The effects of continuous photoperiod (24L:0D) on growth of juvenile barramundi (Lates calcarifer)
Worrall, K and Carter, CG and Wilkinson, Ryan and Porter, MJR, The effects of continuous photoperiod (24L:0D) on growth of juvenile barramundi (Lates calcarifer), Aquaculture International, 19, (6) pp. 1075-1082. ISSN 0967-6120 (2011) [Refereed Article]
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 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 = 0.08 ± 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 demonstratiing the future potential use of artificial lighting to improve growth in this species commercially.