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A study on the optimal tank design and feed type to the growth of marble goby (Oxyeleotris marmorata Bleeker) and reduction of waste in a recirculating aquaponic system

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Marble goby (Oxyeleotris marmorata Bleeker), a profitable aquaculture species, was cultured in partitioned tanks treated with a water recirculating aquaponic system (RAS). The influence of tank design (with partitions and PVC tubes of different
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  This article was downloaded by: [University of Cambridge]On: 20 March 2014, At: 22:08Publisher: Taylor & FrancisInforma Ltd Registered in England and Wales Registered Number: 1072954 Registered office: Mortimer House,37-41 Mortimer Street, London W1T 3JH, UK Desalination and Water Treatment Publication details, including instructions for authors and subscription information:http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/tdwt20 A study on the optimal tank design and feed type tothe growth of marble goby (Oxyeleotris marmorataBleeker) and reduction of waste in a recirculatingaquaponic system Su Shiung Lam a , Nyuk Ling Ma b , Ahmad Jusoh a  & Mohd Azmi Ambak ca  Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Engineering Science, Universiti MalaysiaTerengganu, 21030 Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu, Malaysia, Tel. +60 9 6683844, Fax: +60 96683326 b  Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Biological Science, Universiti MalaysiaTerengganu, 21030 Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu, Malaysia. c  Institute of Tropical Aquaculture, Universiti Malaysia Terengganu, 21030 Kuala Terengganu,Terengganu, Malaysia.Published online: 06 Aug 2013. To cite this article:  Su Shiung Lam, Nyuk Ling Ma, Ahmad Jusoh & Mohd Azmi Ambak (2014) A study on the optimal tankdesign and feed type to the growth of marble goby (Oxyeleotris marmorata Bleeker) and reduction of waste in a recirculatingaquaponic system, Desalination and Water Treatment, 52:4-6, 1044-1053, DOI: 10.1080/19443994.2013.826854 To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/19443994.2013.826854 PLEASE SCROLL DOWN FOR ARTICLETaylor & Francis makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of all the information (the “Content”) containedin the publications on our platform. However, Taylor & Francis, our agents, and our licensors make norepresentations or warranties whatsoever as to the accuracy, completeness, or suitability for any purpose of theContent. Any opinions and views expressed in this publication are the opinions and views of the authors, andare not the views of or endorsed by Taylor & Francis. 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Terms & Conditions of access and use can be found at http://www.tandfonline.com/page/terms-and-conditions  A study on the optimal tank design and feed type to the growth of marble goby ( Oxyeleotris marmorata  Bleeker) and reduction of wastein a recirculating aquaponic system Su Shiung Lam a, *, Nyuk Ling Ma  b , Ahmad Jusoh a , Mohd Azmi Ambak c a  Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Engineering Science, Universiti Malaysia Terengganu, 21030Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu, MalaysiaTel. +60 9 6683844; Fax: +60 9 6683326; email: lam@umt.edu.my b  Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Biological Science, Universiti Malaysia Terengganu, 21030Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu, Malaysia c  Institute of Tropical Aquaculture, Universiti Malaysia Terengganu, 21030 Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu, Malaysia Received 18 February 2013; Accepted 6 May 2013 ABSTRACT Marble goby ( Oxyeleotris marmorata  Bleeker), a profitable aquaculture species, was cultured inpartitioned tanks treated with a water recirculating aquaponic system (RAS). The influence of tank design (with partitions and PVC tubes of different sizes) and feed type (live food andminced fish) on the fish growth and waste production was investigated. The fish cultured in big partitions with PVC tubes showed higher growth (2.5g/d) and feed intake (468g/d) thanother tank designs (growth:  6 2.2g/d; feed