By incorporating the free-swimming nematode Turbatrix aceti into early feeding regimes of the European whitefish Coregonus maraena, the suitability of this nematode species was investigated as an alternative to Artemia nauplii. During a 14-day feeding trial in a total of 25 aquaria each 1.7 L (each treatment n = 5, 255 larvae/tank) T. aceti was used either as the sole live food or in combination with Artemia nauplii or microdiet to determine the effect of T. aceti on growth performance and survival rate of C. maraena. By analysing the fatty acid composition of T. aceti prior to and after enrichment with INVE spresso® it was investigated whether the amount of n3-polyunsaturated fatty acids (n3-PUFA) in T. aceti could be further enhanced. Supplementation of Artemia nauplii with T. aceti increased growth significantly within the first 5 days of rearing in comparison to the non-supplemented food treatments (14.39 ± 0.15 mm compared to 13.44 ± 0.18 mm; mean ± SE). However, growth and survival of juvenile C. maraena on nematode-supplemented Artemia nauplii did not differ significantly from non-supplemented Artemia nauplii at the end of the 14-day rearing period (15.22 ± 0.15 mm compared to 14.86 ± 0.24 mm). All feeding treatments containing Artemia nauplii showed significantly higher growth and lower mortality at the end of the experiment in comparison to diets containing only the microdiet or T. aceti or a combination thereof. The overall low performance of T. aceti alone can most likely be explained by an insufficient capacity of C. maraena to digest this nematode species efficiently. Enrichment with INVE spresso® successfully increased the proportion of DHA in the T. aceti tissue. The results reveal that T. aceti cannot be considered a full alternative to Artemia nauplii, at least not in the rearing of C. maraena, but might be a useful vector of essential fatty acids within the early rearing period of this and potentially other fish species when provided as live food along with Artemia nauplii.