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Monitoring pond water quality to improve shrimp and fish production

Monitoring pond water quality to improve shrimp and fish production

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The proper management of pond water quality plays a significant role for the success of aquaculture operations. Each water quality parameter alone can directly affect the animals´ health. Exposure of shrimp and fish to improper levels of dissolved oxygen, ammonia, nitrite or hydrogen sulfide leads to stress and disease. However, in the complex and dynamic environment of aquaculture ponds, water quality parameters also influence each other.
The proper management of pond water quality plays a significant role for the success of aquaculture operations. Each water quality parameter alone can directly affect the animals´ health. Exposure of shrimp and fish to improper levels of dissolved oxygen, ammonia, nitrite or hydrogen sulfide leads to stress and disease. However, in the complex and dynamic environment of aquaculture ponds, water quality parameters also influence each other.

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Published by: International Aquafeed magazine on Mar 16, 2012
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06/06/2013

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International Aquafeed is published five times a year by Perendale Publishers Ltd of the United Kingdom. All data is published in good faith, based on information received, and while every care is taken to prevent inaccuracies,the publishers accept no liability for any errors or omissions or for the consequences of action taken on the basis of information published.©Copyright 2012 Perendale Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any formor by any means without prior permission of the copyright owner. Printed by Perendale Publishers Ltd. ISSN: 1464-0058
March | April 2012Feature title: PRODUCT SHOWCASE 2012
 