intake:  6 433g/d). The growth of fish fed with livetilapia ( Oreochromis niloticus ) (2.5g/d) was significantly higher than that of fish fed with livecarp ( Cyprinus carpio ) (1.9g/d) and minced scads ( Decapterus russellii ) (1.6g/d). Fish fed withminced scads showed the highest waste production (ammonia nitrogen (TAN): 262mg/kgd;5-d biochemical oxygen demand (BOD 5 ): 434mg DO/kgd; total suspended solid (TSS): 2.1g/kgd) compared to those fed with live food (tilapia and carp) (TAN:  6 208mg/kgd; BOD 5 : 6 344mg DO/kgd; TSS: 6 1.9g/kgd). Live food, particularly tilapia, was found to be the pref-erential diet for marble goby as indicated by the highest fish growth (2.5g/d) and feed utiliza-tion (feed conversion efficiency (FCE): 0.46), and the lowest waste production (TAN: 140mg/kgd; BOD 5 : 232mg DO/kgd; TSS: 1.4g/kgd) compared to that of fish fed with minced fish(growth:  6 1.6g/d; FCE:  6 0.31; TAN: P 198mg/kgd; BOD 5 : P 328mg DO/kgd; TSS: P 1.9g/kgd). Our results also indicate that the use of culture tank with big partitions and PVC tubescoupled with a RAS show exceptional promise as a means to the reduction of waste by mar- ble goby fed with live tilapia (TAN:  6 140mg/kgd; BOD 5 :  6 232mg DO/kgd; TSS:  6 1.8g/kgd) and in turn providing a good water quality environment for the culture of the fish. Keywords:  Aquaculture; Waste; Aquaponic; Tank design; Feed*Corresponding author. Presented at the Fifth Annual International Conference on “Challenges in Environmental Science & Engineering — CESE 2012” Melbourne, Australia, 9–13 September 2012 1944-3994/1944-3986    2013 Balaban Desalination Publications. All rights reserved. Desalination and Water Treatment  www.deswater.com doi: 10.1080/19443994.2013.826854 52 (2014) 1044–1053 January    D  o  w  n   l  o  a   d  e   d   b  y   [   U  n   i  v  e  r  s   i   t  y  o   f   C  a  m   b  r   i   d  g  e   ]  a   t   2   2  :   0   8   2   0   M  a  r  c   h   2   0   1   4  1. Introduction Marble goby ( Oxyeleotris marmorata  Bleeker),commonly known to the Southeast Asians as “Ketutu”or “Soon Hock”, is a good eating freshwater fish. Itcommands a high price with its market value inMalaysia ranging from a wholesale price of RM60/kgto RM86/kg [1–3]. Owing to its high market value, itis regarded as a potential profitable aquaculture spe-cies in Malaysia, and vigorous efforts have been madeto perfect the techniques for the culture of this fish.Marble goby is conventionally cultured in cages inreservoirs, lakes, and rivers, and also in ponds inseveral Southeast Asian countries such as Malaysia,Thailand, and Vietnam [2–4].Despite the use of various conventional methodsto culture the fish, there are still problems exist atpresent in the conventional culture of marble goby[5,6]. Some initial attempts to culture the fish inearthen ponds and cages in Thailand and Vietnamfailed, because of its slow growth during juvenilestage, high mortality rate, peculiar feeding behavior,and lack of formulated feeds [7–9]. Furthermore, theinherent cannibalistic and territorial behaviors of thefish further reduce its production in cage and pondculture. These problems are thought to be related tothe poor water quality and lack of appropriate controlpresent in the conventional culture of marble goby. Asa result, the fish is highly stressed and becomes easilydisease-infected [5], leading to slow growth andincreased mortality of the fish. It is thus important tofind an alternate culture technique to rectify thesedeficiencies in order to ensure better control of theculture method as well as the production of the fish.Recirculating aquaponic system (RAS) can poten-tially be a good alternative solution to fish culture asit ensures a good controlled culture conditions by pro-viding a better control of the water quality and pre-vention of fish disease [10,11]. These can potentiallylead to higher survival and faster growth of the fishand thus enhancing the production of this fish [12].RAS also allows for intensive culture with reduced orlimited waste discharge, thereby reducing the use of land and water resources and also minimizingadverse environmental impacts [13–15].Owing to the tremendous market demand for mar- ble goby and the limitations and poor fish yieldshown by