Artemia as a sustainably cultured live feed for ornamental fish in zoological institutions with immunostimulant properties when bioencapsulated with spirulina (Arthrospria platensis).
Keywords:diet, functional feed, immunity, nutraceutical, nutrition, yeast
Sustainable in-house cultures of bio-enriched live feeds for ornamental fish can enhance development, nutrition and welfare of the animal by improving immunity while further reducing economical costs to zoological institutions. Artemia is an easily harvestable feed with its nutritional profile highly dependent on its diet which is easily manipulated through bioencapsulation. This study evaluates the effects of two types of commonly used feeds for Artemia: spirulina and yeast, and how this affects the growth, feed conversion ratio (FCR), survival rate, immunity and colour intensity of ornamental fish, compared to a commercial pellet (control) diet. A total of 198 mature, mixed sex serpae tetra Hyphessobrycon eques were subjected to the three different diet treatments conducted in duplicate. There was no significant difference in growth weight, FCR, lysozyme, myeloperoxidase and alkaline phosphatase between treatments. Protease index of activity was significantly lower in fish fed with Artemia bio-enriched with spirulina (71.48%) and highest in the control diet (95.48%). The colour intensity and redness of the fish also significantly increased when fed Artemia bio-enriched with spirulina versus Artemia bio-enriched with yeast or a control diet.
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