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Evaluation of Four Commercial Grower Diets for Production of Largemouth Bass

Isak J. Csargo, Michael L. Brown, Matthew J. Ward
Journal of applied aquaculture 2013 v.25 no.1 pp. 35-49
Micropterus salmoides, correlation, feeds, fingerlings, grower diets, photoperiod, protein energy ratio, satiety, tanks, water temperature
We compared performance (growth, survival, condition, and health indices) of largemouth bass, Micropterus salmoides, fingerlings (10.3 g [SE ± 0.5 g] and 92 mm [SE ± 1 mm] total length) fed one of four commercial grower feeds: Purina Aquamax Grower 400 (PAG; PMI Nutrition International LLC), Bio-Oregon BioDiet Grower (BDG; Bio-Oregon), Silver Cup Steelhead (SCS; Silver Cup), and Richloam Bass Fry Diet 12 (RBF; Silver Cup). Sixteen 833-L circular tanks, connected in parallel to a recirculation system, were initially stocked with 2.25 kg of fish (219 fish each, 0.32 fish/L) with four replicates per feed treatment. Water temperature was 25°C, and photoperiod was 15 h light:9 h dark. Feed sizes (2.4–3.0 mm) were comparable, and protein compositions ranged from 49% to 61%. Fish were fed to satiation multiple times per day (trial duration = 100 days). Overall, performance was best for fish fed RBF, followed by PAG and BDG, and then SCS. The SCS feed resulted in significantly lower growth and survival (P ≤ 0.05). The PAG and BDG feeds resulted in significantly lower growth than the RBF feed (P ≤ 0.05); however, survival did not differ (P > 0.05). Performance measures were positively correlated with protein, and protein to energy ratio and negatively correlated with fat and carbohydrate compositions. The four commercial grower feeds resulted in highly varied growth, survival, and health indices, and this research should facilitate feed choice for various largemouth bass production strategies as well as increase contribution of stocked fish.