Abstract: Fish nutrition researchers often feed fishes at between 3-5 % of their body weight daily. Environmental risks associated with excess feed leachate are so enormous in tropical waters leading to algal bloom which can toxify the aquaculture products and threaten their safety. Considering that feed requirements by fishes depend on a number of factors such as size, health status and the general condition of the culture environment; there is every need for the determination of the actual feed desired to meet their physiological needs, promote growth and reproduction based on peculiar conditions. This study was conducted to determine the appropriate feeding rate for tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus and consequential changes in the water quality. A 30 % crude protein diet was fed to triplicate groups of O. niloticus fingerlings (10.13±0.58g) in glass tanks (75x45x40 cm) (20 fish/tank) at 2, 3, 4 and 5 % body weight daily. The holding tanks were cleaned every two days after measuring the water quality parameters, pH, temperature and the dissolved oxygen. Results of the experiment indicated that the weight gain (WG, %) and specific growth rate (SGR) of the fishes fed at 3, 4 and 5 % body weights were similar (p>0.05) but differed significantly (p<0.05) from the WG and SGR of the group of fishes fed at 2 % body weight. However, there were no significant differences in FCR and PER of fishes fed at the various body weights. While the pH and the temperature of the culture media were not affected by the treatments, the dissolved oxygen was marginally lower in tanks fed at 4 and 5 % body weights than in those fed at 2 and 3 % body weights. The study established the optimum feeding rate for O. niloticus at 3 % body weight daily, and the tendency for water quality deterioration with higher feeding rates. Key words: Aquaculture production, dissolved oxygen, nutrient utilizatio
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