Innovation On Self-Premix Diet For Ornamental Fish: Effect On Binder Concentration 

Background study

Ornamental fish is sourced from developing countries in the tropical and sub-tropical region. There are over 2500 species of ornamental fish in the world, which mostly over 60 percent from freshwater species. Malaysian ornamental fish industry was expected to grow 20. 4% in 2011 by Malaysian Fisheries Department (Borneo Post Online, 2010). Fisheries sector on 2012, comprised of food fish and non-food fish contributed RM11,440 million to the economy (Yusoff & Aishah, 2015). Approximately, 75% of the freshwater aquarium fish that imported into the United States (USA) originate from Southeast Asia (Chapman et al. 1997).

The non-food fish sector like seaweeds, ornamental fish and aquatic plants contributed RM843 million. Ornamental fish keeping are the popular hobbies for enthusiasts who like to display the fish in aquarium. Aquariums fish mostly filled with vibrant coloured fish and other aquatic creatures which are appealing to watch. For aquarium hobbies, ornamental fish are mesmerized to them, because they are generally characterized with their colours and colour patterns. Besides, there are often called the "living jewels" due to their diversity of species, great variety of colour, shape, swimming pattern and soft behaviour. All these factors determine their value in the market.

Binders are the ingredient used to improve feed manufacture and to stabilize diets in water (Marina Paolucci et al. , 2012). Their role is to determine variable level of firmness whether is acceptable to specific feeding behaviour. From some recent experiments, binders are included in practical diets for fish to generate firmer feces when emitted into water to reduce pollution (Brinker, 2007). Inclusion of a binder is a necessity to ensure water stable feed. Many substances have been selected for their binding properties. Mostly natural binders have been employed to manufacture hard pellets with the purpose of increasing water stability with resulting decrease in nutrient loss. Yet, for slow feeder like prawn and shrimps they are able to manipulate food using mouth appendages before ingestion (Holdich, 2002)

According to De Silva and Anderson 1995, binders can be grouped in three different classes which are binder of protein origin, carbohydrate source binder and binder with no nutritional value. Besides, there have been more than 50 organic and inorganic binders have been employed in feed industry (Kalian & Morey, 2009). However, some of these binders, such as wheat gluten or starches, have a nutritive value for the animals, while others, are inert raw materials without nutritional value (Sinha et al. , 2011).

Problem statement

Most of the wet-based diet and natural diet are favourably preferred by fish. However, in ornamental fish industries the price for wet-based diet and natural diet are expensive because it high in demand and contain high of nutrient which not practically for commercial feeds. In market place, the ornamental fish feeds are higher in price by 10-60 times than the price of aquaculture feeds. Although for the single species, the prices vary widely even though they are each formulated for the same species (koi). Besides, some of the ingredient were expensive and difficult to keep. When it is difficult to keep it, then it will relied on the use of freezers to extend life of the diet.

Significance of study

Through development of diets which self-premix diet that we propose in this study, it will helps to overcome what problem until acceptance study. These will determined whether the diets will suitable for fish or not. Aquarium hobbies will able to overcome the short of supply for natural diet. Final decision should depend on cost and availability and experimentation with the raw materials being employed in each dietary formulation.


To determine the optimum binder concentration on self-premix diet for ornamental fish study.

Literature Review


Innovation is new method or process of innovating to create better solution that meet new requirement. Aquaculture in Malaysia needs a new feed innovation for continue industry exponential growth pattern in order to further satisfy the needs and expectation of consumer. That means, formulated feeds are an important component of the farming process and number one key of aquaculture species. With the large production of ornamental fish being increase, the requirement of feed is also large in quantity. Meanwhile, aquarium fish feed also form a sizeable proportion of the overall trade. Consequently, there are farms in this country which produce natural aquarium feed, the number and output are not in large production. However, producers and consumer are no longer focused on feed conversion in relation to fish feed Research and Development [R&D] (Borneo Post Online, 2010).

