The aim of this study was to evaluate the potentials of Amaranthus spinosus leaf meal as dietary protein source for Clarias gariepinus fingerlings. An 8 week feeding trial was conducted in plastic aquaria tanks of 50 L capacity. Amaranthus spinosus leaf meal was included in the practical diets at 0, 5, 10, 15 and 20% designated as diets 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5, respectively. Diet 1 without A. spinosus serves as the control. All diets were made isonitrogenous (36% CP) and isocaloric. Fingerlings of initial mean weight of 5.00±0.37 g were fed on allotted diet at 3% b.wt. day-1 for 56 days. Specific Growth Rate (SGR) was highest with a value of 1.95±0.69 in diet 1 while it was lowest in diet 5 with a value of 0.20±0.24, SGR values in diet 1 (control) and diet 2 were similar and significantly (p<0.05) better than the other dietary treatments. Fish fed diets 3, 4 and 5 showed significantly reduced growth performance and feed utilization compared to those fed with diets 1 and 2. FCR was lowest in fish fed diet 1 with a value of 1.72±0.56 and highest in fish fed with diet 5, however, FCR values of diets 1 and 2 were not significantly (p>0.05) different from each other but were significantly (p<0.05) different from other diets. This study indicates that up to 5% A. spinosus leaf meal could be included in the practical diet of Clarias gariepinus without affecting growth and feed utilization.
M.A. Adewolu and A.A. Adamson, 2011. Amaranthus spinosus Leaf Meal as Potential Dietary Protein Source in the Practical Diets for Clarias gariepinus (Burchell, 1822) Fingerlings. International Journal of Zoological Research, 7: 128-137.