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The clown loach Chromobotia macracanthus, endemic to Indonesia, is a
major species on the international market of ornamental freshwater fish. In order to
satisfy an increasing demand with a sustainable alternative to the massive capture of wild
juveniles, research has been dedicated to the artificial propagation and domestication of
this species. The present study, the first of a series, focused on favourable maintenance
conditions for broodfish sexual maturation, criteria for identification of ripe fish,
efficiency of hormone-induced breeding treatments, predictability of their latency
response, and on the comparison of reproductive performances of fish from populations of
Sumatra and Borneo Islands (in total, 112 females of 46 to 404 g body weight). When reared
in fully controlled conditions in large water recirculation systems, broodfish originating
from Sumatra had reproductive performances similar to or slightly higher than those
maturing in the wild (ovulation rate of 93% vs. 82%, relative fecundity of 109 277 vs.
103 550 ova kg-1 and fertilization rate of 73% vs. 61%, respectively). In the
same rearing conditions, captive females from Borneo (n = 22) showed
lower ovulation rate (77%), relative fecundity (76 262 ova kg-1) and
fertilization rate (50%) than those originating from Sumatra (n = 28). By
contrast, the mean individual weight of ova (around 0.8 mg) was independent from the
origin or maintenance conditions of females. An initial modal follicle diameter ≥1.02 mm
generally led to high ovulation success (>80%) after hormonal treatment and is
recommended as the main criterion for selecting female broodfish. Two hormonal treatments
for inducing oocyte maturation and ovulation (T1: two successive injections of Ovaprim at
a 6 h-interval; T2: one injection of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG)- and one of
Ovaprim 24 h later), produced similar results in terms of ovulation rate, quantity and
quality of ova collected. With both treatments, the latency decreased with increasing
water temperature, then increased again at temperatures >28–29 °C. To our
knowledge, such U-shaped relationship between the latency response and
temperature has never been documented in teleost fishes.
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