Research Report

Growth Performance of Clarias gariepinus Fingerlings Fed Jatropha curcas Kernel Meal  

S.G. Solomon , V.T. Okomoda , E.F. Torkor
Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture, University of Agriculture Makurdi, Nigeria
Author    Correspondence author
International Journal of Aquaculture, 2016, Vol. 6, No. 1   doi: 10.5376/ija.2016.06.0001
Received: 15 Oct., 2015    Accepted: 12 Nov., 2015    Published: 05 Apr., 2016
© 2016 BioPublisher Publishing Platform
This is an open access article published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Preferred citation for this article:

 Solomon S.G, Okomoda V.T., and Torkor E.F., 2015, Growth Performance of Clarias gariepinus Fingerlings Fed Jatropha curcas Kernel Meal, International Journal of Aquaculture, 6(1): 1-6 (doi: 10.5376/ija.2016.06.0001)

This study was designed to evaluate the growth performance of Clarias gariepinus fingerlings fed detoxified Jatropha curcas kernel meal as a replacement for fishmeal. Fingerlings (1.37±0.02 g) were stocked in Hapa net measuring 1×1×1 m3 and fed diets (35% crude protein) containing 0%, 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100% detoxified Jatropha kernel meal as replacement for fishmeal (at 26% level of inclusion). At the end of the eight weeks feeding trials, the mean weight gain, feed conversion ratio, Specific Growth rate and Protein Efficiency Ratio were higher in the fish fed 13% inclusion level (50% replacement of fish meal) while least values were recorded at 26% (100% replacement of fish meal). The study shows that a carnivorous fish like Clarias gariepinus can tolerate the inclusion of detoxified jatropha kernel meal at 13% without affecting the growth and nutrient utilization of the fingerlings.
African catfish; Detoxification; Unconventional feed; Least cost feed

1 Introduction
The on-going intensification of aquaculture in tropical countries has made it essential to develop suitable diets for catfish using alternative protein sources, traditionally; fish meal (FM) has been the main source of dietary protein for fish. Fish meal is often utilized in aqua feeds because it offers a balanced source of indispensable amino acids, essential fatty acids, vitamins, minerals and generally enhances palatability (Kaushik et al., 1995). In recent years, its increasing cost, decreasing availability in the market and poor quality have stimulated several studies on its partial or complete substitution with alternative protein sources (Kaushik et al., 1995; Fournier et al., 2004). Presently, most of the commercial feed depends mostly on soybean meal as a fish meal replacer. However, over dependency on this conventional protein source will cause hike in price since it’s a human food. Therefore, utilization of other inexpensive plant protein source would be beneficial in reducing the feed cost and contribute to food security (Sofia, 2007).
The importance of the development of non-human-food grade feed resources whose growth can cope with the projected and desired fast growth of the sector has been stressed by Tacon and Forster (2001), Jatropha curcas (physic nut) is one of such. It is a hardy plant, thrives on degraded land and requires limited amounts of nutrients and water. Its seeds have been extensively investigated as a source of oil. The seed kernel contains about 60 g·kg-1 oil that can be converted into biodiesel upon trans-esterification and be used as a substitute for diesel fuel (Makkar and Becker, 1997). The kernel meal obtained after oil extraction is an excellent source of nutrients and contains 58–62 g·kg-1 crude protein (Makkar et al., 1998; Makkar and Becker, 1999). The levels of essential amino acids (except lysine) are higher in Jatropha kernel meal (Makkar and Becker, 1999). However, the presence of high levels of anti-nutritional factors (ANFs) like trypsin inhibitor, lectin and phytate (Makkar et al., 1998) and the major toxic components phorbol esters (PEs) (Makkar and Becker, 1997) restrict their use in fish feed, hence the need to detoxify, this research present an account of the growth performance of Clarias gariepinus fed different substitution level of detoxified Jatropha kernel meal.
2 Materials and Methods
The fingerlings of Clarias gariepinus for this study were obtained from the research farm of the Fisheries Department, University of Agriculture Makurdi. The experiment which lasted for 56days was carried out also in an earthen pond at the departmental research farm. Hapas made from nets measuring 1x1x1 were mounted on a kuralon rope and set across the pond surface and properly staked to the dyke of the pond using bamboo sticks. Stones were attached to the four bottom corners of the hapas to serve as sinkers. This enables the bottom surface of the hapas to spread uniformly and to extend properly. The extension made easy inflow and outflow of water through each hapa and was immersed in the pond water half way to enable ease of access.
The feed ingredients used in the feed formulation were Fish meal, Soybean meal, Maize meal, Vitamin and Mineral premixes and were purchased from the Makurdi Modern market, they were then processes and grinded into meal for storage. Matured seeds ofJatropha curcas however, were obtained from the ripped fruits of locally grown Jatropha curcas plant at Kyado in Ukum local government area of Benue state. Soon after harvesting the fruits, the seeds were manually removed from the husk, cracked and the shells carefully removed to obtain the kernel. The kernel was grounded and defatted using Hexane. The kernel meal obtained was heated and autoclaved at 121 ℃ for 30mins and then washed four times using methanol. The meal obtained was dried under sun to remove methanol so as to obtain the detoxified Jatropha kernel meal. 35% crude protein control diet was formulated using Pearson square method with fish meal added at 26% level of inclusion (Table 1), the other experimental diet were formulated by simply substituting detoxified Jatropha kernel meal at 0%, 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100% substitution levels (Table 1). The diets so formed were pelletized using a pelleting machine after weighing appropriately and thorough mixing of the ingredients.

