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Water and Soil Management for Sustainable Aquaculture

Water and Soil Management for Sustainable Aquaculture

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Published by Dr. Subhendu Datta
Physico-chemical parameters of water and soil play an important role in management of aquaculture ecosystem. Depth, turbidity, transparency, light, temperature, pH, carbondioxide,dissolved oxygen, alkalinity, hardness, dissolved solids, nitrogen cycle, phosphorus cycle, soil pH, soil texture, organic carbon, C/N ratio, NPK levels are important parameters which requires regular monitoring. For these a clear understanding on the subject uis required. All these are described in this topic in lucid laguages.
Physico-chemical parameters of water and soil play an important role in management of aquaculture ecosystem. Depth, turbidity, transparency, light, temperature, pH, carbondioxide,dissolved oxygen, alkalinity, hardness, dissolved solids, nitrogen cycle, phosphorus cycle, soil pH, soil texture, organic carbon, C/N ratio, NPK levels are important parameters which requires regular monitoring. For these a clear understanding on the subject uis required. All these are described in this topic in lucid laguages.

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Published by: Dr. Subhendu Datta on Oct 28, 2009
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11/23/2012

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WATER & SOIL MANAGEMENT FORSUSTAINABLE AQUACULTURE
BY
Dr. Subhendu Datta
Sr. Scientist
CIFE, KOLKATA CENTER
SALT LAKE CITY, WEST BENGAL, INDIA
 
Water & Soil Management for Sustainable Aquaculture Subhendu Datta
1
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.
 
Water & Soil Management for Sustainable Aquaculture Subhendu Datta
2FishBottom Fauna------------------------ZooplanktonBottom Flora------------------------------------------PhytoplanktonNutrients in waterNutrients in Soil
Fig. 1: Food pyramid in a pond
The soil fertility is of special importance in the growth of benthic vegetation.While water fertility will contribute largely to the production of plankton; the pond bedreleases nutrient material into the water and helps in fixation or chemical combination of such substances released in the pond itself or introduced from outside. Production inponds with a bottom rich in fertilising elements is much greater than in those with poorsoil. The colloidal content of the soil, especially of the muddy layer on the top, is of importance in its capacity to fix or chemically bind nutrients. The productive capacity of the pond bottom has to be preserved by alternate periods of mud formation andmineralisation – the practice of regularly draining fish pond.In view of this importance of overlaying water as well as bottom soil indetermining the productivity of a fish pond, an intimate knowledge about the nature andproperties of these two phases need to be understood thoroughly for developing a clearidea about the ecosystem and obtaining, thereform, good production of fishes.
 Importance of water and soil analysis in sustainable aquaculture
: As the fish catch fromall sources of capture fisheries has nearly attained a saturation point, aquaculture hasgained special attention to increase the fish production of the country. To achieve thisgoal, with time aquaculture has also shifted from conventional culture practice to semi-intensive and intensive culture practices. In intensive cultural practices, there is very highload of fish, feed, nutrients and chemicals used for controlling fish diseases (e.g.

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