This study was conducted to examine the effects of different forms and concentrations of ascorbic acid (vitamin C), and different enrichment times (24 and 48 h post ovulation) on egg, embryo and alevin ascorbate concentrations and survival of rainbow trout (enrichment was at the ova stage). In experiments 1 and 2, fertilized eggs were immersed in water containing ascorbate at 0 (control), 100, 1000 mg L-1 l-ascorbic acid (AA) and 2000 mg L -1 l-ascorbyl monophosphate (AP). In experiment 3, 0 (control), 500 and 1000 mg L-1 AA neutralized (N) with NaOH, 1000 mg L-1 AA non-neutralized (NN), 1000 and 2000 mg L-1 AP immersions were used. The mean total ascorbic acid (TAA) and dehydroascorbic acid (DHA) concentrations were measured before fertilization, at 3 and 24 h after fertilization, at the eyed stage, and in hatched alevins. We observed significant differences in TAA concentration at different immersion levels at 3 and 24 h after fertilization. Survival decreased significantly depending on the level of vitamin C, pH of the solutions and immersion time. We suggest that when broodstock rainbow trout do not have enough vitamin C in their ovaries, immersion of eggs in 1000 mg L-1 of neutralized AA may be useful. ?? 2006 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.