Ornamental fish

The ornamental fish trade is important for revenue generation in Malaysia. To support this trade, a report on the impact of aquatic aliens and their application has been begin with partners in Malaysia and the Philippines. Ornamental fish farming is among the most valuable industries in this recent times. They often called as living jewels due to their colour, shape, and behaviour. They are tiny and have peaceful characteristic which could be in confined space. Commonly, the ornamental fishes are kept in glass aquarium and popularly known as the “Aquarium fishes”. There are many species of ornamental fishes such as Carassius auratus, Scleropages formosus, Betta splendens, and Cyprinus carpio. Wide variety of fishes around the world were commercially introduced to expand the aquaculture industry. According to Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in 2006, the global market size for ornamental fish and aquatic plants was estimated at RM46. 5 billion US$15 billion and is expected to grow between 10 to 15 per cent annually.


The binders are materials used in aquaculture food to increase the efficiency of the food manufacturing process to avoid wastage and to produce stable feed with in water. The common binder used are carboxymethylcellulose (CMC), bentonites, alginates, and agar which are always used primarily in the feed manufacturing process as well as the production of more durable pellets which increase the pellet hardness and reduce decomposition during handling and transport processes (I. M Ruscoe, 2005). Normally, the binder entry level is only 1% - 2% of the dry diet (Reinitz, 1983; NRC, 1983). But for aquaculture species such as slow-growing shrimp, it needed chewable feed before eating. It requires a certain binder to be used in the manufacture of food to delay physical splits of pellets or mash feeds in water until the intake is completed.

The binder can affect the stability of the pellets in three ways. They reduces the free space and resulting more solid and durable pellets. In addition, they also act as stickers affixing particles together, and they also showing the chemical reaction on ingredients to alter the nature of food that produces more durable pellets (DeSilva & Anderson 1995). Besides, many of these binders are either unavailable or too costly for use in fish diets in the country. With the adequate variability in feed ingredients, percentage of binders included and manufacture technology, it is impossible to come to the conclusion that a certain binder is better than another with respect to its water stability performances.

Material and method

Study site

The study will be conducted at Laboratory of Quality and General Analysis (MKAU), in School of Fisheries Science and Aquaculture studies, Universiti Malaysia Terengganu.

Experimental design

The diet will contain fish meal, soybean meal, wheat flour, fish oil, palm oil, soy oil, vitamin mix, mineral mix, maltodextrin and binder (Agar) as shown in table

Experimental diet that contain agar at different concentration of 0, 2, 6, 8 and 10% (of diet dry weight) will be tested for diet stability at various immersion time. Which means all ingredient will be come as powder become premix. The experiment will test on premix diet by using 2 percent until 10 percent of binder with 75oc water until it reach the expected durability. The binder will be dissolved and will begin gelling with all ingredient and left to cool and become into a solid ‘cake’ before refrigerated. After completed the process, approximately a small cube of diet will be cut from the cake, then being tested into water.

Water stability test

Water stability of feeds can be improved through the use of binders and a wide variety of natural, modified or synthetic products that have been tested with varying degrees of success (I. M Ruscoe, 2005). It is likely that importance of producing aquaculture feeds are needed water stability test. In water stability test, the completed diet with different binder percentage will be test to determine the hardness and durable of diet when test in aquarium water. This also to test the water parameter for each diet that contain different concentration of binder. The absorbance value of the water turbidity will be test using UV spectrophotometer. Three replicate of water sample will be test at 0 to 5, 20, 40, 90, 180 and 240 min to determine the water stability. Absorbance value will be recorded as water turbidity. Almost certainly when a water stable of achieved, there will be utilization by ornamental fish. This could be minimum wastage that benefit substantially to aquaculture operations in terms of nutrient utilization.

Statistical analysis

Statistical analysis for this study will be performed using two-way of varience (ANOVA) and SPSS 17 for Windows. The data from UV spectrophotometer will be expressed as mean ± SD.

Expected result

From the experimental design testing five level on binder, expected 5% binder will reduce the immediate decay rate by 62% from previous study by (I. M Ruscoe et al. , 2005). I expected the similar result may obtained from this study. I expected maltodextrin have particular application in imparting desirable stability process from previous study by

11 February 2020
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