The metabolic rates of fish can be severely affected by the concentration of oxygen in a rearing environment. Suppressed dissolved oxygen levels leads to decreased respiration and feeding activity that slows fish growth rates. It can also lead to disease and fungal infections. If correctly applied, oxygen supplementation ensures that fish and seafood farmers can achieve the highest possible survival rates under optimum breeding conditions to boost yields and profits.
The amount of any gas that can be held in solution by water depends upon the temperature and atmospheric pressure. It is worth noting that whereas one litre of air contains about 200 ml of oxygen, one litre of water contains about 10 ml. Dissolved oxygen concentration may also be expressed as a percentage of the saturation value. The amount of oxygen (as mgl-1) that gives 100% saturation (ASV- Air Saturation Value) is given by the equation:
100% ASV = 468/31.6 T
Where T is temperature in °C.
It is also worth noting that although the capacity of water to hold oxygen in solution decreases with rising temperature, the oxygen needs of fish increases with temperature. Dissolved oxygen concentrations may show daily fluctuations that reflect the photosynthetic activity of aquatic plants in nature.
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