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Nutrition of Colossoma macropomum and Piaractus brachypomus 10FFR1

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Nutrition of Colossoma macropomum and Piaractus brachypomus

Feeds and Fertilizers Research 1 (10FFR1)/Experiment, Study, Activity/Peru

Collaborating Institutions
Instituto de Investigaciones de la Amazonia Peruana, Peru
     Fernando Alcántara
     Salvador Tello

Universidad Nacional de la Amazonia Peruana, Peru
     Marina del Aguila

Southern Illinois University at Carbondale
     Christopher C. Kohler
     Susan T. Kohler

University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff
     Rebecca Lochmann

1) Compare aquaculture performance of Colossoma and/or Piaractus fed formulated diets at varying protein levels.

2) Assess the feasibility of utilizing native Amazonian plant products for small-scale sustainable aquaculture production of Colossoma and Piaractus.

3) Assess and compare the plant seed dispersal potential of Colossoma and Piaractus.

A need exists to further evaluate the aquaculture potential of local and native species and to develop appropriate culture technologies. Colossoma spp., Piaractus spp., and their hybrids are important food fishes in the Amazon Basin. No uniform fish diets are available in the region (Cantelmo et al., 1986; Ferraz de Lima and Castagnolli, 1989). According to Van der Meer (1997), the ideal protein level has been determined to be approximately 43% for C. macropomum. Van der Meer also concluded excess soy in the diet tends to decrease palatability and growth rate. However, lower crude protein diets (~27%) have been successfully used at IIAP for many years (Alcantara; IIAP; personal communication), as well as in Brazil (Carneiro, 1981; Hernandez et al., 1992). The diets of wild C. macropomum are about 20 to 30% protein, with 75% of the protein being of plant origin (Araujo-Lima and Goulding, 1997). Fish diets greatly in excess of 30% crude protein would not likely be economically feasible in Amazonia.

Small-scale farmers often feed their fish domestic and wild fruits and vegetables, such as guavas, mangoes, potatoes, cabbages, pumpkins, bananas, rubber-tree seeds, manguba seeds, rice, corn, and manioc (Araujo-Lima and Goulding, 1997). Studies are also needed to assess the nutritional quality of the various plant products available and to develop an annual feeding regime based on the seasonal availability of the various fruits and vegetables. Araujo-Lima and Goulding (1997) have even suggested the development of "fish orchards" for feeding fruit-eating Amazonian fishes. Only in South America have fish communities evolved fruit- and seed-eating as a major part of the aquatic food chain (Araujo-Lima and Goulding, 1997). To some extent, these fish eat almost all fruit and seed species that fall into the water (Kubitzki and Ziburski, 1993). Adults feed to some extent on zooplankton, but fruits and seeds comprise the bulk of their diet. Although seeds seem to be preferred, large quantities of fleshy fruits are also consumed. Goulding (1980) and Kubitzki and Ziburski (1993) found that only occasionally are the seeds of these fleshy fruits masticated, but rather the fleshy fruit is swallowed whole and the seeds are defecated. Goulding (1980) has long proposed that the fruit-eating characins may play a double role as both seed predators and seed dispersal agents. However, this hypothesis has yet to be tested in controlled experimentation.

Quantified Anticipated Benefits
The development of sustainable aquaculture of Colossoma and/or Piaractus will benefit many sectors throughout the Peruvian Amazon. Rural farmers will benefit by the addition of an alternative form of agriculture. Aquaculture production will require considerably less land than that needed for cattle ranching. Moreover, ponds can be used year-after-year whereas rain forest lands converted to traditional agricultural practices are rarely productive for more than a couple of seasons. Such lands, once abandoned, usually can no longer support normal jungle growth. Both rural and urban poor will benefit by the addition of a steady supply of high quality protein in the marketplace. Aquaculture of Colossoma and/or Piaractus should relieve some of the fishing pressure on these overharvested, native species. The project will provide economic benefits to large-scale farmers by developing efficacious prepared diets and to small-scale farmers by developing a feeding regime using locally available plant products. Colossoma and/or Piaractus have been theorized to play a crucial ecological role in disseminating seeds from the flooded forest. This project will provide experimental evidence related to this theory. If the theory proves to be true, the aquaculture of Colossoma and/or Piaractus would be ecologically as well as economically and nutritionally beneficial to the inhabitants of the Peruvian Amazon.

