Submitted to: American Fisheries Society Annual Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/10/2005
Publication Date: 9/13/2005
Citation: Ludwig, G.M., Hobbs, M.S., Perschbacher, P. 2005. Sodium bicarbonate, inorganic fertilizer and pH in sunshine bass fingerling culture ponds [abstract]. American Fisheries Society Annual Meeting. p. 1428. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: High pH levels in ponds are often the result of low buffering capacity and high photosynthesis rates. In sunshine bass fingerling production ponds high pH levels occur during the first phytoplankton bloom after ponds are filled and fertilized. That is when its optimal for stocking fry into ponds: at the beginning of a rapid increase in of rotifer concentration, the fry's first food. High pH levels cause stress and often low fingerling survival. Sodium bicarbonate, used by baitfish farmers reportedly reduces pH levels. Reducing the amount of inorganic fertilizer may also reduce pH and additionally reduce the mortality risk presented by high un-ionized ammonia. Ammonia is often a constituent of inorganic fertilizer and it becomes lethal under conditions of high pH. This experiment examined the effect of applying sodium bicarbonate to ponds fertilized with published recommendations for inorganic and organic fertilizer. It also examined the effect of eliminating the inorganic fertilizer. Results after two weeks showed that the sodium bicarbonate reduced pH slightly but not significantly. Eliminating inorganic fertilizers resulted in a significant reduction in the magnitude and duration of pH levels and un-ionized ammonia concentrations.