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Sustainability 2014, 6(2), 652-675; doi:10.3390/su6020652

Effects of Two Environmental Best Management Practices on Pond Water and Effluent Quality and Growth of Nile Tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus

1
Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 100 Cheatham Hall, Blacksburg, VA 24061, USA
2
Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 217 Hutchison Hall, Blacksburg, VA 24061, USA
3
Faculty of Renewable Natural Resources, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, University Post Office, Kumasi, Ghana
4
AquaFish Innovation Lab, Oregon State University, 3731 Southwest Jefferson Way, Corvallis, OR 97331, USA
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 2 December 2013 / Revised: 21 January 2014 / Accepted: 24 January 2014 / Published: 4 February 2014
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Abstract

The trajectory of aquaculture growth in sub-Saharan Africa has necessitated closer attention to the use of environmental best management practices (BMPs). Two BMPs in particular, water reuse and floating feeds, are being promoted for adoption by pond fish farmers in sub-Saharan Africa. In this study, we investigated: (1) the effect of water source and feed type on water quality; (2) the effect of water source and feed type on tilapia growth; and (3) the quality of potential effluents from ponds using different water source and feed types. The study was conducted in Ghana using on-farm experiments involving monitoring of water quality and growth of Nile tilapia Oreochromis niloticus for 160 days. Although considered low-intensity production systems, nutrients and solids in the study ponds exceeded levels expected in intensive culture ponds by wide margins, whereas BOD5 was within the range for semi-intensive ponds. Floating feed was associated with higher water quality, especially dissolved oxygen, and higher growth, but water source did not significantly affect growth. Water reuse appears to be a viable BMP for sustainable aquaculture in the region, but the use of floating feed as BMP will depend on the economic profitability of floating feed use.
Keywords: aquaculture; fish production; environmental assessment; water quality; water reuse; effluent; sub-Saharan Africa; Ghana; BMPs; floating feeds; tilapia aquaculture; fish production; environmental assessment; water quality; water reuse; effluent; sub-Saharan Africa; Ghana; BMPs; floating feeds; tilapia
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Frimpong, E.A.; Ansah, Y.B.; Amisah, S.; Adjei-Boateng, D.; Agbo, N.W.; Egna, H. Effects of Two Environmental Best Management Practices on Pond Water and Effluent Quality and Growth of Nile Tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus. Sustainability 2014, 6, 652-675.

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