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Culture of earthworm Lampito mauritii Kinberg, 1867 in fish pond sludge and cardboard.

Earthworms are considered as an important component of soil ecosystem; they convert organic waste materials to a highly valuable soil amendment (Datar et al., 1997). The worms are also used in vermicompost technology where they process biodegradable materials like leaves, sewage water, municipal waste, household garbage, livestock manure, non-toxic solid and liquid waste of the industries into natural organic fertilizer (Edwards and Fletcher, 1988). Some workers suggested the recycling of fish pond waste as organic fertilizer for agriculture purpose as it is enriched with organic matter, nitrogen, phosphorus, as well as macro and micronutrients (Marcet et al., 2010; Mizanur et al., 2004; Mazzarino et al., 1998).

Present study is aimed to process fish pond sludge (FPS) into organic fertilizer for agriculture crop by using earthworms. Lampito mauritii were introduced in eight different FPS treatments in association with cardboard (CB) as feedstock showed significant production of earthworm biomass in 15% FPS and 85% CB.

The study was carried out in Aquaculture Laboratory of PCSIR Labs-Karachi, for the period of 63 days in July-September, 2011. The specimens of earthworm were dug out from the garden soil and adult stages were sorted out; identification of species was done using the description of Parshad (1916). Used corrugated CB boxes were shredded in small pieces, FPS was collected from the Tilapia (Oreochromis spp.) pond located at PCSIR Labs. and refrigerated. Eight different feedstock treatments were prepared with CB and FPS in ratios ranging from 5%, 10%, 15%, 20%, 25%, 50%, and 75%, whereas 100% contained only FPS, a control setup which comprised of just an ordinary soil was also maintained with same number of earthworms. Circular 1 L glass containers (diameter 14 cm, depth 12 cm) were filled with 500 g each of feedstock material. In each container 25 earthworms were inserted and covered with nylon net cloth to provide aeration, and kept in dark place. Moisture content was maintained from 68-70% in each container during the experiment by sprinkling water with a hand spray when required while pH was also maintained from 7.5 to 8.5. Each container was checked regularly to observe the earthworm survival rate and biomass; the number of cocoons and larvae if present were also noted; organic carbon was estimated from each container by the method of ASTM (2000).

Table 1 shows the observation taken in 8 different treatments (mixture of FPS and CB) and control setup in terms of earthworm survival, biomass, cocoon production and larval numbers. The estimates of organic carbon in each setup are also given in Table 1, which is lowest in control (10.3 g/kg), whereas highest in 100% FPS (27.6 g/kg) treatment. The total biomass of L. mauritii in all setups ranged from 9.15-11.97 g initially while 7.35-25.42 g finally. The percentage increase or decrease in the total biomass given in Table 1 shows loss of 21.4% biomass with 100% FPS. The control setup which is of normal soil showed 27.5% increase in biomass of L. mauritii. The setup with CB mixtures exhibited increase and the total biomass was highest (158.6%) in the setup with 15% FPS and 85% corrugated cardboard. Number of cocoons and larvae were found abundant in 15% FPS feedstock treatment, whereas decreased gradually in other treatments (Table 1). The results revealed that FPS in combination with CB favours earthworm growth.

Development of earthworm culture in different medium has been studied by various researchers. Datar et al. (1997) observed that high percentage of moisture in soil is important for the high survival rate of earthworms. Hand et al. (1988) assessed the suitability of cow slurry with paper waste which provided results of greater earthworm growth and cocoon production. Neuhauser et al. (1980) used sewage instead of cow slurry for vermicomposting and reported higher growth of earthworm. Some worm grower claim that corrugated cardboard stimulates worm reproduction (Georg, 2004). Muthukumaravel et al. (2008) used cow dung and vegetable waste in different experiments for the growth of earthworms. Present study has been carried out for the first time by using fish pond sludge (FPS) in combination of corrugated cardboard. The preliminary observation showed earthworm (L. mauritii) encouraging growth rate and high survival rate. It may be suggested that FPS in combination of the CB can be utilized for earthworm culture which eventually can be used for soil treatment. However, it requires further studies focused in this direction before such setup is planned.

References

ASTM. 2000. Standard Test Methods for Moisture, Ash, and Organic Matter of Peat and Other Organic Soils. ASTM-Method D 2974-07a. American Society for Testing and Materials. West Conshohocken, PA, USA.

Datar, M.T., Rao, M.N., Reddy, S. 1997. Vermicomposting: A technological option for solid waste management. Journal of Solid Waste Technology Management, 24: 89-93.

Edwards, C.A., Fletcher, K.E. 1988. The use of earthworms for composting from wastes. In: Composts of Agriculture and Other Wastes. Ghasses, J.K.R., (ed.) pp. 229-242, Elsexler Publishing Co., Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Georg. 2004. Feasibility of Developing the Organic and Transitional Farm Market for Processing Municipal and Farm Organic Wastes Using LargeScale Vermicomposting. Publication of Good Earth Organic Resources Group, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. http://www.alternativeorganic.com.

Hand, P., Hayes, W.A., Frankland, J.C., Satchell, J.E. 1988. The vermicomposting of cow slurry. Pedobiologia, 31: 199-209.

