Rearing catfish Heteropneutes fossilis on feed supplemented by fermented leaf meal of Ipomoea aquatica

Saheli Ali, Anilava Kaviraj


Replacement of fish meal by cost effective and sustainable plant resources in the formulation of feed for fish is a viable option to alleviate the current crisis in fish feed industries arising due to high cost and non-availability of fish meal. The present research was aimed to evaluate if fermented leaf meal of the aquatic plant Ipomoea aquatica could be used as a fish meal alternative in the formulation of feed for the catfish Heteropneustes fossilis.  Fresh green leaves of I. aquatica were sun dried and finely ground to make Ipomea leaf meal (ILM), which was then fermented for 12 days by the phytase producing bacteria Stenotrophomonas maltophilia strain KUAKSP1 (GenBank Accession No. KY790423) isolated from rumen of goat. Four iso-proteinous, iso-lipidous and iso-energetic feeds were formulated by replacing 0, 25, 50 and 75% of fish meal by the fermented Ipomoea leaf meal (FILM). Protein digestibility of the feeds was evaluated within 12 days in an indoor experiment in glass aquaria and growth performance of the fish was evaluated after 8 weeks rearing in outdoor cement tanks. H. fossilis grew better on FILM supplemented feed as compared to fish meal based control feed. Maximum apparent protein digestibility (APD) of the feed, maximum weight gain (WG) and specific growth rate (SGR) and minimum FCR of the fish were found in 50% replacement group. However, crude protein (CP) and crude lipid (CL) deposition in the muscle of the fish and activity of protease in the gut was higher in 25% replacement group. It is concluded that H. fossilis accepts and grows well on the plant based FILM supplemented feed. For better growth management of the fish, incorporation of FILM in the feed should be restricted to 25 to 50% of fish meal.


Fish meal replacement, Nutrients, Growth, Digestibility, Enzymes.

Full Text:



Afinah S., Yazid A.M., Shobirin Anis M.H., Shuhaimi M. (2010). Phytase: Application in food industry. International Food Research Journal, 17(1): 13-21.

Ali S., Ghosh A., Mukherjee S.K., Kaviraj A. (2017). Isolation of phytase producing bacteria from rumen of goat and optimization of phytase activity. Asian Journal of Microbiology, Biotechnology and Environmental Science, 19(2): 454-460.

Ali S., Kaviraj A. (2018). Aquatic weed Ipomoea aquatica as feed ingredient for rearing Rohu, Labeo rohita (Hamilton). Egyptian Journal of Aquatic Research, 44: 321-325.

APHA (American Public Health Association) (1995). Standard methods for the examination of water and wastewater, American Public Health Association, American Water Works Association and Water Pollution Control Federation, Washington, DC, U.S.A.

Austin D.F. (2007). Water spinach (Ipomoea aquatica, Convolvulaceae) a food gone wild. Ethnobotany Research and Applications, 5: 123-146.

Bernfeld P. (1955). Amylase (alpha) and (beta). In: S.P. Colowick, N.O. Kaplan (Eds.). Methods of Enzymology, Vol.1. Academic Press, New York. pp: 149-150.

Biswas B., Kaviraj A. (2003). Growth of Indian air-breathing catfish Heteropneustes fossilis (Bloch) with some inexpensive artificial feed. Journal of Freshwater Biology, 15(1-4): 69-73.

Bolin D.W., King R.P., Klosterman E.W. (1952). A simplified method for determination of chromic oxide (Cr2O3) when used as an index substance. Science, 116: 634-635.

Castell J.D., Tiews K. (1980). Report of the EIFAC, IUNS and ICES working group on the standardization of methodology in fish nutrition research (Hamburg, Federal Republic of Germany, 21-23 March, 1979). EIFAC Technical Paper, FAO. 36 p.

Chondar S.L. (1999). Biology of Finfish and Shell fish (1st Ed), SCSC Publishers, India. pp: 351-364.

Dan S.K., Banerjee G., Nandi A., Roy A.K. (2017). Nutritional evaluation of soybean meal after fermentation with two fish gut bacterial strains, Bacillus cereus LRF5 and Staphylococcus caprae CCF2 in formulated diets for Labeo rohita fingerlings. Journal of Fisheries, 5(1): 445-454.

Daniel N. (2018). A review on replacing fish meal in aqua feeds using plant protein sources. International Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Studies, 6(2): 164-179.

Dabrowski K., Zhang Y.F., Kwasek K., Hliwa P.T. (2010). Effects of protein, peptide and free amino acid based feeds in fish nutrition (review article). Aquaculture Research, 41: 668-683.

