Use of bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) to predict water and energy content of juvenile Rainbow Trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss)
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Accurate measurements of energy content and body composition are essential to effectively assess the well-being of fish. Bomb calorimetry and proximate analysis are currently the most dependable and accurate methods to estimate energy content and body composition. However, bioenergetic studies that employ the traditional methodology necessitate the killing of fish to determine physiological composition and energy content in a target tissue. The killing of the individual negates the ability for repeated measures on the same individual, and also suppresses compositional studies involving endangered or threatened species. Recent research has shown Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA), a quick, easy-to-use, non-invasive, and most importantly, non lethal technique to be an effective method for estimating the proximate composition and energy content of fish. The focus of this research is to evaluate the capability of BIA to accurately assess the bioenergetics of juvenile rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss), and to develop species-specific indices to predict energy content, total body water and dry mass. To do this, juvenile rainbow trout were subjected to one of three ration regimes: maintenance (0.4 % bw/day), optimum (1.9 % bw/day) and satiation (3.4 % bw/day) for 90 days. Subsamples from each treatment were taken every 30 days to be subjected to BIA testing. Tissue samples were collected from the subsampled trout for future caloric and compositional analysis via bomb calorimetry and proximate analysis. It was found that BIA demonstrated a strong predictive relationship with regard to energy content (r2 = 0.90), total body water (r2 = 0.89) and dry mass (r2 = 0.80). BIA was also able to successfully reflect a notable statistical difference between treatments with regard to total energy content, energy density, total body water, dry mass. These results, along with much of the existing literature, indicate that BIA may be an accurate and reliable tool to estimate the bioenergetics and proximate composition of fish.