This study investigated the effects of formulated and commercial diets as starter feeds on the performance of Clarias gariepinus larvae in the hatchery. Two hundred larvae were randomly distributed in experimental tanks and were fed with a commercial diet Aqualis and Special formulated feed (poultry feed + fishmeal + vitamin C+premix) for 21 days. The result obtained revealed that there was no significant difference (P>0.05) in the physico-chemical parameters in all treatments. Total heterotrophic bacteria, Vibro, Total coliform and Salmonela/ Shigella were identified in the microbial analysis of the fish waters in all treatments. The total heterotrophic, and Vibro counts in the tank waters were significantly higher in specially formulated diet than Aqualis starter feed. Total coliform count and Salmonela/Shigella were less than thirty (<30) in all the water samples. Fish fed Special feed had a higher survival rate than Aqualis. Special feed was also higher in length increase of larvae (8.96 ± 7.11 mm), than the larvae fed with Aqualis. There was steady reduction of the microbial flora as the fish became older. The weekly results showed that condition factors were less than one, in all the treatments, at the end of the third week.
Ukwe OIK, Edun OM and Akinrotimi OA