The Israeli Journal of Aquaculture - Bamidgeh 52(1), 2000, 3-10

ACHA (DIGITARIA EXILIS STAPF) MEAL COMPARED WITH
MAIZE AND SORGHUM MEALS AS A DIETARY
CARBOHYDRATE SOURCE FOR NILE TILAPIA
(OREOCHROMIS NILOTICUS L.)


O.A. Fagbenro

Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, Federal University of Technology, P.M.B. 704, Akure, Nigeria

M.A.K. Smith

Department of Crop Production, Federal University of Technology, P.M.B. 704, Akure, Nigeria

A.I. Amoo

Department of Chemistry, Federal University of Technology, P.M.B. 704, Akure, Nigeria

(Received 21.9.99, Accepted 29.3.00)

Abstract
This study evaluated the nutritive potential of Acha (Digitaria exilis) meal as compared with maize and sorghum meals in Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) diets. In a preliminary digestibility experiment, acha meal showed similar protein digestibility to maize meal and sorghum meal but its digestible energy was lower (p<0.05) than the other cereal grains. In the growth experiment, tilapia fingerlings (10.4 0.5 g) were fed to satiation with isoproteic and isocaloric pelleted diets (360 g crude protein, 100 g crude lipid and 17 MJ gross energy/kg) containing acha meal, maize meal or sorghum meal (at 450 g/kg diet) as the carbohydrate source for 70 days. Fish fed the diet containing acha meal had the best weight gain, specific growth rate, feed conversion ratio, protein efficiency ratio and protein productive value, attributed to its high methionine content. The use of such a high level of nonprotein energy from acha meal could be an effective means of reducing feed and production costs.

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