Crucian carp

Carassius carassius

Carassius carassius (Crucian carp)
Taxonomy
    • Osteichthyes
      • Cypriniformes
        • Cyprinidae
          • Carassius carassius

Information


Author: Caroline Marques Maia
Version: 2.0 (2022-06-01) - Revision 4 (2022-07-29)

Cite

Reviewers: Jenny Volstorf, Pablo Arechavala-Lopez
Editor: Jenny Volstorf

Cite as: »Marques Maia, Caroline. 2022. Carassius carassius (Farm: Short Profile). In: FishEthoBase, ed. Fish Ethology and Welfare Group. World Wide Web electronic publication. First published 2021-12-31. Version 2.0 Revision 4. https://fishethobase.net.«





FishEthoScore/farm

Carassius carassius
LiPoCe
Criteria
Home range
Depth range
Migration
Reproduction
Aggregation
Aggression
Substrate
Stress
Malformations
Slaughter


Condensed assessment of the species' likelihood and potential for good fish welfare in aquaculture, based on ethological findings for 10 crucial criteria.

Li = Likelihood that the individuals of the species experience good welfare under minimal farming conditions
Po = Potential of the individuals of the species to experience good welfare under high-standard farming conditions
Ce = Certainty of our findings in Likelihood and Potential

FishEthoScore = Sum of criteria scoring "High" (max. 10)

Legend

High
Medium
Low
Unclear
No findings



General remarks

Carassius carassius is a freshwater fish that inhabits ponds, lakes, rivers, and reservoirs in several countries in Asia and Europe. This carp appears in IUCN Red List with a substantial decline in most of its native range in Europe. It is found in rich vegetation in slow-moving waters with sand and gravel and can tolerate a wide range of environmental conditions – including anoxia – but usually does not occur in waters with rich ichthyofauna. This carp, which migrates in fresh water to spawn when the temperature is warmer, is considered a relatively inactive fish. Aquaculture of C. carassius was limited to China and Japan until the 1960s and then gradually expanded to many other countries. It is considered an omnivore fish with relatively slow growth that explores the water column, especially dwelling in the bottom layer, thus being difficult to harvest. Despite that, it occupies a high position among all cultured freshwater fishes worldwide, being reared also for conservation programmes. C. carassius is frequently cultured in earthen ponds, also in pens and rice paddies. Polycultures with other carps is common. This fish is usually sold live or fresh in local markets, and this can happen before it reaches maturity. Further studies about wild information, especially about migration, aggregation, and aggression of this species, are needed. Considering farming conditions, the need for future research focused on depth range, substrate availability, stress response, and stunning and slaughter processes is highlighted. Moreover, as most available information about farms are from sources focused on conservation purposes, more research about production conditions are still needed.




1  Home range

Many species traverse in a limited horizontal space (even if just for a certain period of time per year); the home range may be described as a species' understanding of its environment (i.e., its cognitive map) for the most important resources it needs access to. What is the probability of providing the species' whole home range in captivity?

It is low for minimal farming conditions. It is medium for high-standard farming conditions. Our conclusion is based on a low amount of evidence.

Likelihood
Potential
Certainty

LARVAE and FRYWILD: ponds (450-1,760 m2) 1 2, lake (divided in two connected ponds: 15,000 m2) 3, reservoirs (190-2,250 m2) 4 all with unclear home range use. FARM: glass tanks: 1-1.5 L 5; earthen ponds: 0.07-0.2 ha 6.

JUVENILESWILD: ponds (450-3,000 m2) 7 1 2, lakes (2,500-110,000 m2) 8, lake (divided in two connected ponds: 15,000 m2) 3, reservoirs (190-2,250 m2) 4 all with unclear home range use. Non-native waters: lake: 3,200,000 m2 (3,200 x 1,000 m) 9 10 with unclear home range use. FARM: earthen ponds with underground artificial deep pool: 191 m2 (15.6 m diameter) 11; tanks: 100 L 12.

ADULTSWILD: ➝ JUVENILESFARM: earthen ponds with underground artificial deep pool: 191 m2 (15.6 m diameter) 11; concrete ponds with natural bottom: 50,000 L 12; tanks: 100 L 12.

