A large number of medicinal plants have been tested in different parts of the world for the possible fertility properties and some are extensively used as aphrodisiac to enhance fertility and improve sexual performance (Bhatia et. al., 2010).Moringa oleifera is of the family Moringaceae; it is a deciduous, faster growing plant and could grow up to eight meters height (Keay, 1989); which bears long green pods after six to eight months and production may continue up to 40 years.
Moringa grows best in hot, semi-arid tropic climate. It is drought-tolerant and can grow with intensity rainfalls of 10-60 in per year. It has high forage yield which may amount to 120 metric tons dry matter per hectare per year (Makkar and Becker, 1999). The tree is native to Africa, South Asia, South America, Himalaya region, India, Pakistan, the Pacific and Caribbean Islands and has been introduced in many tropic and subtropics regions worldwide. The plant is referred by number of names such as horseradish tree, drumstick tree, ben oil tree, miracle tree, and Mothers best friend (Coppin, 2008). The leaves are excellent source of vitamins A, B and C when raw and are among the best plant sources of minerals (Talhaliani, 2000). The flowers consider good source for calcium and potassium, Seeds can be extracted and eaten either boiled or fried when still green but dry seeds are apparently not used for human consumption due to bitter taste of their coat.
The mature seed is about 40% oil with good quality that about 73% oleic acid, similar to olive oil and use for cooking. The seedcake left over after the oil extraction process has several uses, it can be used as soil fertilizer, or in the treatment of turbid water and it is being researched as an animal feed (ECHO, 2007). Different parts of the Moringa tree have been used in the traditional and folkloric medicine in many countries. In India, survey in the tribal belt of Melghat region of Amravati district in Maharashtra state showed that the Moringa seeds are being use traditionally as an aphrodisiac (Lalas and Tsaknis,2002).Most of aquafeeds used in Africa and Asia are either produced on-farm or by small-scale commercial feed factories, thus improvements to these feeds are likely to improve productivity and cost savings. The small-scale production sector is currently lacking to technical innovations of feed formulation, preparation, storage and handling (Hasan and New, 2013). Technical innovations in aquaculture can help in solve many issues related to fish farming for example, addition of certain substances can improve survival, growth performance, resistance to diseases, reduce the stress of farmed fish, enhance maturation and reproduction performance.
Many decades ago, varieties of synthetic materials and chemicals such as hormones, vitamins and antibiotics, have been tested and used as growth promoters, antimicrobial agents and other purposes in fish farming with positive effects on aquaculture production but recently many synthetic chemicals have been restricted in commercial aquaculture operations due to their residual effects on human and environment. In many hatcheries, the improper use of antibiotics in prophylactic treatment has developed resistant bacterial strains, reduced the larval growth and inhibited defense mechanisms of the fish Larvae (Citarasu, 2010). Globally, fish farmers have realized the negative effect of antibiotics and synthetic chemicals so they are now shifting over to natural products; plant leaf, seed, fruits, pods, roots and bark to be used in aquaculture as phytotherapy which is efficacy, safety and application can be practiced, moreover has low therapeutic cost and easy biodegradable substances. Plants are the storehouses and sources of safer and cheaper chemicals and their extracts are prescribed to cure various diseases due to their antioxidant and antimicrobial activities (Prasad and Variyur Padhyoy 1993).
As they contain active principles, natural botanical extracts are known to have an important role in various activities like anti-stress, growth promotion, appetite stimulation, and aphrodisiac properties in aquaculture operation (Citarasu et al. 1998). C. batrachus considers as an important species for commercial aquaculture in India and Indian subcontinent, so farmer encouraged for its intensive production but its potentials for aquaculture at critical point due to short supply of desirable stocking materials or seed has been affect negatively on its production.
In India the Central Board of fisheries, suggested that more emphasis should be given on catfish farming specially magur farming which has been described as one of the potential national priority in Indian aquaculture scenario. The main constraints to the culture of C. batrachus are the lack of spontaneous spawning in captive condition, non-availability of quality seed around the year, and dependency on wild stock for seed, which is time-consuming, and not economically visible (Sahoo, et al., 2008).
Therefore, it becomes important to develop methods for breeding and larval rearing of magur in controlled conditions to supply good quality seed for local farmers, small and large scale fish producers. Induced spawning techniques for C. batrachus have been successfully done for seed production by few workers using various natural and synthetic agents (Dhara and Saha, 2013), but still more improvements are required. In this study qualitative and quantitative phytochemical analysis of these phytoconstitutes in the Moringa leaves, seeds and pods will help to provide both the conformational and information on the nutritional and potential medicinal applications in the use of Moringa, which permits the comparison to other traditional plants used for similar purposes. The significance of the current study is to use three plant extracts which may have medicinal properties that can act beneficially on different physiological aspects to enhance growth of fingerlings meanwhile to improve maturation and reproduction of brood fish. The aim of present study is to test the effect of Moringa extracts on two different stages of C.
batrachus, fingerlings and adults.