Effect of Stocking Density on the Resistance to Fasting, Growth and Survival of the African Catfish Heterobranchus bidorsalis (Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, 1809) Larvae

Abstract After artificial reproduction of African catfish Heterobranchus bidorsalis, larvae of two days old and 2.18 ± 0.35 mg of mean weight were used to perform two experiments in order to assess the effect of stocking density on their fasting resistance, growth and survival. During the first experiment which lasted 11 days with four batches of larvae at densities of 1, 2, 3 and 4 individuals/ml, results showed that density did not significantly affect (p˂0,05) the resistance to fasting of larvae. However, first mortalities were observed at D5 for all the densities, the higher daily mortality was recorded at D10 and the last mortalities were obtained at D12.

Results of the second experiment revealed that the weight and growth performance of larvae decreased with the increasing of the density after 28 days of rearing. In contrast, the larval survival rate increased with the density. The values of survival rate were respectively 30.53 ± 4.32 and 55.30 ± 21.70 % for the densities 1 ind./l and 20 ind./l.

Keywords Fasting, Growth, Heterobranchus bidorsalis larvae, Stocking density, Survival

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