Rotifer Culture, High Density vs. Batch Methods
Tech Talk 109
Rotifers are typically fed live algae and grown either in ponds or tanks when used as a commercial scale larval diet. A farm with the space and water available to use traditional pond rearing methods should keep doing so. A farm using live algae to grow rotifers in tanks should consider an alternative. Traditional batch culture requires the grower to have both live algae tanks and rotifer rearing tanks. The table compares the batch method to a new, high-density method that substitutes algae paste for live algae.
The batch method requires a much higher investment in equipment and space. The high density method only requires rotifer tanks and their filtration systems. Water is another cost of growing rotifers. Generally speaking, the batch culture method uses 75 percent exchange per day. The high density method, using algae paste, requires about 20 percent exchange of water per day. Another cost factor is labor. Batch culture requires two full-time live feed technicians, while the high density method only requires one part-time technician.
High density rotifer culture systems can clearly reduce costs. However, these systems require a transition time and there is a learning curve. You will need a technician who is willing to learn the system and how to predict its production. Since more rotifers are being grown in one tank, it is best to have a backup system running at a lower production rate as insurance should a system fail.
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