conventional culture methods, it wasthought useful to investigate the possible developmentof a water RAS for efficient control of water qualityand improved fish production from the culture of thefish. The distinct advantages shown by RAS mayovercome the poor growth and disease problemshown by conventional cage and pond culturesystems and lead to the potential for the greaterproduction of the fish.So far, limited information is available on the char-acteristics of the culture of marble goby by RAS. Stud-ies on the application of RAS have been reported inthe culture of other species, such as seabass [16],African catfish [12], and carp [17]; however, no similarstudies have been reported on marble goby. Thisstudy investigates the influence of tank design (withpartitions and PVC tubes of different sizes) and feedtype (live food and minced fish) on the growth andwaste production by the fish cultured in a RAS, witha focus on the ammonia nitrogen (TAN), total nitro-gen (TN), 5-d biochemical oxygen demand (BOD 5 ),and total suspended solid (TSS) generated by the fish.The fish were individually cultured in partitionedtank with PVC tubes in order to evaluate the feasibil-ity of this approach in overcoming their cannibalisticand territorial behaviors. Live food was selected forthis study due to its ease of acquisition, and the factthat marble goby is a passive carnivorous fish andthere is virtually no suitable artificial feed for the fish.These evaluations are important to assess the technicalfeasibility of the tank design, the diets, and the RASas an alternative method for the culture of the fish. 2. Experimental section 2.1. Fish and acclimation Marble goby with a body weight of approximately100g was obtained from various local sources. Beforeexperiments, the fishes were acclimated individuallyin 195L fiberglass rectangular holding tanks suppliedwith a continuous flow of well-aerated fresh water(water temperature: 27.5±0.5˚C; pH: 7.5±0.5; dis-solved oxygen (DO) >6mg/L). The water was passedthrough a UV disinfection unit before being suppliedto the holding tanks in order to ensure the water isdisease free. During acclimation, the fish were fed tosatiation once a day with live tilapia ( Oreochromisniloticus ). 2.2. Experimental design of RAS The RAS developed and used for this investigationis shown in Fig. 1. It consists of a fish culture tank, afilter floss unit, a degassing unit, a biofilter unit, ahydroponic unit, a denitrification unit, and a reservoirsump. Glass aquaria and fiberglass rectangular tankwere used for the culture of marble goby. Air stonesconnected to an air blower were diffusely placed intothe culture tank in order to maintain sufficient oxygen S.S. Lam et al. / Desalination and Water Treatment 52 (2014) 1044–1053  1045    D  o  w  n   l  o  a   d  e   d   b  y   [   U  n   i  v  e  r  s   i   t  y  o   f   C  a  m   b  r   i   d  g  e   ]  a   t   2   2  :   0   8   2   0   M  a  r  c   h   2   0   1   4  supply to the fish. Effluent from the fish culture tanksis first treated by a filter unit, which is filled with fil-ter floss or filter mats of different thicknesses for solidremoval. Then, a degassing unit filled with air stonesconnected to an air blower is used to vent any unde-sired gases (e.g., H 2 S) produced in the effluent fromthe filter unit. Next, the effluent is treated by a trick-ling biofiltration unit installed with bioballs incubatedwith nitrifying bacteria, which removes the ammoniaexcreted by the fish by oxidizing the ammonia tonitrate by nitrification. The effluent then flowsthrough an aerated hydroponic trough (0.5m 2 area,0.6m height) grown with hydroponic plant (waterspinach,  Ipomoea aquatica ) where nitrate is absorbedand recovered by the plant as nutrient. Water spinachwas planted on polystyrene sheets that floated alongthe hydroponic trough; the polystyrene sheet sup-ported the plants at the water surface with roots sus-pended in the culture water, providing good exposureof the roots to the culture water while preventingundesired clogging. This is followed by the use of awell-sealed denitrification unit incubated with denitri-fying bacteria in order to convert the remainingnitrate in the effluent to nitrogen gas under anaerobiccondition. Finally, the effluent is channeled into a res-ervoir sump filled with crushed coral, which serves asa buffering substrate to maintain a pH of 7.5±0.5 inthe RAS system. The treated water is then returned tothe fish culture tank through the use of a pump. PVCpipelines were used to circulate water between theculture tank and the RAS units. Water exchange wastimed to ensure that the maximum level of TAN forfish culture (3mg TAN/L) was not exceeded [18]. 