Journal of Food, Agriculture and Environment

Vol 5, Issue 1,2007
Online ISSN: 1459-0263
Print ISSN: 1459-0255

Controlling aquatic weeds in a Saudi drainage canal using grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella Val.)


Ibrahim E. H. Belal

Recieved Date: 2006-09-19, Accepted Date: 2006-12-08


Aquatic weeds have a negative effect on agriculture by blocking water drainage system. This is especially true in hot climate countries, like Saudi Arabia, where aquatic weeds grew quickly. For this reason, a field experiment was conducted as follows: grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella Val.) fingerlings (average weight 3.3±0.3 g) were randomly stocked in 12 sections (50 m L x 5 m W x 1.5 m D) of a drainage canal at a rate of 0, 1, 3 and 5 fish m-2 in triplicate. Starting from upstream, the drainage canal was divided into 12 sections using 13 metal frames covered from both sides with 0.5-inch plastic mesh screens. The canal was infested with 850 km-2 of Phragmites australis Cav. (5.1±0.6 kg m-2), 100 km-2 of Ceratophyllum demersum L. (2.39±0.22 kg m-2) and filamentous algae Cladophora globulina Kützing (0.35 kg section-1). Fish grew on aquatic weeds for a period of one year. The results indicated that the grass carp completely eliminated filamentous algae within 5 months. The number of Phragmites australis m-2 was significantly reduced in all treatment groups as compared to the control group. Sections containing 3 and 5 fish m-2 were yielding similar results and significantly higher than those containing 1 fish m-2. Average daily growth rates were 3.47, 5 and 6.25 g day-1 for treatments with 1, 3 and 5 fish m-2, respectively. Removal of aquatic macrophytes by grass carp affected water quality parameters by increasing levels of dissolved oxygen, carbon dioxide, turbidity, chlorophyll a (phytoplankton), conductivity and total dissolved solids in the down-stream water samples, as compared to that of up-stream.


Grass carp, stocking density, growth parameters, Phragmites australis, Ceratophyllum demersum, aquatic weed control, drainage canal

Journal: Journal of Food, Agriculture and Environment
Year: 2007
Volume: 5
Issue: 1
Category: Environment
Pages: 332-336

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