The effect of feeding commercial diets on the development of juvenile crucian carp (Carassius carassius, L.). Part 1: Skeletal deformations.
The crucian carp (Carassius carassius, L.) is a cyprinid freshwater species, whose wild-living populations have decreased in recent years due to an increasing competition of invasive species. Several initiatives were launched, attempting to reintroduce this fish back into its native open waters, which requires the use of crucian carp fry grown under controlled conditions. However, the use of popular commercial diets results in severe developmental abnormalities. The aim of this study was to analyse the impact of feeding natural feed (Chironomidae sp. larvae) or two popular commercial diets on the skeletal development of crucian carp juveniles. Whole-mount staining and histological methods were used in the study. Skeletal tissues of fish fed both commercial diets were demineralized and displayed a variety of deformities, such as abnormal vertebral spines and vertebral fusion, as well as a new type of deformation, which involved the action of dorsal fin pterygiophores upon the spine. Finally, a novel analytical method was proposed, which utilizes LA-ICP-MS for the estimation of bone mineralization. The study proved that basic commercial diets are inadequate for the rearing of crucian carp juveniles.