Table 1 Gross composition and proximate composition of the experimental diets


Fifteen Clarias gariepinus fingerlings were evenly distributed in each of the hapa. The daily feeding was done by hand at 5% of the cumulative body weight of each hapa. The daily ration was divided into two feedings per day (08:00 and 16:00) and the fingerlings were weight weekly so as to adjust the feed by virtue of weight gained. A Tefal electronic digital scale was used to measure weights of fingerlings per week till the end of the experiment (8 weeks), growth performance were estimated as stated below. 
(a) Mean Weight Gain (MWG)=Mean final weight - Mean initial weight
(b) Feed conversion ratio (FCR)= dry feed intake / wet weight gain
(c) Specific Growth Rate (%/day)=[loge(wt2)-loge(wt1)] / (t2-t1)
      Wt1=Initial weight gain
      Wt2=Final weight gain
      T2-T1= Duration (in days) considered between Wt2 and Wt1
(d) Protein efficiency ratio = wet weight gain / protein fed
      Where Protein fed= %protein in diet×total diet consumed / 100
(e) % Survival rate=(total number of fish – mortality) / total number of fish×100
Proximate compositions of Jatropha curcas kernel meals, diets formulated, initial and final carcass of fish were determined according to standard methods by AOAC (1990). However Nitrogen free extracts in samples were determined by difference. The analyses were conducted in triplicate and all reagents were of analytical grade. The data obtained from the study were analyzed using Gen stat®discovery edition 4 and Minitab® 14, descriptive statistics were done and mean gotten were subjected to analysis of variance, where significant differences were obtained (P<0.05), means were separated using Duncan’s least significant difference (LSD).
3 Results
The growth performance and utilization of Clarias gariepinus fed varying replacement level of Jatropha curcas as shown in Table 2, reveals mean weight gain to range from 2.81±0.156 (Diet V) to 5.01±0.82 (Diet III) with fish fed Diet III having the highest weight gain (P<0.05). Similarly, specific growth rate was significantly higher in Diet III (P<0.05) (2.73±0.234) ranging to 1.98±0.06 in Diet V. Also feed conversion ratio and protein efficiency ratio were highest in fish fed Diet III (3.18±1.11 and 0.17±0.004 respectively) while lowest values were recorded in Diet V (2.43±0.29 and 0.094±0.005).

Table 2 Growth and Feed Utilization Parameters of Clarias gariepinus fingerings fed Jatropha kernel meal as a replacement for fish meal


The carcass composition of the experimental fish as presented in Table 3 shows that there were significant variations in the moisture, protein fat and Ash content levels of the fish fed the different experimental diets. However while moisture and fiber was observed higher in Diet IV, protein and fat were on the other hand higher in Diet III (P<0.05). Initial moisture content of the fish before feeding was 72.04±0.06, however this increased to 73.29±0.295, 73.05±0.055, 73.05±0.04, 75.16±0.155 after been fed Diets I, Diet II, Diet III Diet IV respectively, while moisture in Diet V reduced instead to 70.06±0.06. There was a significant (p>0.05) increase in % crude protein from 8.44±0.02 before feeding to 11.8±0.01, 11.09±0.04, 11.16±0.05, 11.46±0.06 and 13.15±0.06 after feeding with Diet I, Diet II, Diet IV, Diet V and Diet III respectively. This study observed reduction in % fat as fat content before feeding was higher (6.87±0.00) compared to values observed for the experimental diets (3.71±0.01, 4.63±0.03, 5.71±0.01, 5.23±0.02, and 3.60±0.02 Diet I, Diet II, Diet III, Diet IV and Diet V). The fiber content before feeding was 2.00±0.00 however increased in Diets I and V as 2.01±0.01 and 2.06±0.06 while decrease were observed in Diets II, III and IV(1.97±0.03, 2.00±0.001 and 2.00±0.02 respectively). There was no significant in the % Ash content of the fish, the carbohydrate content of fish before experiment was 7.64±0.03 and increased in Diets I, II and V to 8.21±0.33, 7.21±0.19 and 10.81±0.06 respectively however decreased in Diets III and IV (4.47±0.05 and 4.43±0.17)(Figure 1). 


