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Growth performance and survival of hybrid African catfish larvae (Clarias gariepinus x Heterobranchus bidorsalis) fed on different diets
The study evaluates the growth performance and survival of hybrid African catfish larvae (Clarias gariepinus X. Heterobranchus bidorsalis) fed different diets: live Artemia nauplii, decapsulated Artemia cysts, live Ceriodaphnia sp and commercial dry diet (50% crude protein). Catfish larvae of mean weight 10.01±0.01mg of mean length 9.05±0.09mm were fed from the onset of exogenous feeding for 28days in plastic aquaria tanks (10L capacity each). At the end of the feeding trial, the highest weight gain, 889.99±5.00mg was recorded for the larvae fed with decapsulated Artemia cysts followed by those fed with live Ceriodaphnia with mean weight gain of 442.66 ± 2.24mg. The least weight gain 60.42 ± 1.80mg was obtained in larvae fed with commercial diet. The best and the least specific growth rates (SGR), 16.07 ± 0.02 and 6.97 ± 0.01 were also obtained in larvae fed decapsulated Artemia cysts and commercial diet respectively. Statistically, all the results of the growth parameters obtained from the different diets were significantly different (p<0.05). The highest survival, 92.67±2.31% was obtained for larvae fed with decapsulated Artemia cysts while the lowest survival of 33.33±7.02% was recorded for the larvae fed with commercial diet. These results show that though decapsulated Artemia cysts is the best diet for the first feeding of hybrid African catfish larvae, Ceriodaphnia is also a suitable diet for the first feeding of the larval fish.