Research Paper to Read: (2016) Dietary crude protein levels for juvenile beta

Source: ResearchGate.

(1) The range of 30% till 33% crude protein (CP) level is the minimum acceptable level to ensure optimal growth and feeding efficiency for juvenile Betta fish.

Why this paper?
While breeding juvenile Betta fish, instead of live food, there are numerous formulated feeds in the market that we can use. Different brands have different formulation and CP level. What are the acceptable range of CP level to ensure optimal growth and reduce wastage?

Material and Methods
This experiment includes 192 juvenile Betta fish of 30 days age with initial average weight of 0.11 ± 0.02g. These fishes were grouped into 6 groups of CP level with 4 repetitions where each tank contains 8 fishes as shown below:

(1) 27% CP x4 repetitions
(2) 31% CP x4 repetitions
(3) 35% CP x4 repetitions
(4) 39% CP x4 repetitions
(5) 43% CP x4 repetitions
(6) 47% CP x4 repetitions

The breeding conditions for the next 30 days as follows:

(1) 6 litres tank with biological filter.
(2) Airting with temperature 26 ± 1°C.
(3) Feeding (done ad libitum) three times at 07:00, 13:00, and 17:00)
(4) Tank siphoned weekly. (Didn't mention percentages of water changes)

The diet was self-produced formulation feeds using the ingredients shown in table below. The feed was produced by fine grounding the ingredients and mix manually with water around temperature of 50 ± 5°C for starch gelatinisation. Pellets were produced using a meat grinder and dried using oven for 24 hours at 50°C.

As the table below shown, CP of 31% and 35% have the highest weight gain and growth rate. Excess CP slow down growth due to extra energy need to catabolise additional protein and amino acids.

Different fishes have different biological structure and diet needs. Hence, different fishes needs different CP levels. There was one master breeder which overfed the Betta fish to speed up the growth for competition. In his experience, overfed may also lead of loss of fishes as shown in previous table.

Further Questions
(1) What is the relationship between CP percentage and feeding frequency?
(2) What are the CP level needed for adult Betta fish or fry?

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