Growth, Oxygen Consumption, and Behavioral Responses of Danio rerio to Variation in Dietary Protein and Lipid Levels.

PMID 26134575


In recent years, there has been increasing interest in the welfare of ornamental fish. Diet can significantly impact the welfare of fish, which can manifest as changes in the fish's physical health and behavior. The zebrafish, Danio rerio, is a popular ornamental species; however, little is known about their nutritional requirements with possible implications for their welfare. Here, we investigated the effect of diets with increasing crude protein (iso-caloric diets) and lipid (iso-nitrogenous diets) on the growth performance, oxygen consumption, and behavior of zebrafish. We found no significant effects of crude protein (32%-75%) or lipid (8%-16%) on the specific growth rate or oxygen consumption of fish fed 5% of their body mass (BM)/day, although the highest crude protein and lipid diet resulted in an increase in condition factor. Furthermore, the crude protein diets did not affect zebrafish behavior when fed a 2% BM ration, once a day. This study has shown that a diet with 32% crude protein and a diet with 8% crude lipid, when fed at a 5% BM ration, were sufficient to meet the growth requirements of our zebrafish. These diets supported the fish's physical health and thus benefited their welfare.