For most fish species raised in marine aquaculture, the use of live feeds cannot be replaced by formulated diets. Artemia nauplii and rotifers are still the most commonly used live feeds. A good alternative lies in the use of copepods which could lead to the cultivation of new fish species. Cold stored subitaneous eggs from the continuously cultured calanoid copepod Acartia tonsa were used to investigate the effect of storage upon the viability of the eggs, the development of the copepod community originating from the cold stored eggs. Finally a 3 days snapshot of the egg production of the first generation of females was followed. This was done in order to develop a database usable within copepod dependent hatcheries. The viability of cold stored A. tonsa eggs remained high (> 70% hatching rate) for 11 months of storage. Generally, the period of storage was observed to decrease the viability (hatching rate) of the eggs and no hatching was observed after twenty months of cold storage. Hatched populations of copepods experienced increased mortality rate with longer storage of the eggs from which they originated. This mortality ranged from 0.035 to 0.13 d− 1 for non-stored (fresh) and 12 months stored eggs, respectively. However, all copepod communities originating from fresh to 12 months stored eggs reached adulthood. Additionally, the egg production from the stored generation was apparently normal and the viability of their eggs was not statistically different when compared to productions from non-stored communities. Contents of total fatty acids decreased during the storage period. Contents of free amino acids were not statistically different for eggs cold stored up to 12 months, but had decreased severely by 20 months. In conclusion, we consider it safe to store the eggs for up to one year at 2–3 °C during which the eggs retain their viability and biochemical composition. Cold storage of calanoid copepod eggs is relevant for aquaculture as inoculum for culturing live food.
AWI Organizations > Climate Sciences > Junior Research Group: SEAPUMP