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Practical Comparison of Commercial Starter Diets for Feed Training Largemouth Bass Fingerlings

Isak J. Csargo, Michael L. Brown, Matthew J. Ward
Journal of applied aquaculture 2013 v.25 no.1 pp. 24-34
Micropterus salmoides, condition factor, correlation, feeds, fingerlings, food availability, photoperiod, protein composition, protein energy ratio, starter cultures, starter diets, stocking rate, tanks, water temperature, weaning
We compared performance (growth, survival, and condition) of northern largemouth bass Micropterus salmoides salmoides fingerlings fed one of three commercial starter feeds: Otohime Marine Weaning (OMW; Marubeni Nisshin Feed), Bio-Oregon BiVita Fry (BVF; Bio-Oregon), and Purina Aquamax Starter (PAS; PMI Nutrition International LLC). Nine 833-L circular tanks, connected in parallel to a recirculation system, were stocked with 465 fish (1.4 kg), each to provide a rearing density of 1.1 fish/L. Water temperature was maintained at 27°C, and photoperiod was 15:9 h light:dark. Feed sizes (1.5–1.6 mm) were comparable and had similar protein composition (48%–50%). Feed was dispensed by vibratory feeders at a rate of 5% BWPD from 0730 h to 2130 h every 0.5 h for a total of 29 feedings per day (trial duration = 22 days). Overall performance was best for fish fed OMW, followed by BVF, then PAS. The PAS feed resulted in significantly lower growth, survival, and condition factor (P ≤ 0.05). Though not statistically significant, the BVF feed resulted in lower growth, condition factor, and survival than OMW (P > 0.05). Performance measures were positively correlated with crude fat and negatively correlated with protein to energy ratio of feeds. The OMW or BVF diets may be more appropriate for intensive culture when the artificial feed is the sole food supply, while the PAS diet may be more suitable for extensive culture as a supplemental food source.