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Effect of partly replacement of fishmeal protein by black soldier fly larvae protein on growth performance and meat chemical composition of square-head climbing perch (Anabas testudineus Bloch, 1792)

Tran Thi Thu Suong, Pham Thi Phuong Lan, Le Minh Tue, Nguyen Thi Thanh Thuy, Truong Thi Hoa, Hoang Nghia Manh and Nguyen Duy Quynh Tram

Hue University of Agriculture and Forestry, Hue University, Vietnam
ndqtram@hueuni.edu.vn

Abstract

The study aimed at evaluating the effect of replacing fishmeal protein by black soldier fly larvae (BSFL) meal protein on growth performance and chemical composition of meat of square-head climbing perch (SHCP). The experiment used 2,700 fish of 5.3 g and was a completely randomized design with five dietary treatments and three replicates. Fish were located in 15 net cages with 180 fish/cage. The treatments named CLT (control diet with fishmeal), L10, L20, L30 and L40, in which 10%, 20%, 30% and 40% fishmeal protein were replaced by BSFL protein. The results showed that inclusion of BSFL meal in pellet feed for SHCP increased slightly final weight (48.7 g vs 55.7-56.2 g), daily gain (0.72 g vs 0.85 g) and yield (1.2 kg/m2 vs 1.84 kg/m2) and improved feed conversion ratio (1.75-1.82 vs 1.65-1.7), and DM content of meat slightly (32.5% vs 31.62%) decreased but did not affect CP content (18-18.57%). In recommendation, fishmeal protein could be replaced by BSFL protein up to 40% or BSFL meal could be included at 9.2% as diet DM for climbing perch.

Keyword: fish, larval meal inclusion, protein source


Introduction

Climbing perch (Anabas testudineus) has been reported as only one species belonging to the Anabas genus in Vietnam. Recently, a new phenotype of climbing perch that has faster growth and larger sizes than the normal ones has been found and was called square-head climbing perch (SHCP) (Yen and Trinh 2013). This species with accessory respiratory organs could be farmed at high stocking density and in relatively poor water quality (Van and Hoan 2009). Recently, there are some studies about this species with successful technical production (Tuan et al 2002). Hau Giang was the place where the first SHCP was discovered, so this fish quickly became an object of intensive farming and growing in popularity. According to Long (2015), the SHCP was discovered in Vi Thuy district, Hau Giang province with the number of about 70 fish mixed in ponds raising perch in 2008. Although this was a newly discovered fish species, due to its rapid growth, it was gradually becoming popular throughout the Mekong Delta provinces and some provinces outside the Mekong Delta. After 4 months of culture, SHCP were harvested with high survival rate of 80.5%, average yield of 84.7 tons/ha/crop, about 7.42 individuals/kg, and feed conversion ratio (FCR) of 1.46 (Long 2015). The SHCP meat was delicious and preferred by consumers (Phu et al 2006).

For the aquaculture of climbing perch, its feed containing fishmeal (FM) with a sufficient protein content was indispensable because this species was carnivorous. However, increased demand for aquaculture feeds had not only led to recent rapid price increases for FM (FAO 2016) but also had negative consequences for natural fish populations (Naylor et al 2009) because FM was derived from wild-caught fish (Tacon and Metian 2008). Presently, farmers used many types of commercial feed for the SHCP with crude protein content from 28% to 30% and their prices were high (70-75 cent USD/kg). Therefore, there were 54.8% of farmers in Hau Giang province to be lost from this culture system (Long 2015).

