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Keywords:

  • Clarias gariepinus;
  • sunflower oil cake;
  • bean meal;
  • groundnut oil cake;
  • growth;
  • feed utilization

Abstract

This study was performed to evaluate the effect of replacing fish meal with local by-products on Clarias gariepinus growth performance, feed utilization and body composition. A control diet contained 50% of fish meal. In four other diets, fish meal was partially replaced by vegetable and animal protein blend composed of sunflower oil cake, soybean oil cake, groundnut oil cake, bean meal, chicken viscera and blood meal. The study was conducted in a recirculating water system at a mean temperature of 23.6°C. The five test diets were compared with a commercial diet developed for African catfish. All diets were balanced to be equal in gross energy (19 kJ g−1) and crude protein (40%). The experimental groups were fed in triplicate for 8 weeks, increasing fish weight from about 6.2 g at start to 52.3 g in the end. Best specific growth rate (SGR=3.4), feed efficiency (FE=1.3) and protein efficiency ratio (PER=3) were obtained with the control diet (diet 50% fish meal), although there were no significant differences between the group of fish fed the control diet and those fed diets based on groundnut oil cake or bean meal, whereas SGR (2.17), FE (0.85) and PER (1.95) were significantly (P<0.01) lower in fish fed diet containing sunflower oil cake. No significant differences (P<0.05) were found in fish fed commercial diet and diets containing bean meal or groundnut oil cake. Groundnut oil cake or bean meal can thus replace at least 50% of fish meal in the diet of Clarias fingerlings without amino acid supplementation. Because of its economic importance and its potential in animal nutrition sunflower oil cake is still an interesting feed ingredient, but its efficiency should be improved by various processing techniques. African catfish can utilize efficiently a diet with low percentage of animal protein without growth reduction.