Effect of replacing soybean meal with water melon (Citrullus lanatus) seed meal on the growth, feed utilization and body composition of Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus)
The nutritive potential of watermelon (Citrullus lanatus) seedmeal as dietary protein source in the diet of Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) using growth performance and nutrient utilization were evaluated in a 56 day feeding trial. One hundred and fifty tilapia fingerlings of average weight 6.12±0.05g were acclimatized for a week, weighed and allotted into five dietary treatments; containing 0, 15, 30, 45 and 60% Citrullus lanatus replacement levels with soybean meal respectively. The diets (35% crude protein and 10% lipid) were isonitrogenous and isolipidic. Each treatment was replicated three times with ten fish per replicate. Fish were fed 5% body weight on two equal proportions per day to determine weight gain, percentage weight gain, specific growth rate, food conversion ratio, protein efficiency ratio and net protein utilization. The result from the study indicated that there was no significant (p>0.05) differences in the FCR and PER between the fish fed control diets and the fish fed test diets.