About Ciliates

About Ciliates

Postby Luis A M » Sun Jul 13, 2008 5:19 pm

Ciliates is perhaps the least understood group of organisms that could play a key role in marine larviculture.Reasons are not clear for such a low interest.And it also remains unclear if ciliates are a natural larval diet or if they could help us in our larval raising attempts,or not.

And it is not that they are a new aproach and there was little time to explore it;ciliates were proposed as a live food for marine larvae hatched too small to take Artemia, since the beginning of marine larviculture.
After all, ciliates have always been the standard first food for small FW larvae.All that was needed was a culture of aquarium water fed some fish food and algae,and that should work.But it didn´t.
In those early days Valenti proposed the use of Euplotes,a large oligotriche (few haired) ciliate,which was cultured in labs at that time.

But there was never an actual report of their successful use and even if cited in the menu of possible foods in old papers,together with naked dinoflagellates,barnacle nauplii and clam thochospheres.Then even mentions stopped when the use of rotifers and lately copepod nauplii took over.

There were some recent few instances where ciliates are said to play a role in successful rearing of otherwise "impossible"larvae.But reports fringe the anecdotical side because in all cases larvae were not given a monodiet of ciliates and it couldn´t even be shown that larvae take ciliates at all.
Examples of this were reports or communications from Todd G.with small goby larvae,Karen B.with Genicanthus,use of ciliate contaminated old rotifer culture (Ed D.) and "green soup", mix of algae,ciliates and other organisms (Wolfgang M.)

With this background,I think that it is time that we explore in depth the use of ciliates as larval food and their culture.This is the purpose of this thread,which will be sticked so we can all contribute with our personal experiences and relevant literature.Aomont has recently brought to our attention a Japanese paper that sheds new light into the subject.
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Postby aomont » Sun Jul 13, 2008 11:40 pm

This lower frequency of papers on using ciliates as larvae food intrigues me. Maybe they are not that helpfull, or the useful species are hard to keep or still out there, or they may be the best kept secret. :lol:

Here is a side-thread where we talked about the paper Luis cited:
http://www.marinebreeder.org/phpbb/viewtopic.php?t=2998
So, at least on the very beginning, some species may be useful.

Here is an abstract on a paper on the culture of another species:
Preliminary and mass culture experiments on a heterotrichous ciliate, Fabrea salina.
Bam Deo Pandeya, S.G. Yeragi

Aquaculture 232 (2004) 241–254

Abstract:
Fabrea salina is a pelagic and hypersaline ciliate having potential to be used as live food source in commercial aquahatcheries. At preliminary level of culture, in different volumes, three different kinds of feeds viz. commercial yeast, Dunaliella and egg-custard were used at different concentrations to examine their efficacy. Besides, after analyzing the effect of salinity, temperature and light on the population growth, mass culture experiments were conducted in up to 300 l water. Compared to yeast and Dunaliella, the maximum population density (90 ciliates/ml) was obtained with egg-custard used at 10 mg/l concentration, whereas with yeast and Dunaliella, the highest density was 50 and 64 Fabrea/ml, respectively, at the corresponding food concentration of 15 mg/l and 6X10*6 algal cells/ml. No significant difference in the population density was observed ( P= 0.05) at varying concentrations of these three feeds. Because of highest population density of 76 cells/ml achieved at 65 per thousand salinity and 70 cells/ml at 28 C, the same salinity and a temperature of 28~1 C were selected in mass culture experiments. A temperature of 36 C resulted in the highest population density, 92 cells/ml, showing the generation period of about 16 h. The culture under continuous illumination resulted in better growth (102 ciliates/ml) when compared with that in complete darkness (76 ciliates/ml). Comparing the results of mass culture at four different levels, i.e. 20, 50, 200, and 300 l, using egg-custard as sole food at 10 mg/l, the maximum population growth (82 ciliates/ml) was achieved in 200 l culture system which was provided with air–water lift recirculatory system.

I think if anyone could post a classification of ciliates explaining oligothiche, heterotriche, etc this would help on reading the papers and comparing results.

At this time I´m still a reader, not a breeder, so chime in the other readers and the ones with the hands on experience/information. ;)
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Postby Luis A M » Mon Jul 14, 2008 11:13 pm

There are two groups of marine ciliates:tintinnids,covered by a lorica=shell
and aloricates,naked=without lorica.
Some are herbivorous and feed on Phytoplankton.Others feed on bacteriae.
Tintinnids can be very large;100 and 180 mics show two species of the genus Favella. They feed on large phyto,especially dinoflagellates like Gyrodinium that measures 50 mics. :shock:
Last edited by Luis A M on Tue Jul 15, 2008 11:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby KMB » Tue Jul 15, 2008 1:56 am

Here is another side thread where some ciliate culture methods are posted.

http://www.marinebreeder.org/phpbb/viewtopic.php?t=1881

I also have the link to the article that Antony was referring to regarding tangs and ciliates but I can't seem to get it posted. I'll try it on a separate post.

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Postby KMB » Tue Jul 15, 2008 2:15 am

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Postby Luis A M » Tue Jul 15, 2008 11:46 am

Very useful links.Nice thread,too 8)
So from the culture side,we have:

1- ciliates that feed on algal cells.These should be cultured like calanoids,rotifers or artemia,and could be enriched with an apropriate algal diet.But possibly these are all tintinnids,and I suspect that they must be collected in the sea;i..e. they won´t show spontaneously in our tanks like the following group.
2-All the others,including Euplotes,and the many forms that show in old rot cultures.They feed on bacteriae and I couldn´t culture them on algae or yeast.The paper Aomont brought shows that Euplotes is cultured with peptone,which is used by bacteriae.

