Submitted to: Aquaculture
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: February 28, 1996
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Exceeding tolerance levels of ammonia and other water quality parameters and thereby increasing the risk of killing fish is one limiting factor in the production of channel catfish. Fertilizer to produce zooplankton in culture ponds is a major expense in the baitfish industry. A polyculture system in which the fertile water from a catfish pond is used to embellish zooplankton growth in a baitfish pond will reduce the risk of catfish deat and the expense in raising minnows. By connecting the minnow and catfish ponds with a water circulation system, the cost of water to operate this system is reduced to that of the initial filling of the ponds. This experiment tested the feasibility of this two-pond polyculture system and found that indeed the production of catfish was enhanced and the cost of raising the minnows reduced.
Technical Abstract: Production of channel catfish and fathead minnows was compared in three culture methods: two-pond polyculture (water interchanged between ponds containing catfish and those containing minnows), single-pond monoculture, and circulated-water monoculture. Improvement in catfish production and water quality appeared related to water movement in the circulated treatment and water movement and dilution in the polyculture treatment. Fathead minnow production in the polyculture treatment was comparable to low intensity commercial culture. High clay turbidity received from the catfish ponds may have depressed primary production levels of plankton standing crops, and fish survival and growth in the fathead minnow polyculture treatment below that in the other two treatments.