COPEPOD GROWTH POPULATIONS (ACARTIA SP.) IN OUTDOOR MASS CULTURE TANKS: EXPLORING NATURAL FEED POTENTIALS FOR SUSTAINABLE AQUACULTUREPutu Angga Wiradana, Sephia Anjani, Deny Suhernawan Yusup, Joko Wiryatno, Regina Melianawati, Sin War Naw, Aondohemba Samuel Nege and Agoes Soegianto
Larvae feed plays an important role in aquaculture activities. It helps the fish to pass through their initial life during the larvae stage after egg hatching. Copepods are zooplankton which has a high potential to be developed as a natural feed for fish fry. Hence, this study was aimed at figuring out a technique for mass culturing of copepod in outdoor culture tanks. Copepods were cultured for six days in a culture tank, starting from the nauplii phase up to the adult phase. The life cycle of the cultured copepod started with nauplii (phase N1-N6), copepodite (phase C1-C5), and the adult stage. The copepod seeds cultured were under nauplii phase (N1-N2). After being cultured for 6 days and harvested daily for 16 days (under two different sampling technique), this study obtained the total number of 25,470 copepods using first harvesting technique and 136,730 copepods using the second harvesting technique. The obtained number consisted of copepods from all the three life cycles. Results of this study showed a potential of this copepods culture method in producing sustainable stock of fish larvae feed.