Acid and fermented silage characterization and determination of apparent digestibility coefficient of crude protein for pacu Piaractus mesopotamicus
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Three types of raw materials including commercial waste from saltwater (SW), freshwater fish (FW) and tilapia fillet residue (FR) were used to produce fish silage by either acid digestion (2% formic acid and 2% sulfuric acid) or anaerobic fermentation (5% of Lactobacillus plantarum and 15% sugar cane molasses). Six test diets were used in digestibility trials prepared with 70% reference diet and 30% of each experimental silage. These diets were fed to juvenile pacu Piaractus mesopotamicus (146 g average weight) in triplicate. Fish were kept in 500-L tanks and feces collected by manual extrusion. It was observed for both processes that SW waste always had the highest moisture content and lowest fat and ash. Highest crude protein levels were found in silages from commercial fish waste (SW and FW) made from whole fish unfit for human consumption. However, apparent digestibility coefficients did not vary among diets (P > 0.05). Although values did not differ statistically, fermented silage consistently displayed higher digestibility coefficients compared to acid silage. The silages exhibited relatively high protein digestibility (72.5-80.0%), thus suggesting the feasibility of using fish industry by-products in aquaculture feeds.