The marine copepod species Oithona nana is considered as one of the most successfully mass cultured Cyclopoida species in marine hatcheries. This study investigated the effects of four feed diets (soybean, yeast, rice bran, and corn starch) on the population growth, growth rate, population composition, fecundity, and fatty acid composition of native isolated Cyclopoida copepod species O. nana. The experiment was continued for 15 days and the copepods were fed on one of the four diets with a concentration of 1 g 10-6 individual day-1. The results revealed that corn starch was found to be the most supportive diet for population growth and population growth rate. For nutritional value, copepods fed on rice bran were detected to have the highest content of MUFA, PUFA, and the lowest SFA and SFA/UFA ratio; more importantly, the rice bran diet was the only treatment that showed C20:5ω3. Moreover, copepods fed on rice bran showed the highest significant female fecundity, copepodite, and nauplii percent. Finally, the protocols described in the current study concluded that the dry feeds, especially corn starch, are very useful and applicable in hatcheries for maximizing the fecundity and density of Cyclopoida copepod species, O. nana.
Keywords: Oithona nana; artificial diets; fatty acid profile; larvae rearing; live feeds.