A 56-day (eight weeks) experimental trial was carried out in the laboratory to evaluate the effect of using Bambara nut, as protein source in the diet, on the growth performance and nutrient utilization of the catfish, Clarias gariepinus. The trial diets were formulated by replacing fishmeal with 0%, 20%, 30%, 40% and 50% Bambara groundnut meal (BGM) in diets tagged diets Q (control diet), A, B, C and D respectively. At the end of the study, The Mean weight gain (MWG), Daily weight gain (DWG), percentage weight gain (PWG of the fish fed diet D were significantly higher (P<0.05) than those of the other trial diets A, B and C but not significantly higher (P<0.05) than those fed the control diet. The protein efficiency ratios (PER) were not significantly different (P=0.05) from one another. The apparent net protein utilization (ANPU) were significantly different (P<0.05) from one another, with diet A recording the least. The SGR of the various fish were not significantly different (P>0.05) from one another. However, the SGR of the fish fed diet D (0.89) was higher than those of the other trial diets, but lower than that of the control (0.91). The food conversion ratio of the fish fed diet D (7.49) was significantly lower (P>0.05) than those of the other diet, except the control diet. The findings showed that Bambara groundnut meal was accepted and digested by the experimental fish as the conventional fish meal. Conclusively, it can be inferred from this study that Bambara groundnut has the potential to be used as a protein source and can replace and elicit good growth in fish as the conventional fishmeal.
Growth, Catfish, Legume, Alternative, Bambara
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