Utilization of mallow, Malva parviflora, leaves meal for feeding sailfin molly fish Poecilia latipinna (Lesueur, 1821)


Department of Fisheries and Marine Resources, College of Agriculture, University of Basrah, Basrah, Iraq



The present study was carried out to investigate the effect of replacing some conventional feedstuffs (barley and yellow corn) with mallow, Malva parviflora, leaves meal on the growth and feeding efficiency of sailfin molly, Poecilia latipinna. Five experimental diets containing 0, 5, 10, 15, and 20% of mallow leaves meal M0, M5, M10, M15, and M20 respectively, were prepared by replacing barley and yellow corn. A total of 90 fish (2.55±0.17 g) were used, distributed equally into fifteen plastic tanks at a rate of 6 fish per tank. The experiment lasted for 60 days, during which fish were fed the experimental diets to satiation twice daily. Results exhibited a gradual significant (p<0.05) increase in the feed intake FI (r=0.935) of the fishes with increasing dietary mallow leave replacement. There were no significant differences (p>0.05) in specific growth rate (SGR), feed conversion ratio (FCR), and protein efficiency ratio of sailfin molly fed control (M0) diet compared to fish fed on M5 and M10 diets at the end of the experiment. Increasing the involvement of mallow in M15 and M20 diets led to inhibited SGR, FCR, and PER significantly (p<0.05) compared to the control diet. In conclusion, using mallow dried meal in the diets at a 10% level was proved to be more suitable with no noticeable adverse effects on the growth and feeding efficiency of experimental fish.