The importance of phytoplankton and zooplankton
To start breeding, you have to master part of the food chain. The major difficulty in breeding is to provide suitable food for the larvae.
After developing a nutritional profile for zebrafish, we wanted to share with you the importance of phytoplankton and zooplankton in the nutrition of your aquatic species.
Link to our nutritional profile for zebrafish :
To obtain a varied and balanced diet, several factors are essential.
Mainly the size of the prey plays of course a preponderant role, the feeding of the larvae is dependent on the size of their mouth and its opening to catch prey. Then live prey will stimulate the hunt carried out by the larvae. The swimming movement of live prey such as zooplankton develops the appetence of the larvae and encourages them to feed frequently. This feeding reaction occurs much less with inert food. Therefore, the larvae feed less often. Then, they can suffer from malnutrition, causing malformations in the development of organs and the growth of the fish.
Marine fish also have requirements for long-chain, polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). They are indeed unable to synthesize unsaturated fatty acids (eicosapentaenoic acid: EPA and docosahexaenoic acid: DHA) and they must therefore find them in their diet. These two fatty acids are essential for the development of the larvae and in general, the higher the level, the better the palatability of the food.
It is at this point that phytoplankton is essential to feed zooplankton such as rotifers and then feed the fish themselves. Phytoplankton is used to enrich and grow zooplankton with nutrients essential for the growth and development of fish larvae. Indeed, zooplankton integrates the nutritional value of the phytoplankton it consumes. Phytoplankton such as the microalga Nannochloropris sp. is naturally rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids. The nutritional value of phytoplankton is therefore of paramount importance for the health of fish.
Here is our protocol for rotifer culture: https://planktovie.biz/en/protocols/rotifer-culture-protocol/