow Sparus aurata larvae on a prototype microparticulate diet was examined. To achieve this objective, four feeding regimes differing in the time when the microdiet was introduced (3, 7 or 12 days) and one based exclusively on an inert diet were tested, during the first 22 days of larval life. Significant differences in larval growth were found between the experimental feeding regimes and their corresponding controls (enriched rotifers during the whole experimental period); the larvae in the co-feeding regimes and with an exclusive microparticulate diet were always significantly smaller than larvae fed on rotifers alone. However, the difference was minimised by introducing the inert diet at a later date. A lower survival was found in larvae with a co-feeding regime, in comparison with the control treatments and the survival was significantly lower in larvae fed exclusively on a microparticulate diet. The fatty acid analysis revealed that the experimental microencapsulated diet and the rotifers enriched with Protein Selco® presented relatively similar fatty acid content. In spite of the slightly higher (n-3)/(n-6) and Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)/Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) ratios and somewhat lower highly unsaturated fatty acid (HUFA) content found in the inert diet, the fatty acid composition of the diets cannot explain the differences found in larval performance. The results revealed that the complete replacement of live prey with the tested microparticulate diet is still not possible in S. aurata larval rearing. Nevertheless, better growth and survival results and a substantial reduction in the daily supply of live food can be achieved with a combination of microdiet and live prey.

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