Debnath D., Yengkokpam S., Bhattacharjya B.K., Biswas P., Prakash C., Kohli M.P.S., Sharma A.P. (2018). Effect of dietary incorporation of dry-powdered water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes) meal on growth and digestibility of Labeo rohita fingerlings. Proceedings of the Zoological Society, 71(1): 74-82.

Dey A., Ghosh K., Hazra N. (2016). Evaluation of extracellular enzyme-producing autochthonous gut bacteria in walking catfish, Clarias batrachus (L). Journal of Fisheries, 4(1): 345-352.

Ellestad L.E., Angel R., Soares J.H. (2002). Intestinal phytase II: A comparison of activity and in vivo phytate hydrolysis in three teleost species with differing digestive strategies. Fish Physiology and Biochemistry, 26: 259-273.

Gatlin III D.M., Barrows F.T., Brown P., Dabrowski K., Gaylord T.G., Hardy R.W., Herman E., Hu G., Krogdahl A., Nelson R., Overturf K., Rust M., Sealey W., Skonberg D., Souza E.J., Stone D., Wilson R., Wurtele E. (2007). Expanding the utilization of sustainable plant products in aqua feeds: A review. Aquaculture Research, 38: 551-555.

Gomez K.A., Gomez A.A. (1984). Statistical procedures for agricultural research, 2nd ed. New York, Wiley. 704 p

Guhathakurta H., Kaviraj A. (2000). Heavy metal concentration in water, sediment, shrimp (Penaeus monodon) and mullet (Liza parsia) in some brackish water ponds of Sunderban, India. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 40: 914-920.

Hardy R.W. (2010). Utilization of plant proteins in fish diets: effects of global demand and supplies of fishmeal (Review article). Aquaculture Research, 41: 770-776.

Hasan M.R., Chakrabarti R. (2009). Use of algae and aquatic macrophytes as feed in small-scale aquaculture - A review. FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Technical Paper, Rome. 531 p.

Helrich W. (1990). Official methods of analysis of the association of official analytical chemists (15th edn). Association of Official Analytical Chemists (AOAC), Arlington, VA, USA. 771 p

Hossain M.A., Jauncey K. (1993). The effects of varying dietary phytic acid, calcium and magnesium levels on the nutrition of common carp, Cyprinus carpio. In: S.J. Kaushik, P. Luquet (Eds.), Fish nutrition in practice, INRA Editions, Paris.pp: 705-715.

Johnson R.A., Wichern D.W. (2001). Applied multivariate statistical analysis. Prentice Hall of India, New Delhi. 796 p.

Josep J., Kurup M. (1999). Purification and characterization of an extracellular lipase from a newly isolated thermophilic Bacillus pumilus. Indian Journal of Experimental Biology, 37: 1213-1217.

Kaushik S.J., Covès D., Dutto G., Blanc D. (2004). Almost total replacement of fish meal by plant protein sources in the diet of a marine teleost, the European sea bass, Dicentrarchus labrax. Aquaculture, 230: 391-404.

Khan A., Ghosh K. (2013). Phytic acid-induced inhibition of digestive protease and α-amylase in three Indian major carps: An in vitro study. Journal of the World Aquaculture Society, 44(6): 853-859.

Kohli M.S. (1996). Food and feeding habits of Heteropneustes fossilis (Bloch) from the Brahmaputra River, Assam. Indian Journal of Fisheries, 43: 97-101.

Krogdahl A., Penn M., Thorsen J., Refstie S., Bakke A.M. (2010). Important antinutrients in plant feedstuffs for aquaculture: An update on recent findings regarding responses in salmonids. Aquaculture Research, 41(3): 333-344.

Lowry O.H., Rosebrough N.J., Farr A.L., Randall R.J. (1951). Protein measurement with the folin-phenol reagent. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 193: 265-275.

Mandal R.N., Datta A.K., Sarangi N., Mukhopadhyay P.K. (2010). Diversity of aquatic macrophytes as food and feed components to herbivorous fish - a review. Indian Journal of Fisheries, 57(3): 65-73.

Marks S.N., Lajtha W.A. (1963). Protein breakdown in the brain: subcellular distribution and properties of neural and acid proteinases. Biochemical Journal, 89: 438–447.

Mondal K., Kaviraj A., Mukhopadhyay P.K. (2008). Evaluation of fermented fish-offal in the formulated diet of the freshwater catfish Heteropneustes fossilis, Aquaculture Research, 39: 1443-1449.

Mondal K., Kaviraj A., Mukhopadhyay P.K. (2011). Introducing mulberry leaf meal along with fish offal meal in the diet of freshwater catfish, Heteropneustes fossilis. Electronic Journal of Biology, 7(3): 54-59.

Mondal K., Kaviraj A., Mukhopadhyay P.K. (2012). Effects of partial replacement of fishmeal in the diet by mulberry leaf meal on growth performance and digestive enzyme activities of Indian minor carp Labeo bata. International Journal of Aquatic Science, 3(1): 72-83.