Research Design and Activity Plan
Experiment A: Compare Aquaculture Performance of Colossoma and/or Piaractus Fed Formulated Diets at Varying Protein Levels (Objective 1)

Performance of Colossoma and/or Piaractus fed a formulated feed at three protein levels will be evaluated. Diets will be formulated with protein levels at 22, 27 and 32% using the same ingredients as the diets used for the Ninth Work Plan (fishmeal, soybean, wheat, rice, cornmeal, vitamin C, vitamin/mineral premix, and fish oil). Nine ponds at either the IIAP or UNAP aquaculture stations (3 treatments with 3 replicates) approximately 0.125 ha in size will be stocked at a rate of 8,000 25-g fingerlings per hectare. In the Ninth Work Plan, in the Piaractus stocking density experiment, no statistically significant differences in aquaculture performance occurred within the three treatments (4,000; 6,000; and 8,000 fingerlings/ha). Prior to stocking, ponds will be filled with runoff water and limed (0.1 kg/m2). Ponds will be fertilized at stocking with chicken manure (0.1 kg/m2) and green grass (0.15 kg/m2). Fish will be fed twice daily at 10 am and 2 pm. Growth will be monitored over a six-month period. Water quality parameters (pH, D.O., nitrite, nitrate, ammonia, CO2, and chlorides) will be monitored weekly and temperature and transparency (Secchi disk; cloud-free days at noon) measured daily.

Fish will be sampled bi-weekly and weighed to adjust food rations. At harvest, survival (%), specific growth rate, standing crop at harvest, condition (K), and feed conversion efficiency will be calculated. Data values will be analyzed by one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA). Appropriate transformations will be made where necessary. If significant differences among treatment means are found, the appropriate post-hoc test will be employed to determine where the differences lie. The accepted level of significance will be 0.05.

Study B: Assess the Feasibility of Utilizing Native Amazonian Plant Products for Small-Scale Sustainable Aquaculture Production of Colossoma and Piaractus (Objective 2)

Numerous wild fruits and plant products are reportedly utilized as fish feed in and around Iquitos (Table 1). To assess the feasibility of utilizing some of these plant products for small-scale sustainable aquaculture production of Colossoma and Piaractus, samples of some fruits and plant products listed in Table 1 will be collected. Proximate analysis of samples will be conducted at SIU Carbondale in cases where additional information is needed. Protein, amino acid, lipid, and fatty acid content of leaves, trunk, roots, flowers and fruits, as appropriate, will be analyzed using standard techniques (Kjeldahl, Folch, spectrophotometry, and chromatography). In addition, data on the seasonal availability of the plants/plant products will be collected. Several seasonally based feeding protocols will be developed based on the nutritional content and seasonal availability of the ingredients.

Activity C: Assess and Compare the Plant Seed Dispersal Potential of Colossoma and Piaractus (Objective 3)

The theory by Goulding (1980) about seed dispersal by Colossoma and Piaractus will be tested to demonstrate the potential importance of Colossoma and Piaractus in riverine ecosystems. Diverse size fruits with seeds from Psidium guajaba, Hevea brasiliensis, Bactris gassipae, Piranhea trifoliata, Pseudobombax munguba, and Myrciaria cauliflora will be fed to Colossoma and Piaractus. For each type of fruit selected, the number of seeds per kilogram of fruit will be estimated. The experiment will take place in six tile-covered raceways (1.2 ¥ 0.8 ¥ 0.8 m). Three adult Colossoma and three adult Piaractus (each > 7.5 kg in size) will be randomly stocked in each raceway. Prior to starting the experiment, the Colossoma and Piaractus will be starved for two days to allow for cleansing of their digestive tracts. Each fish will be fed a given fruit singularly to satiation. Feces will be collected each day and intact seeds separated. The number of seeds passing through the fish will be compared with the number of seeds originally estimated to have been fed. Seeds passing through the fish intestines and controls (seeds collected directly from plants) will subsequently be planted under the same environmental conditions (light intensity, temperature, photoperiod, etc.) in oven-pasteurized humus. The viability and germination rate of any intact seeds passing through fish intestines will be compared with the seeds of the unconsumed fruit. Data values will be analyzed by one-way analysis of variance. This experimental design will be conducted with all six fruits with both species of fish.

