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Importance of Plankton in Fish Culture Pond

Importance of Plankton in Fish Culture Pond

Characteristics of Plankton as Fish Food

  • It has easy availability.
  • It is easy to handle.
  • It performs as a feed.
  • Its production cost to serve as feed is low and the rate of capital return is viable.
  • It has particle size of 10-500μm dia.
  • It stays suspended in the water column for a considerable period (suspendability / water stability).
  • It does not pollute the water system.
  • It possesses attractability as a feed for the fish.
  • It is acceptable, palatable and possesses a low BOD, reducing any chance of rapid microbial degradation.
  • It has an appreciable shelf life.
  • It is easy for culture / rapid propagation.                                                                                   

Other Roles of Plankton:

  • Plankton regulates transparency and dissolved oxygen thereby regulating sun’s ray penetration and temperature and decreasing accumulation of CO2, NH3 NO2, H2S etc. in water.
  • Pond with a definite phytoplankton is observed to keep prawns calm and reportedly minimize cannibalism. They consume phytoplankton and thereby regulate NH4+ and tie up with heavy metals.

The proximate composition and nutritional details of some natural food groups of the plankton species

Microalgae

  • The nutritional status depends on the cell size, digestibility, production of toxic compounds and biochemical composition.
  • Although marked differences are exhibited, the range for the level of protein, lipid and carbohydrate are 12.0-35.0%, 7.2-23.0% and 4.6-23.0%, respectively on dry weight basis.
  • Microalgae could be considered as a rich source of highly unsaturated fatty acids (HUFA) and ascorbic acid (0.11-1.62% dry wt).

Cladocerans

  • It has low essential fatty acid contents, particularly HUFA.
  • Daphnia contains broad spectra of digestive enzymes, such as, proteinases, peptidases, amylases, lipases and even celluloses, which ultimately facilitate extrinsic digestion in the predator fish.

Copepods

  • These contain 44-52% protein and a good amino acid profile with the exception of methionine and histidine.
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