2.3. Experimental details on the influence of tank designand feed type2.3.1. Design of culture tank Five designs of culture tank were set up andtested, namely:(1)  Big-P — three 195L glass aquaria culture tankswith each culture tank containing 8 big spaceplastic partitions, amounting to a total of 24partitions (Fig. 2).(2)  Small-P — three 195L fiberglass rectangularculture tanks with each culture tank containing12 narrow space net partitions, amounting to atotal of 36 partitions (Fig. 3).(3)  Non-P — three 195L fiberglass rectangularculture tanks without partition; tank dimension: Fig. 2. Schematic layout of the glass aquaria culture tankand the big space plastic partitions.Fig. 1. Schematic layout of water RAS.1046  S.S. Lam et al. / Desalination and Water Treatment 52 (2014) 1044–1053    D  o  w  n   l  o  a   d  e   d   b  y   [   U  n   i  v  e  r  s   i   t  y  o   f   C  a  m   b  r   i   d  g  e   ]  a   t   2   2  :   0   8   2   0   M  a  r  c   h   2   0   1   4  length=100cm, width=65cm, height of water=30cm, volume=195L of water.(4)  Big-P tubes — three 195L glass aquaria culturetanks with each culture tank containing 8 bigspace plastic partitions and 8 PVC tubes(50mm diameter), amounting to a total of 24partitions with PVC tubes; the dimension andlayout of the glass aquaria culture tank and the big space plastic partitions is similar to thatused in Big-P (Fig. 2), except with the additionof PVC tubes into the partitions as illustrated inFig. 4.(5)  Non-P tubes — three 195L fiberglass rectangularculture tanks without partition but with 8 PVCtubes (50mm diameter) in each culture tank;tank dimension: length=100cm, width=65cm,height of water=30cm, volume=195L of water. 2.3.2. Type of feed Three types of feed were selected for this study,namely:D1: Live tilapia ( Oreochromis niloticus ); size perfish: 3±1cm in total length, weight: 4±1gD2: Live common carp ( Cyprinus carpio ); size perfish: 3±1cm in total length, weight: 4±1gD3: Minced scads ( Decapterus russellii ); size perslice: thumb-sized in 4±1gThe selected feeds were analyzed for crude pro-tein, crude fat, ash, and fiber content according toAOAC [19], and these were presented in Table 1. Thelive feed (tilapia and carp) was disinfected throughUV and pulsed-UV procedures in order to eliminateany attached pathogens before being fed to the marblegoby, ensuring that the live feed is disease free. 2.3.3. Experimental procedure The experiment was conducted in culture tankstreated by RAS (see Section 2.2) with the water tem-perature maintained at 27.5±0.5˚C, pH controlled at7.5±0.5, and the level of DO monitored at >6mg/L.The experimental culture tanks were subjected to nat-ural 24h light/dark cycle (i.e., 12h of light photope-riod/12h of dark photoperiod).The first variable to be studied was the tankdesign. Hundred and twenty pieces of marble goby(100±5g) were placed in 15 culture tanks of differentdesigns (i.e., Big-P, Small-P, Non-P, Big-P tubes,Non-P tubes; see Section 2.3.1), with 3 culture tanksand 24 fishes being allocated for each tank design, Fig. 4. Partitioned culture tanks with PVC tubes. Dimension of 195-L blue fiberglass rectangular culture tank:Length = 100 cm; Width = 65 cm; Height of water = 30 cm; Volume = 195 L of waterDimension of narrow space green net partition:Length = 25 cm; Width =8 cm; Height of water = 18 cm; Volume = 3.6 L of water Fig. 3. Schematic layout (right) and photo (left) of the fiberglass rectangular culture tank with the narrow space netpartitions. S.S. Lam et al. / Desalination and Water Treatment 52 (2014) 1044–1053  1047    D  o  w  n   l  o  a   d  e   d   b  y   [   U  n   i  v  e  r  s   i   t  y  o   f   C  a  m   b  r   i   d  g  e   ]  a   t   2   2  :   0   8   2   0   M  a  r  c   h   2   0   1   4

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