Feeding strategies

Females are typically not fed when being held simply for larval collection (New 1990). However, broodstock held indoors for extended periods of time will require a nutritionally complete diet and excellent water quality to promote superior egg production and quality. Not much work has been done on broodstock nutrition, even though it could potentially impact egg, sperm and larval quality (Cavalli et al. 1999, 2000a,b, 2001b, 2003; Samuel et al.

1999). Chapter 12 discusses the information that is currently available. More recently, however, Murmu et al. (2007) found that the use of formulated feeds (46.1% crude protein) enhanced ovarian development of M. rosenbergii over the sole use of natural feeds (clam and squid meat). Samuel etal. (1999) studied the effects of diet (1:1:2 mix of clam meat, squid and pelleted shrimp feed versus clam only or clam only fed every two days) on male reproductive performance in M. malcolmsonii. Respectively, each diet was tested in successive studies using wild-caught prawns from freshwater areas of Manampadi, India. They found no significant reduction in sperm count, percentage of live sperm or percentage of abnormal sperm in prawns fed the mix of clam, squidandpellets. However, spermcountandpercent-age of live sperm were significantly reduced and percentage of abnormal sperm significantly increased in prawns fed the clam-only diets during the 8 week studies.

Sandifer & Smith (1978) and Daniels et al. (1992) both described feeding strategies for maintaining broodstock indoors for extended periods. Daniels etal. (1992) stated that when commercially available pelleted diets are not nutritionally sufficient, supplements such as pieces of beef liver or squid, cut to the appropriate size, should be fed at least twice per week. On the day of supplemental feeding, 50% of the amount of the pelleted diet should be substituted with a dry weight equivalent of beef liver or squid. As beef liver and squid have moisture contents of approximately 80%, 1 kg of either would be only 200 g by dry weight.

The amount of feed fed per day should be divided equally into two feedings (early morning and late afternoon). Broodstock should be fed at a daily rate of 1 to 3% of total biomass. The feeding rate should be adjusted to match consumption. Sandifer & Smith (1978) fed prawns Purina Marine Ration 25 (a commercial diet) once or twice daily at 1 to 2% of body weight and provided supplemental feeds (squid, ground fish, spinach, etc.) ad libitum several times weekly. A formulated diet containing 44% crude protein and 9% total lipids were offered in excess twice a day (0930 and 1800) to captive broodstock with excellent results (Cavalli et al. 2001a).

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