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Proximate composition of para-grass (Brachiaria mutica) produced in

integrated fish-fodder culture system

MR Alam1*, MM Haque2, KR Sumi1, MM Ali2
Department of Aquaculture, Patuakhali Science and Technology University, Patuakhali 8602, Bangladesh;
Department of Aquaculture, Bangladesh Agricultural University, Mymensingh 2202 Bangladesh

An experiment was conducted to evaluate the effects of Pangasius pond sediment on the nutrient uptake
by para-grass (Brachiaria mutica) during the period from March to October, 2011 in a Pangasius farm,
Dhanikhola, Trishal, Mymensingh. Initially soil chemistry of Pangasius pond sediment and para-grass
producing virgin soil was analyzed at the laboratory. The fodder was cultivated at various level of
inorganic fertilizer with Pangasius pond sediment having three replications in each treatment. The size of
each replication was 25 m2 (5m5m). The fodder was harvested at the pre-flowering stage (45 days after
transplantation). After first cutting, experimental plot was irrigated, and again after 45 days of first
cutting second cutting was done. After proper collection and preparation the para-grass samples and rice
straw, their proximate composition analysis was done. The nutrient content of para-grass was also
compared with rice-straw being used as dairy feed. The analytical results indicated that the nutrients
content of Pangasius pond sediment was higher than the virgin soil which was the stimulating factor for
para-grass growth and production. The basic nutrients such as crude lipid and protein content of para-
grass were found increasing from first to second sampling. However, crude lipid and protein of para-grass
at second sampling was found much higher than those of rice straw. Application of Pangasius pond
sediment as alternative source of fertilizer enriched nutrient content of para-grass much higher than
those of rice straw. Therefore, it could be argued that higher level of lipid and protein content of para-
grass is the stimulating factor to dairy cattle production under integrated aquaculturefodder grass
production using Pangasius pond sediment.

Key words: Pangasius pond sediment, para-grass, Fodder Production, Integrated Aquaculture.

Bangladesh Animal Husbandry Association. All rights reserved. Bang. J. Anim. Sci. 2015. 44 (2): 113-119

Introduction is done based on commercial and/or farm made

pellet feed which has sinking nature like as light
Bangladesh is the fifth highest aquaculture fish
stone. According to the different fish farmers of
producing country of the world (FAO, 2013).
Mymensingh district, in the intensive culture
During the last two decades aquaculture has
system two kilogram pellet feed is required to
developed in this country tremendously,
produce one kilogram of Pangasius. A
especially in Mymensingh, Jessore and Comilla
significant proportion of feed is not eaten by the
regions. Various types of indigenous fishes such
fish and due to its sinking nature and it settle
as, Indian major carp, stinging catfish, walking
down on bottom as sediment. Excreta of fish
catfish etc and exotic fishes such as, Chinese
and other organic and inorganic materials of
carp, climbing perch, pangas catfish,
feeding also deposit on bottom soil. Unutilized
Mozambique tilapia etc. are cultured. Pangasius
feed, excreta and other organic materials make
farming has been introduced in Bangladesh at
a thicker layer over pond bed. An experiment
nearly 1990. Now-a-days it becomes an
showed that 10-12 kg unutilized feed can make
industry of intensive culture system with annual
a layer of 1/2 inch per square meter (Haque,
production of 0.3 - 0.4 million MT. Pangasius is
2011). This type of deposition creates some
cultured in shallow pond with high stocking
problems in Pangasius pond, for example
density and large amount of feed input. Feeding
creates water quality problems, enhances the

*Corresponding author: 113

Proximate composition of para- grass

algal bloom production etc. Thus the farmers urea fertilizer. For the fruitful use of this
require removing pond bottom mud but this resource, an experiment was designed in this
work is expensive and laborious and also research to produce para-grass in integrated
useless to them. fish-fodder culture system. The folder grass
production is a critical issue of local dairy
Olah et al. (1994) reported that 90% of the
farming because a sharp decrease of grazing
nitrogen (N) applied to fish pond accumulated
field negatively affected on dairy production,
in the sediment. Similarly, Boyd (1995) showed
thus the nation is increasingly depending on the
that a higher fraction of phosphorus (P)
imported milk in Bangladesh. In this context,
compounds applied to the ponds also ended up
the objectives of the study were to assess
in the sediment. A research showed that only
nutrient potential of Pangasius pond sediment
30% of N of feed applied to pond was absorbed
to find out the proximate composition of para-
by fish and reaming 70% N ended up in the
grass produced in integrated fish fodder culture
sediment (Haque, 2011) and also reported that
system; and to compare the nutritional quality
amount of N accumulation per hectare is about
of para-grass and common feed (rice-straw)
4000 kg which is equivalent to about 8500 kg
being traditionally fed to cattle.

