Dietary Zinc Requirement of Oreochromis aureus and Effects of Dietary Calcium and Phytate on Zinc Bioavailability Academic Article uri icon


  • Two experiments were conducted to determine the dietary zinc requirement of fingerling blue tilapia (Oreochromis aureus) and the effects of dietary calcium and phytate on zinc bioavailability. Purified egg white diets containing graded levels of supplemental zinc were fed to fingerling tilapia in triplicate aquaria for 80 days. No overt signs of zinc deficiency were observed; however, scale and bone zinc concentrations of fish fed the various diets were significantly (P < 0.05) affected and increased linearly as dietary zinc increased until plateauing at 20 mg Zn/kg diet and greater. Based on these data, 20 mg Zn/kg of dry diet was determined to be the minimum dietary zinc requirement of blue tilapia. Purified egg white diets containing 20 mg Zn/kg were also supplemented with 0.5 or 2.0% calcium and 0 or 1.5% phytate in a factorial arrangement to determine the effects of these dietary factors on zinc bioavailability. At this level of supplemental zinc, 1.5% phytate significantly (P < 0.05) reduced zinc bioavailability as reflected in scale and bone zinc concentrations; whereas, dietary calcium did not affect zinc bioavailability. Results from this study establish the dietary zinc requirement of blue tilapia and indicate that higher levels of supplemental zinc should be included in practical feeds to compensate for reduced zinc bioavailability caused by dietary phytate. Copyright 1988, Wiley Blackwell. All rights reserved

published proceedings

  • Journal of the World Aquaculture Society

author list (cited authors)

  • McClain, W. R., & Gatlin, D. M.

citation count

  • 12

complete list of authors

  • McClain, W Ray||Gatlin, Delbert M

publication date

  • June 1988