AEI 9:281-291 (2017)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/aei00228

Optimal mud to sand ratios in sediment for sea cucumber aquaculture as revealed by carbon stable isotopes

Yi-Ran Hou1, Yong-Jun Sun2, Qin-Feng Gao1,*, Shuang-Lin Dong1, Bin Wen3, Hai-Bo Yu

1Key Laboratory of Mariculture, Ministry of Education, Ocean University of China, Qingdao, Shandong Province 266003, PR China
2Research Office, Homey Group Co., Ltd., Rongcheng 264306, PR China
3College of Fisheries and Life Science, Shanghai Ocean University, Shanghai 201306, PR China
4College of Animal Science and Technology, Northwest A & F University, Yangling, Shanxi Province 712100, PR China
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Sediment, which is central as a sink for organic material and nutrient cycling, provides habitat for feeding, resting, and nesting of sea cucumbers in aquaculture systems. We conducted a 2 mo experiment to investigate the optimal sea mud to sand ratios in sediment for sea cucumber Apostichopus japonicus (Selenka, 1867) aquaculture. Sea mud (<0.08 mm) and sand (0.08-0.5 mm) were used to prepare 5 different sediment formulations with different sea mud:sand ratios: 3:1, 1:1, 1:3, 1:0, and 0:1. Sea cucumbers were cultured in 20 fiberglass tanks (50 l) with 5 cm thick sediment spread on the bottom. Results showed that the specific growth rate of sea cucumbers and the contribution of the seaweed Sargassum muticum to food uptake by sea cucumber in the 3:1 ratio group were significantly higher than in the 1:0, 0:1, and 1:3 ratio groups, while no significant differences were observed between the 3:1 and 1:1 ratio groups. Furthermore, the total nitrogen, total organic carbon, and ammonium contents of the 1:1 and 3:1 ratio groups significantly decreased with time. These findings suggest that sea mud:sand ratios of 1:1 and 3:1 are optimal in sediment for A. japonicus aquaculture and effectively promote growth and bioremediation.


KEY WORDS: Apostichopus japonicus · Sediment · Sea cucumber aquaculture · Carbon stable isotope


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Cite this article as: Hou YR, Sun YJ, Gao QF, Dong SL, Wen B, Yu HB (2017) Optimal mud to sand ratios in sediment for sea cucumber aquaculture as revealed by carbon stable isotopes. Aquacult Environ Interact 9:281-291. https://doi.org/10.3354/aei00228

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