Livestock Research for Rural Development 22 (4) 2010 Notes to Authors LRRD Newsletter

Citation of this paper

Effects of varying dietary protein levels on the breeding performance of Clarias gariepinus broodstocks and fry growth rate

A O Sotolu

Nasarawa State University Keffi, Department of Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries Shabu-Lafia Campus, Lafia, Nigeria
sotoluola@yahoo.com

Abstract

Breeding performance of Clarias gariepinus under different dietary crude protein (CP) levels 30%, 35%, 40% and a broodstock diet (imported feed) as the control. Female broodstocks were subsequently induced for breeding and were stripped after 11 hours latency period.

 

Weight of eggs stripped increased with increase in dietary protein levels and no broodstock mortality was recorded. Hatchability rate was highest in fish fed 40% C.P (90.33 0.44%) which was only marginally different from fish fed 35% CP (89.42 0.01%) while fish fed 30% CP diet had the least hatchability rate (84.70 0.12%). Advanced frys were monitored for 3 weeks under intensive feeding and frys from fish fed 40% CP dietary level had superior mean weight gain, specific growth rate, feed conversion ratio and protein efficiency ratio indicating sufficient level of nutrient for gonad development while fry from fish fed 35% CP diet only had marginally different specific growth rate compared with the former (p>0.05).

 

This study revealed that dietary protein level at 35% CP was able to ensure fish growth maintenance, while 40% CP diet sustained the fish further to ensure proper gonadal development and maturation and consequently, superior performance of the hatchlings.

Key words: Advanced frys, breeding performance, Clarias gariepinus, gonad development, hatchability rate


Introduction

Fish seed production efficiency of many fish farms' hatcheries throughout sub-Saharan African countries or developing countries such as is mostly unsuccessful due to poor nutrition. Nutrition is known to play a major role in the reproductive performance of fish (Manissery et al 2001; Muchlisin et al 2006). Several studies have shown that the nutritional requirements of broodstock during gonadal development vary from those of young fish (NRC 1983; Izquierdo et al 2001). It was reported that increased protein levels from 30 up to 40% C.P in the diets of freshwater fish species resulted in enlarged ovary size and weight of fish followed by high rate of fry hatchability (Pathmasothy 1985; Shim et al 1989). Clarias gariepinus is presently the most widely cultured fish species in Nigeria and many hatcheries in the country are facing the problem of poor spawning and low hatchability rates. The study was therefore carried out to examine the effects of varying dietary crude protein levels on reproductive performance of catfish broodstock.

 

Materials and methods 

Preparation of experimental diets

 

This study involved the use of three levels of dietary protein (30, 35 and 40%) as test diets. The protein sources used in formulating the feeds include fishmeal, blood meal and soyabean meal (Table 1).


Table 1.  Gross ingredients of the locally prepared experimental diets

Ingredient, g/100g/DM

Dietary Crude Protein Levels

  30%

 35%

40%

Fishmeal

18.3

21.2

26.2

Blood meal

17.5

19.4

20.0

Soya bean meal

17.2

17.2

17.2

Dried brewers’ grains

18.6

15.0

14.2

Maize

23.3

18.2

17.3

D-calcium phosphate

1.50

1.50

1.50

Fish premix*

1.00

1.00

1.00

Methionin+lysine

2.00

2.00

2.00

Palm oil

0.70

0.70

0.70

*Biomix fish vitamin/mineral providing per kg of diet at 5kg per tonne inclusion: 20,000 iu, vitamin A, 200 i.u, Vit. D3, 200 mg Vit E, 8 mg Vit k3, 20mg Vit B1, 30 mg Vit B2, 12 mg Vit B6, 50 mg Pantothenic acid, 0.8 mg Biotin, 150 mg Niacin, 0.05mg Vit B12, 160mg Vit. C, 4.0mg Cobalt, 40 mg Iron, 5.0 mg Iodine, 30 mg Manganese, 4 mg Copper, 40 mg Zinc, 0.2 mg Selenium, 100 mg Lysine, 100 mg Methionine, 100 mg Anti-oxidant.


In addition to the three formulated diets an imported brood fish diet was used as the control making a total of four test diets (Table 2).


