The objective of this study was to evaluate the efficiency of food deprivation on the growth performance of the commercially important hybrid fish tambacu (Piaractus mesopotamicus male × Colossoma macropomum female). For this, 171 juveniles of average length 8 cm and 11.4 g body mass were distributed in nine tanks, and allocated to three treatments: the fish were fed every day (control), fed for six days followed by one day of food deprivation (6F/1D) and fed for five days followed by two days of food deprivation (5F/2D). After 77 days, all animals achieved similar growth rates. Only animals submitted to two days of food deprivation presented hyperphagia. There was a reduction in total feed consumption of 3.8% and 10.8% for the 6F/1D and 5F/2D treatments, respectively. Our results suggest that juvenile tambacu exhibit total compensatory growth when submitted to food deprivation, and that a two-day deprivation could significantly reduce production costs for tambacu farmers.
fish farming; feeding strategy; compensatory growth