Studies on the use of fermented fish silage in diets for juvenile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) and catfish (Clarias gariepinus)
Fermented silage was prepared from a mixture of minced tiiapias (Oreochromis spp. ), different carbohydrate substrates (molasses, corn flour, tapioca flour) and Lactobacillus plantarum as inoculum, incubated anaerobically for 30 days at 5°-35°C. The pH and protein solubilization were temperature-dependent, and the source of carbohydrate substrate did not affect non-protein nitrogen (NPN) content or proximate composition of tilapla silage. During storage at 30°C for 180 days, NPN content increased and there was 8-11% loss of tryptophan. Moist diets containing tilapla silage (stored up to 60 days) were fed to Clarias gariepinus and differences in growth and protein utilization were demonstrated, but there were no effects on body composition. Partial replacement of fish meal with co-dried tilapla silage and soybean flour blend (FSS: BF) in dry diets supported growth and protein utilization similar to the control treatment. Fish growth and protein utilization were reduced with total replacement of fish meal. Apparent protein digestibility decreased with Increasing dietary level of co-dried FSS: BF. Carcass composition was not affected and morphological defects were not observed. Co-dried tilapla silage blended with soybean meal, poultry by-product meal, hydrolysed feather meal or meat and bone meal (FSS: BM, FSP: BM, FSH: FM, FSM: BM) (providing 50% of the dietary protein) In dry diets fed to Oreochromis niloticus and Clarias gariepinus gave differences In growth, protein utilization and digestibility, and apparent energy digestibility. Carcass composition was not affected by silage blend and histological examination of exocrine pancreas, liver and Intestine tissues did not show any lesions suggestive of nutritional imbalance. Haematocrit, haemoglobin content and mean cell haemoglobin concentration values showed no differences among the treatments. The results indicated that fermented tilapla silage is a suitable protein supplement in moist or dry diets for Oreochromis niloticus and Clarias gariepinus, without affecting feed efficiency, fish growth or health.