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An understanding of the ecology of a fish pond is essential for the achievement of steady and high fish production in ponds. For the ecologist, the fish pond is a small laboratory: easy to investigate and responding rapidly to manipulation. For the aquaculturist, the ecology shows the ways and means of interventions ensuring an increase of production. This book deals with the different aspects of natural production within a pond, referring it to African conditions: considering first the role of soil as source and sink of nutrients for the water, then nutrient cycling within water and the fate of fertilizers added to ponds, and finally the contribution of natural productivity to fish production. The important sum of information brought together in this volume is valuable for both aquaculturist and ecologist, who lack a handbook on the ecology of a fish pond. It will capture the interest of African aquaculturists and stimulate aquaculture research on natural production.
Part 1 Pond soil: importance of soil for the productivity of water; importance of the colloidal properties of a soil; importance of pH and redox potential properties; importance of calcium in soil; importance of nitrogen in the sediments; importance of phosphorus in sediments; importance of sulfur and iron; importance of organic matter and its decomposition in the sediments. Part 2 Water and productivity: importance of physical characteristics of water; importance of dissolved oxygen in ponds; importance of conductivity and alkaline ions; importance of alkalinity; hardness, pH and carbon dioxide; importance of liming; importance of nutrients for the production of natural feed; nitrogen and nitrogen compounds in water - salient points; nitrogen fertilizer application; phosphorus and phosphorus compounds in water; salient points; phosphorus fertilizer application; organic fertilizers, role and use; importance of silicon, sulfur and iron in water. Part 3 Productivity and fish production: natural productivity - what the concept covers; photosynthesis determinants and influence of light; phytoplankton biomass and primary productivity; importance of elimination of algae; phytoplankton life-strategies and behaviour; influence of nutrient concentrations; influence of zooplankton on the plankton community; the bacterial food loop - contribution to production; importance of fish on plankton production; fish production in ponds.