With such a challenge, in recent years, scientists have focused on researching protein-rich sources to replace FM in order to reduce feed costs and increase sustainability for aquaculture (Cammack and Tomberlin 2017). One of promising protein-rich sources for fish was black soldier fly (Hermetia illucens) larvae (BSFL) with high protein content and lysine and methionine, high lipid and essential fatty acids such as linoleic acid and alpha-linolenic acid, vitamin and mineral composition (Renna et al 2017; Xiaopeng Xiao et al 2018; Yajun Hu et al 2020; Lan et al 2022b). Similarly, Ngoan et al (2021) reviewed that BSFL have a high crude protein (37-63% as DM) and crude fat (7-39%), and these values vary widely depending on substractes for feeding the larvae. Vongvichit et al (2019) indicated that BSF could be used to diversify protein sources for aquaculture feeds and to reduce the dependency of the aquaculture industry on feeds containing FM for climbing perch culture. Hoa and Dung (2016) reported that replacement of total trash fish by BSF larvae in diets did not affect the growth rate and chemical composition of snakehead fish (Channa micropeltes). Similarly, another study also reported the same result when replacement of 20% fishmeal by BSFL meal on Red tilapia (Oreochromis sp.) (Khanh and Lan 2019). However, Lan et al 2022a reported that total replacement of trash fish by BSFL reduced the productivity of seabass (Lates calcarifer Bloch, 1790) kept in both fresh and brackish water environments.

This study therefore aimed at evaluating the effect of partly replacement of fishmeal by BSFL meal in diets on growth performance, yield and chemical composition of fillet of square-head climbing perch (Anabas testudineus Bloch, 1792) kept in small scale farms.


Materials and methods

This experiment was conducted at La Chu Research Farm at Hue City during May-July 2023 and was approved by the Hue University Animal Ethics Committee No. HUVN0026.

Fish

A total 2,700 fish of 5 g were purchased at the Breeding Centre in Hue city and were kept in 15 net closed cages with 2.0 x 3.0 x 1.5 m measurement, and 180 heads in each cage. The fish cages were fixed in the pond with 2 m depth, and water in the pond was replaced 30% within one week to maintain an appropriate environmental condition for fish. Fish were fed 4 times a day (7.00; 10.00; 14.00 and 17.00h) to satisfy their needs.

Photo 1A. Pellet feed; Photo 1B. The Black soldier fly larvae

Photo 2. The Square-head
climbing perch fingerling
Photo 3. The Square-head climbing perch
fed BSFL meal after 2 months
Diet preparation

Larvae meal: BSFL were fed by tofu by-products and collected on 9th day after rearing. Larvae meal preparation was followed Lan et al (2022c). Larvae were washed with water several times to remove all impurities on the body, boiled at 60C for 30 minutes, dried at 60oC for 48 hrs and milled into full fat BSFL meal.

All ingredients were carefully mixed according to their ratio in five diets. Then the mixtures were extruded through a 2-6 mm diameter die plate using an extruder (Binh Minh Corp., Vietnam). The mixture was dried at 45C for 24 hrs and stored in plastic bags at room temperature prior to use. The proportions of ingredients and the nutritive value of the diets are presented in Table 1.

Table 1. Ingredient proportions and chemical composition of the experimental diets

Items

Dietary treatments

CTL

L10

L20

L30

L40

Ingredients (g/100 g)

Corn meal

24.0

23.7

23.1

22.5

22.5

Rice bran

23.3

23.0

23.0

21.0

22.4

Wheat meal

12.7

12.7

12.7

14.7

12.7

Soybean meal

15.0

15.0

15.0

15.0

15.0

Fishmeal

17.0

15.3

13.6

11.9

10.2

Larvae meal

-

2.3

4.6

6.9

9.2

Fish oil

1.0

1.0

1.0

1.0

1.0

Mineral-vitamin#

4.0

4.0

4.0

4.0

4.0

CMC##

3.0

3.0

3.0

3.0

3.0

Total

100

100

100

100

100

Chemical composition (%) and energy (kcal/kg)