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UnbalancedlevelsoftemperatureandpHcanincreasethetoxicityofammoniaandhydrogensulfide.Thus,maintainingbal-ancedlevelsofwaterqualityparametersisfundamentalforboththehealthandgrowthofcultureorganisms.Itisrecommendedtomonitorandassesswaterqualityparametersonaroutinebasis.Inthisarticlethemostimportantwaterqualityparameterssuchasoxygen,pH,tem-perature,salinity,turbidityandnitrogencom-poundsaredescribedwithinsightsonhow theseparametersinfluenceeachother.Table1givesanoverviewofthewaterqualityparameterswiththeirstandardvalues.Dissolvedoxygen(DO)isoneofthemostimportantparametersinaquaculture.MaintaininggoodlevelsofDOinthewaterisessentialforsuccessfulproductionsinceoxygen(O2)hasadirectinfluenceonfeedintake,diseaseresistanceandmetabolism.Asub-optimallevelisverystressfulforfishandshrimp.ItisthereforeimportanttokeepDOatoptimumlevelsofabove4.0ppm.Thedynamicoxygencycleofpondsfluctu-atesthroughoutthedayduetophytoplanktonphotosynthesisandrespiration(Figure1).AsshowninFigure1maximumDOwilloccurinthelateafternoonduetothebuildupofO2duringthedaythroughphoto-synthesis.Asphytoplankton(microscopicalgae)usuallyconsumesthemostO2andsincephotosynthesisdoesnotoccurduringthenight,DOlevelsdecline.CriticallylowDOoccursinpondsspecificallywhenalgalbloomscrash.Thesubsequentbac- terialdecompositionofthedeadalgaecellsdemandsalotofoxygen.Managingtheequilibriumofphotosynthesisandrespirationaswellasthealgaegrowth-isanimpor- tanttaskinthedailyworkofafarmer. Whenfeedingthefishandshrimp,oxygendemandishigherduetoincreasedenergyexpenditure(alsoknownasspecificdynamicaction).Tofacethishigheroxygendemand,severalmeasurescanbetaken:Othersourcesofoxygenthanphotosyn- thesisarediffusionortransferfromairtowater.Waveactionormechanicalaerationisforcingthisoxygendiffusion.Paddlewheelaeratorsaccomplishthisbybreakingwaterintosmalldropletsandincreasingcontactofwatersurfacewithair.Aspiratoraeratorscompelairintothewaterthroughaventureandapropeller.Anotherreasonforaerationisthecirculationofaeratedwaterthrough thepond.Biochemicaloxygendemand(BOD)ofthepondcanaffecttheoxygencycleandthus, theoxygenequilibrium.Five-daybiochemicaloxygendemand(BOD5)istheamountofDOneededbyaerobicbiologicalorganismsinthewatertobreakdownorganicmaterialpresentataconstanttemperatureduringa5-dayperiod.BOD5isanimportantwaterqualityvari-ablethatmayberequiredtodemonstratecompliancewithwaterqualitypermitsissuedbythegovernmentsandtoachievefarmcertification.TheBOD5ofpondaquacultureefflu-entsusuallyrangesfrom5to20mg/l.ThegreatertheBOD,themorerapidlyoxygenisdepleted.Also,theO2cycleandthus,theDOlevelscanbeaffectedbychangesintheenviron-ment;acloudydaywilldiminishthephoto-syntheticO2inputtoDO.Correspondingly,uncommonlyhightemperatureswilldecrease thesolubilityofO2inwaterandhencelowerDO.Whenapondisin“equilibrium”DOwillnotchangedrastically.Temperatureisanotherimportantwaterqualityparameter.Itcanaffectfishandshrimp
metabolism,feedingratesandthedegreeofammoniatoxicity.Temperaturealsohasadirectimpactonbiotarespiration(O2con-sumption)ratesandinfluencesthesolubilityofO2(warmerwaterholdslessO2thancoolerwater).Temperaturecannotobviouslybecon- trolledinapond.Aquaticanimalsmodify theirbodytemperaturetotheenviron-mentandaresensitivetorapidtemperaturevariations.Foreachspecies,thereisarangeoftemperatureconditions(Table2).Itis thereforeimportanttoadaptfishandshrimpprogressivelywhentransferringthemfrom tanktopond.Carbondioxide(CO2)inpondsispri-marilyproducedthroughrespirationbyfish/shrimpandthemicroscopicplantsandanimals thatconstitutethepondbiota.Carbondioxidelevels(andtoxicity)arehighestwhenDOlevelsarelowest(Figure2).Thus,dawnisacriticaltimeformonitor-ingDOandCO2.HighCO2concentra- tionsinhibittheabilityoffishandshrimp toextractO2fromthewater,reducingthe tolerancetolowO2conditionsandinducingstresscomparable tosuffocation.AnincreaseinCO2mayalsodecreasethepH,whichcanlead totoxicityofnitrite.Ifplantsin thewaterabsorbtoomuchCO2forphotosynthesisduringtheday, thepHwillincrease,andthefishandshrimparesubjectedtohigherun-ionizedtoxicammonia(NH3)concentrations.Carbondioxideconcentra- tionsabove60ppmmaybelethal.Inanemergency,CO2canberemovedbyaddinglimingagentssuchasquicklime,hydratedlimeorsodiumcarbonate tothepondwater.pHisameasureofacidity(hydrogenions)oralkalinityofthewater.ItisimportanttomaintainastablepHatasaferangebecauseitaffects themetabolismandotherphysiologicalprocessesofcultureorganisms.Itcancreatestress,enhancethesusceptibility todisease,lowertheproductionlevelsandcausepoorgrowthandevendeath.Signsofsub-optimalpHarebesidesothersincreasedmucusonthegillsurfacesoffish,unusualswim-mingbehavior,finfray,harm totheeyelensaswellaspoorphytoplanktonandzooplanktongrowth.OptimalpHlevelsinthepondshouldbeintherangeof7.5–8.5.TheCO2concentrationinthewateralsoinfluences thepH,e.g.anincreaseinCO2decreasesthepH,asalreadymentionedabove(Diagram1).Asphyto-planktoninthewaterutilizesCO2forphoto-synthesis,thepHwillvarynatu-rallythroughoutdaylighthours.pHisgenerallylowestatsunrise(duetorespirationandreleaseofCO2duringthenight)andhighestintheafternoonwhenalgaeutilizationofCO2isat

 

 

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