When thinking about using various non-living diets on your larval fish,
you should keep in mind the world wide billion dollar aquaculture
business of producing commercial larval fish and shrimp. With this
business spending several hundred million dollars per year on larval
diets, their experience may be relevant.
I don't know of any commercial hatchery that has gone to zero live
feeds for animals with small larval stages. Dry/prepared feeds are only
used to supplement live feeds, not replace live feeds. For example,
when the price of artemia cysts increases, the hatcheries increase the
amount of dry feeds to save money, while decreasing the performance
of their animals.
As zebra fish researchers are not producing billions of animals, the
actual cost of the feed is a minor fraction of the total cost of the
research. Under these conditions, researchers should just forget about
dry/prepared larval feeds and just use live feeds for the larval stages.
The performance difference between live and dry/prepared is very
significant. When the aquatic feed industry can produce a
dry/prepared diet that can take a zebra larva from "swim-up -- first
feeding" to large enough to eat 48 hr artemia napulii in 3 to 4 days, I
will consider switching from rotifer/paramecia feeds. When they do
develop such a dry feed, you will see the price of artemia cysts fall to
the historical value of < 10$/lb.
I have talked to researchers who spend 10 days or more on this swim-
up stage and that means 6+ days of lost research effort and, more
importantly, a fish that was nutritionally stressed at a young age, which
may impact later research and breeding.
The only real larval feed issues relevant to zebra researchers revolve
around how to produce or purchase your supply of live feeds and how
to enrich those feeds to get the proper nutrition. I have several
customers who just buy a weekly supply of rotifers and then feed those
live rotifers some instant algae to enrich them before feeding to the
larval zebra fish.
PS: With live feeds all the way, you can go from egg to egg in 47 days
with this fish. You have to ask, what would that do to your research
in article bg9of1$389$[Only registered users see links. ].mrc.ac.uk, Christina
Quasarano at [Only registered users see links. ] wrote on 7/30/03 5:38 PM: