World Aquaculture Society Meetings


Cynthia K. Ledbetter*, David L. Straus and David L. Heikes
Harry K. Dupree - Stuttgart National Aquaculture Research Center
USDA - Agricultural Research Service
Stuttgart, AR 72160

Copper sulfate (CuSO4) is widely used by the catfish and hybrid striped bass industries as an economical treatment to control fungus (Saprolegnia spp.) on eggs; these industries use hatching troughs and McDonald jars, respectively, in moderate alkalinity waters.  This study determined the effectiveness of CuSO4 on mat-spawned largemouth bass eggs at an extremely high alkalinity.  

Adult largemouth bass were placed in concrete vats and allowed to spawn on 60 cm2 fiber mats.  Spawns were moved to 350 L plastic hatching containers within 12 h.  Efforts to dislodge eggs from spawning mats with bromelain were unsuccessful; other spawns were then cut into 10 cm2 sections with a guillotine paper trimmer.  Sections were suspended in each aquarium and acclimated for 1 h in 18.3°C well water.  The study consisted of 3 CuSO4 concentrations (10, 20, and 40 ppm) and an untreated control; there were 4 replicates.  Eggs were treated daily until fry began to descend from the mats.  Chemistry of the well water was pH 7.8, alkalinity 386 mg/L and hardness 455 mg/L.  Fungus was severe in the untreated controls, but only light to moderate amounts of fungus was present in treatment concentrations with 40 ppm having the best control.  Due to the adhesiveness of the eggs to the spawning mats, a quantitative analysis could not be done.  Benchtop toxicity studies have also been completed to determine the effect of CuSO4 on sac and swim-up largemouth bass fry.

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