SPAWNERSWILD: ➝ LARVAE and FRYFARM: 1,000 L 5 13; earthen ponds: 0.07-0.2 ha 6.




2  Depth range

Given the availability of resources (food, shelter) or the need to avoid predators, species spend their time within a certain depth range. What is the probability of providing the species' whole depth range in captivity?

It is low for minimal farming conditions. It is medium for high-standard farming conditions. Our conclusion is based on a low amount of evidence.

Likelihood
Potential
Certainty

LARVAE and FRYWILD: ponds (range 0.6-2.5 m) 1, lake (divided in two connected ponds (max 1.6 m) 3, reservoirs (max 0.9-2.5 m) 4 all with unclear depth range use. FARM: earthen ponds: 1.5-2.0 m 6.

JUVENILESWILD: dwell in the bottom layer 6, but explore the whole water column. Ponds (range 0.6-2.5 m) 7 1, lakes (max 1.5-11.3 m) 8, lake (divided in two connected ponds: max 1.6 m) 3, reservoirs (max 0.9-2.5 m) 4 all with unclear depth range use. Non-native waters: lakes (range 0.6-7.4 m) 9 10 with unclear depth range use. FARM: no data found yet.

ADULTSWILD: dwell in the bottom layer 6, but explore the whole water column. Ponds 14 (range 0.6-2.5 m) 7 1, lakes (max 1.5-11.3 m) 8, lake (divided in two connected ponds: max 1.6 m) 3, reservoirs (max 0.9-2.5 m) 4 all with unclear depth range use. Non-native waters: lakes: range 0.6-7.4 m 9 10 with unclear depth range use. FARM: no data found yet.

SPAWNERSWILD: spawn in shallow waters 15-14. Ponds (range 0.6-2.5 m) 1, lake (divided in two connected ponds: max 1.6 m) 3, reservoirs (max 0.9-2.5 m) 4 all with unclear depth range use. FARM: earthen ponds: 1.5-2.0 m 6.




3  Migration

Some species undergo seasonal changes of environments for different purposes (feeding, spawning, etc.) and with them, environmental parameters (photoperiod, temperature, salinity) may change, too. What is the probability of providing farming conditions that are compatible with the migrating or habitat-changing behaviour of the species?

It is low for minimal farming conditions. It is high for high-standard farming conditions. Our conclusion is based on a low amount of evidence.

Likelihood
Potential
Certainty

Possibly POTAMODROMOUS 16 17, but also considered resident 6.

LARVAE and FRYWILD: based on distribution 1 4 estimated 10-17 h PHOTOPERIOD, fresh water. FARM: 21-25.2 °C 5 18. For details of holding systems ➝ crit. 1.

JUVENILESWILD: 5-20 h PHOTOPERIOD 7 3 1 4 8 2, 2-32 °C 3 4, fresh water 7 3 1 4 8 2. Non-native waters: 10-15 h PHOTOPERIOD, 6-30 °C, fresh water 9 10FARM: earthen ponds with underground artificial deep pool: 13.2-26.1 °C 11; tanks: constant light and 24 °C 12. For details of holding systems ➝ crit. 1. LAB: lower growth at 18 °C compared to 22 °C 19; immune system negatively affected indicating stress response at 28-31 °C 20; reduced growth at light intensities <230 lux or >500 lux 21.

ADULTSWILD: ➝ JUVENILESFARM: earthen ponds with underground artificial deep pool: 13.2-26.1 °C 11; concrete ponds with natural bottom: 14.8-23.6 °C 12; tanks: 18 °C 12. For details of holding systems ➝ crit. 1.

SPAWNERSWILD: possibly migrates upstream to spawn 17FARM: 16 h PHOTOPERIOD 13 22; 16-21 °C 5 13 22 with 21 °C being better after hormonal injection, resulting in higher ovulation and embryo survival rates and less deformed LARVAE 13. For details of holding systems ➝ crit. 1.