Kinberg, J.G.H. 1867. Annulata nova. Of versigt af Koniglich Vetenskapsakademiens forhandlingar, Stockholm, 23: 337-357.

Marcet, P., Guerra, A., Gonzalez, S., Otero, M., Eiron, J. 2010. Composting and vermicomposting of settable sold fish waste (manure) from commercial turbot farm. In: RAMIRAN International Conference (2010.Lisban) on Treatment and Use of Non Conventional Organic Residues in Agriculture, pp.99-102.

Mazzarino, M.J., Laos, F., Satti, P., Moyano, S. 1998. Agronomic and environmental aspects of utilization of organic residues in soils of the Andean-Patagonian region. Soil Science and Plant Nutrition, 44: 105-113.

Mizanur, R., Yakupitiyage, A., Ranamukhaarachchi, S.L. 2004. Agricultural use of fishpond sediment for environmental amelioration. Thammasat International Journal of Science and Technology, 9: 1-10.

Muthukumaravel, K., Amsath, A., Sukumaran, M. 2008. Vermicomposting of vegetable wastes using cow dung. European Journal of Chemistry, 5: 810-813.

Neuhauser, E.F., Hartenstein, R., Kaplan, D.L. 1980. Growth of the earthworms Eiseniafetida in relation to population density and food rationing. Oikos, 35: 93-98.

Parshad, B., 1916. The earthworms of Lahore. Journal of Bombay National History Society, 24: 494-506.

Zakia Khatoon (a) *, Sofia Qaisar (a), Razia Sultana (a), Khalid Jamil (a) and Aftab Ahmed Kandhro (b)

(a) Food & Marine Resources Research Centre, PCSIR Laboratories Complex, Shahrah-e-Dr. Salimuzzaman Siddiqui, Karachi-75280, Pakistan

(b) Applied Chemistry Research Center, PCSIR Laboratories Complex, Shahrah-e-Dr. Salimuzzaman Siddiqui, Karachi-75280, Pakistan

(received March 30, 2012; revised December 4, 2012; accepted December 18, 2012)

* Author for correspondence; E-mail: zakia_khatoon@hotmail.com
Table 1. Results obtained after using earthworms Lampito mauritii
(Kinberg, 1867) with different treatments

Feedstock        Organic carbon       Earthworm biomass (g)
treatment        (g/kg)               (n=25) Mean [+ or -] S.D.
concentration    mean [+ or -] S.D.   Initial

5 % FPS+         12.2 [+ or -] 0.25   10.78 [+ or -] 0.13
95 % CB
10%FPS+          13.7 [+ or -] 0.29   11.97 [+ or -] 0.24
90 % CB
15%FPS+          15.5 [+ or -] 0.35   9.83 [+ or -] 0.21
85% CB
20 % FPS+        16.5 [+ or -] 0.63   10.14 [+ or -] 0.27
80 % CB
25 % FPS+        18.8 [+ or -] 0.58   9.48 [+ or -] 0.34
75 % CB
50 % FPS+        20.9 [+ or -] 0.74   9.88 [+ or -] 0.37
50 % CB
75% FPS+         23.7 [+ or -] 0.72   9.15 [+ or -] 0.31
25% CB
100%FPS+         27.6 [+ or -] 0.89   9.35 [+ or -] 0.22
0 % CB
Control          10.3 [+ or -] 0.25   10.98 [+ or -] 0.15

Feedstock                              Percentage
treatment                              increase/decrease
concentration    Final                 in the total biomass

5 % FPS+         20.48 [+ or -] 0.46   89.98 (22 [+ or -] 0.35)
95 % CB
10%FPS+          21.53 [+ or -] 0.52   79.86 (22 [+ or -] 0.34)
90 % CB
15%FPS+          25.42 [+ or -] 0.55   158.6 (25 [+ or -] 0.46)
85 % CB
20 % FPS+        19.13 [+ or -] 0.54   88.65 (21 [+ or -] 0.64)
80 % CB
25 % FPS+        17.60 [+ or -] 0.43   85.6 (20 [+ or -] 0.24)
75 % CB
50 % FPS+        16.50 [+ or -] 0.37   67.0(18 [+ or -] 0.28)
50 % CB
75% FPS+         11.65 [+ or -] 0.31   27.32 (13 [+ or -] 0.33)
25% CB
100%FPS+         7.35 [+ or -] 0.21    -21.4(10 [+ or -] 0.22)
0 % CB
Control          14.0 [+ or -] 0.55    27.5 (15 [+ or -] 0.41)

Feedstock        No. of      No. of
treatment        cocoons     larvae
concentration

5 % FPS+         30          14
95 % CB
10%FPS+          48          23
90 % CB
15%FPS+          63          33
85 % CB
20 % FPS+        56          28
80 % CB
25 % FPS+        46          24
75 % CB
50 % FPS+        37          19
50 % CB
75% FPS+         30          9
25% CB
100%FPS+         28          6
0 % CB
Control          35          16
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Title Annotation:Short Communication
Author:Khatoon, Zakia; Qaisar, Sofia; Sultana, Razia; Jamil, Khalid; Kandhro, Aftab Ahmed
Publication:Pakistan Journal of Scientific and Industrial Research Series B: Biological Sciences
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:9PAKI
Date:Jul 1, 2013
Words:1488
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