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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Stoneville, Mississippi » Warmwater Aquaculture Research Unit » Research » Research Project #428505

Research Project: Evaluating Nutritional Requirements, Identifying Alternative Ingredients and Improving the Production Environment for Hybrid and Channel Catfish Production

Location: Warmwater Aquaculture Research Unit

Project Number: 6066-31320-005-00-D
Project Type: In-House Appropriated

Start Date: Mar 6, 2015
End Date: Mar 5, 2020

Objective:
1) Evaluate alternative feedstuffs and optimize feed formulations using traditional and alternative feedstuffs for cost-effective production of catfish, and determine if nutrient requirements differ for hybrid and channel catfish. Sub-objective 1.1 Evaluate diets using alternative feedstuffs in low-protein diets for pond-raised hybrid catfish. Sub-objective 1.2 Evaluate fortification of alternative diets with lysine and methionine to improve processing yield of channel catfish. Sub-objective 1.3 Complete replacement of soybean meal using a combination of lower-cost protein sources for pond-raised hybrid catfish. Sub-objective 1.4 Evaluate 32% or 36% protein, traditional or alternative feeds for fingerling hybrid catfish. Sub-objective 1.5 Evaluation of growth and disease resistance of fish fed diets supplemented with taurine. 2) Develop more cost effective feeding and production strategies for hybrid and catfish production. Sub-objective 2.1 Evaluate effects of maintenance feeding on growth and processing yield of market-size hybrid catfish. Sub-objective 2.2 Compare hybrid fry production when feeding immediately at stocking with fry fed under an alternative feeding strategy of waiting six weeks before offering commercial diets. 3) Evaluate co-culture of alternative species for effects on water quality, biological control of disease vectors, and supplemental income for catfish producers. Sub-objective 3.1 Co-culturing redear sunfish with channel catfish under commercial conditions. Sub-objective 3.2 Extensive production of prawn Macrobrachium rosenbergii in fallow catfish production ponds for crop diversification.

Approach:
Three 24% protein diets containing 30, 20, and 15% soybean meal will be compared with a 28% protein control diet. Hybrid catfish fingerlings will be stocked in ponds at 6,000 fish/acre. Each diet will be fed to five replicate ponds. All ponds will be harvested in October/November. A partial budget analysis based on feed and fish prices will be conducted to determine the economic benefit (if any) of using low-protein alternative diets versus the traditional control diet. This study will evaluate five 28% protein diets fortified with varoious supplements. Experimental design, diet analyses, procedures for stocking, feeding, pond management, data collection and statistical and economic analysis will be the same as described for Sub-objective 1.A. All soybean meal in hybrid catfish feeds will be replaced with various combinations of cottonseed meal, distiller’s grains with solubles, peanut meal, and porcine meat and bone meal. Pond will be stocked with hybrid catfish fingerlings, and diet analyses, experimental design, procedures for stocking, feeding, pond management, data collection and statistical analysis, and economic analysis will be the same as described for Sub-objective 1.A. Four thousand small hybrid catfish fingerlings will be stocked into 20 tanks with 200 fish each. Four diets of 32% or 36% protein using either soybean meal or soybean substitutes will be evaluated. Diet, statistical, and economic analysis will be the same as described for Sub-objective 1A. Growth and disease resistance of juvenile channel catfish will be evaluated in fish fed diets with varying levels of taurine in replicated aquaria. The proposed study will evaluate effects of no feeding, maintenance feeding, and re-feeding on growth, feed conversion ratio, and processing yield of hybrid catfish. Market-size hybrid catfish (1.5 lb) will be stocked into ponds at the end of May or early June. The experimental design, procedures for stocking, feeding, pond management, data collection and statistical analysis will be the same as described for Sub-objective 1.A. This study will compare production of hybrid fry fed immediately at stocking in 0.4 ha ponds with that of fry not fed until 6 weeks after stocking. Four ponds will be stocked with channel catfish (600 fish/pond) and redear sunfish (10 fish/pond); four ponds will be stocked with redear sunfish only (10 fish/pond); four ponds will be stocked with catfish only (600 fish/pond). The study will be repeated yearly with the same stocking rates but with varying fish size. Catfish will be fed and managed according to standard industry practices and cultured through one production season. Each treatment will consist of 4 replicate ponds to evaluate using hay, planted wheat, or rice as substrates to increase freshwater prawn production. Ponds with no substrate addition will served as controls. Ponds will be stocked with 10,000 prawn/ac. All ponds will be fed range cubes. Prawns will be harvested in the fall. All prawns will be counted and collectively weighed, and production will be compared among the treatments.