and commercial pellet feed. Groundwater was

Materials and Methods
the main source of water with limited water
Site selection exchange rate. About 120,000 kg feed was
used during the year 2010 causing deposition of
The experiment was carried out to find the
pond sediments. The sediments of pond bottom
effective and alternative use of Pangasius pond
were removed 2-3 years interval and used to
bottom soil during the period from March to
repair the pond dikes. Electricity supply and
October, 2011 in a Pangasius farm named Ma
good communication system were functioning
Fishery at Dhanikhola Union under Trishal
to the farm area.
Upazila, Mymensingh, Bangladesh. Mymensingh
is as the homeland of Pangasius farming in
Experimental design
Bangladesh. A considerable number of farms of
Mymensingh were found at Trishal with longer For research plot preparation, Pangasius pond
experience. They were found of experienced water was given to the experimental plot by
with positive and negative impacts of using power pump. Then plot was tilled by using
aquaculture. While farm owner was contacted, power tiller machine. Repeated plough was
he realized and felt interested which was helpful done after 7 days. Plot was labeled by using
to conduct the experiment. The geographical ladder and weeding was done manually. Then
location of experimental site was 902254.02 plot became ready to transplant the cuttings of
E longitude and 243720.02 N latitude and para-grass.
farms site situated at 902253.08 E longitude
and 243720.30 N latitude. Surrounding area A Completely Randomized Design (CRD) was
of experimental site contains huge number of applied for the experiment of fodder grass
Pangasius farms (Figure 1). production. The experiment had 6 treatments,
and each with 3 replications. Thus, the total
Farm characteristics number of replications was 18 (63) and the
size of each replication plot was 25 m2 (5 m5
The selected Pangasius farm has been running
m). A treatment was 0.5 m far away from
since 2003 which was mainly a grow-out farm.
another. Well planned dike was constructed
The area of the farm was about 2 ha and
around each of the treatments to avoid mixing
number of pond was 10. Each pond size was
of nutrients each other. Varied levels of
about 45 decimal with average of 1-1.5m water
Pangasius pond sediment with inorganic
depth. The Pangasius were fed with farm made
fertilizer were applied in

Alam et al. (2015) Bang. J. Anim. Sci. 44(2): 113- 119

Table 1. The experimental design with six treatments

Treatments Treatment description Urea Sediment

(kg/25m ) (kg/25m2)
T1 Control (No N application just virgin soil in the rice-field) 0.00 0.00
T2 25% recommended dose of N 0.10 43.50
T3 50% recommended dose of N 0.19 28.50
T4 75% recommended dose of N 0.29 14.25
T5 100% recommended dose of N 0.38 0.00
T6 No fertilizer (100% mud) 0.00 58.00

