Mass production of nitrifying bacterial consortia for the rapid establishment of nitrification in saline recirculating aquaculture systems

  • V. J. Rejish Kumar
  • Cini Achuthan
  • N. J. Manju
  • Rosamma Philip
  • I. S. Bright Singh
Original Paper


Two distinct nitrifying bacterial consortia, namely an ammonia oxidizing non-penaeid culture (AMONPCU-1) and an ammonia oxidizing penaeid culture (AMOPCU-1), have been mass produced in a nitrifying bacterial consortia production unit (NBCPU). The consortia, maintained at 4°C were activated and cultured in a 2 l fermentor initially. At this stage the net biomass (0.105 and 0.112 g/l), maximum specific growth rate (0.112 and 0.105/h) and yield coefficients (1.315 and 2.08) were calculated respectively, for AMONPCU-1 and AMOPCU-1 on attaining stationary growth phase. Subsequently on mass production in a 200 l NBCPU under optimized culture conditions, the total amounts of NH4 +–N removed by AMONPCU-1 and AMOPCU-1 were 1.948 and 1.242 g/l within 160 and 270 days, respectively. Total alkalinity reduction of 11.7–14.4 and 7.5–9.1 g/l were observed which led to the consumption of 78 and 62 g Na2CO3. The yield coefficient and biomass of AMONPCU-1 were 0.67 and 125.3 g/l and those of AMOPCU-1 were 1.23 and 165 g/l. The higher yield coefficient and growth rate of AMOPCU-1 suggest better energy conversion efficiency and higher CO2 fixation potential. Both of the consortia were dominated by Nitrosomonas-like organisms. The consortia may find application in the establishment of nitrification within marine and brackish water culture systems.


Ammonia oxidizing consortia Nitrifying bacteria Mass production Maximum specific growth rate Nitrification Yield coefficient 



This work was carried out with the financial assistance from Department of Biotechnology, Government of India under project no. BT/DRI 794/AAQ/03/092/99. Acknowledge Dr. Valsamma Joseph, Lecturer, NCAAH, CUSAT for analysis of the data and Prof. Robert H. Reed, Central Queensland University, Australia for language editing.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • V. J. Rejish Kumar
    • 1
  • Cini Achuthan
    • 1
  • N. J. Manju
    • 1
  • Rosamma Philip
    • 2
  • I. S. Bright Singh
    • 1
  1. 1.National Centre for Aquatic Animal HealthCochin University of Science and TechnologyKochiIndia
  2. 2.Department of Marine Biology, Microbiology and Biochemistry, School of Ocean Science and TechnologyCochin University of Science and Technology, Lake Side CampusKochiIndia

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