Diurnal feeding pattern and gut content of milkfish Chanos chanos (Forsskål, 1775) cultured semi-intensively during the wet and dry season in brackish ponds in the Philippines
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To improve feeding management and reduce feed cost in semi-intensive grow-out culture of milkfish (Chanos chanos, Forsskål 1775) in brackish ponds, the relative shares of natural food (NF) and supplemental feed (SF) ingested by the fish were microscopically quantified from their completely dissected digestive tracts sampled during 24-h cycles in wet (June–September) and dry (December–April) seasons. Particles from rice husk, indigestible to milkfish, were used as internal markers to quantify supplemental feed. Significantly (P<0.05) more NF than SF (1.4±0.2 vs. 0.4±0.1 g kg−0.8) and SF than NF (1.4±0.8 vs. 0.6±0.3 g kg−0.8) were found during the first month of the wet and the first 3 months of the dry season respectively. Diurnal feeding patterns on SF were significantly higher at morning hours during the dry compared with the wet season. The feeding pattern of milkfish is likely to be affected by the different weather and pond conditions in both seasons. Developing a season-specific pond fertilization management to enhance NF availability in semi-intensive milkfish culture can help to improve the economical and ecological performance of milkfish culture.
Suggested CitationKühlmann, K., Focken, U., Coloso, R. M., & Becker, K. (2008). Diurnal feeding pattern and gut content of milkfish Chanos chanos (Forsskål, 1775) cultured semi-intensively during the wet and dry season in brackish ponds in the Philippines.
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