Studies were carried out to determine the effect of four factors that may be important to optimize larval settlement of the scallop Nodipecten nodosus in a land-based nursery system: (1) ambient light (tanks were exposed to direct sunlight, kept in partial darkness, and kept in total darkness), (2) necessity for cleaning tanks (whether they should be cleaned daily or left untouched), (3) microalgal diet (ISO, Isochrysis galbana diatoms; PAV, Pavlova lutheri diatoms; and a mix, J. galbana P. lutheri diatoms fed once or twice a day), and (4) whether broodstock conditioned with an astaxanthin-enriched diet increased settlement. Effects of ambient light did not affect settlement statistically; however, an increase in settlement of 25% was recorded between settlement in tanks kept in total darkness and those exposed to sunlight. Cleaning tanks affected shell height of spat, with larger spat occurring in tanks cleaned every day compared with tanks not cleaned (mean, 1,387.95 (µm). Spat fed with a mix achieved the largest size (mean, 765.9 |µm), followed by PAV (mean, 717.12 µm), then ISO (mean, 515.4 (µm). A significantly greater shell height was found by feeding a mix twice a day. Larval settlement was accelerated when broodstock was fed the astaxanthin-enriched diet. We concluded that to optimize growth and settlement of N. nodosus larvae, broodstock should receive a supplement of astaxanthin during conditioning, settlement tanks should be exposed to sunlight and cleaned daily, and the spat should be fed with a mixed diet twice daily.
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Vol. 32 • No. 3