A method for Rearing Perch, Perca fluviatilis, Larvae Using Paramecium caudatum, Followed by Wild Zooplankton and Formulated Dry Feed in Combination With Adequate Tank Systems

  •  Franz Lahnsteiner    
  •  Manfred Kletzl    


The present study investigates methods for larviculture and fingerling production in the European perch, Perca fluviatilis. Perch larvae in the stage of first feeding were sensitive to many manipulations necessary in fish culture. Lowering and increasing the tank water level as required for cleaning and water renewal, water flow and aeration led to disturbed buoyancy or mortality in a distinct percentage of larvae. Paramecium caudatum, wild zooplankton containing > 70% copeopds, and formulated dry feed were used for first feeding in combination with flow through tanks or static tanks. For first feeding Paramecium caudatum in combination with a static tank system was optimal resulting in survival rates of circa 90% at 15 days post hatch (dph). Wild zooplankton was no optimal starter feed as perch fed non-selectively on any feed particle available. This resulted in moderate survival rates of circa 50% at 15 dph. First feeding with formulated dry feed caused malformations (enlargement of swimbladders) and a high mortality of > 80%. Weaning from Paramecium caudatum to formulated dry feed and to zooplankton was tested on 8-16 dph larvae. Perch accepted the new food type within 3 days. The optimal time point for zooplankton weaning was 12 dph. In this age larvae had developed a selective feeding behaviour, and fed mainly on nauplii and copepodites. Weaning to formulated dry feed was impossible as larvae developed malformations resulting in high mortality as described above. Weaning from wild zooplankton to formulated dry feed was possible for larvae ≥ 29 dph. No cannibalism was observed in the experiments. The method was also tested in large scale experiments resulting in a survival rate of 65±4%, a total length of 45.0±7.2 mm, and a body weight of 1097±293 mg at 75 dph.

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