Abstract

In two pilot-scale experiments, fingerlings and juvenile of tilapia were reared in high rate algal pond (HRAP) effluent. The combination of three different total ammonia nitrogen (TAN) surface loading rates (SLR1 = 0.6, SLR2 = 1.2; SLR3 = 2.4 kg TAN·ha−1·d−1) and two fish stocking densities (D1 = 4 and D2 = 8 fish per tank) was evaluated during two 12-week experiments. Fingerlings total weight gain varied from 4.9 to 18.9 g, with the highest value (equivalent to 0.225 g·d−1) being recorded in SLR2-D1 treatment; however, high mortality (up to 67%) was recorded, probably due to sensitivity to ammonia and wide daily temperature variations. At lower water temperatures, juvenile tilapia showed no mortality, but very low weight gain. The fish rearing tanks worked as wastewater polishing units, adding the following approximate average removal figures on top of those achieved at the HRAP: 63% of total Kjeldahl nitrogen; 54% of ammonia nitrogen; 42% of total phosphorus; 37% of chemical oxygen demand; 1.1 log units of Escherichia coli.

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