35-4 Brazilian Efforts Towards Minimization of the Use of Live Feed in Neotropical Fish Larviculture
In both species, the olfactory organs develop precociously indicating that olfactory sense is of primary importance for food perception and capture. At first feeding, tasted buds (oral region) and free neuromasts (body surface) are present. Initially the digestion of surubim is based on alkaline enzymes, and the gastric glands appear when larvae is about 11 mm SL, coinciding with the increase of pepsin-like activity. In pacu, differentiated stomach is observed in larvae of about 10 mg. From this moment, pacu can be weaned with minimum growth delay, and the weaning success also depends on the diet quality. The diet utilization can be improved by supplementation with exogenous enzyme, and ingestion can be stimulated by the use of attractants (glycine, lysine and betaine). The contribution of hyperplasia to the skeletal muscle growth is higher in fast- than in slow-growing larvae. Hypertrophic growth is less affected by the undernourishment of pacu larvae. It is clear at this moment that the adequate food source during the first feeding of the pacu is critical for muscle growth in later phases. Surubim can be weaned to formulated feed after two weeks on live prey; however, in this phase high mortality and increased cannibalistic behavior are observed. The use of trash-fish larvae as prey is ineffective due to low survival, high cannibalistic rates and high cost per juvenile. The traditional method of feeding training for surubim (using mixtures of beef and formulated diet) is an economically viable strategy. Nevertheless, the inexpensive Artemia frozen biomass should be considered as an alternative method.
The information gathered in our research broadens the understanding of the initial development of Neotropical fish larvae, and allows for the improvement of feeding techniques while decreasing the use of live feeds.