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ALGAE > Volume 26(1); 2011 > Article
ALGAE 2011;26(1): 97-108.
Biofiltration efficiency and biochemical composition of three seaweed species cultivated in a fish-seaweed integrated culture
Yun Hee Kang1, Sang Rul Park2 and Ik Kyo Chung3,*

1Marine Research Institute, Pusan National University, Busan 609-735, Korea
2University of Texas at Austin Marine Science Institute, Port Aransas, TX 78373, USA
3Division of Earth Environmental System, Pusan National University, Busan 609-735, Korea
*Corresponding Author  Email: ikchung@pusan.ac.kr
We evaluated the potential of three seaweed species (Ulva pertusa, Saccharina japonica, Gracilariopsis chorda) as biofilters for effluents from black rockfish (Sebastes schlegeli) tanks. The experiments consisted of a fish monoculture system and a fish-seaweed integrated system under identical physical conditions. All species efficiently removed NH4+, NO3? + NO2?, and PO43? from the fish tank effluents. Of the three species evaluated, U. pertusa showed the highest biofiltering efficiency for NH4+ (>80%). In contrast to U. pertusa and G. chorda, S. japonica showed a relatively higher preference for NO3? + NO2? than for NH4+. These results suggest that seaweeds may select nitrogen sources fitting their storage capacity. Therefore, standard fish farm effluents should establish a total nitrogen concentration that includes both NO3? and NH4+, and the selection of a biofilter seaweed species should be made with consideration of the N forms expelled in effluent. The biofiltering efficiency for PO43? was highest in G. chorda (38.1%) and lowest in S. japonica (20.2%). In all species, tissue N and P contents rapidly increased over the initial values. The data for tissue N and P contents, and C : N and N : P ratios, indicate that neither N nor P was limiting. This suggests that the three species serve as biofilters by storing large amounts of nutrients. These results provide valuable information for selecting optimal seaweed species in fishseaweed integrated systems and allow land-based integrated aquaculture system operators to understand the behavior of integrated cultures sufficiently for the results herein to be extrapolated to larger-scale cultures.
Key words: biofiltration; land-based aquaculture system; nitrogen; seaweed; tissue nutrient

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