Dietary non-starch polysaccharides influenced natural food web and fish production in semi-intensive pond culture of Nile tilapia

Dietary non-starch polysaccharides (NSP) changes the nutrient digestibility and faecal characteristics in fish. This study assessed the effect of the type of dietary NSPs on fish production and the contribution of natural food to the total fish production in semi-intensively managed tilapia ponds. Twelve ponds, each divided into three equally-sized compartments, were assigned to test the effect of the type of dietary NSPs (i.e. “PecHem-Diet”, a diet with easily fermentable NSP, vs “LigCel-Diet”, a diet with slowly fermentable NSP). Fish were restrictively fed, based on the crude protein content of the feed. Three feeding levels (“no = 0”, “low = 9” and “high= 18”) nested in pond were analysed in a split plot design. Initial fish biomass was 3084 g.compartment-1 and the experiment lasted 56 days. With the “LigCel-Diet” biomass gain was higher (2599 vs 2192 g.compartment-1) and feed conversion ratio (FCR) was lower (1.4 vs 1.9; P
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