Written Paper

Azolla pinnata as a dietary component for nile tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus  [1986]

Almazan, G.J. Pullin, R.S.V. Angeles, A.F. Manalo, T.A. et al.

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Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) fingerlings were fed Azolla pinnata (Bangkok strain) in varying forms and states and at varying percentages in formulated feeds. A standardized 28-day assay was used. Fed on fresh Azolla alone, fingerlings lost 24-28% body weight. With solar-dried pellets and powder form, tilapia also lost weight although fed ad libitum. Although pellets with 75% dried Azolla generally enabled the fish to grow positively, growth rates were still significantly lower than those for the control diet mix of marine fish meal, rice bran, corn starch, corn meal and micronutrient premix. Results indicate lowered growth performance and worsening FCR's with increased dried Azolla incorporation in the diet. Likewise, adult males fed ad libitum with fresh Azolla and dried pellets had growth rates lower than those fed the control diet. The Azolla pinnata used in this study was deficient as a feed for Nile tilapia. However, further studies still have to be made on the possible reasons. Ways to improve the nutritional value of such diets are discussed.