Theses and Dissertations

Title: Bottom organisms in fertilized and unfertilized fish ponds

Name: Howell, Henry H.

Degree: MS

Chair: Dr. Elmer A. Jones

Resides: FAA Library

University: Auburn

Location: Auburn, Alabama

Date: 1941

Pages: 69

Keywords: Bottom Organisms,Fertilized Ponds,Unfertilized Ponds.


1. Bottom samples were taken from June to November in a 1.5 acre fertilized fish pond and in a 1.8 acre unfertilized fish pond in hope that the data from these samples would furnish fish culturists additional information as to the relationship between production of fish, bottom organisms and plankton. 2. Two methods of sampling were used: the Peterson dredge method and the stove-pipe method. The latter method consistently gave a better quantitative sample than the former.3. The fertilized pond produced 382.9 pounds of fish per acre: the unfertilized pond produced 147.1 pounds per acre.4. The area of the fertilized pond was reduced 2/3 of its original size during the fall drouth, causing a tremendous concentration of bottom organisms. (The average area of the pond for the year was 1.2 acres). On September 9 the pond was nearly full, and the weight of the organisms was 32.00 milligrams per square foot: on November 2 the area was only 0.5 of an acre, and the weight of bottom organisms was 230.62 milligrams.5. It is thought part of the above increase in weight of bottom organisms is a natural increase that occurs in fertilized ponds during August, September and October, the increase being due largely to the rapid multiplication of Chaoborinae during these months.6. The 5-month average weight of bottom organisms in the fertilized pond was 68.27 milligrams per square foot, and for the unfertilized pond the average was 19.62 milligrams.7. The plankton samples for the same period showed in the fertilized pond an average weight of 5.81 milligrams per liter: and in the unfertilized pond an average of 2.54 milligrams per liter.8. Routine stomach analyses of bream from both ponds showed that these fish in the fertilized pond had plenty of insects as food all along, and that in the unfertilized pond they had sufficient insects in June only. The graph picturing the seasonal distribution of the average weight of organisms in both ponds shows that that would likely be the case, for there was a big drop in the average weight of organisms in the bottom samples taken July 1st in the unfertilized pond. No such drop ever took place in the fertilized pond.9. The fertilizer used more than doubled the weight of fish, plankton and bottom organisms in the fertilized pond as compared with those of the unfertilized pond.

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