Optimal temperature for growth and condition of an endemic subtropical anemonefish

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Rushworth, KJW, Smith, SDA, Cowden, KL & Purcell, SW 2011, 'Optimal temperature for growth and condition of an endemic subtropical anemonefish', Aquaculture, vol. 318, no. 3-4, pp. 479-482.

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The wide-band anemonefish (Amphiprion latezonatus), a subtropical endemic of Australia, has strong potential as a cultured ornamental. We investigated the effect of seawater temperature (19–29 °C) on hatchery-reared juveniles over two months. Optimum temperatures for highest specific growth rate (SGR) and condition factor (K) were modelled using nonlinear regression. Growth rate increased with temperature to a maximum at 22–23 °C then declined. Optimum SGR, at 22.4 °C, was 0.91% day−1. The condition of juveniles displayed a similar trend but became increasingly variable within groups at higher temperatures and a significant optimum was not elucidated. This finding suggests that dominance behaviour accentuates with increasing temperature. Optimising the temperature for rearing juvenile A. latezonatus will improve efficiency of ornamental mariculture. Especially high rises in sea temperatures predicted for its geographical range are likely to impact the growth in juveniles of this species. Given the relative ease of juvenile culture and its apparent sensitivity to variation in sea temperatures, A. latezonatus should serve as a useful indicator species for studies on climate change impacts.

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