Impact of Clarias gariepinus Burchell. Farm Effluent Irrigation on the Growth and Germination of Abelmoschus esculentus (L) Moench and Vigna unguiculata (L) Walp

Bachelor Thesis 2016 44 Pages

Biology - Botany


Table of Contents










When fish are harvested from ponds, the effluent is often drained, presenting both an environmental threat and an agricultural wealth (Wesley, et al., 2006).

Effluent discharge which is sequel to pond draining, has posed serious environmental threat, such effluent are often allowed to run into natural water ways, posing a potential source of pollution and eutrophication of water bodies.

Clarias gariepinus, has been preferred for culture amongst fish farmers due to its ease of adaptability, less maintenance required, ease of multiplication and less demand for quality of water (Omofunmi et at., 2016).

Nonetheless culture of C. gariepinus, has become large enough to have significant impacts on the environment and natural resources, and a number of concerns have been expressed by both environmental activists and scientists (Dierberg and Rattisimuked, 1996, Goldberg and Triplet, 1997, Nayler et al., 1998,).

Some of the concerns are outlined below;

1. Destruction of mangrove, wetlands and other sensitive aquatic habitat by aquaculture projects.
2. Water pollution resulting from pond effluent.
3. Salinization of land and water by effluent of these magnitude and other probable negative impacts, water pollution by pond effluent is technically a most common complaint (Beyd and Gautier, 2000).

Fish farming apparently called aquaculture is being practiced all over the world; in fact it makes critical contributions to the economic development of a federation; with over 41 million people worldwide employed.

It also serves as a source of nutrient. Native to the Ijaws of (Niger Delta) region of Nigeria, fish sources are net scarce within this region.

Living organisms at whichever level of organizations, carry out a basic process of nutrition and excretion, coupled with other physiologies.

Due to this basic process, catfish effluents which has been found/established to contain certain exudates, which may as well pose an environmental threat, and an agricultural panacea.

Notwithstanding, plants require certain of this exudates for their growth performance, hence the goal of this research.

Table1: Percentage seed germination with different catfish effluent concentration

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Source: (Sajid, et al., 2013)

Table2: Physicochemical characteristics of Catfish Effluent

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Source: (Sajid, et al., 2013)

Table3: Projected human population, fish demand and supply in Nigeria (2010-2015)

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Source: (FDF, 2008).

Table 4: The quality of fish farm effluent and river water

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Source: (Warren-Hanren, 1982).

1.1.2 Aim

The aim of this experimental research is to Study the effect of catfish farm effluent on the growth and germination of Abelmoschus esculentus and Vigna unguiculata.

1.1.3 Objectives of the Study

The objective includes;

- Characterizing the physico-chemistry of Clarias gariepinus farm effluent.
- Enunciate the role of Clarias gariepinus effluent in freshwater resource conservation.
- Enhance the growth and germination of Abelmoschus esculentus.
- Enhance the growth and germination of vigna unguiculata.
- Proffer an alternative to effluent discharge.
- Conversion of waste to wealth.
- Utilize effluents from African Catfish as a means of fertigation.


1.2.1 Clarias gariepinusBurchell

Commonly called African sharptooth catfish is a species of catfishes of the family clariidae, the air breathing catfishes. They dwell in fresh water, lakes, rivers, as well as; human made habitants such as oxidation ponds. In Africa, this catfish has been reported as being second in size only to the Vundu of Zambergian water (Ecotravel South Africa), none the less, Froese and Powy (2014), Suggested that African sharptooth catfish surpases Vundu in both length and weight. Anoop, et al., (2009), reported that African catfish has been known to feed on large water birds such as the common moehern.

C. gariepinus, has a large number of gill rakers ranging from 21-110 (Van, 1995 and Hanssens, 2009).

1.2.2 African Catfish Farming

Fish farming is the subset of aquaculture that focuses on rearing of fish under controlled or semi controlled conditions for economic and social benefits (Anthonio and Akinwumi, 2002). Fisheries product represents a major source of export revenue for developing countries (Food and Agricultural Organization, 2002). Catfish production is important to the Nigerian economy. Emokaro, (2010) reported that it can be sold live at the market, as they have a higher market value than Tilapia sp. Coupled with a high rate of demand, fish farming has become a pastime in most rural and urban dwellings.

1.2.3 Irrigation

Irrigation is the method in which water is supplied to plants at regular intervals for agriculture. It is used to assist in the growing of agricultural crops, maintenance of land scapes and revegetation of disturbed soils. Shyde and Melo-Abreu (2005) reported that irrigation helps in protecting plants against pest. It also aids in suppressing weed growth and preventing soil consolidation. Various irrigation types includes surface, localized, drip, sprinkling, irrigation by lateral move, in-ground irrigation etc.

