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Thread: Protein sparing

  1. #1
    Tategoi mtsklar's Avatar
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    Protein sparing

    Protein sparing

    The curve that is used to depict growth rate of a koi over it's life time, illustrates a growth rate that slows over time.
    Is it prudent to reduce the protein content fed to older koi or could a protein sparing food push the growth curve out?

    Matt

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    Tategoi mtsklar's Avatar
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    With carp being one of the most widely cultured freshwater speices and tilapia in second, feed conversion ratio is a critical parameter of aquaculture. Feed represents 40-60% of a fish farms expenses. The FCR of tilapia is 1.0, and the FCR of Carp is 1.6. Just looking at FCR tiliapia appear to the economically superior choice, however the fish remains a distant second to carp production world wide. Tilapia require warm water.

    With respect to koi, feed conversion ratio can be looked a couple of ways. Let's say that you just ponied up and bought a really nice koi on your last trip. You know it has potential and you want to show it but it needs some more mass to achieve that imposing look. What do you feed it? Plant Protein or Animal Protein?
    Matt Sklar

  3. #3
    Tategoi
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtsklar View Post
    With carp being one of the most widely cultured freshwater speices and tilapia in second, feed conversion ratio is a critical parameter of aquaculture. Feed represents 40-60% of a fish farms expenses. The FCR of tilapia is 1.0, and the FCR of Carp is 1.6. Just looking at FCR tiliapia appear to the economically superior choice, however the fish remains a distant second to carp production world wide.
    Matt,

    I am not very knowledgable about Feed Conversion Ratios (FCRs), but I did a search and came up with a couple of definitions/explanations, such as the following:

    "FCR is calculated as the weight of the feed fed to the fish divided by the weight of fish growth. For example, if fish are fed 10 pounds of feed and then exhibit a 5 pound weight gain, the FCR is 10/ 5 = 2.0."

    I am editing this post, because I have found a couple of different explanations for this number, and i admit that I am getting confused. Is the above definition correct?

    Paul

  4. #4
    Daihonmei
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    Protein sparing, something that only weight lifters and aquaculturalists seem to be interested in is very real in carp growth!

    Koi as most of you, is a four season grower. As a cold blloded animal it's metabolism is very much linked to the time of year, light and water temperatures- as to where the energy ingested will be put to work.

    But on the subject of protein-- koi will naturally convert it to useable energy and then the excess to storage. If storage is accomplished then the rest will be dumped and if protein availability is assured ( based on how much is being processed and storaged then the fish will stop storing it! And in many cases, stop growing.
    The conditioning of the body so that protein is available but not in abundant supply will trigger the body to once again maximize protein nuturition and once again store protein which is a form of growth. JR

  5. #5
    Oyagoi
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paultergeist View Post
    Matt,

    I am not very knowledgable about Feed Conversion Ratios (FCRs), but I did a search and came up with a couple of definitions/explanations, such as the following:

    "FCR is calculated as the weight of the feed fed to the fish divided by the weight of fish growth. For example, if fish are fed 10 pounds of feed and then exhibit a 5 pound weight gain, the FCR is 10/ 5 = 2.0."

    If this is the correct interpretation of a FCR, then wouldn't carp -- based on the higher FCR of 1.6 -- be the more "economically superior choice?"

    Paul
    Actually the one to one ratio (one pound of feed yields one pound of fish) is the "better" figure as a FCR or 1.6 means it takes 1.6 pounds of feed to yield a pound of fish.

    You havta take these things in context. First you cannot place a group like "carp" all in one category. "Carp" is not just common carp (Cyprinus carpio) but includes things like grass carp (Ptenopharyngodon idella), bighead carp (Aristichthyes or Hypophthalmichthyes nobilis), Silver carp (Hypophthalmichthyes molitrix), Mud carp (several species from several places, all big hard to spell names) Black carp, Catla, rohu, mrigal, rudd, crucian, etc. etc. Some eat feeds, some are filter feeders, some eat snails, some eat aufwuchs, some eat grass, etc. etc. together the carp and minnows are called "Cyprinids" (Family Cyprinidae).

    While as a group they do constitute one of the primary cultured species groups planet wide, the tilapiine fishes (Family Cichlidae) which constitutes the genera Tilapia, Oreochromis, Sarotherodon, and perhaps others, are much more similar to one another and are much more cultured than the Family Cyprinidae.

    Then you gotta consider the feeds. A diet consisting of fish meal, shrimp meal, meat and bone meal, and some flour is gonna give a much better FCR than one consisting of chicken feathers, bermuda grass hay, and sawdust, even though the protein contents might be the same.

