Growth Performance of Hybrid Catfish (Clarias gariepinusx Heterobranchus bidorsalis) in Earthen Ponds
Fish seed of the right quality and quantity remain a major challenge facing aquaculture in Nigeria. This study was conducted to evaluate the potentials for culturing the hybrid of Clarias gariepinus (♀)xHeterobranchus bidorsalis (♂) (Heteroclarias) to commercial size in earthen ponds. Three earthen ponds 0.02 hectares were stocked each with 330 fingerlings of Clarias gariepinus (♀)xHeterobranchus bidorsalis (♂) hybrid (popularly called Heteroclarias) on the 1st February, 2010. Mean weight at stocking was 7.50±1.50 g. The fish were fed 3% of their body weight two times daily with compounded artificial feed containing 45% crude protein. The changes in length and weight of the fish were measured fortnightly and the feed fed to the fish were accordingly adjusted to reflect the changes in weight. Temperature, dissolved oxygen, pH and total ammonia-nitrogen were measured in each pond. Survival rates, specific growth rate and condition factor were also determined. Survival at harvest (24 weeks after stocking) was 97.3% and the mean weight of the fish was 880±78.72 g (ranged, 610-1150 g). Standing crop at harvest was 282.48 kg/0.02 ha (14,124 kg ha-1). Growth of hybrid (Heteroclarias) was positively correlated with the number of weeks of the study (R = 0.9). Results demonstrated the potential of Heteroclarias for use in aquaculture and indicate that the fish species can be grown to commercial size within 24 weeks from fingerling stage under semi-intensive pond condition. The best time to selectively harvest the fish for maximum gain in terms of good growth and maximum profit on feed utilization is also 24 weeks.
Received: March 15, 2012;
Accepted: June 25, 2012;
Published: August 08, 2012
The Clariids constitute an excellent food fish of high commercial value. Infact,
the catfish species are very important to the sustainability of aquaculture
industry in Nigeria (Owodeinde and Ndimele, 2011). The
feeding habit of Nigerians tend to support this assumption and this trend started
manifesting from the late 1980s. This was when it became apparent that commercially
exploited clariid populations were declining and their commercial value especially
in the restaurant trade was increasing. Consequently, interest in the culturing
of clariid catfishes as commercial food fish then began to develop. Its value
as food fish is reflected in the wholesale prices in the local markets which
ranged from $4.5 to 7 per kg depending on the size, location and season of capture.
This high demand of the Clariid especially in the restaurant trade resulted
in generally high prices which serve as an added inducement to would-be fish
farmers or groups interested in commercial fish culture.
Hybridization is the production of progeny of parents from different lines,
strains and species. It is one of the genetic improvements in aquaculture industry
which has been recognized as a tool for stock improvement and management purposes.
Several studies have demonstrated that Clarias gariepinus (♀)xHeterobranchus
bidorsalis (♂) hybrid exhibit superior growth, improved survival and
general hardiness than true breed of either Clarias gariepinus or Heterobranchus
bidorsalis (Madu et al., 1991, 1992;
Madu and Aluko, 1999; Salami et
al., 1993; Adeyemo et al., 1994; Nwadukwe,
1995; Aluko, 1996; Dada and Olarewaju,
1996). Most of these studies have focused on stock manipulations and growth
performances at different dietary compositions in indoor and outdoor concrete
tanks (Madu et al., 1993; Aluko,
1995). However, there is lack of adequate scientific information on the
growth performance of hybrid catfish (Heteroclarias) under semi-intensive
pond condition. This study was designed to evaluate the potentials for culturing
the hybrid of Clarias gariepinus (♀)xHeterobranchus bidorsalis
(♂) (Heteroclarias) to commercial size in production quantities
in earthen ponds.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Collection and acclimation of experimental fish: Fingerlings of the hybrid of Clarias gariepinus (♀)xHeterobranchus bidorsalis (♂) (Heteroclarias) used in this study were obtained from the Hatchery Complex of the Department of Fisheries, Lagos State University (LASU) Ojo, Nigeria. Upon arrival at the Omague Fish Farm Ijotun, Badagry Local Government of Lagos State, Nigeria, where the experiment was conducted, the fish were kept in the rearing tanks to allow them recover from stress due to transportation and acclimatized them to their new environment. They were in the rearing tanks for two weeks, during which they were fed on compounded diet (56% crude protein).
Experimental procedure: Three rectangular earthen ponds (0.02 ha) were
stocked on 1st February, 2010 with 330 randomly selected artificially reared
fingerlings of Heteroclarias (Clarias gariepinus (♀)xHeterobranchus
bidorsalis (♂)) produced in the Hatchery Complex of the Department
of Fisheries, Lagos State University (LASU) Ojo, Nigeria. The fingerlings were
produced through induced breeding using a synthetic hormone (Ovaprim), at the
rate of 0.5mg (500 IU) per Kg body weight of the female fish and administered
intramuscularly in the dorsal muscle mass as described by Viveen
et al. (1985). Two weeks before stocking, the ponds were filled with
water from the farm bore-hole, fertilized with complete inorganic fertilizer
(NPK-15-15-15) at the rate of 112 kg ha-1 and poultry manure at the
rate of 200 kg ha-1, then seeded with plankton collected from a culture
farm pond by pumping pond water through plankton net.