1.2.4 Abelmoschus esculentus (L) Moench

A. esculentus also known as ladies finger or okra is an important vegetable crop native of tropical Africa. Hughes (2009) reported that to relieve the intense pressure on land use and natural resources, plant species used as food must be diversified. Okra is among the most frequently and popularly consumed traditional vegetables in African (Agbo, 2008).

vegetable because of its robust nature, (Ofoefule, 2001), In Africa’s context, okra has been called a perfect villagers dietary fibre (Akingbala et al., 2003) and distinct seed protein balanced in both lysine and hyalophane amino acids (Ariyo, 1987). Okra is traditionally cultivated as a rainy season crop by women (Kumar et al., 2009) often on most marginalized lands easily accessible to them (Miriam et al., 2005).

1.2.5 Economic Importance of A. esculentus (L.) Moench

Okra was previously included in the genus Hibiscus. but later designated to the genus Abelmoschus distinguished from the genus hibiscus by the characteristics of the collyx: spatulate with five short teeth connate to the corolla and caducaeus after flowering (Kundu and Biswas, 1973). It belongs to the malvaceae family. K, Na, Mg, and Ca are the principal elements in pods which contains about 17% seeds (Kendall and Jenkins, 2004). Presence of Fe, Zn, Mn, Ni has also been reported (Moyin-Jesu, 2007). Pods and seeds are rich in phenolic compounds with important biological properties (Mishra, 2008). Like soybean oil, okra seed oil is rich (60-70%) in unsaturated fatty acids (Gossy and Hildtech, 1951).

Woolle et al., (1977) reported that okra contains mucillagenous substances which are acidic polysaccharides associated with proteins and minerals. These substances can be utilized in whopping agents for reconstituted egg white, an additive in formation of flour-based adhesive.

1.2.6 Vigna Unguiculata (L) WALP

V. unguiculata is a legume mainly grown in tropical and subtropical regions in the world for vegetable and grains and to lesser extent as a fodder crop (Oyewale and Bamaiji, 2013). It serves also as cover crop and improves soil fertility by fixing atmospheric nitrogen (Pungulani et al., 2012). It contributes to satisfy the food needs of several people in developing countries cowpea is one of the developing food legumes in the hot and dry subtropics especially in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). (Singh, 2007). It is thus indigenous to sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).

The mechanisms used by plants to cope with drought stress have been found in cowpea seedlings (Singh et al, 1999).

Drought is thus an important cowpea production constraint especially in the semi-arid regions when cowpea is used as silage it could be mixed with sorghum maize or molasses to provide sugar for fermentation (FAO, 2012). Cowpea has thus been a staple crop and important protein service for many cultures since the Roman Empire. It was the most commonly cultivated bean used for human consumption in the old worlds (Allen and Allen, 1981).

Brightening agent in electro deposition of metals, defflocculant in paper and fabric production and as a protectant to reduce friction in pipe flow. (Kumar et al., 2008).


2.1 Experimental Site

The experiment was conducted at the Centre for Ecological Studies, University of Port Harcourt. for a period of 5 weeks, between Thursday 22nd September 2016 to 27th of October, 2016.

2.2 Source of Materials

Clarias gariepinus Burchell. Farm effluent was collected from the Agriculture Resource and Aquaculture Centre (ARAC) Omuokiri, Aluu Rivers State. From a pond due for discharge at one week after inoculation. Matured seeds of V. unguiculata variety IX2416 and A. esculentus IT3041 was collected from the seed gene bank of the Centre for Ecological Studies, University of Port Harcourt. Sandy loam soil was collected from a fallow site opposite the faculty of Pharmaceutical Science, University of Port Harcourt.

2.3 Experimental Design

The experimental design used was a randomize complete design (CRD) with 5 treatments, each with 4 replicates totaling 20 observations per plant. Each treatment were designated T0 (control), T1 (100ml effluent) T2 (200ml effluent), T3 (300ml effluent), and T4 (400ml effluent).

2.4 Experimental Set-up

Nursery bags were potted with 1500g of soil and perforated to prevent waterlogging which may lead to puturfaction of seeds and suffocation of plants due to inconsistency in oxygen supply. Sequel to sowing of seeds the nursery bags were labeled and treated with its recommended volume of effluent twice per week.

2.5 Parameters of Assessment and their Determination

Plant agronomic trait assessed during this study include: germination percentage, shoot length, foliar production, leaf area, root length, chlorophyll content, fresh weight, dry weight and moisture. Also, effluent and soil physicochemisty were assayed.

