Research Article | Open Access

Water Quality, Zooplankton Community and their Interaction in FUDMA Earthen Production Fish Pond

    Timothy Auta

    Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Life Sciences, Federal University Dutsin-Ma, Dutsin Wai 821101, Katsina, Nigeria

    Benjamin Felix Sani

    Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Life Sciences, Federal University Dutsin-Ma, Dutsin Wai 821101, Katsina, Nigeria

    Mustapha Amadu Sadauki

    Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Faculty of Natural Renewable Resources, Federal University Dutsin-Ma, Dutsin Wai 821101, Katsina, Nigeria

06 Nov, 2023
08 Jan, 2024
31 Mar, 2024

Background and Objective: The assessment of water quality parameters in FUDMA's pond environment, in conjunction with biotic elements like phytoplankton, zooplankton, water insects, aquatic snails and freshwater fish, plays a crucial role in regulating the abundance, distribution and diversity of zooplankton within the pond waters. This study investigates the physicochemical water quality parameters of FUDMA, focusing on artificial ponds and examines their interactions with the zooplankton population, providing foundational insights into pond ecosystems. Materials and Methods: The research involved the collection of experimental water samples from three distinct pond stations between July and September 2023 for the analysis of water quality parameters and zooplankton identification using standard techniques. Statistical analysis, employing One-way ANOVA with a significance level of 0.05, was applied to the data. Results: The results indicate that all water quality parameters fall within acceptable ranges for pond environments. Nine zooplankton subclasses, including Cyclopoid, Copepoda, Caleinoida, Moina, Brachionus, Asplanchnopus multiceps, Polyarthra vulgaris and Asplanchna, were identified. Throughout the survey period, the water quality parameters of FUDMA fish ponds remained within acceptable limits, indicating good water quality conducive to aquatic organisms. Notably, Cyclopoid, Copepoda, Caleinoida and Moina emerged as the most abundant zooplankton in the ponds. Conclusion: In conclusion, the study underscores the importance of monitoring water quality parameters and their impact on zooplankton populations in artificial pond environments, contributing valuable information for pond management and conservation efforts.

Copyright © 2024 Auta et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. 


Aqua (water) is amongst the most significant donations/gifts of natural surroundings to mankind in addition it performs extremely vital roles in existence in addition to meeting the everyday requirements of human beings1. A satisfactory aquatic situation is amongst the needs for the sustained survival then growth of fish in addition to other water animals from the period the entire lifespan process of the fishes is completely dependent on the fineness of aquatic in addition to it is environs. The physicochemical water quality parameters (physical, chemical and biological parameters) of the aquatic environment must be satisfactory for fish healthiness in addition to continuing existence2. Physicochemical factors are physical, chemical and biological features of the water body, regularly in admiration to it is suitability for a designated use2. Aquatic water bodies have remained over the years used up for game, home water sources, angling events, dry season farming or commerce. These designated uses have dissimilar well-defined biological, chemical and physical morals required for their repairs. Subsequently, aquatic water excellence is essential to the fitness and safety of whichever environment, which is governing of the biological, chemical and physical qualities of the aquatic water body2. Aquatic water body establishes a portion of the dynamic water life expectancy supportive system in which inorganic and organic elements are liquefied or suspended then in which a widespread diversity of animals lives in addition to relate with each other3. Aquatic water bodies (freshwater) such as rivers, ponds, reservoirs, brooks, rivulets, lagoons and dams are used to survey and then check the productivity in addition to the movement of water creatures (animals and plants)4. It is recognized that the yield of an artificial lake is determined by its environmental circumstances in addition to checking the aquatic water excellence. The physicochemical factors of the aquatic water are the important sources that impact the changing aspects and patterns of the phytoplankton and zooplanktons4. As the water system, the lake, pond, river and reservoir environment is put in danger by the effect of a widespread range of chemical, biological and physical features, whose rise or reduction regularly touch the fauna and flora which may effect in the changing of their multiplicity, spreading and richness. These reasons comprise, nevertheless not limited to force, bulk, buoyancy, temperature, light, oxygen content, dissolved oxygen, biological oxygen demand and carbon dioxide in addition to hydrogen ion concentration5. Excellence touches the richness, classes/species multiplicity, steadiness and yield in addition to the physiological situation of native inhabitants of water creatures. Certain species or classes display in extremely eutrophic water bodies however others are very delicate to natural or biochemical pollutant5.

