Vitalis

- still vital

Brood fish nutrition has a profound influence on the quantity, quality and performance of the offspring. Vitalis provides the ultimate package, containing the complete balance of essential nutrients to ensure optimal sperm and egg development while providing sufficient energy to aid transition from endogenous to exogenous feeding in the larvae.

Salmon alevinsThe importance of nutrition

The ability to succeed in reproduction is influenced by a number of factors. While genetic background, farming environmental conditions and health status all have a role to play, nutrition has been proven to have a significant influence on:

  • The reproductive physiology of brood fish and their ability to spawn and produce good quality gametes
  • Quantity of eggs (fecundity)
  • Quality of eggs
  • Quality of yolk-sac fry
  • Initial performance of the larvae and fry before they become established onto feed

Optimal brood fish nutrition aims to maximise the number and quality of offspring. The nutritional requirements of brood fish not only prescribe their ability to spawn but also determine the quality of the eggs and yolksac fry. Good quality eggs and larvae are defined as those with the highest survival and
performance characteristics.

The specific nutritional requirements of brood fish

Protein

Brood fish have a much greater requirement for digestible protein and the essential amino acids than growout fish. This is primarily because proteins are the major component in vitellogenin. Low or poor quality protein levels in brood fish diets have been associated with poor fertility and egg and larval quality in a number of fish species. To optimise brood fish efficiency, Vitalis contains a high level of digestible protein derived from highly palatable sources.

Fat and fatty acids

The fatty acid (FA) composition is more important than the total fat content, as long as the requirements for essential fatty acid (EFA) are met. For salmonids, the absolute level of fat is not critical provided there is sufficient dietary energy to support gonadal growth. If the EFA requirement is not met, it can result in abnormal eggs, reduced fertilisation and hatching percentage. Vitalis is formulated with careful attention to the lipid inclusion and the balance of EFAs.

Micronutrients

A number of micronutrients have been found to be important for brood fish fish, including vitamins, minerals and carotenoids. Astaxanthin, vitamin E and vitamin C are vitally important as they all protect against oxidative damage and hence are essential for successful reproduction and good larval/fry quality. Vitalis is well supplied with these micronutrients. Other microingredients (for example MacroGard® beta-glucans) are used to enhance the health status of brood fish and to benefit the offspring in the instance that improved immunity is transmissible to fish eggs.

Feeding recommendations

Specific brood fish diets should be fed early enough in the reproductive cycle and throughout the period of vitellogenesis and oocyte maturation to ensure maximum survival and performance; approximately 9 -12 months before spawning.