A new system was developed for maintaining suspensions of inorganic solids during laboratory studies on early life stages of fish. Microfine bentonite was successfully held in suspension in specially constructed units during a 21-d fishless test, a 28-d experiment with juvenile green sunfish (lepomis cyanellus), and four shorter experiments (5-9 d) with four species of larval fishes, white sucker (catostomus commersoni), northern pike (esox lucius), channel catfish (ictalurus punctatus), and walleye (stizostedion vitreum). Each experiment on larval fish was conducted until the yolk-sac had been absorbed. Concentrations of bentonite ranged from 0 to 728 mg/l. Each unit consisted of a holding chamber set in a stainless steel bowl and two submersible pumps that recirculated the suspension. Turbidity readings remained nearly constant throughout each experiment. Because the turbidity of suspensions was well correlated with bentonite concentration (r2 = 0.989) And easy to measure, turbidity was used as an indicator of concentration. The system is inexpensive, easy to assemble, and does not require a diluter system to maintain constant concentrations of suspended material.
Additional publication details
System for maintaining sediment suspensions during larval fish studies