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Effects of algal diets and temperature on the growth and fatty acid content of the cichlid fish Oreochromis niloticus L.: a laboratory study
Tadesse, Z.; Boberg, M.; Sonesten, L.; Ahlgren, G. (2003). Effects of algal diets and temperature on the growth and fatty acid content of the cichlid fish Oreochromis niloticus L.: a laboratory study. Aquat. Ecol. 37(2): 169-182
In: Aquatic Ecology. Springer: Dordrecht; London; Boston. ISSN 1386-2588, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keywords
    Diets; Fatty acids; Feeding experiments; Growth; Temperature effects; Oreochromis niloticus (Linnaeus, 1758) [WoRMS]; Fresh water

Authors  Top 
  • Tadesse, Z.
  • Boberg, M.
  • Sonesten, L.
  • Ahlgren, G.

Abstract
    The effects of different algal foods and water temperatures on the growth and fatty acid content of the Nile Tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus L., were studied. Four types of algae, given in the same amounts as the control diet, were used as food: Microcystis aeruginosa, colonial and single-celled forms; Arthrospira fusiformis; and Scenedesmus quadricauda. The control group was fed a commercial diet of cichlid pellets, while another group was left unfed. The feeding experiment was run at 25 °C. The condition factor decreased in all algal fed fish groups, except the one fed on Microcystis colonies, whereas the control group showed no significant change. Both food quantity and quality were responsible for this result. Some short-chained fatty acids in the diets could be traced in the long-chained counter-parts in the fish tissue. Both saturated fatty acids and monounsaturated fatty acids were higher in the control vs. treatment groups, whereas the polyunsaturated fatty acids displayed no significant differences amongst any of the treatment groups studied, including the unfed group. Direct quantitative comparison of individual fatty acid in the diet vs. tissue lipids in the fish proved to be difficult due to the great capacity of these tilapias to elongate and desaturate 18 carbon acids into long-chained homologues. The effect of temperature was studied by growing the fish at 16, 20 and 25 °C. All groups were fed commercial cichlid pellets. The level of saturated and monounsaturated fatty acids increased at 20 °C, whereas polyunsaturated fatty acids showed little variation. Docosahexaenoic acid, belonging to the important 'omega 3' group where the first double bond starts at carbon number three, was highest at 16 °C, resulting in a markedly elevated omega-3/omega-6 ratio at that temperature.

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