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This study evaluated growth rates of juvenile bluegill (Lepomis macrochius) fed different protein levels, raised indoors. Six experimental diets containing protein levels of 32, 35, 38, 41, 44, and 47% with 346 kcal/g energy were fed to four replicates of 12 fish with initial mean weight of 24.9±0.51g. Fish were fed by hand to satiation three times daily for 16 weeks. Percent weight gain, for fish fed 32, 35, 38, 41, 44, and 47% protein diets were 180.5±43.8, 203.6±32.33, 256.4±19.4, 235.8±20.63, 249.1±19.59, and 275.2±47.3, and specific growth rates 0.91±0.15, 0.98±0.10, 1.13±0.05, 1.08±0.05, 1.11±0.05, and 1.17±0.11, respectively for the study. Biweekly mean weight differences (p ≤ 0.05) occured after week eight, with fish fed 47% diet consistently havingh higher mean wight than those fed 32%. Biweekly weight gain was connsistently different after week two between fish fed 47% and 32% protein. However, fish fed 38 and 44% diets sometimes had significantly more gain than those fed 32 and 35%. Biweekly feed consumption differed after week ten with fish fed 47 and 38% consistently consumed more food than fish fed 32% protein. Feed conversion ratio differences occurred at every period with the most common differences seen between the 32 and 47% groups. This study indicated that growth characteristics could be improved with higher protein diets in juvenile bluegill.

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


Aquaculture and Fisheries

Biweekly Growth Characteristics of Juvenile Bluegill Fed Different Protein Diets