Performance of Artemia shell-free embryos, Moina micrura and phytoplankton on larvae of reared African catfish
Starter feeds are important in the growth of African catfish Clarias gariepinus (Burchell) larvae. A study was conducted to investigate the performance of Artemia shell-free embryos, Moina micrura (Kurz) and phytoplankton
as starter feed for larvae rearing of C. gariepinus. The experiment lasted 15 days in a set of nine tanks of 900-litre capacity. The study was divided into two phases of 5 and 10 days. During the end of the 15 days, the larvae fed on M. micrura had a growth rate of 32.95±12.62 % day-1, survival of 76.51±7.33% and Specific Growth Rate (SGR) of 0.17±0.00. The larvae fed on Artemia exhibited a growth rate, survival and SGR of 85.5±74.4% day-1, 97.71±0.00 % and 0.28±0.18, respectively. The larvae fed on phytoplankton exhibited a growth rate, survival and SGR of 36.1± 44.58% day-1, 45.73±24.14% and 0.12±0.11, respectively. The difference in performance between the feeds was mainly due to differences in their nutrient composition and levels. This study recommends the use of Artemia embryos as the best starter feed for the rearing of C. gariepinus larvae followed by the M. micrura.
Key Words: Clarias gariepinus, growth rate, specific growth rate, survival