Zooplankton are heterotrophic planktonic faunas fluctuating in the aquatic environment that create a significant nourishment source for numerous species of water creatures5. In the water nourishment web of best freshwater environments, zooplankton inhabits an intermediary trophic location, occupying freshwaters with a wide range of physical, chemical and biological stuff, therefore showing a diversity of ecological menaces in addition to stressors6. Once well detected, the species structure of the zooplankton could offer a sign of ecological healthiness5,7 At times of high currents, the populace of certain creatures may be depleted as the aquatic water excellence declines, which may possibly effect to the drop in the variety of classes or species in addition to complete richness of dissimilar creatures discovered in the aquatic water body5,7. The condition may turn worse when the factors impacting the populations of zooplankton continue unknown5, most especially in areas where environmental standards of zooplankton are frequently not well acceptable5,8. The contact between the physical, chemical and biological factors in addition to plankton production of aquatic bodies is of huge significance in the controlling approaches to water environments5,9. Due to the crucial role of zooplankton in most water environments, there is a stable requirement to discover the influence of stressors (such as the physical, chemical and biological parameters of lakes, rivers and reservoirs) on their multiplicity in addition to richness5,10. In addition, aquatic bodies such as ponds, dams, reservoirs then tributaries offer valuable environmental services, such as domestic water supply, diet production and sports in addition to games. Being affected by it accessible in adequate quantity and excellence influences the maintenance of well-being. Anthropogenic doings have been discovered to contaminate surface waters in addition to damaging their basic usage via the process of contamination11. This study investigated aspects of some physicochemical parameters and zooplankton periodicity and abundance in FUDMA earthen production fish pond.


Study area: The study was conducted between July and September, 2023 at the FUDMA earthen pond site. The FUDMA earthen pond site is located inside FUDMA Take-Off campus, in Dutsin-Ma Local Government Area of Katsina State, North West, Nigeria. The pond was constructed since 2014 and has been functional to date. The fish pond was built for training and research purposes for both the student and researchers from the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture. For the purpose of this research two were selected namely, pond A and B and ponds were presently stocked with Clarias gariepinus (African mud catfish) and Oreochromis niloticus (poly culture system).

Water sampling procedures and duration: Water samples were collected twice every month from each of the three selected places (upstream, middle and downstream) in each of the ponds at 8:00 and 10:00 am hrs, for a period of 3 months (July to September, 2023). The water samples were analyzed in the field for the selected water quality parameters including, temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen, conductivity and transparency and then determined following the methods described by Dauda and Akinwole12. All the techniques followed the standard procedures13.

Zooplanktons assessment: The experimental samples were acquired from three designated sampling stations within the fish ponds, denoted as site A, B and C, during the time frame of 8:00 am to 10:00 am. The collection of zooplankton samples was conducted utilizing a plankton net with a diameter of 15 cm and a mesh size of 70 ns, again at site A, B and C, within the specified time range of 8:00 am to 10:00 am. The zooplankton was captured using a zooplankton net featuring a fine mesh aperture ranging from 20-60 μm, equipped with a small bottle container with a capacity of 50 cm3 attached to its narrow end. Following standard procedures outlined by Auta et al.5, the water samples gathered at each site were meticulously transferred into dark screw-capped sample bottles.

Transportation of zooplankton: Zooplankton samples were conveyed in bottles from the ponds to the Biology Research Laboratory of Federal University Dutsin-Ma Take off Campus.

