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Effects of zooplankton refuge on the growth of tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) and plankton dynamics in pond
- Sun, Weiming, Dong, Shuanglin, Zhao, Xidan, Jie, Zilin, Zhang, Hanwen, Zhang, Lechun
- Aquaculture international 2010 v.18 no.4 pp. 647-655
- Copepoda, Oreochromis niloticus, Rotifera, biomass, field experimentation, fish, phytoplankton, polyethylene, ponds, stocking rate, weight gain, zooplankton
- Effects of zooplankton refuge on the growth of tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) and plankton dynamics in pond were assessed by using 12 land-based experimental enclosures (7 m× 4 m) in a saline-alkaline pond. There were 4 treatments resulting from a combination of 2 stocking densities of tilapia (5 and 10 kg per enclosure) and 2 enclosure types (refuge and nonrefuge). Each treatment had three replicates. In the enclosures with refuge, all fish were excluded from a water column ¼ of the enclosure's size with a polyethylene net (1.5 cm mesh size). Our field experiment showed that the individual gain in weight of tilapia increased 6.4 times with refuge treatment at the stocking density of 5 kg per enclosure than that in nonrefuge treatment. But at the stocking density of 10 kg per enclosure, the individual fish weight in all enclosures decreased due to the excessive density of fish stocking. Our results also showed that the refuge significantly increased the rotifer biomass and phytoplankton diversity and decreased the phytoplankton biomass (P < 0.05), but the copepod biomass was not affected by the refuge.