Nutritional value and production performance of the rotifer Brachionus plicatilis Müller, 1786 cultured with different feeds at commercial scale

  • Kamil Mert EryalçınEmail author


The rotifer Brachionus plicatilis is the first live feed in larviculture of marine fish species. Rotifer diets differ in their biochemical composition, physical properties, and production technology while feeding protocols largely vary among facilities. The objective of the present study was to determine the effects of two different forms of Nannochloropsis oculata and commonly used commercial diets on growth performance and biochemical composition of rotifers produced under commercial conditions. Rotifers were fed one of five different types of feed: Algome® (dried Schizochytrium sp.), Protein Plus® (PP), Inactive Baker’s Yeast® (INBY), spray-dried Nannochloropsis oculata (SDN), or freshly cultured Nannochloropsis oculata (FN). Rotifers fed SDN diet resulted in significantly higher rotifer biomass during 16 days of semi-continuous culture, with an increasing biomass trend that lasted 11 days, high egg production, and egg-carrying female numbers, whereas rotifers fed PP showed highest ∑n-3, arachidonic acid, eicosapentaenoic acid, and docosahexaenoic acid contents. Amino acid profiles of rotifers were enhanced by utilization of both INBY and SDN diets. Overall, the results indicated that SDN is optimal for long-term biomass production of rotifers. However, their nutritional profile needs to be enriched by feeding PP (EFA source) and INBY (EAA source) once desired biomass production is obtained.


Amino acids Essential fatty acids Growth Nannochloropsis oculata Rotifer Spray-dried 



Highly unsaturated fatty acids


Protein Plus®


Inactive Baker’s Yeast®


Spray-dried Nannochloropsis oculata


Fresh Nannochloropsis oculata


Arachidonic acid


Eicosapentaenoic acid


Docosahexaenoic acid


Linoleic acid


Linolenic acid



Nihan Arığ and Kadir Vardı are acknowledged for helping during experiments. The author also thank Prof. Marisol Izquierdo for very helpful comments


This work was supported by Tubitak-Teydeb 1507 Kobi-Arge Project No. 7170299 (The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey) and Istanbul University, Research Foundation Project No. 29086.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All applicable international, national, and/or institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed by the authors.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Aquatic Sciences, Aquaculture Department, Fish Nutrition & Phytoplankton-Zooplankton Culture LaboratoryIstanbul UniversityIstanbulTurkey

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