Tubbs M. E.

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Effects of temperature and diet on the growth rate of year 0 oyster toadfish, Opsanus tau

2006-02 , Mensinger, Allen F. , Tubbs, M. E.

The effects of temperature and diet on the growth of captive year 0 specimens of Opansus tau were examined for two consecutive year classes. The 2001 year class was raised at about 23, 26, or 29°C and provided with live brine shrimp, frozen butterfish and squid, or commercial food pellets (45% protein, 19% fat, and 3% fiber) three times per week. Maximal growth was achieved with the pellet diet, and fish raised at 29°C attained the highest mean wet weight (84.0 g ± 14.6 g SE) and fastest instantaneous relative growth rate (IRGR, 1.79% body weight/d). The 2002 year class was raised on the same pellet diet at 31.5°C and fed 3, 5, or 7 times per week. Although more frequent feedings led to significantly greater mean wet weight in the first half of the year, by month 12 there was no significant difference between the three feeding frequencies. These fish weighed approximately 68g and had an average IRGR of 1.74% body weight/d. The pellet diet during both years was correlated with high survival (> 75%).