Evaluation of the growth performance of mirror carp cultured in earthen ponds at low and high altitudes in eastern Uganda
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Fish is very important not only as a source of protein but it also ensures food security, employment and income generation for many developing countries. Aquaculture is carried out not only for increasing the availability of fish but also to conserve the natural stock and thereby protect the biodiversity with pond aquaculture being the commonest type of aquaculture in Africa. This study was conducted from Bulambuli district in the eastern region of Uganda to evaluate the growth performance of Mirror carp in low altitude (1000m absl) and high altitude (1500m absl) earthen ponds using Kajjansi aqua feeds as the supplemental feeds in both treatments. The fry were stocked at a stocking rate of 2 fish/m3 with an average body weight of 1.70g and average body length of 29.39mm. Growth performance was determined fortnightly, while the water quality parameters were determined daily. Independent t-test was used to determine the significant differences between growth rate and feed conversion ratio of mirror carp. Results indicated that growth rate of Mirror carp cultured in the low altitude earthen ponds was higher and significantly different (p<0.05) from those cultured in the high altitude earthen ponds. Feed conversion ratio (FCR) for fish cultured in low altitude was lower compared to fish culture in the high altitude. Fish growth was influenced by temperature, whereby higher water temperatures at low altitude resulted into higher growth rate of fish, compared to those cultured at high altitude, having low water temperatures. The results obtained demonstrate that Mirror carp is suitable for culture in both low altitude and high altitude earthen ponds though better growth performances are obtained when cultured within the low altitude earthen ponds.