Two times daily, the fish were fed on compounded artificial feed containing
45% crude protein, prepared by using the following ingredients fish meal (15.8%),
soybean meal (59.4%), yellow maize (18.2%), blood meal (5.1%) vegetable oil
(1.0%) and vitamin premix (0.5%) at 3% of their body weight based on the recommendation
of Viveen et al. (1985). At two weeks interval,
the fish were sampled with a 2.0 cm mesh size bag seine net 25 m long to monitor
growth. Fish were not fed 24 h before the samples were collected to allow the
intestinal contents to be digested. To avoid sampling error at least 30% of
the experimental fish species were weighed and the length measured bi-weekly.
To avoid stress due to handling, the randomly selected fish were subjected to
mild anesthetization in a 20 mg L-1 solution of MS-222 (Tricaine
methane sulfornate) purchased from Sigma Chemical, St. Louis Missouri, USA.
They were measured for the Standard Length (SL), Total Length (TL) (to the nearest
0.1 mm) and wet weights (to the nearest 0.1 g) using graduated long ruler and
top loading sensitive scale (Model 1500). After all measurements, the fish were
revived in fresh water and then returned to the ponds. On 30th August, 2010,
the ponds were drained; all the fish were removed, counted and weighed to determine
the survival rate and standing crops. They were held in three 6 m3
Determination of water quality parameters: Water quality data collected
during the study period included temperature, dissolved oxygen, pH and total
ammonia-nitrogen. Temperature was monitored with a simple mercury-in-glass thermometer
graduated in 0.01°C. Dissolved oxygen was normally measured between 0700-0800
h with a YSI Model-57 DO meter and further authenticated by alkaline-azide
modification of Winklers method (Boyd, 1981). pH
values were determined using a Griffin pH meter (Model 400), while total ammonia-nitrogen
were determined by the standard methods as described by Boyd
Growth analysis: The linear regression relationship between body weight
and the number of weeks of growth of Heteroclarias was calculated using
this formula (Uzoagulu, 1998):
where, Y is mean weight of the fish (g), B0 and B1. are all constant. B0 is the intercept on Y-axis, B1 is slope of the line or gradient and X1 is No. of weeks of growth. With this equation one was able to determine the size/weight of the study fish at any point in time.
Mean specific (instantaneous) growth rates estimated as percentage increase in weight per growth period of the hybrid were calculated at the end of each growth period using the formula:
where, SGR or G is specific growth rate, Wt is the weight (g) at
the end of the interval (end of the period), W0 is the weight (g)
at the beginning of the period and t is time (i.e., the duration between initial
and final sampling) in days. The calculation of SGR or G which accounts for
both initial and final sizes is useful in comparing growth of the fish species
at different sizes (Brown, 1946; Brown,
1957). This formula estimated the percentage increase in weight per growth
Condition factor (K) to determine the relative robustness (i.e., the state
of well being of the fish) were calculated for each growth period according
to the equation (Lagler, 1956):
where, W is the fresh weight (g) and L the standard length (mm).
The experimental fish species were fed 3% of their body weight throughout the
study period. The amount of food dispensed (kg) to the fish stocked in the three
experimental ponds were adjusted bi-weekly by sub-sampling the population of
the fish species in order to reflect the forthnightly increase in biomass using
the following (Stickney, 1979):
where, W1 is the weight of the fish at day 1, W0 is the weight of the fish at day zero, F is the percentage feeding rate and C is the Food Conversion Ratio (FCR).
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
Several investigators have recently demonstrated that Clarias gariepinus
(♀)xHeterobranchus bidorsalis (♂) hybrid (Heteroclarias)
can be grown to commercial size in various types of culture systems (Madu
et al., 1991, 1993; Madu
and Aluko, 1999). The present study yielded the best growth and production
rates yet published in Nigeria on Heteroclarias (CG ♀xHB ♂)
grown to commercial size in commercial quantities in earthen ponds and serves
as a further indication of the potential of the hybrid for commercial culture.
Growth, survival and production: After the initial stocking of 330 fish
per 0.02 ha in the experimental pond (16,500 fish ha-1), the mean
body weight increased from 7.50±1.50-880±78.72 g (ranged between
610-1150 g) (Table 1) and a mean growth rate of 4.75 g day-1.
Growth was rapid from May to August which coincides with the raining season.
