Effects of common carp (Cyprinus carpio Linnaeus, 1758) and the African catfish (Clarias gariepinus Burchell, 1822) on growth and reproductive performance of native tilapia Oreochromis shiranus (Boulenger, 1896)

A study was conducted to assess the effects of common carp and the African catfish on growth and reproduction of the native tilapia Oreochromis shiranus in Malawi. The study was done from 1 May to 1 October 2018 at the National Aquaculture Centre (NAC), Zomba. Four triplicated treatments were used: O. shiranus + carp (T1), O. shiranus + catfish (T2), O. shiranus + carp + catfish polyculture (T3) and O. shiranus monoculture (T4). Fish were stocked at uniform density of 0.8 fish/m2 . Data collection was done once every month. Results showed that O. shiranus mean weight gain (%), specific growth rate (% body weight/day), average daily gain (g fish−1 day−1) and condition factor (g/cm3 ) were highest in T3 and lowest in T1 and T4 treatments. T3 had better water quality regime and higher tilapia biomass than T1 and T4 treatments. Tilapia fry production (no. fry pond−1 day−1) was highest in T4 but did not significantly differ (p > .05) between T2 and T3 treatments. It is concluded that the farming of common carp in aquatic ecosystems containing the African catfish may not adversely affect growth and reproduction of O. shiranus and that the polyculture of the African catfish, common carp and tilapia can be adopted to mitigate the potential adverse effects of carp on the environment and improve tilapia growth.
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Southern Africa
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