Effect of BIOAQUA® P on Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) growth when reared under commercial conditions

By: Alberto Asiain, Natalie Cuellar, Vicente Camporredondo, Juan Reta, David Montaño, Diego Platas, Soledad Delgadillo *


BIOAQUA® P is a 100% natural phytogenic ingredient made by milling, pulverizing, and standardizing the stems of the Yucca schidigera plant. It is used as a feed ingredient to reduce ammonia levels in the water of production ponds.

A study was conducted to compare the effect of BIOAQUA® P (100% natural pulverized Yucca schidigera plant, used as feed ingredient) on the growth of Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) reared under commercial conditions.

“Results showed that tilapia fed with the BIOAQUA® P enriched diet performed better, both biologically and economically.”

Worldwide, tilapia farming shows a clear trend towards intensification. However, these culture systems increasingly demand a more sensible use of a finite base of production inputs to become sustainable. It is generally accepted that water quality and feeding management are essential in intensive systems, particularly in tanks where water changes are limited. Out of the different limiting factors, ammonia nitrogen control is one of the key challenges and research fields. 

An innovative alternative is using natural ingredients in feeds that simultaneously reduce ammonia toxicity while promoting growth. Yucca shidigera seems to be an attractive option in this context, already tested with some aquatic species (Kelly y Kohler, 2003; Gaber, 2006; Martínez-Córdova et al., 2008). In this work, a study was conducted to compare the effect of BIOAQUA® P on the growth of Nile tilapia (O. niloticus) reared under commercial conditions.


The study was conducted on a commercial tilapia farm in Veracruz, Mexico. Ten thousand fingerlings O. niloticus (mean weight 129.6 g) were stocked in each of the two 200 m3 circular concrete tanks. Each fish was considered as an experimental unit.

“Two commercially prepared floating tilapia diets based on Nutripec® Purina 32% protein were compared.”

A control diet (the commercial diet) versus the same diet enriched with BIOAQUA® P @ 2kg ton-1. The fish were fed ad libitum three times daily for four months. Water quality parameters were monitored daily (DO, temperature, pH, and TAN). One hundred fish were individually weighed on a fortnight basis.


Water quality parameters were kept within acceptable limits during the whole experiment. From the third month onwards, fish fed with the enriched diet were significantly bigger (P<0.05). Figure 1 and Tables 1 & 2 show the main results.

Figure 1. Growth performance of Nile tilapia fed on a diet with and without BIOAQUA® P.


Results showed that tilapia fed with a commercial diet enriched with BIOAQUA® P performed better, both in biological and economic terms.


Gaber, M.M. (2006) . The effects of plant-protein-based diets supplemented with Yucca on growth, digestibility, and chemical composition of nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus, L) fingerlings. Journal of the World Aquaculture Society 37, 74-81.

Kelly, A.M. y Kohler, C.C. (2003) Effects of Yucca shidigera extract on growth, nitrogen retention, ammonia excretion, and toxicity in channel catfish Ictalurus punctatus and hybrid tilapia Oreochromis mossambicus O. niloticusJournal of the World Aquaculture Society 34, 156-161.Martínez-Córdova, L.R., Campaña-Torres, A., Bringas-Alvarado, L. y Porchas-Cornejo, M.A. (2008) Efectos de la inclusión dietaria de Yucca shidigera, en los parámetros de calidad del agua y producción del camarón blanco del Pacífico, Litopenaeus vannamei (Boone, 1931). Investigación y Ciencia de la Universidad Autónoma de Aguascalientes 16, 4-10.

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