Cultivation of gilthead sea bream (sparus aurata linnaeus, 1758) in low salinity inland brackish geothermal water

Samuel Appelbaum, A. Jesu Arockiaraj

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


In the course of attempting to culture gilthead sea bream in inland brackish geothermal water, indoor and outdoor research studies have been ongoing from early 2006 at the "Bengis Centre for Desert Aquaculture" of the Institutes for Desert Research in Israel, some of which are described below. Gilthead sea bream fingerlings with an average weight of 19 g were acclimated to and reared for 56 days in brackish water of three salinities: 2.5, 3.5 and 4.5 ppt collected from three different locations. At the salinity of 3.5 ppt the fish grew best (P < 0.05) increasing their weight by 121%, while at 4.5 ppt weight increase was by 98%, and at 2.5 ppt - by 90%. In another study gilthead sea bream larvae aged 45 days post hatching, with an average weight of 0.025 g were fed yeast extract enriched Artemia nauplii plus larval dry feed and were grown in brackish water of 2.6 ppt salinity for 8 weeks reaching a weight gain of 92% at a survival rate of 83%. The control groups at sea water (39 ppt) reached at the same time a weight gain of 95% at a survival rate of 98%. In a further study gilthead sea bream juveniles with an average weight of 2.24 g were reared in brackish water with a salinity of 3.6 ppt for 8 weeks and received salt added diets of 4% and 6%. Compared with the control diet with no salt added, both salt rich diets significantly improved the fingerlings growth and survival rates as well as the feed conversion ratio. The 6% salt rich diet promoted fish weight gain by 560% which was the best performance (P < 0.05) followed by 448% weight gain with the 4% salt rich diet while the lowest performance with a weight gain of only 360% was obtained with the control (no salt added) diet. The next study with higher levels of salt added diets showed that gilthead sea bream post larvae with an average weight of 0.58 g reared in brackish geothermal water of 2.9 ppt salinity for 10 weeks grew best (P < 0.05) obtaining a weight gain of 778% with the highest survival rate of 88% when fed a diet containing 12% salt. In the studies with the salt rich diets, the salt incorporated was obtained by the evaporation of brine produced during the process of desalination of the brackish geothermal water from the same well supplying the fish rearing water. Worth mentioning at this point is that sea bream, after the termination of the experiments, were further kept for several months in the same brackish water showing further growth with no detrimental effects. The above mentioned research findings show conclusively the possibility of utilizing inland brackish water for culturing gilthead sea bream as an additional alternative to traditional marine farming. This is not surprising, considering the biology of the euryhaline gilthead sea bream, the juvenile of which appears at some stage in their life cycle in low salinity lagoons and river estuaries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)197-204
Number of pages8
JournalAACL Bioflux
Issue number2
StatePublished - 15 Oct 2009


  • Desert aquaculture
  • Geothermal water
  • Gilthead sea bream
  • Low salinity.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Aquatic Science
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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