Table 2.  Proximate composition of experimental diets (% on Dry matter content of 85-87%).

Nutrients, %

Diets

1 (control)

2 (30%CP)

3 (35% CP)

4 (40%CP)

Crude protein

30.9

30.2

35.0

40.1

Crude fibre

3.44

3.81

3.66

3.68

Crude fat

12.0

10.4

10.3

13.7

Ash

26.2

24.6

22.8

28.2

Moisture

14.8

14.5

13.8

13.3

NFE

21.2

20.1

25.4

23.4

Gross energy, kcal/kg

3029

2971

3014

3014


All formulated diets were made into pellets of 6mm diameter after homogenous mixing in a Hobart mixer. Thirty six catfish female broodstocks of 883.22 0.15g average weight were evenly distributed in twelve concrete tanks and are allowed to acclimatize for two days before the commencement of the experiment. All test diets, fish carcass and eggs were chemical analyzed for their crude protein, crude fibre, crude lipid, nitrogen free extract, ash and moisture according to AOAC (2000). Fish were fed ad libitum daily at two feeding regimes between 08:30 – 09:00 hours and 16:30 – 17:00 hours. Feeding of fish per treatment was done in triplicates for eight weeks. Water quality parameters which include dissolved oxygen, pH and ammonia were kept within the range of 6.7-6.9 (mg/l), 7.2-7.8 and 0.16-0.18 (mg/l) respectively and were considered favourable in fish culture tanks according to Boyd (1990).

 

Preparation of broodstock fish for breeding

 

At the end of the feeding trials three fish were selected for breeding from each tank. They were injected hormone (Ovaprim TM) intramuscularly at an angle of 30 – 45o of the dorsal fin to artificially induce them for spawning at the rate of 0.5ml/kg of fish. Injected fish were kept in separate tanks and a latency period of eleven hours was allowed before the eggs were stripped. Eggs were stripped into dry plastic bowls, weighed and fertilized with the milt of male fish from the same treatment. Within two to three minutes after fertilization, eggs were evenly spread on “Kakaban” (egg receiver) that was laid inside a (2 x 1.2 x 0.3) m rectangular plastic tank for incubation.

 

Estimation and determination of broodstock performance

 

Hatchability rates of eggs were determined based on the method of percentage in hatched eggs as described by Aluko and Ali (2001). Survival rate was determined by the methods of Jensen (1996). Normal healthy hatchlings were estimated on percentage basis of dead and deformed hatchlings and gamete quality in female Clarias gariepinus was determined by fecundity/gonado-somatic index ratio according to Fernandez et al (1998). Separated hatchlings were fed weighted imported feed (Artemia) 3 days after hatching for 10 days ad libitum followed by floating feeds of 0.3mm (Coppens) for 7 days and followed by 0.5mm (Coppens) for another 10 days. Average weights of fish were determined per treatment at 0th day and 17th day of feeding (that is, 11th day and 28th days of the experiment) using sensitive electronic scale (P.E Balance mx Rady 300g max).

 

 

Statistical analysis

 

All data collected were processed and subjected to ANOVA of the one-way classification and significant mean differences were separated according to Steel et al (1997) 5%.

 

Results and discussion 

Table 2 shows the proximate composition of test diets. Crude protein contents of all diets were within the range of 30.21% and 40.12% while crude fat ranged between 10.32% and 13.65%. Gross energy was highest in the control diet (30.28.71kcal/kg) and least in diet 2 (2970.16 kcal/kg). These results are in line with the range of values of crude protein formulated for catfish and energy requirement for optimum performance as reported by Faturoti (2000) and corroborated by Fasakin (2007). Table 3 presents the weight differentials between stripped fish and before they were stripped of eggs.


