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Feeding tilapia fish hatcheries

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Created By
Shanjaya Mandala Putra
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Edited By
Hamiman Simbolon
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Review By
Barkah Tri Basuki

Image Source : banglele.co.id

Tilapia is one type of freshwater fish that is classified as an omnivore fish, this fish tends to be herbivore so it is easier to adapt to types of feed mixed with vegetable sources. Freshwater fish generally grow well with feed containing 25-35% protein. Tilapia are animals that meet their needs by eating animals and plants, eating plankton, and eating various plants so that these fish are thought to be used as waterweed controllers.

1. Nutritional requirements of tilapia

The nutrients needed by tilapia are protein, carbohydrates and fat. The improper nutritional content can affect growth such as:

  • Protein

Proteins are complexes consisting of essential amino acids which are molecular compounds containing the amino (-NH2) and carboxyl (-CO2H) functional groups and are non-essential. Protein is used as a source of growth and development in the body of tilapia. Lack of protein will cause fish to only use protein sources for basic needs and deficiency for growth. Excess protein also causes the protein to be wasted and causes an increase in ammonia content which is toxic in waters.

  • Carbohydrate

Carbohydrates are the largest organic group in plants, consisting of the element Cn (H2O) and carbohydrates as one of the components that act as a source of energy for fish and have a sparing effect on the protein. Carbohydrates are more soluble in water and can be used as an adhesive to improve feed stability. Lack of carbohydrates can cause stunted growth because fish use it as an energy source. The need for carbohydrates that have high digestibility and amylase enzyme activity in tilapia will affect the increased digestibility of carbohydrates.

  • Fat

Fat content is an organic compound containing the elements carbon (C), hydrogen (H), and oxygen (O2) as the main elements. Some of them contain nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (F). Fat is useful as a source of energy in activities and helps the absorption of certain minerals. Fat also plays a role in maintaining the balance and buoyancy of feed in the water. The content of feed fat needed by tilapia is 3-6% with 85-95% digestible energy.

2. Feeding tilapia broodstock

Fish need adequate feed to support growth, reproduction and survival. The feed given must match the needs of the fish both in terms of quantity and quality of feed. Feed is a source of nutrition for fish that is needed by broodstock for the maturity of the gonads so that they can produce eggs and larvae in large quantities and quality.

The steps for feeding tilapia broodstock are as follows:

  • Tilapia broodstock are reared by feeding them twice a day.
  • Providing feed at 08:00 AM and 15:00 PM.
  • The feed is given in the form of pellets that float on the surface.
  • Protein content in feed 30-35%.
  • The dose of feed given is two percent (2%) of the biomass per day.
  • Addition of vitamin E to feed.

3. Feeding tilapia larvae

As larvae, tilapia are classified as carnivores, but when they reach adulthood, this fish group becomes omnivores or herbivores. So, this fish feed formula requires modification according to fish growth where the elements used must change from animal-based elements such as fish meal to plant-based feed ingredients. Most of the tilapia feed in general at the initial stage contains a higher concentration of fishmeal than during the rearing period.

The need for high protein larvae ranges from 35-56%. Furthermore, it will decrease with the increasing size and age of tilapia. Based on several studies, a general view can be made that larvae weighing <1 gram require feed with a protein content of 35-50% and some have found that tilapia larvae grow well on feeds with a protein content of 40-45%, compared to the protein content of 25-35%.

Most fish need live food, when they are newly hatched, because the mouth openings are so small. Microalgae are often used as food in cultivated hatcheries for commercial fish. Of the many types of microalgae that exist, only a few can be cultivated. And some of these types have good nutritional qualities. Among them are Chlorella and Scenedesmus which belong to the phylum of Chlorophyta. There are many species of Chlorella and Scenedesmus that live in both fresh and marine waters. Freshwater Chlorella and Scenedesmus have been cultured as healthy food for humans and animals as well, because of the value of protein, vitamins, minerals and other substances they contain. Feeding with low protein content (25%) together with microalgae (500-300 x 104 cells per ml) is highly recommended for good growth performance as well as more economical growth for tilapia larvae. The steps for feeding tilapia larvae are as follows:

  • Larvae that have been harvested from spawning ponds are left for 1-2 days.
  • Fish aged 1-2 days still have the default feed in the form of yolk sac.
  • On the 3rd day, fish larvae are given natural food in the form of Phytoplankton because their mouth openings are very small.
  • The Phytoplanktons that are commonly fed to tilapia larvae are Chlorella, Scenedesmus, Infusoria, Spirulina and other types of very small Phytoplankton.
  • For mouth openings that begin to enlarge, natural food can be given in the form of zooplankton such as Daphnia, Moina, Tubifex, Rotifera, Artemia and other types of Zooplankton.
  • Natural feed for both Phytoplankton and Zooplankton is given by ad libitum.
  • For larvae size over five days, a combination of natural feed with artificial feed (flour) with high protein content can be provided.
  • Also feeding flour ad libitum, little by little. This is so that if the excess leftover feed does not destroy the water quality of larval rearing.
  • Feeding is done 3-5 times a day.