A 100-d experiment was carried out with 288 fingerlings of pacu, allotted to 36 cement mansory box with 100 liters volume, with eight fishes per each unit, to evaluate the replacement of fish flour by soybean meal and the protein levels in the diets. During the experimental period, the average temperature of the water was 28ºC and other limnology parameters (dissolved oxygen, pH, alkalinity and conductivity) remained within the adequate levels for the development of this specie. The experimental design consisted of randomized blocks, with nine treatments in a 3 x 3 factorial arrangement, three level of crude protein (22,26 and 30%) and three levels of fish meal replacement by soybean meal (0,50 and 100%). The results showed that 26% of crude protein was better and the fish meal, can be partially or totally replaced by soybean meal without affecting fingerlings weight gain, feed: gain, specific growth rate and protein efficiency rate of the fingerlings. The protein source replacement also did not affect the body composition, nitrogen retention efficiency, body nitrogen, body fat and nitrogen and fat in the weight gain of the fingerlings.
fingerlings of pacu; protein sources; protein levels