The Performance of Rotifer Brachionus plicatilis (Müller 1786) and Chicken Egg Yolk on the Larval Rearing of African Catfish, Clarias gariepinus (Burchell 1822) in Hatchery   

Godfrey William Ngupula , Magreth Musiba
Tanzania Fisheries Research Institute (TAFIRI), PO Box 475, Mwanza, Tanzania
Author    Correspondence author
International Journal of Aquaculture, 2014, Vol. 4, No. 2   doi: 10.5376/ija.2014.04.0002
Received: 31 Oct., 2013    Accepted: 18 Dec., 2013    Published: 10 Jan., 2014
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Ngupula and Musiba, 2014, The Performance of Rotifer Brachionus plicatilis (Müller 1786) and Chicken Egg Yolk on the Larval Rearing of African Catfish, Clarias gariepinus (Burchell 1822) in Hatchery, International Journal of Aquaculture, Vol.4, No.02: 12-19 (doi: 10.5376/ija.2014.04.0002)

Abstract
The possibility of utilizing rotifer Brachionus plicatilis (Müller, 1786), broiler chicken egg yolk, and a mixture of the two as starter feeds in the larval rearing of African catfish (Clarias gariepinus, Burchell, 1822) was explored. Larvae of four days following commencement of exogenous feeding were used for the purpose. The experiment lasted for 15 days under ambient hatchery conditions in a set of nine tanks of 900 litres capacity randomly allocated. The experiment was carried out in two phases.  In the end of each phase, the larvae from each set of tanks were counted and from each feed treatment 30 larvae were randomly chosen and measured their weights and lengths for the estimation of average weight and length. The average lengths of the larvae from each phase and each feed treatment were used for the estimation of growth rates, survival %, specific growth rate (SGR), and conditional factor (CF).  During the 1st phase, the larvae fed with rotifers indicated the highest survival (98%) with poorest growth rate (25.76%/day). During the 2nd phase (weaning period), the larvae fed with rotifers indicated the poorest survival (54%) while those fed with egg yolk indicated the highest growth (weight and length of 19.85±3.66mg and 12.13±0.60mm, respectively) and survival of 61%. The findings imply that rotifers are too small for the rearing of African catfish larvae, thus unsuitable. Chicken egg yolk can successfully be used as a substitute of live diet for rearing of African catfish larvae if need arises.
Keywords
Brachionus plicatilis; Feed; African Catfish; Growth rate; Survival; Weaning; Weight
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