Effect of fasting on freshwater angelfish Pterophyllum scalare (Lichtenstein; Pisces: Cichlidae) development
Motta, Jonas Henrique
de Souza, André Batista
Fosse Filho, João Carlos
Vidal Jr., Manuel
We tested the effect of fasting on the development of juvenile freshwater angelfish (Pterophyllum scalare). The juveniles were subjected to different fasting periods (0, 3, 6, 9, 12, and 15 days of fasting). Fish from all treatments were fed for 30 days after the fasting period. No difference (P > 0.05) was observed between treatments for final weight and length. There was a significant difference (P < 0.05) in treatments 12 and 15 days fasting for liver and intestine weight. These results may prove that 12 and 15 days of fasting force juveniles to use energy reserves, and these adaptations may also represent a saving energy strategy. The fish subjected to treatments 6, 9, 12, and 15 days of fasting showed different vacuolization in hepatocytes from the ones subjected to 0 and 3 days of fasting (P < 0.05). These results show that during the lack of feeding, juveniles (P. scalare) mobilizes energy stored in the liver. No difference (P > 0.05) was observed between treatments for survival rate. However, the increase in the number of deaths from the eighth day of fasting may indicate that periods with more than 15 days of fasting could be fatal to this species during this life stage. According to our findings, it can be assumed that juvenile freshwater angelfishes have strategies (e.g. a decrease in liver and intestine weight) to resist 15 days of fasting.