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Colour enhancement potential of selected local flowers in Sword tail, Xiphophorus helleri through dietary incorporation

Author Affiliations

  • 1Department of Aquaculture, School of Aquaculture and Biotechnology, KeralaUniversity of Fisheries and Ocean Studies (KUFOS), P.O. Panangad, Kochi, Kerala, INDIA

Res. J. Recent Sci., Volume 4, Issue (ISC-2014), Pages 37-43, (2015)


Ornamental fish keeping has been emerged as an important branch of aquaculture since a few decades with a trade value of more than 8 billion US$ per annum and supports millions of people for their livelihood. Along with other factors like shape, graceful movement, beauty etc., vivid colouration also helps to augment the market demand of the ornamental fishes. In general, the maintenance in captive conditions causes colour-fading in fishes which leads to lesser consumer acceptance and lower price levels. To overcome the problem, an attempt was made in Sword tail, Xiphophorus helleri-a much sought after freshwater aquarium fish-to assess the potential of two pigments derived from local plants viz. Marigold and Ixora (treatments M and I) through dietary incorporation. The growth of the fish assessed simultaneously. The experiment was conducted in the larvae of Sword tail for a period of 90 days. Ninety larvae were randomly exposed to two treatments in triplicates (10 fish per tank). A control was also maintained during the study in which the fishes were fed with a commercial feed. The carotenoid pigment sources were incorporated in the supplementary diets at 5% level of inclusion. Maximum growth was observed in treatment-M followed by treatment-I. Significant difference (p<0.05) was observed in the intensity of colouration between the fishes exposed to natural pigments and the control group which could be clearly visible through the naked eye-examination.It was further confirmed by the Spectrophotometer analysis. So, it can be inferred that the dietary incorporation of natural pigments have varying levels of impact on the colouration of Xiphophorushelleri while maintained in captivity. The experiment throws light on the possibility of utilizing other pigment sources for dietary incorporation towards augmenting the colouration in fishes. Developing region and species specific feeds utilizing various types of local ingredients have great potential in the contemporary feed research in the world.


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