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Apparent digestibility evaluation of an alternate plant ingredient, cupuacu (Theobroma grandiflorum) seed cake for tambaqui (Colossoma macropomum)

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A reference diet (commercial diet with 32% protein) and a test diet (consisting of 70% reference diet and 30% of cupuacu seed cake) were used with 0.5% chromic oxide (Cr2O3) as an external marker to evaluate the digestibility of Cupuacu (Theobroma grandiflorum) seed cake, employing tambaqui (Colossoma macropomum) juveniles. Fish of average weight 87.2 ± 6.3 g were distributed at 20 each in10 fiberglass tanks with constant water circulation and aeration, adapted for digestibility studies. The two diets were fed to fish in five tanks each. Feces was collected from replicate groups of fish over 50 days, starting from the 11th day of the 60-day experiment, using the fecal collection column attached to the fish rearing tank. Apparent digestibility coefficients of dry matter (DM), crude protein (CP), ether extract (EE) and nitrogen-free extract (NFE) were determined. Coefficients of DM, CP, EE and NFE were higher for the reference diet, the values being 85%, 89%, 95% and 89%. The respective values were lower at 66 %, 71%, 94%, and 69% for the test diet. Daily monitored physico-chemical variables of water (dissolved oxygen, pH, temperature and conductivity) as well as those monitored every 15 days (alkalinity, free carbon dioxide, nitrite nitrogen and total ammonia) had no negative impact on the fish. Higher crude fibre and presence of antinutrients in cupuacu seed cake appear to be responsible for the lower nutrient digestibility of the test diet.
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