African Journal of Marine Science

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Effect of dietary protein to energy ratio on growth and nitrogenous waste production of cultured dusky kob Argyrosomus japonicus

LD Woolley, CLW Jones, PJ Britz


The effect of dietary protein to energy ratio (P:E) on the growth of dusky kob Argyrosomus japonicus was investigated as a first step towards formulating a practical diet for this potential mariculture species in South Africa. The effects of dietary protein and lipid on growth, feed conversion ratio (FCR) and nitrogenous waste production were determined in cultured juveniles (initial weight 113.8 ± 2.0 g fish–1). Fish were fed diets that contained either 42 or 46% protein with 6, 12 or 18% lipid, within a P:E range of 20.5–26.7 g protein MJ–1. Weight gain and specific growth rate (SGR) were significantly influenced by an interaction between dietary protein and energy (p < 0.001). An increase in dietary lipid produced increasing growth rates (ranging from 0.95 ± 0.04% to 1.10 ± 0.01% day–1) among fish fed the 46% protein diets, with no significant differences in FCR (1.05 ± 0.02 to 1.11 ± 0.02) or protein efficiency ratio (PER; 1.95 ± 0.06 to 1.66 ± 0.02). By contrast, there was a trend of decreasing growth (0.96 ± 0.04% to 0.64 ± 0.03% day–1) and a deterioration in FCR (1.3 ± 0.10 to 1.93 ± 0.19) and PER (1.12 ± 0.11 to 1.68 ± 0.11) with increasing dietary lipid among fish fed 42% protein diets, indicating a protein–energy imbalance. The protein and lipid levels tested here had no significant effect on total ammonia production, with a combined mean production of 2.54 ± 0.55 mg kg–1 I–1 h–1, 10 hours postprandial (p = 0.68). The dietary lipid level appeared to directly determine the carcass lipid content, with the mean lipid content ranging from 4.2% to 17.8% for fish fed diets ranging from 6% to 18% respectively after 12 weeks (r2 = 0.98). A 46% protein and 18% lipid (P:E ratio of 22.0 g protein MJ–1) diet is recommended for rearing juvenile A. japonicus of a mass range of 100–300 g.

Keywords: ammonia, aquaculture, carcass lipid, dietary lipid, finfish, nutrition, protein–energy ratio (P:E), South Africa

African Journal of Marine Science 2010, 32(3): 625–631
AJOL African Journals Online