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USE OF DISTILLER'S DRIED GRAINS WITH SOLUBLES, WHICH HAD BEEN USED AS A SUBSTRATE FOR BLACK SOLDIER FLY LARVAE, IN DIETS FOR NILE TILAPIA Oreochromis niloticus  

Kenneth R. Thompson*, Steven D. Rawles, Joao F. A. Koch, Ann L. Gannam, Ronald G. Twibell, and Carl D. Webster
 
 Aquaculture Research Center
 Kentucky State University
 Frankfort, KY 40601 USA
 ken.thompson@kysu.edu

A feeding trial was conducted in a closed system with Nile tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus, juveniles (mean initial weight, 2.66 g) to examine total replacement of menhaden fish meal (MFM) with distiller's dried grains with solubles (DDGS), which had been used as substrate for the production of black soldier fly larvae, Hermetia illucens, in combination with soybean meal (SBM) and poultry by-product meal (PBM), with or without supplementation of the amino acids (AA) DL-methionine (Met), L-lysine (Lys) and a commercial non-amylaceous polysaccharide enzyme (Enz) product.  Fish were fed seven isoenergetic and isonitrogenous (35% protein as fed basis) practical diets formulated with equivalent digestible protein levels.  Diet 1 was formulated to be similar to a commercial, high-quality, tilapia diet containing 20% MFM.  Diets 2-5 were formulated as a 2 x 2 factorial to replace MFM with similar contributions from DDGS (45%), PBM (25%), and SBM (2.1 - 2.9%), but to differ in supplementation of AA and/or Enz preparation.  Diets 6 and 7 were formulated to investigate the effects of a 2/3 and 1/3 reduction, respectively, in DDGS contribution to the replacement protein mix, with concomitant increases in SBM, with respect to diet 3, and were balanced with Lys and Met.

After six weeks, growth responses were slightly attenuated (P ≤ 0.05) and average daily intake (ADI) and feed conversion ratio (FCR) were slightly higher in tilapia fed DDGS diets 2-5 compared to those of fish fed the MFM control diet 1.  Growth responses were not significantly affected by the presence or absence of AA or Enz (diets 2-5), or the level of DDGS (diets 3, 7, and 6).  Whole-body proximate composition was not different among treatments.  Amino acid profiles of fish fed DDGS diets were not significantly different from those of fish fed the MFM control.  Results suggest that DDGS replacement of MFM in tilapia diets can be substantial when diets are formulated on a digestible protein basis and DDGS is combined with highly digestible animal (PBM) and plant proteins (SBM).

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