4  Reproduction

A species reproduces at a certain age, season, and sex ratio and possibly involving courtship rituals. What is the probability of the species reproducing naturally in captivity without manipulation?

It is low for minimal and high-standard farming conditions. Our conclusion is based on a medium amount of evidence.

Likelihood
Potential
Certainty

WILD: mature at 1.5-2.5 years 1. Spawning season during spring-summer 23-17, May-July when temperatures were rising to ≥18 °C 24, extending from March-August 23-17; non-native waters: spawn year-round with peak in December-June 25. Sex ratio 0.2-6.5 males:females 1 8. FARM: mature at 2 years 6 12; males and females kept separated by sex 13 26; sex ratio 1 female:2 males 6; batch spawners 13. Hormonal manipulation to induce spawning in wild-caught 5 18 13 22 and captivity-reared spawners 26. Attempts of induced spawning with Ovopel (luteinising hormone-releasing hormone analogue and dopamine antagonist), Ovaprim (salmon luteinising hormone-releasing hormone analogue and dopamine antagonist), human chorionic gonadotropin, carp pituitary, and active gonadoliberine analogue followed by stripping, with better success reflected in ovulating females and embryo survival rates with a combination of Ovopel and Ovaprim 13. Successful induced spawning with carp pituitary hormonal injection during natural spawning season and by gradually increasing water temperature from 5 to 18 °C during 10 days followed by carp pituitary hormonal injection out of natural spawning season 18. Successfull induced spawning with Ovopel 5 22 or with Metoclopramide (dopamine antagonist), but less hatching rate and more deformed embryos with Ovopel 22. Stripping eggs is used 18 26 22.




5  Aggregation

Species differ in the way they co-exist with conspecifics or other species from being solitary to aggregating unstructured, casually roaming in shoals or closely coordinating in schools of varying densities. What is the probability of providing farming conditions that are compatible with the aggregation behaviour of the species?

There are unclear findings for minimal and high-standard farming conditions. Our conclusion is based on a low amount of evidence.

Likelihood
Potential
Certainty

LARVAE and FRYWILD: no data found yetFARM: 50-90 IND/L 18; better growth at 50 IND/L than 100 IND/L or higher densities 5.

JUVENILESWILD: no data found yetFARM: 0.3 IND/m2 in earthen ponds with underground artificial deep pool in polyculture with 6 other native species of overall density of 2.2 IND/m2 11; tanks: 0.3 IND/L 12.

ADULTSWILD: no data found yet. FARM: 0.3 IND/m2 in earthen ponds with underground artificial deep pool in polyculture with 6 other native species of overall density of 2.2 IND/m2 11; concrete ponds with natural bottom: 0.002 IND/L 12; tanks: 0.3 IND/L 12.

SPAWNERSWILD: swim in schools during the spawning season 17FARM: tanks: 0.02 kg/L 13 22.




6  Aggression

There is a range of adverse reactions in species, spanning from being relatively indifferent towards others to defending valuable resources (e.g., food, territory, mates) to actively attacking opponents. What is the probability of the species being non-aggressive and non-territorial in captivity?

It is low for minimal and high-standard farming conditions. Our conclusion is based on a medium amount of evidence.

Likelihood
Potential
Certainty

LARVAE and FRYWILD: no data found yetFARM: no cannibalism at 50-90 IND/L 18LAB: <2 cm IND cannibalised on recently hatched LARVAE 27

JUVENILESWILD: intraspecific competition and cannibalism suspected in ponds without natural predators 28. FARM: no aggression reported in a polyculture with other 6 native species, but competition among fish is mentioned as a possibility 11LAB: no aggression in polycultures with Cyprinus carpio or Carassius auratus despite reduced growth rate due to interspecific exploitative competition 19; aggression in competitive interactions for food of small individuals 29-27, attacks on IND of 2 cm 27.

ADULTSWILD: intraspecific competition and cannibalism suspected in ponds without natural predators 28. FARM:  JUVENILES.

SPAWNERSWILD and FARMno data found yet. 




