Aquaculture International

, Volume 19, Issue 6, pp 1075–1082 | Cite as

The effects of continuous photoperiod (24L:0D) on growth of juvenile barramundi (Lates calcarifer)

  • K. L. Worrall
  • C. G. Carter
  • R. J. Wilkinson
  • M. J. R. Porter
Original Research

Abstract

The efficacy of photoperiod manipulation to influence growth and developmental processes is well documented in a range of temperate aquaculture species. However, the application of such techniques with tropical species requires further investigation. This preliminary 20-day study investigated the influence of continuous photoperiod on growth of barramundi (Lates calcarifer). In addition, diel plasma melatonin profiles provided a physiological measure of how the endocrine system of barramundi responded to continuous photoperiod. Juvenile barramundi (1.33 ± 0.02 g) were held in recirculation systems under 12-h light: 12-h dark (12L:12D) or 24-h light (24L:0D) with a light intensity of 1,000 lux throughout the water column. Fish from both treatments grew to more than 14 times their original weight, with final weight (24L:0D = 21.59 ± 0.85 g; 12L:12D = 19.12 ± 0.55 g), total length (24L:0D = 12.67 ± 0.14 cm; 12L:12D = 11.96 ± 0.13 cm) and specific growth rate (24L:0D = 9.60 ± 0.05% bw day−1; 12L:12D = 9.14 ± 0.06% bw day−1) being significantly higher for fish grown on 24L:0D compared with 12L:12D. There were no significant differences in feed intake (24L:0D = 226.46 ± 6.27 g; 12L:12D = 219.02 ± 5.73 g) or feed conversion ratio (24L:0D = 0.71 ± 0.06; 12L:12D = 0.80 ± 0.07) between light treatments. Barramundi held under 12L:12D exhibited diel melatonin secretion, which peaked mid-dark phase (171.83 ± 4.81 pg ml−1) followed by a gradual decrease in base levels at the onset of illumination (68.61 ± 8.77 pg ml−1). When juvenile barramundi were subjected to 24L:0D, the amplitude of peak melatonin secretion was significantly suppressed during the subjective mid-dark phase (129.71 ± 2.36 pg ml−1). This preliminary study confirmed that barramundi respond to photoperiod manipulation in a similar manner to many temperate fish species, thus demonstrating the future potential use of artificial lighting to improve growth in this species commercially.

Keywords

Asian sea bass Barramundi Growth performance Lates calcarifer Melatonin Artificial lighting 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. L. Worrall
    • 1
  • C. G. Carter
    • 1
  • R. J. Wilkinson
    • 1
  • M. J. R. Porter
    • 2
  1. 1.National Centre for Marine Conservation and Resource SustainabilityUniversity of TasmaniaLauncestonAustralia
  2. 2.Ridley Aquafeed Pty LtdNarangba BrisbaneAustralia

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