    And ultimately a farmer must raise what he can sell. I know for a fact that you can over saturate the market for carps and buffalo fishes in Houston with only 50,000 pounds of fish (been there, done that, still can't get the smell off). Yet, a constant huge supply of tilapia are sold in restaurants, supermarkets, fish markets, and other outlets, much more than 50,000 pounds to saturate THAT market as the tilapia have a much broader appeal.

    It is also a misconception that feed is always the major expenditure on a fish farm. Maybe in China, but actually many times energy and labor can be as much or more than feed as a percentage of total operating expense.

    The you have koi.....a huge difference in culturing methods and goals than something being raised for slaughter. A carp or tilapia being produced for human consumption needs to grow fast and cheap and only needs to live a year or two before being sold to slaughter. A koi not only needs to live a very long time, it needs steady, controlled growth that yields a proper body conformation and skin development over rapid growth for the least cost.

    To achieve the goal of reaching a koi's potential will require a varied diet. Not only a variety of ingredients at the moment, but a changing variety dependent upon season of the year, variety of koi, and a host of other factors. Both plant and animal ingredients are important to koi, as are lipids, carbohydrates, and fibers (not just proteins), their types and sources, in differing ratios.

    Most fish are indeterminate growers, never really stopping growth as long as they are otherwise healthy and well fed. Koi are the same, with slowed growth over time (grows faster young than old). However, there is a limit to "how big" a fish can get with age. Kinda like me. You can feed me more and more and I'll grow alright, but it'll be in width and not in length. So it goes with koi. A very large koi needs a diet that will not disfigure its body.

    Now, you wanna know all about THAT.....just let JR get started good and we'll all get tired a loooong time before he does.
    Brett

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    Daihonmei dick benbow's Avatar
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    I have several friends as missionaries, who help 3rd world nations with setting up pig farms for villiages on top of the hills and ponds for tillapia at the bottom. each rain All the pig wastes run into the pond producing loads of algea which I am told those lovely fish consume as their feed. Quess it's ok if your starving but not my cup of tea.... When it comes to telling stories, Brett's the best!

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    Tategoi
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    Brett,

    Thank you for taking the time to write such an insightful and detailed post. I learned from reading it. I was a bit confused on the FCR number because of the inverse relationship (I.e., lower equals "better"), but I think I have now wrapped my brain around it.

    Anyway, great post, and thank you again,

    Paul

  8. #8
    Honmei KoiCop's Avatar
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    Thanks, Brett.

    Growing koi for show vs. tilapia for table? As you point out, big difference!

    Best wishes,

  9. #9
    Tategoi mtsklar's Avatar
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    Catabolism of protein will provide energy for the koi. However when another energy source is available such as lipids or limited carbohydrates, then the protein is spared and is used primarly for growth. (Too much carbohydrate can act as an anti nutrient.) So the question is what protein, plant or animal?

    Matt Sklar

  10. #10
    Daihonmei
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    It is used for energy and stored. Unless there is an abundance and growth rates slow no matter how much protein you feed. the koi's body will also seek the cheapest form of energy when food is not in abundance. Do not confusion production literature with koi maintenance.

    Which source? This gets a lot of enthusiasts confused when they study production data-- protein is really amino acids and all are the same at that level ( with plant protein contain a few more amino acids-- but these are not essentail amino acids to a carp). What the 'literature' tends to skip is - " what time of year is it" and what they tend to include is " fish are the same as other live stock". Opppsss.
    The diet must be measured against the changing process of feeding and digestion. So at differnet times of year, due to water temperature and therefore digestion efficiency and metobolic efficiency in general, the tidy math equations become useless. " pounds per weight" and other such calculations become a form of bench racing.
    Key in this conversation are;
    1) the actually amount of food that can be eaten, digested and absorbed in low temperatures. Even teh way fish swim and the muscles they use ( red vs white, slow vs fast) changes with temperature.
    2) The actual need of the body for daily energy needs, maintenance and storage during different seasons is key. So the same fish in winter will process, DIRECT and store differently it's derived energy sources, than when it is say, building egg mass and the water is warming and the lightening/sun is stronger. To build on this, the mix of protein, fat and carbs should change as it does in nature with age and with the changing seasons.

    So at the end of the day, no matter how much the 'engineer' in us all wants a fixed formula, a fixed diet and a schedule per hour, day or week, the feeding of koi over a lifetime is as much an art and philosophy application as it is pure science. Scientific facts set the template, skillful use of those facts delivers the results.

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