Then we must collect them.FW ciliates are given with medium to the larval tanks,sometimes concentrating them by stopping the aereation,wich causes ciliates to gather close to the surface.A round flask with a long,narrow neck could facilitate this procedure.
Or else we could sieve and rinse them with proper gauged meshes. :?
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Postby Antony P.M. » Wed Jul 16, 2008 5:40 am

Here is a short description with some biometrical measurements I've found on Amphorellopsis acuta
Quote:
Tintinnid ciliate, the lorica has a pointed, not a truncated, aboral end. The thickness of the wall is variable. Length 76-89 microns, diameter at mouth 29-37 microns, diameter of neck 19- 24 microns, greatest diameter of body 22-27 microns.
Here's the link where I found the info, there's also a pic of another species of the same genus
http://starcentral.mbl.edu/microscope/p ... D=10358559
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Postby aomont » Wed Jul 16, 2008 11:15 am

Nice website Antony !;)
Here are the links to the above cited species

Fabrea salina (450 microns !!!)
http://starcentral.mbl.edu/microscope/p ... sification

Euplotes
http://starcentral.mbl.edu/microscope/p ... sification

Favella
http://starcentral.mbl.edu/microscope/p ... kID=489595

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Postby KMB » Fri Jul 18, 2008 3:20 am

Just thought I'd share how I've been trying to get different ciliates lately.

Since they always seem to appear in old rotifer cultures I have been setting up buckets of rotifers and feeding them different diets. A few weeks ago I started one with Iso paste and got some ciliates that look like a euplotes that's been cut in half, (so same width as euplotes but half as long). I kept them going until I could borrow some eggs of Opakapaka (Pristipomoides filamentosus) which are very similar in size to Centropyge eggs. I added the eggs to a small 30 liter tank that had these ciliates still being fed on Iso paste. At day 2 post hatch I had approx. 50 ciliates/ml. I stopped adding Iso paste and added live Iso hoping to get a better nutritional profile. On day 3 I checked larval guts which were empty. At the end of day 3 there were hardly any ciliates in the tank. Morning of day 4 I added Iso paste again and by that evening the ciliates had bloomed again but the larval guts were still empty. All larvae were dead by day 6 having had empty guts the whole time.

I think these ciliates were too small. Sorry, I don't have an actual measurement on them. What amazed me though was how fast they responded to changes in diet which could be useful for getting blooms on demand. Also, I was not able to sieve them but I just scooped a little water from the rotifers to start a new ciliate culture and ran it through a 35 micron screen to get rid of the rotifers.

I've let those ciliates disappear mainly because of their size. Haven't had time to start any new batches since but I plan to go back to trying different oily enrichments and see what shows up with those since they should have a good nutritional profile.

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Postby Antony P.M. » Fri Jul 18, 2008 10:53 am

Here is a link to a book on Protozoans in marine aquaculture
http://www.publish.csiro.au/nid/18/pid/2915.htm

and for a glance to a couple of pages in it
http://www.publish.csiro.au/samples/Protozoa.pdf

I still don't have the book, I hope to get it asap.
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Postby Antony P.M. » Fri Jul 18, 2008 11:13 am

Euplotes sp. ciliates have been successfully used, co-fed with S strain rotifers, for the first feeding of the yellow neon goby Gobiosoma evelynae. There is also a PDF on this work.
This is the article I'm refering to
http://www.marinebreeder.org/phpbb/viewtopic.php?t=695
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Re:

Postby Luis A M » Fri Jul 18, 2008 4:08 pm

Antony P.M. wrote:Euplotes sp. ciliates have been successfully used, co-fed with S strain rotifers, for the first feeding of the yellow neon goby Gobiosoma evelynae. There is also a PDF on this work.
This is the article I'm refering to
http://www.marinebreeder.org/phpbb/viewtopic.php?t=695

Questionable results from a questionable author on a wrong species :twisted: (figaro,not evelynae)
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Re: About Ciliates

Postby fishyfred » Mon Dec 19, 2011 7:01 pm

Do you guys think it would be possible to separate the eggs using separate pumping systems, which might keep them from cross-contaminating gene pools? I've heard of people using a hypro pump to get the water from a large source--say a pond, and sending it in one direction, while picking up the vitamins through the line like an IV on the other. Might keep the eggs from hatching early, too.
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Re: About Ciliates

Postby irenebl » Fri Mar 09, 2012 1:52 am

although this thread is a little dated its really good, thanks!
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Re: About Ciliates

Postby clark5901 » Sat Jan 26, 2013 3:16 am

Thanks for the nice information in the post...
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Re: About Ciliates

Postby ohadshimon » Sun Feb 09, 2014 4:52 am

Hello
My name is Ohad, and i am part of a team that cultures ciliated protozoa (Conc. of 10k for ml) for fish larvae feeding. our main focus was food fish, such as groupers and bluefin tuna. Recently we decided to test our product on ornamental fish larvae.
My questions to you, who know this world better then me.
What fishes are good to start with (with problems in the larval stage) ?

Best regards
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