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Aquaculture Environment Interactions

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AEI 16:91-102 (2024)  -  DOI:

Consumption of periphyton and bioseston by Mozambique tilapia in aqua dams with three different substrates

Khathutshelo C. Hlongwane*, Ngonidzashe A. G. Moyo, Mmaditshaba M. Rapatsa-Malatji

Aquaculture Research Unit, School of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Science and Agriculture, University of Limpopo (Turfloop Campus), Private Bag X1106, Sovenga 0727, South Africa
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Periphyton-based aquaculture can reduce feed input costs. Here we characterised the periphyton and bioseston formation in aqua dams stocked with net, plastic, and stone substrates. The consumption of periphyton and bioseston from the net substrate by Mozambique tilapia Oreochromis mossambicus fingerlings was evaluated. Three experiments were conducted. In the first experiment, net, stone, and plastic were deployed in triplicates in aqua dams. The net substrate registered the highest (7.74 ± 1.45 g m-2, ±SE) periphyton biomass. Network analysis showed connectedness between the substrates. The degree centrality showed that the net substrate had the highest score, indicating that there were more groups of species with similar functions growing on the net substrate. The net substrate was subsequently used in the second experiment to determine the consumption of periphyton and bioseston by tilapia fingerlings in aqua dams. Three treatments were assigned: N100 (fish fed 100% commercial diet); N50 (fish fed 50% commercial diet); and N33 (fish fed 33% commercial diet). Growth performance did not differ significantly among the treatments, although N50 showed a trend for a higher growth. This suggests that periphyton may be capable of nutritionally compensating for the partial withdrawal of commercial feed. A third experiment was conducted in fibreglass tanks to determine the preference of tilapia between periphyton and bioseston. The prominent values showed that tilapia preferred to feed on bioseston. The best growth performance was achieved in a periphyton-based aquaculture system, and deployment of the net substrate is recommended in tilapia ponds.

KEY WORDS: Periphyton consumption · Tilapia growth · Natural food · Diversity · Aquaculture · Bioseston · Oreochromis mossambicus

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Cite this article as: Hlongwane KC, Moyo NAG, Rapatsa-Malatji MM (2024) Consumption of periphyton and bioseston by Mozambique tilapia in aqua dams with three different substrates. Aquacult Environ Interact 16:91-102.

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