Water & Soil Management for Sustainable Aquaculture Subhendu Datta
Need of Water and Soil Analysis for Sustainable Aquaculture
Importance of water in aquaculture:
If aquaculture is the rearing of aquatic organisms, itis important for an aquaculturist to understand the aquatic medium i.e. water, in whichthese organisms inhabits. If the water is “bad,” plants and animals won’t grow orreproduce. Animal stressed because of poor water quality are also prime targets forpathogens and parasites. Just as people who work in offices or factories that are stuffy andhave smoke or chemical fumes in the air are more apt to be sick, so it is with aquaticorganisms grown in poor quality of water.Water is the medium in which fish live, and from which they derive oxygen andnutrients. So the quantity and quality of the water very much affect the prospect of fishculture. As water is the basic element in fish culture, its specific properties as a culturalmedium are naturally of great significance in the productivity of a pond. Pure water isunable to support living organisms, but its content of nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium andcalcium salts, dissolved organic matter and gases like oxygen, nitrogen and carbondioxide determine to a large extent the productivity.
Importance of soil in aquaculture
: The properties of pond soil are of greater significancethan is generally realised. When soil conditions are not favourable, the production will belimited. Productivity of fishponds depends on the occurrence of suitable environmentalconditions and abundance of fish food organisms. The first step in the food chain (Fig. 1)of a fish pond is constituted by primary food organisms e.g. phytoplanktons, which derivetheir nutrients from the pond environment and with the help of solar radiation undergophotosynthetic activities. Occurrence of these nutrients in pond water and maintenance of its relevant chemical condition depends largely on the nature and properties of the bottomsoil wherein a series of chemical and biochemical reactions continuously take placeresulting in release of different nutrients in overlaying water and also their absorption inthe soil mass. Considering this importance of bottom soil in maintaining the productivityof fish ponds, Hickling (1971) described such soils as the “Chemical Laboratory of thefish pond.