Reassessment of the suitable range of water pH for culture of Nile tilapia Oreochromis niloticus L. in eutrophic water

Reavaliação da faixa adequada de pH da água para o cultivo da tilápia do Nilo, Oreochromis niloticus L. em águas eutróficas

ABSTRACT.

The present work aimed at reassessing the suitable range of water pH for culture of Nile tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus L. juveniles in eutrophic water. Two hundred and forty tilapia juveniles (1.37 ± 0.04 g) were stocked in twenty 250-L polyethylene tanks (12 fish per tank) for eight weeks. In the control tanks, the pH of water was not adjusted at any time, varying freely over the entire study. In the slight acidification treatment, the culture water was acidified daily to reach a water pH between 5.5 and 6.5. In the moderate acidification treatment, there were daily applications of HCl solution to reach a water pH between 4.5 and 5.5. In the alkalinization treatment, tanks received daily applications of Na2CO3 and NaOH to achieve a water pH between 8.5 and 9.5. Acidification of water, regardless the degree, i.e., slight or moderate, was not able to significantly affect final body weight, specific growth rate and yield of fish. It can be concluded that the acidification of water up to pH 5.5 has no negative influence on growth of Nile tilapia fingerlings in eutrophic tanks. Accordingly, the suitable range of water pH for rearing Nile tilapia should be set at 5.5 - 9.0.

Keywords:
pH of water; tilapia; aquaculture

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