Mondal K., Kaviraj A., Mukhopadhyay P.K. (2015). Growth performance of Indian minor carp Labeo bata fed varying inclusions of fermented fish-offal and mulberry leaf meal based-diets. Iranian Journal of Fisheries Sciences, 14(3): 567-582.

Mollah M.F.A., Alam M.S. (1990). Effects of different levels of dietary carbohydrate on growth and feed utilization of catfish (Clarias batrachus L.) fry. Indian Journal of Fisheries, 37(3): 243-249.

NRC (National Research Council) (1983). Nutrient requirements of warmwater fishes and shell-fishes. Washington: National Academy of Sciences. 102 p.

Orire A.M., Sadiku S.O.E. (2014). Effect of carbohydrate sources on the growth and body compositions of African catfish (Clarias gariepinus). International Journal of Fisheries and Aquaculture, 6(5): 55-61.

Perez-Velazquez M., Gatlin III D.M., Gonzalex-Felix M. L., Garcia-Ortega A. (2018). Partial replacement of fishmeal and fish oil by algal meals in diets of red drum Sciaenops ocellatus. Aquaculture, 487: 41-50.

Rahman M.L., Salam M.A., Ahsan M.E., Hossain M.S., Hossain M.A. (2017). Protein sparing ability of carbohydrates from different sources in diets for fry of stinging catfish Heteropneustes fossilis. Sains Malaysiana, 46(2): 239-244.

Reddy N.R., Pierson M.D., Sathe S.K., Salunkhe D.K. (1989). Phytases in cereals and legumes. CRC Press, Inc, Boca Raton, Fla. 152 p.

Roy T., Dan S.K., Banerjee G., Nandi A., Ghosh P., Ray A.K. (2016). Comparative efficacy of phytase from fish gut bacteria and a commercially available phytase in improving the nutritive value of sesame oilseed meal in formulated diets for fingerlings of rohu, Labeo rohita (Actinopterygii: Cypriniformes: Cyprinidae). Acta Ichthyologica et Piscatoria, 46(1): 9-23.

Roy T., Mondal S., Ray A.K. (2009). Phytase- producing bacteria in the digestive tracts of some freshwater fish. Aquaculture Research, 40(3): 344-353.

Saha S., Ray A.K. (2011). Evaluation of nutritive value of water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes) leaf meal in compound diets for Rohu, Labeo rohita (Hamilton, 1822) fingerlings after fermentation with two bacterial strains isolated from fish gut. Turkish Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, 11: 199-207.

Saha S., Ghosh K. (2013). Evaluation of nutritive value of raw and fermented de-oiled physic nut, Jatropha curcas seed meal in the formulated diets for Rohu, Labeo rohita (Hamilton) fingerlings. Proceedings of Zoological Society, 66(1): 41-50.

Samaddar A., Kaviraj A., Saha S. (2015). Utilization of fermented animal by-product blend as fishmeal replacer in the diet of Labeo rohita. Aquaculture Report, 1: 28-36.

Samaddar A., Kaviraj A., Nielsen I.E., Saha S. (2020). Replacement of fishmeal by fermented animal protein blend in the feed of Mystus vittatus: Analysis of optimality by programming and modeling. Proceedings of Zoological Society, 74(1): 62-72.

Shiau S.Y., Peng C.Y. (1993). Protein sparing effect of carbohydrates in diets for tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus × O.aureus. Aquaculture, 117: 327-334.

Stone D.A.J., Allan G.L., Anderson A.J. (2003). Carbohydrate utilization by juvenile silver perch, Bidyanus bidyanus (Mitchell) III. The protein-sparing effect of wheat starch-based carbohydrates. Aquaculture Research, 34(2): 123-134.

Tung P.H., Shiau S.Y. (1991). Effects of meal frequency on growth performance of hybrid tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus × O. aureus, fed different carbohydrate diets. Aquaculture, 92: 343-350.

Usmani N., Jafri A.K., Khan M.A. (2003). Nutrient digestibility studies in Heteropneustes fossilis (Bloch), Clarias batrachus (Linnaeus) and C. gariepinus (Burchell). Aquaculture Research, 34: 1247-1253.

Wilson R.P. (1994). Utilization of dietary carbohydrate by fish. Aquaculture, 124: 67-80.

Zhou C., Ge X., Liu B., Xie J., Chen R., Ren M. (2015). Effect of high dietary carbohydrate on the growth performance, blood chemistry, hepatic enzyme activities and growth hormone gene expression of Wuchang Bream (Megalobrama amblycephala) at two temperatures. Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences, 28(2): 207-214.


  • There are currently no refbacks.