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Sunshine Bass Fingerling Culture


G.M. Ludwig

Harry k. Dupress—Stuttgart National, Aquaculture Research Center, Agriculture Research Service, U.S.D.A., P.O. Box 1050 Stuttgart, AR 72160 USA
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Year-round production is a top priority of hybrid striped bass producers.Most Morone culturists produce sunshine bass (white bass (♀) X striped bass (♂)) that have very tiny fry and require rotifers as their first food. Almost 100 percent of the fingerlings are produced in ponds where high survival rates depend on fry being stocked at the right time—before rotifer concentrations peak and before copepods appear. Pond culture drawbacks include the inability to monitor growth and survival and seasonal limitations due to weather. Tank culture overcomes these problems and is necessary for year-round production. Little tank fingerling production has occurred because costs are higher than for pond culture. Supplying live food is a major expense. Sunshine bass larvae are stocked at 4 to 5 days post hatch (dph) and are fed enriched cultured rotifers. The rotifers require microalgae. Within a few days the fry are weaned to cultured Artemia nauplii. The culture of the larger palmetto bass and striped bass starts with feeding Artemia nauplii. By about 15 dph, weaning to an artificial diet begins and is completed by 26 dph. Grading at that time reduces cannibalism. Live food culture is risky, and requires time, space, costs and expertise. Recent innovations may alleviate some of these problems. High density (up to 16,000 /ml) rotifer production methods are being developed. These systems require constant feeding, oxygen, pH and ammonia control, suspended particle removal, and proper harvesting. Fatty acid enriched algae pastes can replace cultured algae. Ammonia and pH problems can be controlled with products like Chloram-X® and auto-sensing pH controllers. Water is conserved by utilizing recirculation systems for rotifer and fingerling production. Use of commercially available decapsulated brine shrimp eggs further reduces time and physical risk. Increased demand for fingerlings during the winter and reduced culture costs will increase tank fingerling production.

How to Cite: Ludwig, G.M., 2006. Sunshine Bass Fingerling Culture. International Journal of Recirculating Aquaculture, 7. DOI:
Published on 01 Jun 2006.
Peer Reviewed


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