Effect of organic nitrogen and carbon mineralization on sediment organic matter accumulation in fish ponds

R. Jiménez-Montealegre, M.C.J. Verdegem, A.A. van Dam, J.A.J. Verreth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


In aquaculture, ponds with high loads of organic inputs, organic matter accumulates at the bottom over time. Uneaten feed, senescent phytoplankton and faeces are the principal sources of accumulated material, but quantifications are scarce. The sedimented organic matter develops into a flocculent layer in which different processes transform the material into inorganic forms. A better understanding of factors influencing organic matter accumulation/decomposition in the sediment is needed to better understand and manage the dynamics of nitrogen in fish ponds. In this study, the rate of mineralization of organic nitrogen and the nitrogen flux between the sediment and the water column were measured. Organic matter accumulation in fish ponds was quantified, and the data were used to construct, calibrate and validate a dynamic simulation model of organic matter deposition/decomposition in fish ponds. The accumulating material consisted of dead phytoplankton, fish faeces and uneaten feed. Through model calibration, the proportion of these materials in the total accumulated organic matter was determined. In the model, gross photosynthetic rate was estimated from an empirical relationship with feed input. After calibration, the model was validated using independent data. The model simulated well the concentrations of organic carbon and nitrogen in the sediments but it may be developed further, especially by considering the effects of resuspension
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)983-995
JournalAquaculture Research
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2005


  • water-quality
  • ammonia
  • budget
  • decomposition
  • consumption
  • management
  • excretion
  • culture
  • israel
  • algae


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