Biological filters regulate water quality, modulate health status, immune indices and gut microbiota of freshwater crayfish, marron (Cherax cainii, Austin, 2002)
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Water quality has significant impacts on the health and immune responses of aquaculture species. This study aimed to analyse and compare the effects of two biological filters namely, gravel and, Bio-Ball with a recently developed filter called Water-cleanser on regulation of water quality parameters, health and immune response of marron reared in plastic tanks for 60 days. Results showed that addition of Bio-Ball significantly (P < 0.05) reduced the concentration of ammonia, nitrate and phosphate while Water-cleanser showed the ability to reduce ammonia and nitrate from water in aquaculture tanks. Although the biological filters had no significant effect on marron growth but inclusion of Bio-Ball and Water-cleanser positively influenced the biochemical composition of tail muscle and some haemolymph parameters of marron. The next generation sequence data demonstrated higher bacterial diversity in the hindgut of marron with Water-cleanser, followed by Bio-Ball and gravel, respectively. In addition, the predicted metabolic pathways revealed a significantly higher bacterial activity and gene function correlated to metabolism and biosynthesis of protein, energy and secondary metabolites in Bio-Ball and Water-cleanser. Bio-Ball and Water-cleanser were also associated with up-regulation of innate immune responsive genes of marron gut. Overall, Bio-Ball and Water-cleanser proved to have higher water remediation and immune response modulation capabilities, and therefore could be used as preferred filters for growth of beneficial bacteria in crayfish culture.
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