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Abstract

Population growth and production of the freshwater rotifer, Euchlanis dilatata, were determined after being fed 1 of 12 diets: Scenedesmus quadricauda (S), Chlorella vulgaris (C), baker's yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) (Y), alfalfa meal (Medicago spp.) (A), and eight combinations of S+C, S+Y, C+Y, S+C+Y, S+A, C+A, S+C+A, and Y+A (mixture in the same ratio by equal nitrogen weight). Results showed that both microalgal and alfalfa meal alone and in combination with Y had a significantly higher (P < 0.05) population growth and production compared with Y alone. The mean maximum E. dilatata population density fed on S, S+Y, C, C+Y, S+C, S+C+Y, Y, A, S+A, C+A, S+C+A, and Y+A diets were 65 ± 7.5 (mean ± SE), 124.6 ± 17.2, 115.8 ± 7.9, 41.5 ± 7.9, 131 ± 14.1, 93.5 ± 8.7, 14.5 ± 7.6, 129.5 ± 18.5, 255.0 ± 20.5, 180 ± 30.5, 124.5 ± 25.4, and 61.5 ± 24.5 individuals/mL, respectively. Correspondingly, the mean population growth rates (K) through the 16-d culture period were 0.29, 0.40, 0.45, 0.27, 0.34, 0.41, 0.26, 0.51, 0.58, 0.59, 0.39, and 0.45/d, respectively. Results indicated that alfalfa meal in combination with microalgae and yeast could be used as primary diets for E. dilatata culture. This may reduce the costs of rotifer production.