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Aquaculture Pond Management Formulations

Aquaculture can be defined as the high-density production of fish, shellfish and plant forms in a controlled environment. Stocking rates for high-density aquaculture are typically thousand fold greater than wild environments. Modern fish culturists employ both open and close systems to raise fish. Open systems, such as, the raceways (used in hatcheries of both finfish and shellfish and also in eel, trout culture) are characterized by rapid turnover of water. Closed systems are commonplace in pond culture of carps, catfishes, tilapia, sea bass, prawn and shrimp among others. Closed aquaculture systems do not have rapid turnover of water, but do not have a high surface to volume ratio facilitating exchange of gases, nutrients, energy etc. with the surroundings. Such closed system, which is intensified, with high-density aquaculture forms the basis of concern.

The different forms of high density aquaculture is quite similar because they all obey the same set of physical and chemical principles. These principles compose the subject of water chemistry and its net result i.e. water quality. Poor water chemistry leads to deterioration of water quality, which causes stress to the organisms being raised. Efficient feed conversion, growth and marketability of the final product cannot occur unless the pond system is balanced or in harmony with nature. Therefore the overriding concern of the fish culturist is to maintain, ‘balance’ or ‘equilibrium conditions’ with respect to water chemistry and its natural consequence - good water quality.

Water quality for aquaculturists refers to the quality of water that enables successful propagation of the desired organisms. The required water quality is determined by the specific organisms to be cultured and has many components that are interwoven. Sometimes a component can be dealt with separately, but because of the complex interaction between components, the composition of the total array must be addressed. Growth and survival, which together determine the ultimate yield, are influenced by a number of ecological parameters and managerial practices. High stocking density of fish or crustaceans in ponds usually exacerbates problems with water quality and sediment deterioration.

Wastes generated by aquaculture activity (faeces and unconsumed feed) first settle in the bottom and as a consequence, organic waste and metabolites of degraded organic matter is accumulated in sediment and water. Such type of adverse pond conditions can be restored by applying Water Quality Enhancing Formulations


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