Table 3.  Mean morphometric data and number of broodstock used

Diets

Weight before stripping, g

Weight after stripping, g

Standard length, cm

No. of fish injected

No of fish stripped

Mortality after stripping

1  (Control)

8780.01

7820.11

27.1

09

09

-

2  (30%CP)

8900.01

7980.04

27.1

09

09

-

3  (35%CP)

9000.02

7910.12

28.3

09

09

-

4  (40%CP)

8650.02

7550.06

27.6

09

09

-


All fish injected with hormone oozed out eggs easily without exerting much pressure which suggests that the recommended dosage of 0.5ml/kg of the hormone (Ovaprim TM) by Syndel International Incorporation was adequate at eleven hours latency period. The ease of stripping may be responsible for the zero mortality rates of broodstocks recorded in this study indicating no stress on the fish before and after the stripping exercise as all fish started responding well to feed by 8 hours after the stripping of eggs was carried out. The earlier reports of Aiyelari et al (2007) informed that broodstock mortality after stripping can result due to stress. Hatchability rates of eggs, larva survival and weight of eggs were presented in Table 4.


Table 4.  Hatchability rates of fish at 7th  day

Diet

Mean weight of eggs (g)
 incubated

Hatchability rate, %

Survival

Deformed

Dead

1  (Control)

96

84.70.12c

10.70.17a

4.620.21a

2  (30%CP)

92

87.30.03b

8.050.06b

4.700.14a

3  (35%CP)

109

89.40.01a

8.460.05b

2.120.20b

4  (40%CP)

110

90.30.44a

6.670.35c

3.000.10b


Mean weight of eggs increased with increase in crude protein content of the diet and the weight of eggs stripped followed the same trend. This observation may be due to availability of more nutrients in the diets as higher protein level seems to favour more egg formation by the ovary. This reason may further be responsible for the significantly higher larval survival rate and good larval quality recorded. Larval survival rate was least in control diet (30% C.P) 84 70 0.12 and highest in diet 4 (40% CP) 90.33 0.44 (p<0.05). The importance of broodstock nutrition has been stressed earlier by Cerda et al (1994) while Muchlisin et al (2006) reported that dietary protein levels influenced parameters such as weight gain and proximate composition of brood fish, quantity and quality of eggs and larval viability. Fry growth performance and nutrient utilization assessment was presented in Table 5.


Table 5.  Growth performance of advanced fry in the last 17 days of feeding.

Parameters

Control

30% CP

35% CP

40% CP

Mean initial weight, g

0.640.02b

0.680.01b

0.800.01a

0.740.03a

Mean final weight, g

2.170.01c

2.630.02b

2.840.02b

3.110.02a

Mean weight gain, g

1.530.04 c

1.950.02b

2.040.01b

2.370.02a

Mean total feed intake, g

3.810.03b

3.790.06b

3.960.01a

4.040.04a

Specific growth rate, %/day

0.070.01 a

0.080.06a

0.080.04a

0.080.01a

Feed conversion Ratio

2.490.3a

1.940.01 b

1.940.01b

1.700.04c

Protein efficiency ratio

0.010.04c

0.0130.02b

0.0130.07b

0.150.03a

Mean values on the same row with the same superscript are not significantly different (P>0.05)


Mean weight of fish and mean weight gain increased with increase in crude protein content of diets. Specific growth rate and protein efficiency ratio also followed the same pattern while feed conversion ratio took the reverse order, which was highest in control diet (2.49) and least in diet 4 (40%CP) 1.70. This observation was in line with the reports of Chong et al (2004) and El-Sayed et al (2003) and they seem to confirm the assertions of Izquierdo et al (2001), that it is desirable to ensure that nutritional requirements of broodstock must be fulfilled to optimize reproductive performance. The extent of larval viability was demonstrated by significant total feed intake by fish fed diet 4 (40% CP) which consequently had direct effect on feed conversion ratio and protein efficiency ratio and specific growth rate. Fish fed the 30% protein diet and the control had the lowest weight of eggs indicating that this level is insufficient to fulfill the requirements of the female catfish broodstock and hence, reduced gonadal development and quality of the hatchlings (high deformed larva and mortality). Similar results have been reported by Al Hafedh et al (1999), stressing the relatively poor fish performance in terms of inferior specific growth rate and fecundity in fish when they were fed diets low in quality. Although studies with tilapia and grass carp showed no relationship between dietary protein and egg size according to Gunasekara et al (1997) and Khan et al (2004) but the reports of Manissery et al (2001) showed that dietary protein level affects common carp egg quality.

 

Conclusion  

 

References  

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Received 13 December 2009; Accepted 12 February 2010; Published 1 April 2010

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