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Efficiency of aquatic macrophytes to treat Nile tilapia pond effluents

Keywords: Eichhornia crassipes , Pistia stratiotes , Salvinia molesta , aquaculture , nutrients

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The effluents from fish farming can increase the quantity of suspended solids and promote the enrichment of nitrogen and phosphorus in aquatic ecosystems. In this context, the aim of this work was to evaluate the efficiency of three species of floating aquatic macrophytes (Eichhornia crassipes, Pistia stratiotes and Salvinia molesta) to treat effluents from Nile tilapia culture ponds. The effluent originated from a 1,000-m2 pond stocked with 2,000 male Nile tilapia Oreochromis niloticus. The treatment systems consisted of 12 experimental tanks, three tanks for each macrophyte species, and three control tanks (without plants). Water samples were collected from the: (i) fish pond source water, (ii) effluent from fish pond and (iii) effluents from the treatment tanks. The following water variables were evaluated: turbidity, total and dissolved nitrogen, ammoniacal-N, nitrate-N, nitrite-N, total phosphorus and dissolved phosphorus. E. crassipes and P. stratiotes were more efficient in total phosphorus removal (82.0% and 83.3%, respectively) and total nitrogen removal (46.1% and 43.9%, respectively) than the S. molesta (72.1% total phosphorus and 42.7% total nitrogen) and the control (50.3% total phosphorus and 22.8% total nitrogen), indicating that the treated effluents may be reused in the aquaculture activity.


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