The accumulation of substances in Recirculating Aquaculture Systems (RAS) affects embryonic and larval development in common carp Cyprinus carpio

C.I. Martins, M.G. Pristin, S.S.W. Ende, E.H. Eding, J.A.J. Verreth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

75 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The accumulation of substances in Recirculating Aquaculture Systems (RAS) may impair the growth and welfare of fish. To test the severity of contaminants accumulated in RAS, early-life stages of fish were used. Ultrafiltered water from two Recirculating Aquaculture Systems (RAS), one RAS with a high accumulation of substances (water exchange rate 30 L/kg feed/day) and one RAS with a low accumulation of substances (water exchange rate 1500 L/kg feed/day), was used to incubate eggs and rear larvae of common carp Cyprinus carpio. A broad range of read-out parameters was used to determine the effect of accumulation level on the development of the early-life stages; from hatching dynamics to larvae length and dry weight. The water quality (temperature, pH, dissolved O2, conductivity, total bicarbonate, ortho-phosphate-P, TAN, NO2-–N, NO3-–N and minerals) was compared between the 2 treatments. Carp eggs developing in the high-accumulation water had higher mortality percentages (both for eggs and larvae), reduced hatching percentages, delayed hatching dynamics and reduced larvae length and body weight. However, these larvae exhibited fewer deformities than larvae incubated in the low-accumulation water. Furthermore, an accelerated development both of the embryo (appearance of heart beat, pectoral fin bud and tail movement) and yolk-sac larvae (depletion of the yolk sac) was observed in the high-accumulation water. The high-accumulation water had significantly lower pH and higher conductivity, NO2-–N, NO3-–N and ortho-phosphate-P. Most of the minerals (As, Cu, Mn, Ni, Zn, K, Mg, Na, P and S) including heavy metals, were present at a higher concentration in the high-accumulation water. The influence of these parameters on the embryonic and larval development of fish is discussed. It is suggested that in the high-accumulation water, the concentration of ortho-phosphate-P, nitrate and of the heavy metals arsenic and copper is likely to have impaired the embryonic and larval development and therefore deserves further research as potential growth inhibiting factors in RAS
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-73
JournalAquaculture
Volume291
Issue number1-2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Keywords

  • early-life-stages
  • water-quality requirements
  • fish larvae
  • chronic toxicity
  • rainbow-trout
  • brown trout
  • nitrate
  • survival
  • tolerance
  • ammonia

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