The effect of age, size and digestive tract development on burbot, Lota lota (L.), larvae weaning effectiveness



The effect of burbot weight (BW) and length (TL) on the efficiency of weaning under controlled conditions was investigated. Growth, survival rate, cannibalism and histological analysis of digestive tract were examined. The experiment lasted 49 days (40–89 days post hatch [DPH]). The fish (BW 0.12 g; TL 14.1 mm) were divided into four groups: a control group (C) exclusively fed Artemia sp. nauplii and groups F40, F47 and F54 that were weaned to dry feed on 40, 47 and 54 DPH, respectively. The highest survival rate was observed in groups C (78%) and F54 (58%). In group F54, similar TL (53.8 mm) and higher BW (1.36 g) at the end of experiment, in comparison with group C (43.9 mm, 0.84 g for TL and BW, respectively), were obtained. At the end of the experiment, the length of enterocytes in groups C and F54 was at a similar level (over 23 μm), whereas in group F47 was significantly lower (approximately 20 μm; P < 0.05). This study for the first time presents successful weaning of the burbot. The data indicate that live food should be offered until the fish reach 25 mm and 0.20 g.