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Growth and Survival of Catfish (<i>Clarias anguillaris</i>) Juveniles Fed Live Tilapia and Maggot as Unconventional Diets



Juveniles of catfish, Clarias anguillaris (mean weight, 119.8g) were fed unconventional diets for ten weeks in outdoor hapas (net cages, 1m3 dimension) and the growth responses and feed utilization by the juveniles were compared. The experimental diets were (i) live maggots, (ii) live tilapia fry, (iii) commercial catfish feed (NIFFR catfish artificial feed of 40% crude protein content) as control, (iv) live maggot + NIFFR catfish feed, (v) live tilapia + NIFFR catfish feed. The diets were fed at 3% of fish body weight per day. Feeding was twice daily, morning (08.00 – 09.00 h) and evening (17.00 – 18.00 h). The greatest increase in body weight (99.7 g) was achieved with Diet IV (maggot + artificial feed) followed by Diet I where maggot was fed exclusively (77.5 g). The least increase in body weight (57.5g) was realised with Diet III (artificial feed alone). Similarly, the best Specific Growth Rate (0.87% wet wt. day-1) was obtained with Diet IV followed by Diet I with 0.68%. The NIFFR catfish feed gave the least SGR (0.60%). The general well-being and robustness of the fish expressed by the condition factor (K) was also best with Diet IV. Diet IV was also the most economical diet in terms of the relative cost of feed per unit of fish weight gain with only N0.45 diet per gram of weight gain. Tilapia diet was the most expensive (N 9.50/g wt.gain). The reason for the superior performance of Diet IV was not obvious from this experiment, but the combination of maggot with artificial feed might have formed a better balanced diet for the juvenile catfish. The use of live maggot to supplement artificial feed in catfish production farms is therefore, highly recommended.

Key words: Unconventional diets, Maggot, tilapia fry, Clarias anguillaris.

Journal of Aquatic Sciences Vol.18(1) 2003: 47-52