Effect of elevated fry rearing temperature on survival rate, growth performance, and sex ratio of three Oreochromis niloticus populations of Ethiopian Rift Valley Lakes


  • Megerssa Endebu
  • Abebe Getahun
  • Misikire Tessema


Heat treatment; Koka; Lakes Chamo; Nile tilapia; Sex reversal; Ziway


Sex-reversal in Oreochromis niloticus is used to produce mono-sex males which are desired in aquaculture for better growth performances and population control. The present study was aimed at studying the effect of elevated fry rearing temperature on survival, sex ratios, and growth performances of O. niloticus populations of Lakes Chamo, Koka, and Ziway. Fries from five separate brood pairs of each population were either treated (T) in elevated fry rearing temperature of 36 ± 1°C or kept at room temperature of 24 ± 1°C as control (C) groups for 10 days (phase-I) and then grown in outdoor ponds for six months (phase-II). Survival rates in T groups (74.0 to 91.7%) were lower than that of C groups (83.3 to 97.0%) in all the three populations in phase-I but not in phase-II. Chamo population was better in survival rate (88.4% and 95.4% in Phase-I, and 95.4% and 95.3% in phase-II) than Koka population (85.8% and 91.3% in Phase-I, and 93.9% and 93.5% in phase-II) and Ziway population (80.2% and 88.6% in Phase-I and 90.2% and 91.9% in phase-II) both in T and C groups respectively. The Chamo population also attained significantly (p<0.05) higher mean final weight of 31.58 ± 6.78 g and 24.26 ± 6.67 g in T and C groups respectively, followed by that of Koka population with 21.70 ± 5.10 g and 18.83 ± 4.16 g while Ziway population with mean final weight of 17.49 ± 4.60 g and 16.81 ± 4.15 g was the least both in T and C groups. The overall sex ratios in T groups were skewed towards male but balanced in all C groups of each population.  Better growth was achieved only in T groups with higher male ratio than their corresponding C groups. The number of sensitive brooding pairs and the overall male ratio in T groups were higher in the Koka population (40%, 61.68%) than in Ziway (20%, 56.78%) and Chamo (20%, 56.39%) populations respectively. However, the sensitivity of sex reversal to elevated fry rearing temperature was wide between individuals within each population than across the three populations. Hence, sensitive individuals can be selected from the populations and their degree of sensitivity can be improved through continuous selection of progenies from temperature-sensitive parents.