Feeding rate and frequency affect growth of juvenile atlantic spadefish

Trushenski, Jesse; Rombenso, Artur; Schwarz, Michael; Bowzer, John; Gause, Brian; Delbos, Brendan; Sampaio, Luís André Nassr de


The Atlantic spadefish Chaetodipterus faber is an excellent candidate for aquaculture development, but success will depend on the identification of proper feeds and feeding regimens for this species. Accordingly, we evaluated the growth performance of juvenile Atlantic spadefish (3.60 ± 0.03 g [mean ± SE]) fed at rates of 3, 5, or 7% of body weight (BW) per day, either in a single feeding (1×) or in three equal feedings (3×). Weight gain, specific growth rate, feed conversion ratio, and feed intake were significantly affected by both feeding rate and frequency. Weight gain and the specific growth rate increased significantly with feeding rate, and growth was generally greater and more efficient in the 3× groups than in the 1× groups. Fish fed at higher feeding rates accumulated significantly more lipid within the body and had associated decreases in moisture, protein, and ash content, but carcass composition was unaffected by feeding frequency. We suggest that the growth of juvenile Atlantic spadefish can be optimized when they are fed at 5–7% BW/d in three daily feedings, with 7% BW/d yielding the greatest, albeit slightly less efficient, growth.

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