2.5.1 Soil and Effluent Physico-chemical Analyses

Soil and effluent physicochemical properties such as pH, electrical conductivity (EC), total organic carbon (TOC), total nitrogen (TN), total phosphorus (TP), total potassium (TK) and calcium oxalates were determined.

pH Determination

Soil pH was measured with a glass electrode in a 1:2.5 soil/water aqueous solution. The pH of the suspension was determined using HANNA pH meter (triple 1A 314), (Mclean, 1982).

Electric Conductivity (Ece) Determination

Electrical conductivity was measured in 1:2.5 (soil: water) aqueous extract at 25% as described by Black et al., (1965). Ece was measured with HACH conductivity meter (116-JC10286) and calculated as:

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0.0014118 = Ece of the standard 0.01N KCL solution at 250C,

Rext = specific conductance of the extract (Scm-1),

Rstd = specific conductance of the standard (Scm-1)

Ece (mm hos cm-1) was classified according to Bernstein (1964).

Total Organic Carbon (TOC) Determination

Total organic carbon (TOC) was determined by the Walkley and Black wet dichromate oxidation method (Nelson and Sommer, 1982).

Total Nitrogen (TN) Determination

Total nitrogen was measured by the MacroKjeldahl digestionHACH DR 400 spectrophotometer (599400-60) procedure as described by Bremner and Mulvaney (1982).

2.5.2 Agronomic Characterization

Various growth indices were used to evaluate the effect of C.gariepinus farm effluent irrigation on A.esculentus and V.unguiculata. Virtually, all the growth parameters were determined at weekly interval using the harvest method.

Germination Test for Viability

The viability test was determined using germination method 10 seeds of okra and cowpeas were collected randomly from a collection of seeds. The seeds were grown for 7 days in a petri-dish with a filter paper at room temperature. Okra showed 100% viability while cowpea showed 70% viability.

Germination Percentage (%)

This was determined by counting the number of seeds that germinated four(4) days after planting. This was determined as follows:

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Shoot length (cm)

This was determined using a ruler calibrated in centimeters. The ruler was placed vertically from the soil surface to the terminal bud of the plant and the measurement recorded.

Foliar Production

This was carried out by counting the number of leaves on the plants of each of the treatment and their replicates.

Leaf Area (cm2)

According to Asoegwu (1988), this was determined as follows:

A (cm2) =K L B.


A (Cm2) = [(L1 x B1) + (L2 x B2) + (L3 x B3)] x K

Whers the leaf area, L is the leaf length, B is the leaf breath/width (broadest part) and K is a constant which is 0.71.

Root Length (cm)

Root lengths were measured using a ruler calibrated in centimeter at the end of the study.The root length was determined by using a thread to trace the length of the root from the base of the stem to the tip of the root. Thereafter, the length of the thread was determined and recorded using meter ruler.

Chlorophyll content

Freshly prepared leaves were crushed, and mixed with a buffer acetone, the reaction mixture was filtered and tested in a Nano drop Spectrophotometer.

Fresh Weight (g)

Fresh weight yield (total) of the sampled plants were obtained by weighing immediately after harvest to prevent water loss using a milligram digital weighing balance.

Dry Weight (g)

Dry weight were properly oven dried at 80°C for 24 hours and then weighed on a portable sensitive weighing balance (Scout 11: OHAUS) and recorded. The weighing was carried out at two hours interval until a constant weight was obtained.

Moisture Content (MC)

The moisture content was calculated across all treatment levels utilizing the below formula.

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2.6 Data collection and Presentation

The agronomic data were determined or collected on weekly basis. The data collected were subjected to Analysis of Variance using 5% level of probability. The means of the data were separated using Microsoft Excel and SPSS (Statistical Package for Social Sciences), 2014 version. SPSS was used to get the total and descriptive variables [e.g., mean, standard deviation, and standard error of mean (SEM)].

The Calculation procedures

Once the raw data of the agronomic characters are keyed into the system, all the values come out automatically, i.e., the total, mean, standard deviation and SEM.



3.1.1 Soil Physico-chemistry

From the results on pH T4 had the highest value which was slightly alkaline with a pH of 7.07, this was followed by T3 with a pH of 7.02, in the acidic range, the pH were 6.77/6.72/6.22 for T2/T1/T0 respectively.

For Total nitrogen, T4 had the maximum with 0.273% while T0 had the minimum with 0.074% where as 0.240/0.178/0.100 indicated that for T3/T2/T1 respectively.

T3 had the highest total phosphorus content with 11.41%, this was followed by T4/T2 with 11.39/11.32 respectively and the minimum values occurred at T0/T1 with values 3.341/7.446 respectively.

For total potassium, T4 had the highest value with 40.34, while T0 had the lowest value with 22.35 where as T3/T2/T1 had values 38.40/37.91/32.33 repectively all in percentage.

For electrical conductivity, the values were 330/312/279/283/272 indicating T4/T3/T2/T1/T0 respectively.

