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Initial Influence of Fertilizer Nitrogen Types on Water Quality

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Using different sources of nitrogen as fertilizers in nursery ponds may affect water quality and plankton responses. We evaluated water quality variables and plankton population responses when using different nitrogen sources for cat¢sh nursery pond fertilization. We compared calcium nitrate (12% N), sodium nitrite (20% N), ammonium chloride (26% N), ammonium nitrate (34%N) and urea (45% N) in 190-L microcosms at equimolar nitrogen application rates. Sodium nitritefertilized microcosms had higher nitrite and nitrate levels during the first week; no other differences in the water quality were detected among fertilizer types (P40.05). No differences in green algae, diatoms or cyanobacteria were detected among treatments; desirable zooplankton for cat¢sh culture was increased in ureafertilized microcosms. Based on these results, any form of nitrogen used for pond fertilization should perform similarly without causing substantial water quality deterioration. Ammonium nitrate and urea contain a higher percentage of nitrogen, requiring less volume to achieve dosing levels. If both urea and ammonium nitrate are available,we recommend using the one with the least cost per unit of nitrogen. If both types of fertilizer have an equal cost per unit of nitrogen, we recommend using urea because of the potential advantage of increasing desirable zooplankton concentrations. Keywords: nitrogen fertilizer, channel cat¢sh fry, plankton, water quality
Charles C. Mischke , Paul V. Zimba
USDA Scientist Submission
Aquaculture research 2010 v.41 no.7
Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Journal Articles, USDA Authors, Peer-Reviewed
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