Identification of samples: Samples were viewed and identified in the Biology laboratory of Federal University Dutsin-Ma take off Campus, using microscope at a magnification of 4X and 40X to be identified with a key described by Balseiro et al.14 and zooplankton atlas.

Statistical analysis: Data obtained during the study were presented in Tables and Figures, expressed as Mean±Standard Deviation. One-way Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) was used to test for differences in means of physicochemical parameters with months and points of sampling, at p<0.05 level of significance and 95% confidence interval (CI). Pearson correlation analysis was used to test for a relationship between physicochemical parameters and the abundance of freshwater zooplankton.


The result presented as mean, standard deviation and range value of water quality parameters measured during the survey period, in months, was displayed in Table 1. Outcomes of the physicochemical water parameters measured during the study period, in months, are shown in Table 2. The water temperature was higher in July (29.55±0.64°C), with a significant difference in the mean temperature of the lake among the sampling months (p = 0.000). The mean transparency was higher in July and August (0.300±0.00 NTU and 0.300±0.00) and also had a significant difference in mean turbidity among the months of sampling (p = 0.000). The mean values of dissolved oxygen (DO) were higher in July (6.0210±0.3068 mg L1) and the lower value were recorded in August (5.7380±0.106 mg L1), this had a significant difference among the months of sampling (p = 0.000). The mean electrical conductivity (EC) was higher in July (0.55±0.01 mS cm1) and lowest in August (360.0000±55.77 mS cm1), with no significant (p = 0.1020) difference among the months during which the samples were obtained. Mean values of pH were higher in July (7.3000±0.0816) and lowest in August (7.1000±0.1309), with no significant (p = 0.0010) difference among the months of sampling. As shown in Table 3 the mean water quality parameters of FUDMA fish pond between July and September. Table 4 shows the correlation coefficient of physicochemical parameters and heavy metal in FUDMA fish ponds A and B between July to September.

Table 1: Mean values of physicochemical parameters of FUDMA fish pond showing mean, Standard Deviation (SD) and range values between July to September 2023
Range values
Water temperature (°C)
Conductivity (μs cm1)
Dissolved oxygen (mg L1)
Transparency (NTU)

Table 2: Mean monthly physicochemical parameters of FUDMA fish pond A and B between July to September 2023
Water temperature (°C)
Conductivity (μs cm1)
Dissolved oxygen (mg L1)
Transparency (NTU)

Table 3: Mean samplimg station physicochemical parameters of FUDMA fish pond A and B between July to September 2023
Station A
Station B
Water temperature (oC)
Conductivity (μs cm1)
Dissolved oxygen (mg L1)
Transparancy (NTU)

Table 4: Correlation coefficient of physicochemical parameters and heavy metal in FUDMA fish pond A and B between July to September 2023
Water temperature
DO: Dissolved oxygen, **Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2-tailed) and *Correlation is significant at the 0.05 level (2-tailed)

Table 5: Number of phytoplankton collected and their distribution with month and sampling station at FUDMA fish pond A and B between July to September 2023
Sampling month
Station A
Station B

Table 5 shows the number of zooplankton collected and their distribution with month and sampling station at FUDMA fish ponds A and B between July to September. Table 6 presents the Pearson correlation coefficient of physicochemical parameters with the zooplankton at FUDMA fish pond between July and September.

