Document Type : Original Article
Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, Sam Nujoma Campus, University of Namibia, Henties Bay, Namibia
School of Aquaculture and Aquatic Sciences, College of Agriculture, Communities, and the Environment, Kentucky State University, Frankfort, KY, USA
Department of Natural and Applied Sciences, Namibia University of Science and Technology, Windhoek, Namibia
Sam Nujoma Marine and Coastal Resources Research Centre, Sam Nujoma Campus, University of Namibia, Henties Bay, Namibia
This study evaluated the effects of dietary Aloe vera polysaccharides on growth performance, feed utilization, hemato-biochemical parameters, and resistance against low water pH in African catfish (Clarias gariepinus) fingerlings. Fish were divided into five triplicate groups before being fed feeds supplemented with 0% (control), 0.5%, 1.0%, 2.0%, and 4.0% A. vera/kg diet for 8 weeks. Fish fed 1.0% A. vera/kg diet had significantly increased (P < 0.05) growth parameters (i.e., final weight, weight gain, absolute growth rate, and specific growth rate) compared to unsupplemented ones. Among dietary groups, significantly lower feed conversion ratio was presented in fish fed 1.0% followed by those fed 0.5, 2.0%, and 4.0% A. vera/kg diet (P < 0.05). The protein efficiency ratio was significantly higher (P < 0.05) in fish fed 1.0% A. vera/kg diet compared to unsupplemented fish and those fed 4.0% A. vera/kg diet, respectively. Dietary A. vera polysaccharide crude extracts requirement suitable for growth and feed utilization was estimated to be between 1.76 and 1.79% A. vera/kg diet. Overall, A. vera extracts had improved hemato-biochemical indices when compared to unsupplemented fish, and decreased some of the indices, especially at high dietary inclusion level (4%/kg diet). Furthermore, A. vera-supplemented fish had higher survival probability throughout the low water pH challenge period, except those fed 4% A. vera/kg diet and control diet.