Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
Agriculture, Forestry, Horticulture, Fishery, Domestic Science, Nutrition
A study to determine the effects of four stocking densities on growth and feed utilization of wild-caught black sea bass Centropristis striata was conducted in a pilot-scale recirculating tank system. The outdoor system consisted of 12 insulated fiberglass tanks (dia. = 1.85 m; vol. = 2.17 m3) supported by biological filters, UV sterilizers, and heat pumps. Subadults (N= 525; ×± SD = 249 ± 16.8 g) were stocked at densities of 4.6 fish/m3 (1.18 kg/m3), 16 fish/ m3 (3.91 kg/m3), 25.3 fish/m3 (6.83 kg/m3), and 36 fish/m3 (7.95 kg1m3), with three replicate tanks per treatment. Fish were grown under 35 ppt salinity, 21-25 C, and under ambient photoperiod conditions. A commercial flounder diet containing 50% protein and 12% lipid was hand-fed twice daily to satiation for 201 d.Mean (range) total ammonia-nitrogen, 0.61 (0-2.1) mg/L, nitrite-nitrogen, 0.77 (0.04-3.6) mg/L, and nitrate-nitrogen 40.1 (0-306) mg/L were significantly higher (P 〈 0.0001) in the 25.3 and 36 fish/m3 treatments than in the 4.6 and 16 fish/m3 treatments [0.19 (0.05-0.5), 0.1 (0.24-0.63), and 11.9 (1.3-82.2) mg/L, respectively]. However, there were no significant differences (P 〉 0.05) in growth (RGR = 196.8-243.1%; DWG = 2.55-2.83 g/d; and SGR = 0.55-0.61%/d), coefficient of variation of body weight (CwtV., = 0.24-0.25), condition factor (K = 2.2-2.4), feed consumption (FC = 1.45-1.65%/d), and feed conversion ratio (FCR = 1.45-1.52) among stocking densities. Final biomass densities on day 201 reached 3.48, 12.0, 21.1, and 27.2 kg/m3 at stocking densities of 4.6, 16, 25.3, and 36 fish/m3, respectively. Survival (83.8-99.1%) did not differ among treatments. Apparent net protein retention (ANPR) was significantly higher (P 〈 0.005) for fish stocked at the lower densities of 4.6 and 16 fish/m3 (22.5-23.7%) than for those stocked at 25.3 and 36 fish/m3 (21-20.1%). There were no significant differences (P 〉 0.05) in apparent net energy retention (ANER = 55.9-59.1 %) among stocking densities. Final whole body protein (15.3-16.3%) and lipid (23.1-26.4%) levels did not differ significantly (P 〉 0.05) among treatments.The results demonstrated that growth, survival, and feed utilization were not impaired under stocking densities ranging from 4.6-36 fish/m3 (3.48-27.2 kg/m3), despite a slight reduction in water quality at the higher densities. In addition, growth variation and final whole body protein and lipid levels were not influenced by these densities. The results suggest that black sea bass are tolerant of crowding and moderate variations in water quality during intensive culture in recirculating tank systems and that higher stocking densities are possible.
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