Two 90-day experiments were conducted in the same period in tanks and in earthen ponds to study the effects of culture systems on growth and fatty acid (FA) of Nile tilapia (Oreochromisniloticus L.) fingerlings (mean weight: 16.3 g) fed Azolla, as partial replacement for fish meal (FM). Diets were isonitrogenous (29.2% CP) and isoenergetic (16.9 kJ·g-1) containing 0% (A0), 10% (A10), 20% (A20), 30% (A30), 40% (A40) and 50% (A50) of Azolla meal (AM) respectively. Diet A0, without AM, acted as a control. In both experiments, fish growth decreased as AM level increased in diets (P < 0.05), and values were significantly higher (P < 0.001) in ponds than in tanks (ranges: 88.8 -135.9 gvs. 51.0 -88.3 g). Some dissimilarity was noticed in fish FA composition. FA profiles in fish fed in tanks was influenced by diet, except for the high content in arachidonic acid (20:4n-6) in fish fed high AMdiets. On the contrary, FA profile in fish fed in ponds was different from that in fish fed in tanks, and from diets. The lower resemblance of fish composition was more pronounced in fish fed high AM (A30-A50). Interestingly, those fish were rich in eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA, 20:5n-3) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, 22:6n-3). Consequently, the n-3/n-6 values decreased in tanks, whereas an increasing trend was found in ponds, and values were significantly higher in ponds than in tanks (0.35 - 0.53 vs. 0.08 - 0.17). The results suggest raising Nile tilapia with Azolladiets in ponds to improve growth and produce fish with a better FA composition, for the wellbeing of consumers.
Cite this paper
Abou, Y. , Aina, M. , Fiogbé, E. and Micha, J. (2013) Growth and fatty acid composition of Nile tilapia Oreochromis niloticus L. fed Azolla-diets, in tanks and in earthen ponds: A comparative study. Natural Science, 5, 77-83. doi: 10.4236/ns.2013.51013.
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