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    • Article

      Growth response of cultured larvae of silver therapon Leiopotherapon plumbeus (Kner, 1864) in outdoor tanks in relation to fertilizer type and fish density 

      FA Aya & LMB Garcia - Journal of Applied Ichthyology, 2016 - Wiley
      This study evaluated the effects of fertilizer type and fish density on early growth and survival of silver therapon Leiopotherapon plumbeus (Kner, 1864) larvae reared in outdoor tanks. In the first experiment, larvae (1.92 ± 0.09 mm total length) were stocked into nine, 4 m3 tanks at an initial density of 0.5 larvae L-1 and reared for 42 days at an ambient temperature of 28.8–30.7°C. Three treatments with three replicates each were compared: organic (chicken manure, OF) or inorganic fertilizers (ammonium phosphate, IF) applied once every 2 weeks, and the unfertilized (NF) tanks serving as the control group. Water quality, zooplankton densities, survival or growth of L. plumbeus larvae did not vary significantly in either fertilized or unfertilized tanks. Fertilization resulted in elevated nutrient concentrations, which did affect survival (2.10%–6.07%) of the fish larvae. In the second experiment, larvae were stocked at densities of 0.4 or 0.6 larvae L-1 in tanks fertilized at 4–5 days interval with OF and IF for 30 days. Growth performance of L. plumbeus larvae was affected by fish density, with significantly larger (20.04 ± 2.65 mm in total length) and higher specific growth rate (SGR; 6.97 ± 0.48% day-1) at 0.4 larvae L-1 than at 0.6 L-1. Fry production did not vary significantly between fish density treatment groups given the same fertilizer types, but survival rates were improved at 0.4 L-1. Together, production of L. plumbeus larvae in outdoor tanks can be optimized at a lower stocking density, regardless of the type of fertilizer used.
    • Article

      Larval and early juvenile development of silver therapon, Leiopotherapon plumbeus (Actinopterygii: Perciformes: Terapontidae), reared in mesocosms 

      FA Aya, MNC Corpuz, MA Laron & LMB Garcia - Acta Ichthyologica et Piscatoria, 2017 - Szczecińskie Towarzystwo Naukowe
      The silver therapon, Leiopotherapon plumbeus (Kner, 1864), is an endemic and economically important freshwater food fish in the Philippines. The natural populations of this species have been declining during the past years, mainly due to intense fishing pressure, habitat degradation, and introduction of invasive alien species. At present, it is considered a target species for domestication and conservation efforts. Despite several attempts of artificial reproduction and larval rearing, little is known on larval and early juvenile development of silver therapon. The presently reported study was therefore intended to fill this gap in the knowledge by determining the growth and describing body proportions, pigmentation, and fin formation of this fish. Newly hatched larvae were reared in mesocosm tanks at a mean temperature of 29.5°C. Larvae up to 30 days after hatching were sampled at irregular intervals and preserved in 5% buffered formalin. Early development stages for 245 preserved specimens were described in detail with reference to changes in morphology, growth and body proportions, pigmentation, and fin formation. Five developmental stages of silver therapon were identified: yolk sac larva (1.88 mm TL), preflexion (2.51 mm TL), notochord flexion (4.50-8.27 mm TL), postflexion larva (6.90-12.21 mm TL), and early juvenile (>13.40 mm TL). Growth was isometric for eye diameter and gape size whereas positive allometry was observed for body depth, head length, and preanal length. Some body proportions showed abrupt changes from preflexion to postflexion larvae before it stabilized during the early juvenile stage. Pigmentation in the form of stellate and punctate melanophores increased with developmental stage, with larvae becoming heavily pigmented from postflexion to early juvenile stage. These morphological changes, together with the full complement of fin rays and squamation observed in specimens larger than 13.4 mm TL, suggest the attainment of the juvenile stage of this species. These morphological changes may explain the food and feeding habits during the early life stages of silver therapon which is critical to their survival and recruitment in the wild and in a mesocosm hatchery environment.