Responses of growth rates and growth hormone levels of African catfish (Clarias gariepinus) to stocking density



In order to estimate responses of growth rate and growth hormone of Clarias gariepinus to stocking density, fish (initial weight 30.71 ± 0.89 g) were stocked in 120-L tanks at densities of 35, 65, 95, and 125 kg/m3 for 60 days. On day 30 and 60, the fish growth rates were measured, pituitary growth hormone (GH) mRNA levels and serum GH concentrations were examined by real-time qPCR and ELISA technique, respectively. From day 0 to day 30, there were significant decreases in specific growth rates and relative weight gains at higher densities (95 and 125 kg/m3) compared to that at lower densities (35 and 65 kg/m3), whereas no significant effects of stocking density on the two indexes during the day 30−60 were detected. On day 30, GH mRNA levels were unaffected by stocking density, while on day 60, GH mRNA levels were significantly lower at the density of 125 kg/m3 than in the two lower densities. Serum GH concentration increased with decreasing stocking densities but only significantly between 35 kg/m3 and the other treatments on day 30. However, there were no significant differences between two lower densities as well as between 65 kg/m3 and 95 kg/m3 treatments on day 60. These results implied that effect of stocking density on SGR and RWG of C. gariepinus weren’t uniform in different growth periods and a weak positive correlation was observed between growth rate and GH in C. gariepinus in the present study.