Effect of alternative mediums on production and proximate composition of the microalgae Chaetoceros muelleri as food in culture of the copepod Acartia sp.
Microalgae Chaetoceros muelleri was cultured in three different mediums consisting on an agricultural fertilizer (Agr-F), aquacultural fertilizer (Aq-F) and a conventional medium (F/2, control). These microalgae were later used as natural food to culture the copepod Acartia sp. The productive response and chemical proximate composition of microalgae and copepods were monitored. Growth rate and final cell concentration were higher in microalgae cultured in Agr-F compared to the control. In addition, the final biomass and cellular concentration were also the highest in Agr-F. Microalgae from Agr-F and Aq-F had higher carbohydrate and lower protein contents than those in the control. No differences in lipid and ash contents were observed. Regarding copepod production, higher densities and fecundity indexes were observed for those fed with microalgae previously cultured in Agr-F and Aq-F, compared to the control. The adult-nauplii ratio was also higher in copepods fed on microalgae from Agr-F compared to Aq-F and control. Copepods fed on Agr-F and Aq-F microalgae, had higher protein content compared to those fed on control microalgae; carbohydrates were higher in copepods fed on Agr-F as compared to Aq-F microalgae. No differences in lipid and ash contents were registered. Agr-F and Aq-F were adequate alternative mediums to produce C. muelleri, which produced higher quality microalgae that increased the copepod production.