Dry matter

93.7

94.5

94.9

93.3

94.1

Organic matter

90.2

90.2

90.1

90.4

90.3

Crude protein

29.7

30.1

30.0

30.3

30.4

Ether extract

7.7

7.9

8.0

8.0

8.2

Crude fibre

3.9

3.8

4.0

4.1

4.2

Total ash

9.8

9.8

9.9

9.6

9.7

Gross energy

4,589

4,606

4,605

4,623

4,631

#Per 1kg: Vitamin A (6,000,000 IU); D3(1,000,000 IU); E(2,000 IU); K3 (1,000 mg); B1 (2,000 mg); B2 (3,000 mg); B6 (500 mg); B12 (1,000 mcg); Niacin Amide (6,000 mg); Na (2,520 mg); Ca-Pantothenate (5,000 mg); DL-Methionine (16,000 mg); Co (220 mg); Mn (140 mg); Fe (2,140 mg); K (3,740 mg); Zn (130 mg); L-Lysine (5,000 mg); Folic Acid (400 mg). ## CMC: Carboxylmethyl cellulose
Experimental design

Total 2,700 fish were randomly located to five treatments. The experiment was arranged in a completely randomized design with using different diets as treatment and 3 replicates (5 x 3). In each replicate, 180 fish were kept in the cage of 6 m2 of water surface. The experimental treatments named: CTL - control diet without BSFL meal; and L10, L20, L30 and L40 as replacing 10%, 20%, 30% and 40% of fishmeal protein with larval protein (L) in the control diet.

The experiment was lasted for 60 days, exclusive 3-week preparation time.

Measurements

Water quality parameters were measured including water temperature (C) by HOBO logger Pendant Temp , pH, dissolved oxygen (DO) and N-NH3 by test kit Sera (Germany), they were measured periodically.

The mean values of Temperature, pH, DO, and Ammonia were within the range 28.3 - 31.5oC, 7.15 -7.88, 4.23 - 4.73 mg/l, and 0.01 -0.09 mg/l, respectively.

Growth performance

To determine the growth performance, ten (10) fish in each cage were randomly collected and were anesthetized with Aqui-S at a concentration of 10 mL/m3 before weighing. Live weights of fish were recorded at the beginning and every 15 days after feeding until 60 days.

Daily weight gain (DWG) was then calculated by:

DWG (g/day) = (W 0 – Wi)/t

In which, W0 is weight at the beginning and Wi is weight at the end of the experiment, and t is number of feeding day.

Feed conversion ratio (FCR) was the ratio between feed intake in DM and weight gain.

Survival rate (SR, %) was determined by ratio between survival number at final and at initial experiment.

Yield (kg/m2) was calculated by total live weight of fish collected at terminated experiment per square meter of water surface.

Meat chemical composition

At the end of the experiment, 10 fish in each cage were caught for meat sampling. The fillet meat of 10 fish was taken out and mixed carefully before sampling. Therefore, in each treatment 3 samples were chemically analyzed.

Chemical analysis

All feed samples and fish meat samples were chemically analyzed for dry matter (DM), crude protein (CP), ether extract (EE), crude fibre (CF), and total ash according to the procedures of AOAC (1990) at the Laboratory of Biotechnology of the National Institute of Animal Sciences, Ha Noi.

The gross energy (GE) was calculated according to Ewan (1989):

GE (kcal/kg) = 4143 + 56 x EE + 15 x CP - 44 x ash

Data analysis

Data were presented in the form of the mean (M) and standard error of the mean (SEM). The data were statistically processed by analysis of variance (ANOVA) by General Linear Model in Minitab v.16.2 (2010). The difference between the mean values was determined by the Tukey method at a confidence level of 95%.


Results and discussion

Growth performance and yield

The change in live weight and growth performance and yield of fish were presented in Table 2. The live weight was higher in L30 and L40 than in CTL, L10 and L20 (p<0.05). At the end of the 2-month experiment, the average live weight of SHCP in this study ranged 48.6-56.2 g.

This result was different from many studies. Phu et al (2006) studied the effect of different CP contents in pellet feed and reported that live weight of SHCP ranged 52-56 g/fish in 4.5 feeding months. Yen (2013) reported that the live weight of SHCP after 4 feeding months was 20.7 g. Long (2015) showed after 4 months of culture in a pond with an average 0.14 ha, climbing perch were harvested with live a weight of 135 g/fish. However, Vongvichit et al (2019) reported that the final weight of the climbing perch was not significant between treatments, in which, BSF prepupae replaced totally or partly FM in diets.

