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Effects of feeding frequency and ration level on growth, feed utilization and nitrogen waste output of cuneate drum (Nibea miichthioides) reared in net pens

Wang, Y., Kong, L.J., Li, K., Bureau, D.P.
Aquaculture 2007 v.271 no.1-4 pp. 350-356
Sciaenidae, marine fish, mortality, animal growth, feed intake, feed conversion, weight gain, body composition, protein content, lipid content, ash content, fish feeding, fish culture, mariculture, feeding frequency
Two independent 8-week feeding trials were carried out to optimize feeding regime for cuneate drum reared in net pens. In Trial I, triplicate groups of fish weighing 38.3 ± 0.2 g fish- 1 (mean ± S.E.) were fed a practical feed [15 kJ digestible energy (DE) g- 1] to satiation in 1 meal every other day (0.5 meal d- 1), 1 meal d- 1, or 2 meal d- 1. Ration level of the fish fed at 1 meal d- 1 was approximately 4.5% body weight daily (% BW d- 1). Feed intake, weight gain (WG) and final body weight (FBW) decreased with the reduction of feeding frequency from 1 to 0.5 meal d- 1, but no significant differences were observed in WG and FBW between fish fed at 1 and 2 meal d- 1. The fish fed at 1 meal d- 1 had relatively high nitrogen retention efficiency (NRE) and low feed conversion ratio (FCR) and total nitrogen waste output (TNW) compare to the fish fed at 2 or 0.5 meal d- 1. At the end of Trial I, there was no significant difference in body composition among fish fed at different frequencies. In Trial II, triplicate groups of fish weighing 30.9 ± 0.3 g fish- 1 were fed twice daily at 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6% % BW d- 1 with the same practical feed. Weight gain, FBW and NRE increased, while FCR and TNW decreased, with increasing ration from 1 to 4% BW d- 1, and further increasing ration from 5 to 6% BW d- 1 led to increase in WG, FBW, FCR and TNW, but a decline in NRE. At the end of Trial II, the fish fed at 1% BW d- 1 had the highest moisture and ash contents but lowest lipid content, while the fish fed at 6% BW d- 1 had the highest lipid content but lowest moisture content, among the treatments. These results suggest that cuneate drum fingerlings reared in net pens can in practice be fed 1 meal d- 1 to satiation. For the strain of fish and the prevailing environmental conditions used in this study, optimal ration was estimated at about 5% BW d- 1.