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Bluegill has potential for production as a food fish. Feed is 40-60% of total production costs. Few studies have been conducted on bluegill replacing fish meal with soybean meal, which is a less expensive plant protein source. The objective of this experiment was to determine the effect of 25, 50, 75% soybean meal substitution of fish meal protein in juvenile bluegill diets. Treatments consisted of a 38% crude protein control diet, and diets with 25, 50, and 75% of fish meal replaced with soybean meal (SB Sub). All diets were insonitrogenous and isocaloric. A completely randomized block design was used with four replications of each treatment. Twelve fish (~22g) were stocked in indoor water recirculating aquaculture system. Fish were fed to satiation at 0800, 1200, 1600h daily excluding Sunday for 14 weeks. No significant differences (P > 0.05) existed among fish between final weight, percent weight gain, and SGR in control and SB Sub diets. Fish fed 50% SB Sub diets significantly outperformed (P < 0.05) fish fed other SB Sub diets. Fish fed 75% SB Sub had lowest final weight, percent weight gain, and feed consumption. This study showed that at least 50% of the fish meal can be replaced with soybean meal without affecting growth.

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Aquaculture--Research, Bluegill--Feeding and feeds, Bluegill--Growth, Bluegill--Physiology


Aquaculture and Fisheries

Effects of Soybean Meal Substitution for Fish Meal in Diets of Juvenile Bluegill (Lepomis macrochrius)