Similar to the live weight, the daily weight gain ranged 0.72-0.85 g (Table 2 and Figure 1) and the yield ranged 1.17-1.84 kg/m2 and were higher in L30 and L40 than in the rest treatment (p<0.05). Meanwhile, FCR was lower in L20, L30 and L40 than in CTL and L10 (p<0.05) (Figure 2). Yen (2013) reported that FCR of climbing perch fed commercial feed ranged 2.51-2.84. Long (2015) reported after 4 months of culture in a pond with an average 0.14 ha, climbing perch were harvested with FCR of 1.46. In addition, Vongvichit et al (2019) studied the effect of replacement of totally or partly FM by BSF prepupae and showed that FCR was not different between treatments and ranged 3.2-3.4.

Table 2. Growth performance, SR, FCR and yield of fish

Treatment

SEM

p-value

CTL

L10

L20

L30

L40

Initial weight (g)

5.32

5.41

5.24

5.31

5.41

0.08

0.88

Final weight (g)

48.60b

48.70b

49.21b

56.20a

55.71a

0.27

<0.001

DWG (g/day)

0.72b

0.72b

0.73b

0.85a

0.84a

0.005

<0.001

SR (%)

80.0

79.8

81.5

83.2

81.3

0.83

0.113

FCR

1.82a

1.85a

1.73b

1.65b

1.70b

0.02

<0.001

Yield (kg/m2)

1.21b

1.17b

1.18b

1,77a

1,84a

0.01

<0.001

abcMeans in the same row without common letter are different at p<0.05



Figure 1. The effect of Black soldier fly larvae on DWG Figure 2. The effect of Black soldier fly larvae on FCR
Survival rate

The results show that the survival rate of SHCP in the experiment ranged from 79.8% to 83.2% and was not statistically significant between the treatments (p>0.05). This finding was similar to previous studies (Yen 2013; Long 2015; Vongvichit et al 2019). Yen (2013) studied the effect of broodstock of climbing perch in the Mekong Delta River and reported that the survival rate of climbing perch fed commercial feed ranged 69-80%, in which the survival rate of SHCP was 80%. Long (2015) reported that after 4 months of culture in a pond with an average 0.14 ha, climbing perch were harvested with the survival rate of 80.5%. Vongvichit et al (2019) studied the effect of replacement of FM by BSF prepupae in climbing perch diets and reported a survival rate ranged 81.7-82.2%.

Chemical composition of fish meat

Chemical composition of the SHCP fillet was presented in Table 3. With excepting CP content, the contents of DM, EE and ash were significant between treatments. Increasing BSFL of above 4.6% in diets DM and ash content declined and EE increased.

Table 3. Chemical composition of fish meat

Treatment

SEM

p-value

CTL

L10

L20

L30

L40

Dry matter

67.5

67.1

67.7

68.1

68.3

0.105

<0.001

Crude protein

18.03

18.20

18.30

18.57

18.47

0.132

0.119

Ether extract

12.50c

12.67c

13.00bc

13.63ab

13.87a

0.146

0.001

Total ash

5.03a

5.13a

4.83b

4.17b

4.03b

0.096

<0.001

abcMeans in the same row without common letter are different at p<0.05

Vongvichit et al (2019) found that the DM content of climbing perch meat was lower in FM diet (36.6%) than in BSF prepupae diets (36.9-37.2%) and CP, EE and ash content was similar in FM and BSF diets. CP content ranged 17.2-18.1%, crude fat of 12-14.4% and ash of 4.1-5.7%.


Conclusion


Acknowledgement

The authors are grateful acknowledge for the support financial for this research from Thua Thien Hue Department of Science and Technology under the Grant No. TTH.2021-KC.26. and partial financial supported by the Flemish Interuniversity Council Project (VLIR-IUC), in cooperation between Ghent University, Belgium and Hue University, Vietnam. We also acknowledge group of K53 Aquaculture students for taking care of the fish.


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