Theses and Dissertations

Title: Biological evaluation of aquatic plants as feed ingredients for channel catfish

Name: Liang, Jium-Kuo

Degree: PhD

Chair: Dr. Richard T. Lovell

Resides: FAA Library

University: Auburn

Location: Auburn, Alabama

Date: 1971

Pages: 72

Keywords: Biological Evaluation,Aquatic Plants,Feed Ingredients,Channel Catfish.


A series of feeding trials were conducted in raceway-type aquariums through September 1970. Dry meals from water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes), water willow (Justicia americana) and alligatorweed (Alternanthera philoxeroides) were prepared and fed as diet ingredients to evaluate palatability and growth responses of channel catfish fingerlings. A protein concentrate extracted from water hyacinth was biologically evaluated for protein efficiency ratio (PER). Weight gain and survival were used as criteria for evaluating the experimental diets. The lengths of the feeding trials were 4 to 8 weeks.Palatability of all three plant meals was generally poor. The order of preference was water willow, water hyacinth and alligatorweed. The yield of protein concentrate extracted from water hyacinth was low and the method of extraction developed by Davys and Pirie (1963) was not efficient. The protein efficiency ratio (PER) for the water hyacinth protein concentrate was only 0.34 compared to 4.87 for casein. The addition of 5 or 10% hyacinth meal to a vitamin-free purified diet resulted in higher (P<.05) weight gains and survival of channel catfish. Water hyacinth meal provided significantly (P<.05) higher weight gains and survival than did commercial alfalfa meal when added to vitamin-free diets. Water hyacinth meal did not improve the growth of fish when the plant meal was fed as 10% of commercial-type diets. Because of its poor palatability and low content of available protein and energy, the most feasible contribution of water hyacinth to channel catfish nutrition appears to be the supplementation of growth factors in vitamin-poor diets.

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