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PD/A CRSP Aquanews-Summer 2002

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Optimizing Lime Use in Aquaculture Ponds–CRSP Work in South Africa

esearchers Claude Boyd and Wes Wood, both from Auburn University, are collaborating with Danie Brink, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa, in an investigation that seeks to maximize the effectiveness of lime applied to aquaculture ponds.

Lime is used to increase alkalinity in aquaculture ponds, which in turn encourages the growth of the plant life upon which certain types of fish, including tilapia, feed.

The experiment involves treating ponds in a variety of ways. Specifically, treatments include:
1) applying agricultural limestone over pond water surface after filling; 2) applying agricultural limestone over pond bottom before filling; 3) applying agricultural limestone over pond bottom followed by tilling of soil before filling; and 4) control (no agricultural limestone added).

To obtain values for alkalinity and hardness, researchers collect weekly water samples. Soil cores are collected on a monthly basis and divided into 2-cm-long segments; these will be analyzed for pH and exchangeable acidity.

These experiments are being duplicated in Jaguariuna, Brazil. When this work is complete, data will be available for coarse textured (South Africa) and fine textured (Brazil) soils regarding the influence of lime application method on neutralization of acidity in ponds.

These data will allow the scientists to formulate recommendations on appropriate application methods to maximize effectiveness of lime applied to aquaculture ponds. Beneficiaries of results obtained in this research effort include not only farmers near CRSP sites, but those in neighboring countries as well.

Auburn University and the University of Stellenbosch have co-signed a Memorandum of Understanding and an Academic Interchange Agreement.

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