Table 6: Soil physico-chemstry at 5 WAP.

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3.1.2 Effect of Effluent on Germination Percentage

For Abelmoschus esculentus, T3 had the highest germination percentage, this was followed closely by T1, T4 and T0. T2 had the lowest germination percentage.

For Vigna unguiculata, T1 had the highest germination percentage tjis was followed closely by T0 and T3. T2 and T4 thus had the lowest germination percentage.

The chart in the next page indicates the trend in the germination percentage.

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Fig3.1: Effect of effluent treatment on germination percentage of A.esculentus

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Fig 3.2: Effect of effluent on germination percentage of V.unguiculata

3.1.4 Effect of Effluent on Shoot Length

For A.esculentus there was a progressive increase in the mean shoot length from 1WAP to 5WAP as shown in the chart below.T3 had the highest mean shoot length this was followed by T4 and T2, with T0 having the lowest mean shoot length at 5WAP.

For V.unguiculata there was a progressive increase in the mean shoot length from 1WAP-5WAP. At 5WAP, T4 had the highest germination percentage this was then followed by T2 and T1, while T0 had the lowest mean shoot length

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Fig 3.3: Effect of effluent on shoot length of A. esculentus

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Fig 3.4: Effect of effluent on shoot length of V.unguiculata


The mean foliar production increased consecutively within 1WAP to 5WAP. T4 had the highest mean foliar production,for V. unguiculata while T3 had the highest foliar production for A. esculentus. The chart below indicates this.

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Fig 3.5: Effect of effluent on mean foliar production of A. esculentus

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Fig 3.6: Effect of effluent on mean foliar production of V. unguiculata

3.1.6 Effect of Effluent on Leaf Area

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Fig 3.7: Effect of effluent on leaf area of Abelmoschus ecculentus

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Fig 3.8: Effect of effluent on leaf area of Vigna unguiculata

3.1.7 Effect of Effluent on Root Length

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Fig 3.9: Effect of effluent on root length of Abelmoschus esculentus

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Fig 3.10: Effect of effluent on root length of Vigna unguiculata

3.1.7 Effect of Effluent on Fresh Weight

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Fig 3.11: Effect of effluent on fresh weight of Abelmoschus esculentus

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Fig 3.12: Effect of effluent on fresh weight of Vigna unguiculata

3.1.8 Effect of Effluent on Dry Weight

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Fig 3.13: effect of effluent on dry weight of A. esculentus

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Fig 3.14: Effect of effluent on dry weight of V. unguiculata

3.1.9 Effect of Effluent on Chlorophyl Conten

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3.1.10 Effect of Effluent on Moisture Content

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Fig 3.15: Effect of effluent on moisture content of A. esculentus

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Fig 3.16: Effect of effluent on moisture content of Vigna unguiculata


Cat fish farm effluent is usually discharged into water bodies thus constituting eutrophication and hydro thermal pollution of water bodies. Alternatively, if discharged into bare land, it may percolate the soil micro and macro-pores thus polluting the underground water bodies. Conversely as reported in this study cat fish farm effluent was utilized as a fertigation source for Vigna unguiculata and Abelmoschus esculentus. For both test crops there was an increase in the shoot length, root length, chlorophyll content differing from the work of Ofoefule (2001) which showed a decline. Emokaro et al.(2010) reported that the increasing concentration of effluent lead to a decline in the concentration of calcium ocalates the opposite of this result was observed as the concentration increased. This effluent could thus be used as a fertilizer for Agronomic crops.



Clarias gariepinus Burchell. Farm effluent thus could serve as a source of fertigation to economically important crop species. The results obtained so far indicates that the effluent enhaces the vegetative characteristics of the two test crops (Abelmoschus esculentus and Vigna unguiculata). This improvement was found in shoot length, root length, chlorophyll a and b content, fresh weight, dry weight and moisture content. Utilization of this effluent could thus serve as a means to sustainable agriculture.


I thus recommend that thorough research on the utilization effect of this effluent on other economically important crops be investigated. Also, work should encompass other agronomic characters such as yield and ash content.


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Appendix 1: ANOVA of the Effect of Effluent on the agronomic parameters.

ANOVA of the Effect of effluent on the Germination Percentage of Cowpea and okra

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APPENDIX 2 : Growth of Vigna unguiculta at 5 WAP

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Plate 1: Vigna unguiculata 5WAP


ISBN (Book)
Catalog Number
Institution / College
University of Port Harcourt – Faculty of Sciences
impact vigna moench abelmoschus germination growth irrigation effluent farm burchell clarias walp



Title: Impact of Clarias gariepinus Burchell. Farm Effluent Irrigation on the Growth and Germination of Abelmoschus esculentus (L) Moench and Vigna unguiculata (L) Walp