Dominance behaviour in a non-aggressive flatfish

Senegalese sole juveniles (~ 45 g) were provided by Stolt Sea Farm (Santiago de Compostela, Spain), different fish from the same batch were used for two successive years to conduct different behavioural tests. Fish were transported from A Coruña, where the facilities of Stolt Sea Farm are located, with a specialized transport for aquatic live animals.

Fish were maintained at the Research Centre facilities of IRTA, in St. Carles de la Ràpita, North East Spain and distributed in two 10 m3 fiberglass tanks with natural photoperiod (using artificial lighting) and seasonally simulated external temperatures (40˚62’82.42”, 0˚66’09.37”/ 9–32˚C) maintained within the range of 9–20˚C with a recirculation system (IRTAMar®) that recirculated + 400% and renewed 10% of the water daily.

Sole were fed ad libitum five days per week with balanced feed (LE-3mm ELITE, Skretting, Co.). A total of six identical 400 L fiberglass tank were used, two tanks were used for acclimation (17–25 fish or 2.5–4.8 kg per tank) and four tanks for the experiments. One week before dyadic tests started, animals were moved from a large holding tank and acclimated to the 400 L fiberglass tanks.

All fish were tagged with a passive integrated transponder (PIT) tag (ID—100A, Unique Trovan-Zeuss; Madrid, Spain) and photo identified individually. Individual markings in the photographs were matched with the corresponding PIT Tag for later identification in the video images. The acclimation and experimental tanks were in a recirculation system to control the temperature and water quality in order to reduce environmental variation.

During the tests the temperature was maintained at 15˚C with a recirculation system (IRTAMar® described above). The animals were fasted for 48 hours prior to the experiment.

Fatsini, Elvira, Sonia Rey, Zohar Ibarra-Zatarain, Simon Mackenzie, and Neil J. Duncan. 2017. “Dominance Behaviour In A Non-Aggressive Flatfish, Senegalese Sole (Solea Senegalensis) And Brain Mrna Abundance Of Selected Transcripts”. PLOS ONE 12 (9): e0184283. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0184283.

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