The effects of Astragalus membranaceus and Lycium barbarum on the growth performance and non-specific immunity of grass carp and Nile tilapia were studied. Herb extracts of Chinese medicinal herbs (2 g kg⁻¹ or 20 g kg⁻¹) were incorporated into food waste based fish feed pellets. Fish growth and selected non-specific immune parameters of grass carp and Nile tilapia were studied in two separate feeding trials. Both grass carp and Nile tilapia fed diets of feed pellets containing 2 g kg⁻¹Lycium barbarum extract achieved the best relative weight gain, feed conversion ratio, specific growth rate and protein efficiency ratio among all experimental diets. Fish fed with diets containing 2 g kg⁻¹Lycium barbarum also resulted in significantly higher total immunoglobin, bactericidal activity and anti-protease activity; and also a lower mortality when challenged with pathogenic bacteria. On the other hand, both fish species fed with diets containing 20 g kg⁻¹ of Astragalus membranaceus and 20 g kg⁻¹Lycium barbarum, resulted in significantly impaired weight gain. In addition, incorporation of 2 g kg⁻¹Lycium barbarum extract would be a more suitable dose for both fish species, in terms of achieving better feed conversion ratio, specific growth rate, protein digestibility, and improved non-specific immune parameters. Based on this study, it can be concluded that waste based feed pellets incorporated with Chinese medicinal herb extracts have the ability to enhance growth and immunity of fish. Therefore, the use of Chinese medicinal herbs in aquaculture should be encouraged, in order to replace certain antibiotics known to impose environmental and health effects through the discharge of aquaculture effluents. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd.
CitationMo, W. Y., Lun, C. H. I., Choi, W. M., Man, Y. B., & Wong, M. H. (2016). Enhancing growth and non-specific immunity of grass carp and Nile tilapia by incorporating Chinese herbs (Astragalus membranaceus and Lycium barbarum) into food waste based pellets. Environmental Pollution, 219, 475-482.
- Antimicrobial agents
- Chinese medicinal herbs
- Food waste based pellets
- Growth promotors