7  Substrate

Depending on where in the water column the species lives, it differs in interacting with or relying on various substrates for feeding or covering purposes (e.g., plants, rocks and stones, sand and mud). What is the probability of providing the species' substrate and shelter needs in captivity?

It is low for minimal farming conditions. It is high for high-standard farming conditions. Our conclusion is based on a medium amount of evidence.

Likelihood
Potential
Certainty

Eggs: WILD: ponds with bushes, trees and aquatic vegetation 1; reservoirs: mud layer thickness: 0.2-1 m and plant cover on the surface: 0-90% 4; stick to aquatic weeds, submerged twigs and macrophytes 6 27FARM: substrate for attachment: grass bundles, palm leaves, fine tree branches and plastic weeds 6.

LARVAE and FRYWILD: ponds with bushes, trees and aquatic vegetation 1; lake (divided in two connected ponds): prefer vegetated inshore habitats 3; reservoirs: mud layer thickness: 0.2-1 m and plant cover on the surface: 0-90% 4FARM: for details of holding systems ➝ crit. 1.

JUVENILESWILD: ponds with bushes, trees and aquatic vegetation 1, soft organic sediments and dense stands of grasses and sedges with floating-leafed macrophytes 7; lakes: high densities of macrophytes 8; lake (divided in two connected ponds): prefer vegetated inshore habitats, but also feed in deeper water on sediment 3; reservoirs: mud layer thickness: 0.2-1 m and plant cover on the surface: 0-90% 4. Non-native waters: lakes: dominated by submerged and freefloating macrophytes, Secchi disk: 0.4-3.6 m 9 10FARM: earthen ponds: underground artificial deep pool (1.3 x 1.3 x 1.5 m) of cement-zero concrete materials with a sediment barrier and an airlift pump as alternative fish shelter in the dry season increases survival 11. For details of holding systems ➝ crit. 1.

ADULTSWILD: occur in lakes rich in vegetation 14; ponds with bushes, trees and aquatic vegetation 1, soft organic sediments and dense stands of grasses and sedges with floating-leafed macrophytes 7; lakes: high densities of macrophytes 8; lake (divided in two connected ponds): small IND prefer vegetated inshore habitats, but also feed in deeper water on sediment 3; reservoirs: mud layer thickness: 0.2-1 m and plant cover on the surface: 0-90% 4. Non-native waters: lakes: dominated by submerged and freefloating macrophytes, Secchi disk: 0.4-3.6 m 9 10FARM ➝ JUVENILES.

SPAWNERSWILD: spawn in dense vegetation 15-14 30-14, like weedy lakes 23-17, after rain 23-17. Ponds with bushes, trees and aquatic vegetation 1; reservoirs: mud layer thickness: 0.2-1 m and plant cover on the surface: 0-90% 4FARM: for details of holding systems ➝ crit. 1.




8  Stress

Farming involves subjecting the species to diverse procedures (e.g., handling, air exposure, short-term confinement, short-term crowding, transport), sudden parameter changes or repeated disturbances (e.g., husbandry, size-grading). What is the probability of the species not being stressed?

It is low for minimal farming conditions. It is medium for high-standard farming conditions. Our conclusion is based on a low amount of evidence.

Likelihood
Potential
Certainty

LARVAE and FRY: FARM: conditioning through netting and holding IND at high density for several hours increases the tolerance to transport stress 6; dry feed decreased growth and survival 5FRYLAB: lower survival with commercial feed not specifically indicated for cyprinid fish 31 32.

JUVENILES: FARM: no data found yetLAB: for stress and temperature, light intensities crit. 3.

ADULTS: FARMno data found yet.

SPAWNERS: FARMno data found yet.




9  Malformations

Deformities that – in contrast to diseases – are commonly irreversible may indicate sub-optimal rearing conditions (e.g., mechanical stress during hatching and rearing, environmental factors unless mentioned in crit. 3, aquatic pollutants, nutritional deficiencies) or a general incompatibility of the species with being farmed. What is the probability of the species being malformed rarely?

It is low for minimal farming conditions. It is medium for high-standard farming conditions. Our conclusion is based on a low amount of evidence.

