Minimum dissolved oxygen tolerance of four different sizes of milkfish
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Four size groups of milkfish were tested, 4-18 g, 20-34 g, 35-95 g and 200-300 g. A number of fish from each group were placed separately in identical 1.2 m2 wooden tanks containing seawater filled up to 30 cm depth. The aggregate weight of fish per size group was approximately 1 kg. The fish were held for 72 h, fed with lab-lab and provided with continuous aeration to allow recovery from stress during transport and handling. After the recovery period, aeration was stopped and 200 g of the fine rice bran was spread over the water in each tank creating a film of bran particles on the water surface. This was designed to speed up depletion of dissolved oxygen considering the combined effects of the screening-off of sunlight, the reduction of air-water interface and the breakdown of the bran particles. It is probable that stress on milkfish in brackishwater ponds could start when oxygen level drops to about 1.4 ppm. A further decrease to 0.04 ppm could produce a total kill of all specimens above 4 grams with marketable size and bigger size fish dying first.