Table 1. Proximal analysis of some fruits and other local plant products utilized to feed fish around Iquitos (food value per 100 g, modified from Morton, 1987).

Table 1

N.D. = No data available

Regional Integration
Research efforts being proposed are logical steps toward the continued development of sustainable aquaculture in the region as described in the regional plan. Research needs were identified with considerable input from in-country scientists and agency administrators. The research will benefit the entire region by providing pertinent information on feeding protocols.

Activities for Objective 1 will take place March to November 2002. Activities for Objective 2 will take place July 2001 to March 2003. Activities for Objective 3 will take place July 2001 to December 2002. A final report will be submitted on or before 30 April 2003.

Literature Cited
Araujo-Lima, C. and M. Goulding, 1997. So Fruitful a Fish: Ecology, Conservation, and Aquaculture of the Amazon's Tambaqui. Columbia University Press, New York, 191 pp.

Carneiro, D.J., 1981. Digestibilidade proteica em dietas isocaloricas para tambaqui, Colossoma macroponum (Cuvier) (Pisces, Characidae). Anais do Simposio Brasileiro de Aquacultura, II:78­80.

Cantelmo, A., A. De Soura, and J. Senhorini, 1986. Dimencao da particula do alimento para alevinos de pacu, Colossoma mitrei e tamabaqui Colossoma macropomum. Sintese Dos Trabalhos Realizados Com Species Do Genero Colossoma March 82, Abril/86. Editor Proyecto Aquicultura, Perassununga, Brasil.

Ferraz De Lima, J. and N. Castagnolli. 1989. Reproducao, Larvicultura e Genetica: Cultivo de Colossoma. In: A. Hernandez (Editor), Primera Reunion Grupo de Trabajo Tecnico, Junio 1988. Perassununga, Brasil, pp. 315­322.

Goulding, M., 1980. The Fishes and the Forest: Explorations in Amazonian Natural History. University of California Press, Berkeley, 280 pp.

Hernandez, R. and 15 co-authors, 1992. Estado atual del cultivo de Colossoma y Piaractus en Brasil, Columbia, Peru, y Venezuela. Red Acuicultura Boletin, 6:3­28.

Kubitzki, K. and A. Ziburski, 1993. Seed dispersal in floodplain forests of Amazonia. Biotropica, 26(1):30­43.

Morton, J. 1987. Fruits of Warm Climates. Julia F. Morton, Miami, FL.

Sipauba-Tavares, L.H. and M.A. Bachion, 1995. A laboratory study of tambaqui (Colossoma macropomum) and tambacu (Piaractus mesopotamicus x Colossoma macropomum, hybrid) feeding on zooplankton. In: P. Lavens, E. Jasper and I. Roelants (Editors), Larvi'95, Fish and Shellfish Larviculture Symposium.

Sorgeloos, P., P. Lavens, Ph. Léger, W. Tackaert, and D. Versichele, 1986. Manual for the Culture and Use of Brine Shrimp Artemia in Aquaculture. Artemia Reference Center, Ghent, Belgium.

Van der Meer, M.B., 1997. Feeds and feeding strategies for Colossoma macropomum (Cuvier 1818). Fish Growth as related to dietary protein. Ph.D. dissertation. Wageningen Agricultural University. Printed by Ponsen and Looijen, Wageningen, Netherlands.

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