Use of decapsulated Artemia cysts in ornamental fish culture


 Lian Chuan Lim, Freshwater Fisheries Centre, Agri-food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore, Sembawang Research Station, Lorong Chencharu, Singapore 769194, Republic of Singapore. E-mail:


Two series of feeding experiments were conducted to study the feasibility of using decapsulated Artemia cysts for direct feeding to ornamental fish. The first series evaluated the dietary values of the dried and the brine decapsulated Artemia cysts against two conventional live feeds, Artemia nauplii and Moina for adults and fry of the guppy, Poecilia reticulata Peters. In the second series, brine cysts were used for feeding to fry of four other important ornamental fish species, viz. platy, Xiphophorus maculatus (Günther), swordtail, X. helleri (Heckel), molly, P. sphenops Cuvier & Valenciennes and black neon tetra, Hyphessobrycon herbertaxelrodi Géry, and the results were compared with those fed Moina. Evaluation of the performance of the fish fed the various diets was based on stress resistance, growth and survival of the fish. Our findings indicated that decapsulated cysts could be used as a substitute for Artemia nauplii or Moina in freshwater ornamental fish culture. Apart from being a hygienic off-the-shelf feed, the direct use of the cysts also signifies a new area of application for low-hatch cysts in the ornamental fish industry, with concomitant saving in feed costs.