Effect of varying levels of sweet potato (Ipomea Batatas) peels on growth, feed utilization and some biochemical responses of the cichlid (Oreochromis Niloticus).
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AbstractAs a part of its efforts to contribute to alleviation of food insecurity, hunger and poverty, this study was conducted to investigate the performance of the cichlid, Oreochromis niloticus (Linnaeus) fed varying levels of processed sweet potato (Ipomea Batatas) peels. The varying levels of sweet potato peel in the different experimental diets were 0, 5, 10, 15, 20 and 25% (all diets were iso-nitrogenous - 31.23 ± 0.22% crude protein). Twenty mixed-sexed fingerlings of the experimental fish (mean weight 0.47 ± 0.01 g) were fed the different diets for a period of 10 weeks in triplicates. The greatest increase in body weight (1.30 ± 0.07 g) of the fish was achieved with the control diet (P < 0.05), this was followed by the fish fed diet with 5% of the peel (0.90 ± 0.06 g) while the least increase in body weight (0.46 ± 0.01 g) was obtained in the fish fed diet with 25% of the peel (P < 0.05). Similarly, the best specific growth rate (SGR) and apparent digestibility were obtained in the fish fed the control diet, while the fish fed with diet containing 25% of the peel recorded the least SGR and apparent digestibility. Analysis of the results of plasma glucose and plasma protein revealed that there were no deleterious effects recorded in the test fish due to the dietary inclusion of the sweet potato peel. Analysis of the results revealed that Oreochromis niloticus could tolerate up to 15% level of inclusion of sweet potato peel. The significance of this research finding is that sweet potato peels can be incorporated into fish feeds in order to reduce the cost associated with production of farmed fish, as a part of efforts to contribute to alleviation of food insecurity, hunger and poverty in several rural communities in the world with special reference African countries.. Keywords: Cichlid, potato, nutrition, biochemical responses African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development Vol. 9 (2) 2009: pp. 700-712