Stressing fish in Recirculating Aquaculture Systems (RAS): Does stress induced in one group of fish affect the feeding motivation of other fish sharing the same RAS?

C.I. Martins, E.H. Eding, J.A.J. Verreth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

As a consequence of water re-use and high stocking densities, Recirculating Aquaculture Systems (RAS) may lead to an accumulation of substances released by the fish into the water, e.g. cortisol and alarm pheromones. This study investigated the effect of stressing fish on the feeding motivation of other fish not subjected to stress but sharing the same water of stressed fish. Two identical RAS were used (operated at 30 L kg feed-1 day-1) and contained grouped (stressed fish) and individually (receiving water from stressed fish) housed Nile tilapia. A stress test was applied in grouped housed fish on days 17 and 55. Feeding behaviour (intake and latency) was recorded in the individually housed fish 3 days before, during and 3 days after the stress test. The results showed no effect on feeding behaviour in fish receiving the water from stressed fish. These results could be a consequence of insufficient cortisol/alarm cues' release by the stressed fish into the water or inactivity of such substances, either due to a trapping effect of humic acids or due to degradation in the nitrification and denitrification processes. Future research is needed to clarify how these processes may affect the water concentration of cortisol and alarm pheromones and should be extended by measuring other behavioural and physiological traits
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1378-1384
JournalAquaculture Research
Volume42
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Keywords

  • sewage-treatment plant
  • carp cyprinus-carpio
  • rainbow-trout
  • sea bass
  • sp-nov.
  • cortisol
  • water
  • growth
  • accumulation
  • indicator

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