Theses and Dissertations

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Defense Date

1997

Document Type

Thesis - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

M.S. Marine Biology

Department

Oceanographic Center

First Advisor

Richard E. Spieler

Second Advisor

Bart Baca

Third Advisor

Shyh-Min Tom Hsiao

Abstract

The circadian feeding rhythm of juvenile Florida pompano, Trachinotus carolinus, to demand feeders, was electronically recorded. The fish were maintained under artificial light-dark conditions (LD 15:9) and given continuous access to food via demand bars. A distinct circadian feeding rhythm was displayed. Food demands occurred almost exclusively (99.0%) during the light phase. Feeding activity was highest early in the light period and progressively lessened as the day progressed. The fish made significantly more food demands during the two-hour period of maximum demand (0600 - 0800 hrs, 21.5 ± 5.2% of the total daily food demands) than during the period of minimum demand (1800 - 2000 hrs, 6.8 ± 2.1 %) (P

The maximum and minimum food demand periods were then used to test the effects of meal feeding time on food consumption and growth performance in juvenile T. carolinus. The fish were fed by hand, at either 0600-0800 hrs or 1800-2000 hrs, for five weeks. The fish received a ration of 1% bw/30 min, during the two hour period. At the end of the study, the fish fed in the morning, the preferred feeding time, had significantly lower body weight and shorter body length than the fish fed in the evening (P0.05, One-way ANOVA). Results of this study indicate that the use of feeding schedules that take advantage of circadian rhythms may be a viable technique to enhance growth performance of T. carolinus on a commercial scale.

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