We conducted a 90-day feeding experiment to evaluate the growth and energy budget of the sea cucumber Apostichopus japonicus. Sea cucumbers with a mean initial wet body weight of 3.03±0.06 g were fed one of the following three diets: an eel fecal solid diet, rainbow trout fecal solid diet, or a commercial diet at a water temperature of 17±1℃ and salinity of 32±1 psu. The results suggested that the diets affected the final body weight, specific growth rate (SGR), food ingestion, feces production ratio, and hence the growth and energy budget of the sea cucumbers. Sea cucumbers fed the eel and rainbow trout fecal solid diets showed poorer energy absorption, assimilation, and growth than those fed the commercial diet. The sea cucumbers fed the commercial diet had a significantly higher SGR and proportion of energy used for growth than those fed the other two diets. Sea cucumbers fed the rainbow trout fecal solid diet showed a comparatively higher ingestion rate and feces production ratio than those fed the commercial diet. The eel and rainbow trout fecal solid diets, therefore, were not suitable for sea cucumbers in intensive cultivation. Our findings will facilitate further development of more appropriate diets for culture of sea cucumber.
Recirculating aquaculture system