Effect of feeding frequency on growth and survival in juvenile gar Atractosteus tropicus Gill, 1863, in culture conditions
ABSTRACT: The gar, Atractosteus tropicus is a native fish distributed in fluvial systems of the Mexican southeast, which presents aquaculture potential in the food industry and as ornamental species. However, it is necessary to deepen the knowledge for the optimization of its culture. The present study examined the effect of three feeding frequencies on the growth, survival, and condition of juveniles. The fish (90) were placed in nine 35 L tanks, (n = 10; three replicates per treatment). The feed (44% protein, 15% fat) was supplied to 2% of the biomass, divided into 2, 4 and 6 servings throughout 10 h for eight weeks. After eight weeks the standard length, wet weight, survival, Fulton K, specific growth rate, nitrogen carbon rate, the coefficient of variation and size heterogeneity were recorded, which were analyzed with a one-way ANOVA. There were no significant differences among treatments for any of the response variables. The overall results indicated that in general both the culture conditions and the three food frequencies tested were adequate for the species. The results indicate the high flexibility of the species to be cultured with minimum requirements of the food supply, which can translate into the optimization of production costs.