Effect of Substituting Fish meal with Taro leaf meal on growth and blood profile of African Catfish (Clarias gariepinus Burchell).
A 14-week feeding trial was conducted to evaluate the potential of Taro (Colocasia esculenta) leaf meal as dietary protein source in the African catfish(Clarias gariepinus) fingerlings at the Fishery Section of the Teaching and Research Farms, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology Ogbomoso, Nigeria. There are five treatments (five diets ) of 40% crude protein, formulated to contain 0, 5, 10 15 and 20% Taro leaf meal (TLM) and used partially to replace fish meal in the diets of African catfish. A total of 225 Clarias gariepinus fingerlings were randomly distributed into five treatments. 15 fingerlings were stocked in 50litres circular plastic bowl replicated thrice. Results showed that mean weight gain (MWG), average daily weight gain (ADWG), feed conversion ratio (FCR) and protein efficiency ratio (PER) did not differ significantly (P>0.05) while the total feed intake(TFI) and total protein intake (TPI) significantly decreased (P>0.05) as the inclusion level of Taro leaf meal increased. Significant difference was observed in the values of white blood cells (WBC). The values of WBC for diets A,D and E (0,15 and 20 % TLM) were similar and significantly higher (P<0.05) compared with diets B and C (5 and 10% TLM) . Red blood cells, Heamoglobin concentration, Packed cells volume, Mean corpuscular volume, Mean corpuscular heamoglobin concentration and Total blood protein (TBP) were similar among the treatments. Carcass composition showed significant dissimilarity (P<0.05) between the initial analysis and the test fish in terms of crude fibre ,ash and nitrogen free extract contents while dry matter content was similar (P>0.05). However, crude protein and fat content were consistently patterned. Therefore, it can be concluded that fish meal can be replaced with up to 20% Taro leaf meal in the diet of African catfish (Clarias gariepinus).