each treatment. The doses of Pangasius pond sample t-test. Single factor analysis of variance
sediment and inorganic fertilizer (urea) are (ANOVA) of the mean values of proximate
shown in Table 1. components was done to test the significance of
variation among treatments in terms of nutrient
Sediment analysis content of para-grass (Steel et al., 1980).
Individual treatment difference was analyzed by
Sediment samples were collected and put in the
Duncans Multiple Range Test (DMRT) at the
previously labeled plastic bag and carried to
probability of 0.01 to 0.05%.
laboratory. Then samples were dried out at
room temperature. After drying samples were
ground finely and sieved through a 0.03 mm
Results and Discussion
meshed brass sieve and kept individually in Chemistry of Pangasius pond sediment
labeled polythene bag for chemical analysis.
The data generated from the laboratory analysis
Pond sediment and soil samples analysis was
of Pangasius pond sediment and virgin soil was
performed at the Soil Science Laboratory of the
examined statistically. Except pH, the other
Department of Soil Science, Bangladesh
parameters of Pangasius pond sediment were
Agricultural University (BAU) Mymensingh.
different statistically from those of virgin soil
After 45 days of planting, para-grass became (Table 2). The mean value pH of virgin soil and
ripened and samples from each treatment were Pangasius pond sediment was 6.80.1 and
collected and marked individually. Rice straw 6.860.04, respectively which were within the
was collected from a cattle farm from the same suitable range of primary productivity, and
village. Then well marked samples and straw more or less similar to the findings of Monir
were carried to the Fish Nutrition Laboratory, (2009). The finding of the present study did not
Department of Aquaculture, BAU. The grass differ from the finding of Mukta (2008), who
samples and straw were ground by using a observed that the pH value of Ghatail soil was
grinding machine. The second samples were 6.5. Hossain et al. (2000) reported that the pH
taken after 45 days and prepared by following value ranged from 6.02 to 7.10 in the old
similar way. After the preparation of samples, Brahmaputra floodplain soil. In the present
proximate composition analysis of para-grass study, the organic carbon content was 1.310.1
samples and rice straw were done by following % in virgin plot soil and 3.150.04% in
the official methods of analysis by AOAC Pangasius pond sediment. This finding has a
(2000). The analyses were performed at the significant importance because organic carbon
Fish Nutrition Laboratory. can play important role in buffering systems,
which may regulate pH value, available
Data analysis phosphorus, organic matter and total nitrogen
in soil. The value of total nitrogen was
Statistically, the nutrients content variation 0.110.01% and
between Pangasius pond sediment and plot
virgin soil were analyzed using independent

Proximate composition of para- grass

Table 2. Soil chemistry (Mean SD) of plot soil and Pangasius pond sediment
Soil pH Organic Total Available Exchangeable Available
Parameters Carbon (%) Nitrogen (%) Phosphorous Potassium Sulpher
(ppm) (ppm) (ppm) (%)
Pangasius 6.860.04 3.150.04 0.300.01 115.60.6 106.84.3 86.060.66
Virgin soil 6.80.1 1.310.1 0.110.01 25.613.0 59.612.5 19.38.6

Additional 00.00 1.84 0.19 90.0 47.2 66.8

Statistical p>0.05 p<0.05 p<0.05 p<0.05 p<0.05 p<0.05

Table 3. Composition of para-grass at first sampling, and rice straw

Mean SD
% % % % % %
Ingredients Treatments
Moisture Crude lipid Crude Ash Crude fibre Carbohydrate
T1 62.03.20 2.650.11 3.300.28 4.730.44 1.520.02 25.72.60
T2 59.465.62 2.480.25 3.460.51 4.880.53 1.500.05 28.225.06
T3 62.060.60 2.570.11 3.390.17 4.890.23 1.550.04 25.550.88
Para-grass T4 62.060.87 2.450.15 3.220.06 4.720.32 1.490.04 26.070.60
T5 64.303.44 2.720.32 3.340.36 4.790.57 1.370.02 23.404.10
T6 57.192.18 2.490.41 3.760.41 4.1960.43 1.460.04 30.913.21
Rice straw 20.40 2.23 3.69 6.63 1.72 65.32

0.300.01% in virgin plot soil and Pangasius closed to the findings of virgin soil of the
pond sediment, respectively. The finding of present study but very less than Pangasius
present study was higher than the study of pond sediment (Table 2). This result also
Karim (2009), which denoted the ranges of indicates that the available phosphorus
total nitrogen from 0.043 to 0.096%. Therefore, increased in plot soil with application of
it can be said that Pangasius pond sediment soil Pangasius pond sediment. The value of
were more productive than the virgin plot soil exchangeable potassium was 59.612.5 ppm
because the mean value of total nitrogen and 106.84.31 ppm in plot soil and Pangasius
(0.300.01) was prominent than virgin plot soil pond sediment, respectively. The value was
(0.110.01). It also indicated that due to much higher than the value of the
addition of Pangasius pond sediment in plot soil, exchangeable potassium content of sonatola
total nitrogen level (0.19%) was increased to a soil series. The finding of present study was
greater extent. similar with level of different soil series of
Bangladesh, in which the exchangeable
Phosphorus is generally considered the second potassium ranged from 39.1 to 132.94 ppm.
most limiting element for crop. It is one of the The exchangeable potassium increased with the
major constituents for successful production of addition of Pangasius pond sediment in plot soil.
upland crop in Bangladesh (Islam, 1983). In the The available sulphur content was 19.38.6 in
normal field virgin plot soil and 86.060.66 in Pangasius
pond sediment. This result was higher than
soil, available phosphorus status was found 7- mean value (16.80 ppm) of available sulphur
20 ppm by Chowdury (1992), which was very found in different soil series of Bangladesh.