The relationship between the body weight and the number of weeks of growth is
shown in Fig. 1. The graphical representations and the statistical
computations of the body weight against the number of weeks of growth of the
study fish showed that they were highly correlated. The computation of the data
provides the following:
||Relationship between mean body weight and number of weeks
of growth in Clarias gariepinus (♀)xHeterobranchus bidorsalis
|| Final length-weight relationship, correlation coefficient
and condition factor of study fish
||Relationship between mean body weight and mean standard length
of Clarias gariepinus (♀)xHeterobranchus bidorsalis (♂)
(Heteroclarias) in June
A geometric growth curve was observed when the relationships between the two variables were plotted against each other. The observed growth curve showed the best time to harvest the hybrid (Heteroclarias) for maximum gain in terms of good growth and when maximum profit on feed utilization can be achieved. The study shows that Heteroclarias could better be harvested at 24 weeks from fry stage. Beyond this time, there was decreased efficiency of feed utilization and a decline in growth rate sets in (Fig. 1).
At the final harvest on 30th August, 2010, survival was 97.3% and the mean
standing crop was 282.48 kg 0.02 ha-1 (14, 124 kg ha-1).
Over 99% of the hybrids were considered marketable (= 600 g) and the weight
of some exceeded 1150 g (Fig. 1). Weight distributions of
the samples in June (Fig. 2), July (Fig. 3)
and August (Fig. 4) indicated that about 55, 65, 85 and 99%,
respectively were marketable at those ages (5, 6, 7 and 8 months, respectively).
||Relationship between body weight and standard length of Clarias
gariepinus (♀)×Heterobranchus bidorsalis (♂)
(Heteroclarias) in July
||Relationship between mean body weight and mean standard length
of Clarias gariepinus (♀)×Heterobranchus bidorsalis
(♂) (Heteroclarias) in August (at harvest)
About 75% of the fish in the present study were considered commercially harvestable
by mid-June [age 6 months], and over 95% had attained that status by mid-August
[age 8 months], they could have been selectively harvested and sold during the
period when prices were at premium. This practice would allow consolidation
of smaller fish into fewer ponds for additional growth. The removal of larger
fish would also provide early cash return and eliminate the need of looking
for buyers for a large percentage of the hybrid which would have been commercially
marketable in the restaurant trade (Fig. 2-4).
Specific growth rate and condition factor (K): Daily specific daily
growth rate declined from a maximum of 4.14 day-1 during the first
month of study to as low as -0.75 day-1. High initial specific growth
rates that decrease with increasing age and individual fish biomass and consequent
increased metabolic costs followed typical pattern of fish growth (Kerby
et al., 1987). Mean condition factor (K) for fish sampled was 2.99.
However, all the fish in the pond had condition factor greater than 1.5 which
appeared to represent desirable levels as most fish were healthy and robust.
Fish that were sacrificed after the harvest contained appreciable quantities
Water quality: Water quality parameters were generally within acceptable
limits. Bore-hole water with an alkalinity of 27.6 mg L-1 as CaCO3
was used to fill the ponds. Water quality values were generally satisfactory
for the growth and health of the experimental fish species. Values for total
ammonia nitrogen did not exceed 0.08 mg L-1 and were normally in
a range from 0.02-0.06 mg L-1. The pH ranged between7.3 to 8.7. Temperature
25-27°C, dissolved carbon dioxide 6-9 mg L-1 and dissolved oxygen
concentrations ranged between 5.5-9.3 mg L-1 remained within acceptable
limits. All these water quality parameters fall within the range reported by
Huet (1979) as good for pond fish culture.
Food conversion: Food Conversion Ratio (FCR) (expressed as weight of
dry feed/wet weight of fish) was 3. Though, the FCR in most fishes e.g., catfishes
vary from less than 1.5 to 5.0 (Jensen, 1989). We believed
that the FCR is a little on the high side in the present study. The reason for
this high FCR is not known. Since sinking pelleted feed was used, significant
amount of feed might be wasted, this could account for high FCR observed in
this study. We believe that feeding practices can be refined to provide more
efficient conversion ratios without reducing growth rates.
The present study yielded the best growth and production rates yet published in Nigeria on Clarias gariepinus (♀)xHeterobranchus bidorsalis (♂) hybrid (popularly called Heteroclarias) grown to commercial size in commercial quantities in earthen ponds and serves as a further indication of the potential of the hybrid for commercial culture.
We thank Mr. Austin Anetekhai and Mr. Pascal Opuehi for their assistance in
the collection of data and for taking care of the fish. We also give thanks
to Omague Fish Farm, Ijotun in the Badagry Local Government of Lagos State for
the use of the three experimental ponds. We express our gratitude to the Department
of Fisheries, Lagos State University, Ojo, Lagos, Nigeria for providing the
fingerlings of Clarias gariepinus (♀)xHeterobranchus bidorsalis
(♂) hybrid (Heteroclarias CGxHB).
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