Likelihood
Potential
Certainty

Eggs: when inducing spawning, using Metoclopramide caused 0.8% 22 and using Ovopel caused 0.1-4.6% of deformed embryos (e.g., scoliosis, poorly formed retina) 13 22 - with more deformed embryos found in temperatures of 25 °C 13.

LARVAE and FRY: commercial diets have negative effects on the development of gastrointestinal tract for FRY: changes in intestinal epitelium, liver parenchyma, adipose tissue (steatosis) in pancreas and in fish skin, and changed activity pattern of digestive enzymes 32, also causing demineralised skeletal tissues and deformities related to vertebral spines and fusion: caudal kyphosis 6-27%, caudal fin scoliosis 19-27%, and both in 4-14% - especially with diets not specifically recommended for cyprinid FISHES 31, which also caused a deformation causing a pressure zone upon the spine and abnormal behavior 31.

JUVENILES: commercial diets (starters) cause external deformities, mostly as scoliosis and bent fins, in 37.2-62.7% 33.

ADULTSno data found yet.




10  Slaughter

The cornerstone for a humane treatment is that slaughter a) immediately follows stunning (i.e., while the individual is unconscious), b) happens according to a clear and reproducible set of instructions verified under farming conditions, and c) avoids pain, suffering, and distress. What is the probability of the species being slaughtered according to a humane slaughter protocol?

It is low for minimal farming conditions. It is medium for high-standard farming conditions. Our conclusion is based on a low amount of evidence.

Likelihood
Potential
Certainty

Common slaughter method: commonly sold live or fresh locally 6, so probably asphyxia. High-standard slaughter method: for the related C. carpio, electrical plus percussive stunning (followed by evisceration, gill cut or destruction of the heart) 34 or immersion in clove oil (followed by percussion killing 35). Further research needed for a specific protocol and to determine whether this applies to C. carassius as well.




11  Side note: Domestication

Teletchea and Fontaine introduced 5 domestication levels illustrating how far species are from having their life cycle closed in captivity without wild input, how long they have been reared in captivity, and whether breeding programmes are in place. What is the species’ domestication level?

DOMESTICATION LEVEL 5 36, fully domesticated.




12  Side note: Forage fish in the feed

450-1,000 milliard wild-caught fishes end up being processed into fish meal and fish oil each year which contributes to overfishing and represents enormous suffering. There is a broad range of feeding types within species reared in captivity. To what degree may fish meal and fish oil based on forage fish be replaced by non-forage fishery components (e.g., poultry blood meal) or sustainable sources (e.g., soybean cake)?

All age classes: WILD: omnivorous 6 17 14, LARVAE and FRY feeding on zooplankton 6 3, older age classes on plankton, BENTHIC invertebrates 6 3 14, plant materials, and detritus 6 14FARM: feed usually consists of by-products from grain processing and oil extraction with <10% fish meal, but no fish meal is necessary when C. carassius is kept as a secondary species in polycultures 6.




Glossary


LARVAE = hatching to mouth opening, for details Findings 10.1 Ontogenetic development
FRY = larvae from external feeding on, for details Findings 10.1 Ontogenetic development
WILD = setting in the wild
FARM = setting in farming environment or under conditions simulating farming environment in terms of size of facility or number of individuals
JUVENILES = fully developed but immature individuals, for details Findings 10.1 Ontogenetic development
ADULTS = mature individuals, for details Findings 10.1 Ontogenetic development
SPAWNERS = adults that are kept as broodstock
POTAMODROMOUS = migrating within fresh water
PHOTOPERIOD = duration of daylight
LAB = setting in laboratory environment
IND = individuals
FISHES = Using "fishes" instead of "fish" for more than one individual - whether of the same species or not - is inspired by Jonathan Balcombe who proposed this usage in his book "What a fish knows". By referring to a group as "fishes", we acknowledge the individuals with their personalities and needs instead of an anonymous mass of "fish".
DOMESTICATION LEVEL 5 = selective breeding programmes are used focusing on specific goals 36
BENTHIC = living at the bottom of a body of water, able to rest on the floor



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