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Research articles

ScienceAsia 37 (2011): 179-185 |doi: 10.2306/scienceasia1513-1874.2011.37.179

Larval rearing of clownfish using Brachionus plicatilis rotifer as starter food

Sasidharan Padmaja Divya*, Thrippamalai Thangappan Ajith Kumar, Ramadoss Rajasekaran, Thangavel Balasubramanian

ABSTRACT:     Sebae anemonefish, Amphiprion sebae, is currently one of the most demanded marine ornamental fish species in tropical countries. The development of controlled larval rearing procedures are required for the sustainable culture of these valuable fish. In the present study, the suitability of the marine rotifer Brachionus plicatilis as a starter food for larviculture of A. sebae was investigated. After the yolk absorption, the larvae were stocked in 250-l fibreglass reinforced plastic tanks under different feeding conditions: clear water rearing conditions with rotifers Brachionus plicatilis, 8–10 ml−1 for 10 days (R), green water conditions (Chlorella sp., 1.1–2.6 × 105 cells/ml) with rotifers (8–10 ml−1) offered for 10 days (C+R), green water conditions (Chlorella sp., 1.1–2.6 × 105 cells/ml) for 3 days followed by clear water in combination with rotifers (8–10 ml−1) feeding for 7 days (3C+7R), and clear water conditions with Artemia nauplii offered for 10 days (4–6 ml−1). After the 10-day feeding, all groups received Artemia nauplii up to 35 days post-hatching. Larval survival was counted at day 10 and at the end of the 35-day rearing experiment. At day 35, a significant survival difference was noted between the groups where rotifers were supplemented with algae versus only Artemia. At the end of the experiment, the highest survival rate (68.2±2.3%) was obtained with larvae receiving only algae in the first 3 days of feeding. Lowest survival rate (23.9±10.3%) was obtained with larvae receiving only Artemia for 35 days. This indicates that smaller preys are essential for clownfish larvae at first feeding. Larval length and wet weight were measured at the time of mouth opening, at days 7, 10, and 21, and at the end of the experiment (day 35). On day 35, mean length of the larvae varied significantly between the treatments. However, the final wet weight of the larvae did not vary significantly between the treatments.

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Centre of Advanced Study in Marine Biology, Faculty of Marine Sciences, Annamalai University, Parangipettai 608 502, Tamilnadu, India

* Corresponding author, E-mail: dvsasidharan50@gmail.com

Received 11 Feb 2011, Accepted 23 Aug 2011