Optimum low salinity to reduce cannibalism and improve survival of the larvae of freshwater African catfish Clarias gariepinus
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The freshwater African catfish Clarias gariepinus is carnivorous and cannibalistic even during the larval and juvenile stages and this behavior causes economic losses in aquaculture. This study examined for the first time the effect of salinity on cannibalism, survival, and growth of African catfish larvae in the hatchery. Larvae (4 days old, median 7.8 mm TL, 2.8 mg BW) of the African catfish were reared for 21 days at nominal salinity 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 ppt. After 21 days, they grew to 10–39 mm (median 22 mm) and 10–490 mg (median 90 mg), with no significant difference by salinity treatments. Survival ratios were similarly low (24–31%) at 0, 1, 3, and 7 ppt and significantly higher (49–55%) at 2, 4, 5, and 6 ppt. Cannibalism was significantly lower, 15–30% at 4–6 ppt, than the 40–50% at 0–3 and 7 ppt. Size variation was lower at 4–6 ppt and higher at 0–3 and 7 ppt. We recommend hatchery rearing of African catfish at the optimum low salinity of 4–6 ppt rather than in full fresh water at least up to 21 days. This rearing method fosters larval welfare and improves hatchery production.
Suggested CitationKawamura, G., Bagarinao, T., Yong, A. S. K., Sao, P. W., Lim, L. S., & Senoo, S. (2017). Optimum low salinity to reduce cannibalism and improve survival of the larvae of freshwater African catfish Clarias gariepinus.
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