FOOD PREFERENCE IN CATFISH, HETEROPNEUSTES FOSSILIS

Rani, Rani, Monika Rani, Sudesh Rani
2016 unpublished
Food preference in air-breathing catfish, Heteropneustes fossilis (Bloch) was examined. For this, two types of food were given to the fishes, one was live food of earthworms and other was formulated food. Our findings indicate that catfish prefer live food i.e. earthworms as compared to formulated food, as increase in body weight was observed in fishes where they were offered live food. The formulated food was supplemented with good ingredients like fish meal, processed soybean; mineral premix
more » ... an; mineral premix etc. still catfish does not show any good preference on feeding that. INTRODUCTION The different species of catfish are widely distributed in Assam, Maharashtra and M.P. Catfish found in different rivers like Chambal River and Brahmaputra. Heteropneustus fossilis, Clarias batrachus and Mystus vittatus are the species of catfish found all across India. Food plays an important role in determining the abundance of population, rate of growth and condition of fish and it is also the main source of the energy. A study of the food habits of catfish was carried out in the agro climatic condition of the Brahmaputra river system in Assam, Northeastern India between 1981 and 1987. The most common source of protein for aqua feeds is fish meal. However, cost of the meal is on the rise, because of its competing use as feed ingredients by other animals. A large number of indigenous raw materials mainly poultry by product meals, blood meal, various oil cakes, cereal by products, leaf meals etc. are available in the country. These raw materials can be used in developing supplemental feed for rearing and culture of different fish species. Catfish production is one of the many challenges faced by those interested in promoting industrial production of the emerging marine and fresh water species. In spite of huge efforts to use artificial feeds, the culture of fish larvae during the primary nursing ways still depend heavily on natural feed. There is dearth of information on nutrition in early stage growth of hybrid cat fish. In fish larvae, yolk provides nutrition during embryonic development and early ontogenesis. Larval nutrition and live feed culture like Artemia and rotifers is one of the most important and obligatory matter for successful fish culture. Fish feed on a wide range of food material and obtain their nourishment from natural food. Live feeds are feeds which consist of living organism that can be active or inactive formulated diets are feeds which are combined together from different nutrients so as to be richer in nutrients. Time of feeding and feeding frequency has been reported to affect feed intake and growth performance in Indian catfish. Workers have also used animal source such as poultry by product , meat and bone meal with favorable result in some cases. The importance of using combined live feed and formulated diets lie mainly in supplying a more suitable and well balanced diets to fish larvae in a digestive form. Not only is reproduction controlled, but the survival of hatchlings in maximized through adequate care and management. The use of earthworm has also been documented in fish farming. Earthworms are abundant in most parts of India and their nutritional values have been determined. According to Hyatt (1979), the first few months of the life are most critical for the survival of juvenile fish. Presently, most hatcheries are trying to make use of live zooplankton to meet the challenge of feeding fish hatchlings. For the good result of fish production, good quality artificial feed is essential and requires protein level of 35 to 45% in feed (Degani et al., 1989). Feeding with live prey for fish are most essential because during first few days of their life they have no complete develop digestive tract, especially their digestive enzymes. Various ingredients such as lumbricid worms' krill, silk worm pop powder, etc. have been incorporated into fish feeds to act
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