Copepods are well known to be the optimal live feed for most species of marine fish larvae. Still copepods are rarely used in marine hatcheries worldwide. Lack of efficient production techniques are among the reasons for this. Consequently, Artemia and rotifers are utilized in commercial settings. One problem in intensive production of copepods is contamination with rotifers. Rotifers have higher growth rates than copepods and consequently will compete out the copepods when accidentally introduced to the copepod production systems. Once contamination has occurred, the only cure has been to shut down production and subsequently use a therapeutic agent to eliminate all zooplankton in the system before restart with a stock culture free of rotifers. We tested flubendazole as a mean of controlling rotifers (Brachionus plicatilis) in intensive laboratory cultures of the harpacticoid copepod (Tisbe holothuria). Flubendazole was lethal to rotifers in concentrations as low as 0.05 mg L−1. There was no significant effect on the concentration of copepods, even at the highest concentration tested, i.e. 5.0 mg L−1 flubendazole. We conclude that flubendazole is an effective drug for control of B. plicatilis in T. holothuriae batch cultures.
Aquaculture Research, 2010, Vol 41, Issue 7, p. 1089-1094