The efficiency and condition of oysters and macroalgae used as biological filters of shrimp pond effluent
Current shrimp pond management practices generally result in elevated concentrations of nutrients, suspended solids, bacteria and phytoplankton compared with the influent water. Concerns about adverse environmental impacts caused by discharging pond effluent directly into adjacent waterways have prompted the search for cost-effective methods of effluent treatment. One potential method of effluent treatment is the use of ponds or raceways stocked with plants or animals that act as natural biofilters by removing waste nutrients. In addition to improving effluent water quality prior to discharge, the use of natural biofilters provides a method for capturing otherwise wasted nutrients. This study examined the potential of the native oyster, Saccostrea commercialis (Iredale and Roughley) and macroalgae, Gracilaria edulis (Gmelin) Silva to improve effluent water quality from a commercial Penaeus japonicus (Bate) shrimp farm, A system of raceways was constructed to permit recirculation of the effluent through the oysters to maximize the filtration of bacteria, phytoplankton and total suspended solids. A series of experiments was conducted to test the ability of oysters and macroalgae to improve effluent water quality in a flow-through system compared with a recirculating system. In the flow-through system, oysters reduced the concentration of bacteria to 35% of the initial concentration, chlorophyll a to 39%, total particulates (2.28-35.2 mum) to 29%, total nitrogen to 66% and total phosphorus to 56%. Under the recirculating flow regime, the ability of the oysters to improve water quality was significantly enhanced. After four circuits, total bacterial numbers were reduced to 12%, chlorophyll a to 4%, and total suspended solids to 16%. Efforts to increase biofiltration by adding additional layers of oyster trays and macroalgae-filled mesh bags resulted in fouling of the lower layers causing the death of oysters and senescence of macroalgae. Supplementary laboratory experiments were designed to examine the effects of high effluent concentrations of suspended particulates on the growth and condition of oysters and macroalgae. The results demonstrated that high concentrations of particulates inhibited growth and reduced the condition of oysters and macroalgae. Allowing the effluent to settle before biofiltration improved growth and reduced signs of stress in the oysters and macroalgae. A settling time of 6 h reduced particulates to a level that prevented fouling of the oysters and macroalgae.
Keywords: biofiltration, macroalgae, oysters, particulates, fouling, condition, , efficiency, shrimp effluent, marine fishpond effluents, ulva-lactuca biofilters, water-quality, , fluorescence measurements, photosynthetic oxygen, crassostrea-gigas, , filtration-rate, nitrogen-source, ammonium uptake, pacific oyster