Nitrogen budget and fluxes in Colossoma macropomum ponds

R.A. Jiménez Montealegre, Y. Avnimelech, J.A.J. Verreth, M.C.J. Verdegem

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14 Citations (Scopus)


This study quantified the accumulation of nitrogen (N) in the water column, sediments, fish and seepage water during a production cycle of Colossoma macropomum. By combining estimates of the deposition rates of uneaten feed, faeces and dead phytoplankton with measurements of N accumulation in the sediment, the rate of decomposition of organic matter in the sediment was estimated. The first-order rate constant for organic matter decomposition was 0.237±0.019 day1. Total N recovery during the first weeks of the experiment was about 65%. Later, the N recovery was close to 100%. The cumulative recovery at the end of the experiment was almost 100%, meaning that the N budget in the system studied can be fully explained without consideration of N volatilization, due to either denitrification or ammonia volatilization. In the beginning of the growth cycle, the major flux of N was sedimentation. Intensive microbial degradation process occurred about 34 weeks later, leading to a release of inorganic N and an approach towards a steady state as to the accumulation of organic N. Feed was irregularly applied during the experiment but fish growth was constant, showing that the fish utilized detrital or planktonic feed during periods of low feeding. Nitrogen accumulated in the pond during periods of excessive feeding and was utilized by the fish during periods of low feeding. This cycling should be further studied and may be an important pond management technique
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8-15
JournalAquaculture Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2005


  • intensive fish ponds
  • catfish ponds
  • water
  • carbon


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