Table 3 Initial and Final Carcass Analysis of Clarias gariepinus fingerlings fed Jatropha curcas kernel meal 


Figure 1 Weekly growth of Clarias gariepinus fed diet containing graded levels of Jatropha meal 

Note: Mean in the same row with different superscript differ significantly (p>0.05)
4 Discussion
Protein requirement is given high priority in any nutritional study because it is the single nutrient that is required in the largest quantity for growth and development and also the most expensive ingredient in diet formulation (Lovell, 1989; NRC, 1993). A number of study have been conducted on the replacement of fishmeal with convention and unconventional protein source for African catfish production (Tiamiyu et al., 2006; Solomon et al., 2007; Solomon and Okomoda, 2012; Tiamiyu et al., 2007;Tiamiyu et al., 2013). To our knowledge, this is the first study on the replacement of Fishmeal by Detoxified Jatropha Kernet Meal in the diet of Clarias gariepinus. The results on the growth performance and nutrients utilization of Clarias gariepinusfingerlings fed the different experimental diets shows that the fish body mass increased four to five times within 8 weeks. This is an indication that the protein quality of Jatropha curcas kernel meal was effectively utilized by the fingerlings of Clarias gariepinus. Detoxification process used may have contributed significantly to the suitability of the different diets for feeding of African catfish, Fakunle et al. (2013), stated that toxic component or anti-nutritional factors in Jatropha seed or kernel meal may cause irritation of digestive tract which is capable of decreasing feed intake and growth. Boiling, cooking and chemical treatment are among the methods used in removing anti-nutritional factors in Jatropha kernel meal.
Feed utilization was higher in fish fed Diet III with 50:50 % fishmeal and jatropha meal compared to the other experimental diets. Contrary to the outcome of this study, Fakunle et al. (2013) reported a better performance in African catfish fed diet containing graded level of boiled jatropha kernel meal as replacement for soybean meal, however Kumar et al. (2011), reported better growth of Cyprinus carpio fed detoxified Jatropha kernel meal (60min) replacing 50% of the diet’s fishmeal, and they envisaged the cause of differences in observations for the different diet to be factors such as acceptability of diets, presence of toxic and antinutritional factors and digestibility of protein and energy in the diets, since the present study used same detoxification process, hence, nutrient and amino acid compensation gotten from both fishmeal and detoxified Jatropha kernel meal in the Diet III must have led to better growth of the fish compared to other diets. Significantly lower growth response of fish fed Diet IV (75%) and Diet V(100%) might be because of several factors such as lower digestibility of protein and energy in the diets (Kumar et al., 2011) resulting from lower quality protein and energy availability from the detoxified Jatropha kernel meal. Antinutritional factors such as phytate and lactin may still be available insufficient amount to adversely affect the feed utilization of the diet leading to lower growth performance. The reduction in growth performance observed from the fish fed diets with higher ratio of plant protein (i.e. Diet IV and V), is in agreement with data on Clarias gariepinusfed other plant based feed stuff as reported by Gomes et al. (1993), Hasan et al. (1997), and Kumar et al. (2010, 2011), this is likely due to the carnivorous nature of the experimental fish, hence reduction in growth may give strong indication of their tolerance to the antinutritional factor present in the plant protein. Similar observation was made for common carp and rats with Jatropha meal as reported by Becker and Makkar (1998) and Rashid et al. (2008) respectively, reduce growth of this animal also includes reduction in feed intake and diarrhea. A low FCR values means that little of the diets were needed by the fish to gain flesh. Fish fed diet III had the lowest FCR which means they require 2.43 Kg of feed to build up 1 Kg of their flesh and lesser than control diet with 100% fishmeal which require 2.54 Kg of feed to build 1 Kg of flesh, thus feeding cost of the fish will be reduced (FAO, 2006). Hence Jatropha kernel meal may be a good feed ingredient to supplement the protein requirement of fish most especially where fish meal is found less abundant and costly (Maker and Becker, 1999). This is because the cost of acquisition of Jatropha curcas (though not determined in the study) are expected to be lower when compared to purchasing fishmeal.
The protein efficiency ratio (PER) is based on the weight gain of the test organism divided by the protein consumed for a particular diet during the period of the experiment (Wikipedia, 2011). It is the measure of growth using the dietary protein as an index and so a high PER value will be obtained if the weight gain is high compared to the dietary protein consumed. The variation in PER of the various diets suggest that the bulk of the protein consumed was converted to weight gain however Diet III had the highest value.
Carcass composition of the fingerings fed all the various diets had more protein retained in the body at the end of the experiment. This showed that the protein to energy ratio used in the feed was at the right proportion as a result, there was no sparing of protein for energy (Mooneye and Facade, 2003). A confirmation of the good quality can be seen in the reduction in fat content of the fingerings fed the various diets when compared to result of the initial fat content of the fingerlings. This result to the non fatty fleshed fish produced. The present study has therefore shown that Jatropha curcas kernel meal can replace fishmeal up to 50% without affecting growth and nutrient utilization significantly, however beyond this growth and stored protein reduces as the level of inclusion increases.
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