Chinese Acad Sci, Inst Hydrobiol, State Key Lab Freshwater Ecol & Biotechnol, Wuhan 430072, Hubei, Peoples R China
Hybrid tilapia weighing 4.34 +/- 0.03 g (mean +/- SE) were reared in seawater at 23.8 to 27.0 degrees C for 8 weeks. The control group was fed to satiation twice a day throughout the experiment. The other three groups were deprived of feed for 1, 2, and 4 weeks, respectively, and then fed to satiation during the refeeding period. At the end of the experiment, fish deprived for 1 week had similar body weights to the controls, whereas fish deprived for 2 and 4 weeks had significantly lower body weights than the controls. During the refeeding period, size-adjusted feed intakes and specific growth rates were significantly higher in deprived fish than in the controls, indicating some compensatory responses in these fish. Feed intake and growth rate upon refeeding were higher the longer the duration of deprivation. No significant differences were found in digestibility, feed efficiency or protein and energy retention efficiency between the deprived and control fish during refeeding, suggesting that hyperphagia was the mechanism responsible for increased growth rates during compensatory growth. During refeeding, relative gains in protein, lipid and ash, as proportions of total body weight gain, did not differ significantly among treatment groups. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.