Exposure to sublethal levels of H2S does not influence the short-term growth or feed utilization in post-smolt Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) during restrictive feeding

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Abstract

Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) related mass mortality events in land-based recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) are associated with the sudden release of substantial amounts of H2S, resulting in acutely toxic exposure. However, the production and release of H2S can also occur at slower constant rates, leading to continuous exposure to sublethal H2S concentrations, the effects of which are unknown. Here, we examined growth rates, feed conversion ratios, and apparent nutrient digestibility in post-smolt Atlantic salmon, following a 10-day exposure to one of two sublethal concentrations of H2S, compared against a control group. The H2S concentrations of the low exposure (LE) and moderate exposure (ME) groups throughout the trial were 1.8 ± 0.8 μg/L and 4.1 ± 1.9 μg/L, respectively. Neither exposure regime affected growth, feed utilization, or the apparent nutrient digestibility. The results suggest that Atlantic salmon tolerate exposure to sublethal H2S concentrations for 10 days, without a discernible effect on the production performance. For aquaculture systems, specifically RAS, this means that while higher concentrations of H2S should be strictly avoided, the presence of low H2S concentrations for a limited period might not be detrimental to fish welfare or production. The RAS environment is complex, and the potential combined effects of H2S and factors pertinent to RAS may influence fish performance differently in a production setting.
Original languageEnglish
Article number741093
JournalAquaculture
Volume590
Number of pages8
ISSN0044-8486
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2024

Keywords

  • Hydrogen sulfide
  • Recirculating aquaculture system
  • Digestibility
  • Atlantic salmon
  • Production performance

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