Organic feed makes fish more colourful

26-05-2008 | |
Organic feed makes fish more colourful

Scientists at the Central Institute of Freshwater Aqua-culture (Cifa) in India found an organic feed that “enhances” the colour and brightness of ornamental fishes.

By including maize, drumstick leaves, marigold petals and rose petals to the
fish feed the colours of the fish seem to be brighter. Breeders, till now, were
depended on artificial methods (such as dyeing and using fish feeds containing
hormones) to fetch a better price in the market.

Carotenoids in
plants
Pigments named “carotenoids” (commonly the alpha and beta
carotene found in yellow and orange plants and fruits) are primary sources of
colour in fish skin. These carotenoids are made by plants and utilised in animal
tissue. A series of experiments conducted by Cifa’s ornamental fish breeding
unit on Rosy Barb by using leafy sources showed that it increased its colour to
a large extent.

“Carotenoids when fed to the males make them colourful,
healthier and stronger” explained Saroj Kumar Swain, a senior scientist.
Omnivorous fishes can be given shrimp, prawn, insects, earthworms, and tubifex
to get the same colour enhancement.

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