Alam et al. (2015) Bang. J. Anim. Sci. 44(2): 113- 119

Table 4. Composition of para-grass at second sampling

Ingredients Treatments Mean SD

% % % % % %
Moisture Crude Crude Ash Crude fibre Carbohydrate
lipid protein
Para-grass T1 60.490.19 4.660.69 3.820.19 5.690.36 1.620.04) 23.720.03
T2 60.671.83 4.980.89 4.430.31 5.450.25 1.500.13 22.772.50
T3 61.570.67 4.750.30 4.510.04 5.280.46 1.610.13 22.281.06
T4 56.920.46 4.620.59 4.570.20 5.510.30 1.540.10 26.760.40
T5 60.101.50 4.590.26 4.620.23 5.990.44 1.450.14 23.252.03
T6 60.250.83 5.221.13 5.480.15 5.910.79 1.820.03 21.322.05

Nutrient contents of para-grass para-grass and found crude protein was

relatively high (14.58%) in the leaves while in
Nutrient content of para-grass is a very
the stem was law (4.49%). Mohan et al. (1977)
important factor to be consider as a cattle feed.
determined the protein content at 4.8%. By
The moisture ash, protein, lipid, fibre,
comparing, it can be argued that the present
carbohydrate content of cattle feed are most
finding has harmony with relevant references.
important nutrients for their proper growth,
In the present study, the crude protein of rice
maintenance and reproduction.
straw is 3.69% (Table 3) which is almost similar
to Bhuian (2002), as reported at 4.12%. This
Generally plant body contains 60 to 70%
result also shows that, crude protein is
moisture. In the present study, it varied from
relatively high in para-grass than rice straw.
56.92% to 61.56% and 56.92% to 61.57% of
different treatments of first and second
Crude lipid is considerably high in second
sampling of para-grass, respectively (Table 3
sampling than first sampling of para-grass.
and Table 4). This finding is relevant to the
Crude lipid of first sampling varies from 2.44 to
general study. On the other hand, it was found
2.72% with mean value 2.560.38% and that
that rice straw contains 20.40% of moisture
of second sampling varied from 4.66 to 5.22%
(Table 3). In the experiment, ash content of
with mean value 4.941.17% (Table 3 and
first sampling of para-grass ranged from 4.19
Table 4). This might be due to the
to 4.89% with mean value of 4.700.67%, and
environmental factors which stimulated para-
that of second sampling ranged from 5.28 to
grass to uptake more nutrients from the soil to
5.99% with mean value of 5.470.99% (Table
accumulate lipid. Mohan et al. (1977)
3 and Table 4). Binh (1993) analyzed the plant
determined the lipid content of green fodders at
part of para-grass and found 5.9% ash content.
1.73%. Gill et al. (1979) measured the nutritive
Abou-ashour (1984) found that ash content of
value of fodder at the stages of pre-bloom;
Napier grass ranged from 9.38 to 11.26%.
bloom, mature and stover containing lipid of
Bhuian (2002) found 12.29% ash content of
2.1, 1.6, 1.6 and 1.4%, respectively. In the
rice straw and the current research finding is
study, it was found 2.23% crude lipid of rice
6.63% (Table 3), which is relatively lower than
straw (Table 3) which is relatively lower than
Bhuian (2002).
that of para-grass. Bhuian (2002) stated that,
rice straw contain 2.17% crude lipid. Feeding
Protein is the most important parameter of
dairy cattle with higher lipid containing fodder
nutritional quality of fodders. It varied from
grass has impacts on enhancing milk
3.22 to 3.76% with mean value of
3.410.54%, and 3.82 to 5.48% with mean
value of 4.430.41% in first and second
sampling of para-grass, respectively (Table and
Table 4). Binh (1993) analyzed the plant part of

Proximate composition of para- grass

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