For some fish species, dietary taurine supplementation has been proven necessary in feeds with considerable utilization of vegetable proteins to substitute fishmeal. Pirarucu, Arapaima gigas feeds mainly on taurine-rich animal items in nature, therefore this study aimed to evaluate the effect of dietary taurine supplementation (0, 0.5, 1, 1.5 and 3%) on the growth and blood physiological parameters of juvenile pirarucu. A commercial feed was utilized as the basal diet for the experimental diets. Three hundred fish (20.8 ± 2.3 g) were randomly distributed in 15 tanks and fed for 28 days. At the end of the trial, dietary taurine supplementation did not affect fish growth, feed consumption and feed efficiency. The original amounts of taurine (0.18%) and methionine (1.13%) in the commercial feed (0% taurine diet) apparently sufficed to promote adequate pirarucu growth, with no variation noted in the main blood physiological parameters. Further studies to assess whether taurine is conditionally essential for the pirarucu fed methionine-deficient diets are needed to elucidate the functionality of this nutrient for the studied species.
fishmeal; vegetable proteins; methionine; Arapaima gigas