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Effects of Yucca shidigera Extract on Growth, Nitrogen Retention, Ammonia Excretion, and Toxicity in Channel Catfish Ictalurus punctatus and Hybrid Tilapia Oreochromis mossambicus × O. niloticus

Kelly, Anita M., Kohler, Christopher C.
Journal of the World Aquaculture Society 2003 v.34 no.2 pp. 156-161
Ictalurus punctatus, Oreochromis mossambicus, Yucca, agar, ammonia, aquaculture systems, catfish, coatings, diet, effluents, excretion, feeds, fish feeding, fish fry, hybrids, lipids, livestock production, nitrogen, nitrogen content, production technology, protein composition, proximate composition, toxicity, weight gain, yolk sac
Nitrogenous waste control in aquaculture systems is necessary to maintain healthy animals and to meet effluent standards. Decreased ammonia production has been attained in traditional livestock production systems by adding extracts of Yucca shidigera to the feed or storage lagoon system. An extract of Yucca shidigera was fed to post yolk-sac and juvenile channel catfish Ictalurus punctatus and hybrid tilapia Oreochrornis mossambicus × O. niloticus to determine the effects on growth, nitrogen retention, ammonia excretion, and toxicity. Post yolk-sac channel catfish fry fed the 1.0-g yucca extract/kg as an agar coating were the only group of experimental organisms that had significantly greater weight gains compared to the control and 0.5-g yucca extract/kg diet groups after 12 wk. Significantly lower fecal nitrogen concentrations were obtained from catfish fed diets containing yucca extract compared to the control groups, although no differences between fecal nitrogen concentrations for catfish fed diets with either 0.5-g or 1.0-g yucca extract/kg diet occurred. Ammonia excretion rates were significantly lower for catfish fed diets containing yucca extract compared to the control group. Accordingly, fish fed diets containing the yucca extract had significantly greater whole-body protein composition, while lipid levels were significantly lower. No significant differences in proximate composition occurred for fish fed any of the diets containing yucca extract, though growth rates were significantly higher than the controls. This study demonstrated that a yucca extract can be used in the diet of channel catfish, and increased growth and decreased ammonia concentrations can be obtained in rearing systems.