Nutritional needs of broodstock tilapia: What should we consider?
Broodstock tilapia is one of the most produced fish worldwide and has some nutritional needs to be considered in its production.
Tilapia is one of the most produced fish worldwide and has some nutritional needs to be considered in its production.
Tilapia is in the Top 5 of the most produced fish worldwide. For this reason, its importance in aquaculture in producing countries is undeniable. Asian countries are considered the main tilapia producers in the world.
Broodstock tilapia reach sexual maturity between two and three months of age. Currently, the tilapia measures approximately 13 centimeters in length and weighs 80-100 grams. The most notable characteristic of broodstock tilapia is that females incubate the eggs in their mouths for 48-72 hours. After this incubation period, the eggs hatch; tilapias are known for their ability to protect their babies.
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Nutritional requirements of broodstock tilapia
The nutritional needs of broodstock tilapia are a challenge that aquaculture must understand to achieve optimal yields. Therefore, ensuring proper nutrition of broodstock tilapia promotes egg and larval quality. When nutritional problems occur, production parameters such as spawning frequency, the number of eggs per spawning, and fry quality can be affected.
Protein is a basic dietary component of any productive animal. Sometimes, broodstock tilapia diets have between 21 and 25% of protein, which is considered low. The best broodstock tilapia yields are obtained with diets with protein between 25 and 35%. Diets with protein of 40% or more can result in the production of overweight or large eggs, which prolongs the spawning interval.
Within the nutritional needs of broodstock tilapia, lipids should also be considered. These molecules are used as a source of energy together with proteins. In addition, they have an important effect on the feed supplied by favoring its intake, reducing dust, and giving it a pleasant texture to consume. It is recommended to feed a lipid percentage of 5%. For broodstock tilapia, values above this, the efficient use of lipids as a source of energy is not observed.
Carbohydrates are molecules that have a limited role concerning the nutritional needs of broodstock tilapia. These carbohydrates have a utility more associated with diet formulation as they allow the manufacture of pellets. This is explained by the low cost of the products used based on corn, rice, sorghum, cassava, potato, among others. It is reported that tilapia process complex carbohydrates better than simple carbohydrates. However, digestible carbohydrates can be utilized by broodstock tilapia up to 40% as a source of energy.
Broodstock tilapia have a nutritional need of energy for optimal performance. In general, energy intake in broodstock tilapia is provided by linoleic and arachidonic fatty acids, which are found in vegetable oils. As mentioned above, lipids have little energy supply in broodstock tilapia.
It is noteworthy that in breeding tilapia, energy is lost through wastes such as feces, urine, and gill excretions and in the form of heat. Fortunately, tilapia spend minimal energy for body temperature control, so the energy requirement is low.
Amino acids are molecules that must be supplemented in the diet of broodstock tilapia as they cannot synthesize some. These amino acids are essential for proper cellular functioning in an infinity of physiological processes. For example, they are essential for protein synthesis. The amino acids that should be supplied in broodstock tilapia diets, are listed below. There are ten essential amino acids in total, as well as in other aquaculture species.
Diets for broodstock tilapia are based on feeds for other types of development, especially fattening. For this reason, nutritional needs may be limited, and supplementation is necessary. One of the supplements added to broodstock tilapia diets is ascorbic acid (Vitamin C). Vitamin C improves egg hatching and increases fry survival.
Broodstock tilapia cannot synthesize vitamin C, which is important in the prevention of anemia. For this reason, vitamin C is considered a basic nutritional need. When there is a deficiency of this vitamin, reduced growth, lower dry matter digestibility and uncoordinated movements, among others, can be observed.
Broodstock tilapia absorb minerals from the diet provided and from the aquatic environment where they remain. In both cases, they absorb calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, iron, among others. All these minerals are molecules that regulate multiple vital physiological processes.
Tilapia is one of the most produced fish worldwide. To achieve its correct growth and adequate production, nutritional aspects must be considered. When nutrition is not provided correctly, there are negative effects on tilapia reproduction that end up affecting its productive performance.
Tilapia is a fish species that requires low protein between 25-35%. In addition, a lipid percentage of 5% is required to contribute to energy intake. On the other hand, carbohydrates are not considered relevant in their diet, except if they are digestible.
Tilapias obtain their energy mainly from fatty acids. In addition, it is necessary to supplement their diet with amino acids and vitamins to ensure the correct functioning of their organ systems and to favor their production.