Investigation of the Nutritional Requirements of Australian Snapper Pagrus Auratus (Bloch & Schneider, 1801)

Booth, Mark Anthony (2005) Investigation of the Nutritional Requirements of Australian Snapper Pagrus Auratus (Bloch & Schneider, 1801). PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


This thesis describes research designed to increase our knowledge of the nutritional requirements of Australian snapper Pagrus auratus and provide information on the potential of Australian feed ingredients to reduce the level of fishmeal in diets for this species.

The apparent digestibility of organic matter (OM), crude protein (CP), crude fat (CF) and gross energy (GE) from selected animal, cereal or oilseed meals incorporated at different inclusion levels was determined. Snapper were extremely efficient at digesting the CP, CF and GE from fishmeal and rendered animal meals (range 80-100%) with the exception of meat meal, where CP and GE digestibility were lower (62-65%). The CP from oilseeds was better digested (87-91%) than OM (57%) or GE (64-67%). Digestibility of nutrients and GE from animal meals and fish oil was not influenced by inclusion level. The CP from extruded wheat was highly digestible (100-105%), but, the OM, CF and GE digestibility of extruded wheat declined as inclusion levels increased.

The interactive effects of inclusion level (150, 250, 350 or 450 g kg-1) and fish size (110 vs 375 g snapper) on the apparent digestibility of OM and GE from gelatinised wheat starch were investigated. The OM and GE digestibility of gelatinised wheat starch was high (89%) at low inclusion levels, but declined significantly in both fish sizes as the level of starch increased. There was no interaction between inclusion level and size of fish and the decline in GE digestibility could be predicted by the regression; GEADC = 104.97(±3.39) - 0.109(±0.010) x inclusion level (R2=0.86). Larger fish were more capable of digesting the GE from gelatinised starch than smaller fish.

Regardless of fish size, short and longer-term changes in the physiology of snapper fed or injected with carbohydrates were recorded. Liver and tissue glycogen concentrations and the hepatosomatic index (HSI) of snapper fed gelatinised starch were significantly elevated. The plasma glucose concentrations of fish injected intra-peritoneally with D-glucose increased from resting levels (0.4-4.6 mM) to 18.9 mM approximately 3 hours after injection and fish displayed a hyperglycaemic response for nearly 18 hours. In contrast, the post-prandial response to the uptake of glucose from normally digested gelatinised starch was more regulated.

A dose-response study to determine the effects of digestible energy (DE) content (15, 18 or 21 MJ kg-1) on the digestible protein (DP) requirements of juvenile snapper was assessed using a four parameter mathematical model for physiological responses (4-SKM). DP content of test diets ranged from 210 to 560 g kg-1. Weight gain and protein deposition was strongly dependent on the ratio of DP:DE. According to the fitted models, diets for snapper weighing between 30-90 g and reared at temperatures ranging from 20-25ºC should contain a minimum of 28 g DP MJ DE-1 to promote optimal weight gain and protein deposition.

The effect of varying the absolute content of DP and DE on the weight gain and performance of snapper (100-300 g) fed diets formulated with an optimal ratio of DP:DE was investigated. In addition, non-protein sources of DE were varied by adjusting the ratio of fish oil to gelatinised wheat starch in order to determine if different ratios of these ingredients affected performance. High-energy diets (22-23 MJ DE kg-1) suppressed feed intake, but provided DP intake was not limited by feed intake, maximum weight gain was approached. Lower-energy, lower-protien diets (15-18 MJ DE & 315-390 DP) encouraged higher feed intake but DP intake was restricted, which reduced growth potential. Snapper performed best on high-energy, high-protein diets (490 DP & 21 MJ DE), provided a significant proportion of DE was supplied as DP. Fish oil and pregelatinised wheat starch could be interchanged according to their DE values without unduly affecting fish performance in diets providing 390-490 g DP kg-1.

Two utilisation studies were undertaken to investigate the performance of snapper fed diets containing increasing levels of poultry offal meal, meat meal and soybean meal. All diets were formulated with similar DP and DE contents. Snapper readily accepted feeds containing high levels of poultry meal (360 g kg-1), meat meal (345 g kg-1) or soybean meal (420 g kg-1), before weight gain and performance was negatively affected. In combination, these feed ingredients were able to replace all but 160 g fishmeal kg-1 in commercially extruded test feeds for this species.

The research described in this thesis has extended knowledge of the nutritional requirements of Australian snapper by providing important information on the digestibility of Australian feed ingredients. These coefficients have been integral in formulating both experimental and semi-commercial test diets for snapper and will increase both the accuracy and flexibility of commercial diet formulations for this species. High performance feeds for snapper will contain high levels of DP, but must provide a significant proportion of DE in the form of protein. These constraints can be satisfied by using alternative, well-digested protein and energy sources that have the potential to replace all but 160 g kg-1 fishmeal.

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ID Code: 16138
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD)
Supervisor: Anderson, Alexander, Allan, Geoffrey, & Cooke, Peter
Keywords: Australian Snapper, Pagrus Auratus, nutritional requirements, fishmeal, diets
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Science and Technology
Department: Faculty of Science
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Copyright Owner: Copyright Mark Anthony Booth
Deposited On: 03 Dec 2008 03:57
Last Modified: 23 Jun 2017 14:40

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