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

Ibrahim E.H. Belal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


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 p-stream.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)332-336
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Food, Agriculture and Environment
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Aquatic weed control
  • Ceratophyllum demersum
  • Drainage canal
  • Grass carp
  • Growth parameters
  • Phragmites australis
  • Stocking density

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • General Environmental Science


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