Effects of rotifer and Artemia fatty-acid enrichment on survival, growth and pigmentation of summer flounder Paralichthys dentatus larvae

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Enrichment of live food for marine fish larvae with highly unsaturated fatty acids (HUFA) has been shown to improve survival, growth and stress resistance in many species and to decrease pigmentation abnormalities in flatfish. In order to aid the developing summer flounder industry, we conducted an experiment in which summer flounder larvae were fed diets differing in HUFA composition to determine whether enrichment with a commercially available product would increase survival and growth and reduce the incidence of abnormal pigmentation. We also examined whether growing unenriched rotifers on different species of algae would affect the survival, growth and pigmentation of the flounder larvae to which they were fed. Growth of summer flounder larvae was significantly better when they were fed HUFA-enriched rotifers and Artemia rather than unenriched and, among the unenriched treatments, was significantly better when the larvae were fed rotifers raised on Isochrysis galbana rather than on Tetraselmis suecica. The percentage of larvae that failed to complete metamorphosis during the experiment was significantly higher in the unenriched treatments than in the enriched treatments. Neither survival nor percentage of individuals with pigmentation abnormalities were significantly different among the treatments.

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Journal of the World Aquaculture Society