Growth, Feed Utilization and Haematology of Clarias gariepinus (Burchell,1822) Fingerlings Fed Diets Containing Different Levels of Vitamin C
Problem statement: In an effort to increase growth, improve feed utilization, reduce stress and prevent certain diseases, a 14 week feeding trial was conducted to determine the effects of different levels of dietary vitamin C (ascorbic acid) on growth, feed utilization and hematological changes in Clarias gariepinus fingerlings. Approach: Diets were formulated to contain 0, 50, 100, 150, 500, 1000 and 1500 mg L-ascorbic acid kg-1 of feed contributing 0, 0.05, 0.10, 0.15, 0.5, 1.0 and 1.5% to the formulated diets respectively. Fish of mean weight 10.12±0.7 g were fed on experimental diets in triplicate groups. Weight gain of fish fed diet with 0% of vitamin C were significantly (p<0.05) lower than those fed on supplemented vitamin C diets. Fish fed diet with 1.5% of vitamin C showed a significantly (p<0.05) higher weight gain than fish fed on other diets. However, there were no significant (p>0.05) differences in weight gain among the fish fed diets containing 0.05, 0.10 and 0.15% of vitamin C. Generally, fish fed vitamin C supplemented diets showed better growth rate, feed conversion ratio and protein efficiency compared with those without vitamin C supplementation. Results: The results of hematological analyses of fish showed that red blood cell, white blood cell, haemoglobin concentration and packed cell volume were not significantly (p>0.05) affected by vitamin C supplemented diets. Fish fed the vitamin C-free diet begin to show deficiency signs such as erratic swimming, flashing, skin darkening and reduced growth at 12 weeks of feeding trial. Conclusion: This study indicated that 50 mg kg-1 of ascorbic acid is sufficient to prevent C. gariepinus fingerlings from developing clinical symptoms relating to vitamin C deficiency. A mega dose of 1500 mg kg-1 of ascorbic acid gave maximum growth performance and feed utilization efficiency.
Copyright: © 2009 M. Adunni Adewolu and O. Olakunle Aro. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
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- Vitamin C
- feed utilization
- Clarias gariepinus