Aquaculture Program

Hatchery & Live Feeds Production Systems

Microalgae Culture Lab

The microalgae culture lab is equipped with flask, bag, and cylinder cultures for production of NannochloropsisIsochrysis, and Tetraselmis. Microalgae is used to feed rotifer cultures and as background algae in "greenwater” cultures of larval fish.

microalgae culture lab
Microalgae culture lab.

Rotifer Culture Lab

Rotifers (Brachionus rotundiformis) are the first live prey organism fed to first-feeding stage marine finfish larvae. UNCW collaborated with Amy Riedel (Aquatic Ecosystems Inc.) to "Beta-Test" a prototype intensive continuous culture rotifer system, which maintains rotifer densities of 3,000-4,000 ind./ml. This 200-L unit produces an average of 175 million rotifers per day.

chris bentley with instensive production system
Chris Bentley with intensive rotifer production system.

rotifer (brachionus rotundiformus)
Rotifer (brachionus rotundiformis)

intensive rotifer production system
Intensive rotifer production system.

Rotifer batch culture system.
Rotifer batch culture system.

Larval Rearing Tanks

The pilot-scale hatchery consists of two 1,000-L incubators for hatching eggs and three 2,000-L larval rearing tanks (LRTs) for raising newly-hatched larvae to juvenile stages under controlled illumination and temperature. The hatchery is supplied with 1 micron-filtered, UV-sterilized seawater for maximum purity.  LRTs are supported by a recirculating system for optimum water quality and environmental control.  This pilot-scale facility will yield up to 25,000 early juvenile black sea bass per 60-day crop.

Pat checks 2,000-L LRTs with juvenile black sea bass.
Pat checks 2,000-L LRTs with juvenile black sea bass.

Juvenile Flounder
Juvenile Flounder.

Flounder for Growout.

Juvenile black sea bass in 2,000-L LRT.
Juvenile black sea bass in 2,000-L LRT.

Pre-juvenile black sea bass
Pre-juvenile black sea bass.

Tyler check 300-L LRTs
Tyler check 300-L LRTs.