Table 6: Pearson correlation coefficient of physicochemical parameters with the zooplankton at FUDMA fish pond between July and September 2023
Water temperature
DO: Dissolved oxygen, **Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2-tailed) and *Correlation is significant at the 0.05 level (2-tailed)


The study presented a comprehensive analysis of water quality parameters measured monthly in FUDMA fish ponds, revealing noteworthy variations. Physicochemical water factors (water quality parameters) of a lake, pond and river environment are extremely reliant on the geological and physical structures of the streams that channel into it5. Aquatic (water) is a main essential that maintenances survival of life expectancy, the requirements go beyond aquatic (water) only nonetheless also for the properties within amongst which are water creatures that help as nourishment for human beings. Corresponding to Sadauki et al.1 blocking of river to construct an artificial lake is one of the ways of producing supplementary aquatic (water) accessible for the requirements of humans as the water is put in storage and ready accessible all the time. Nevertheless, water is only able to be of maximum benefit if it is of the most favorable excellence. Aquatic organisms such as fish and other water resources deserve a suitable equilibrium of chemical, physical and biotic properties of water for their optimal production1. Physicochemical water factors are vital for the existence and production of the water animals that are influenced by it. Physicochemical water factors checking is capable of assisting scientists in forecasting in addition to learning from natural processes in the environs and ascertaining human influences on an environment4. On the above, Chapman and Sullivan15 concluded that it is a vital factor that ascertains the existence and sustainability of the water organisms, the capability of the fishes to nourish and use the nutrients for growth in size, number and worth. Characteristics of physicochemical water factors such as (pH, temperature, color, taste, conductance and flavor) could be noticed by the common sense of touch, vision and scent. Temperature is a significant element, which impacts the development, breeding and maturity of fishes2. Consequently, Masood et al.16 stated that the physical, chemical and biotic parameters of the water are basic towards a successful propagation procedure. Consequently, the chemical, physical and biotic properties of the water are significant for the fish to have optimal yield. The entire water quality parameters are vital for the performing and continued existence of the water organisms which comprises fishes, phytoplankton and zooplanktons4. Amongst the most significant physicochemical water factors are DO, pH, temperature, alkalinity and nitrogenous metabolites17. The variation in the water temperature may be attributed to the changeability in the atmospheric temperature, weather variation in addition to the period of the year which comprises a hot period, dry period in addition to the rainy season4.

The monthly water temperature of the rainy period documented in this survey is related to the water temperature stated for Zobe reservoir in Katsina State, Nigeria, where the temperature was higher in July and September than in August4,5,18. The temperature of FUDMA pond is optimum and will aid zooplanktons well-being in the water body. The turbidity stated in this research is relatively lower than the turbidity of other water bodies formerly stated by Auta et al.18 for Zobe Dam. The low turbidity in ponds might be recognized as low turbulence which transports mud, deposits and other particles into the pond waters. Extreme turbidity or muddiness in consumption water is visually unpleasant in addition may also represent a healthiness concern18. Dissolved oxygen is a significant water quality pointer/indicator of seasonal variations. Even though dissolved oxygen is required by all types of lifetime forms in water bodies2. Dissolved oxygen was steadily higher than the suggested minimum of 5 mg L1 as optimal dissolved oxygen for surface waters19.

The findings of current study align with a previous investigation by Sadauki et al.4, in which the highest recorded value for dissolved oxygen was 6.70 mg L1, while the lowest was 6.90 mg L1. The observed outcome in the current study may be explained by the dilution effect influenced by the physical characteristics of the study area. This phenomenon is particularly associated with areas exhibiting increased photosynthetic activities and reduced turbidity, resulting in elevated oxygen levels within the artificial lake, as discussed by Nababa et al.2.

A lower dissolved oxygen was stated from Eleyele reservoir, Ibadan, which was classified to be under pollution stress20. On the other hand, the best pH range for supportable water life ranges from 6 and 9. Sediments from cultivated farmlands around the water and waterlogged waters from bordering human habitats may change the pH concentration in water and become more alkaline or more acidic depending on the kind of pollutants and biochemical matters contained in it2.

A slightly alkaline pH (6.5-8.5) is recommended for the optimal performance of water organisms12, in addition, the outcomes in this research were within the range. Conductivity levels below 50 μmhos cm1 are viewed as low, those between 50-600 μmhos cm1 are medium while those above 600 μmhos cm1 are high conductivity21. Thus, the range of 303.7- 360.0 μs cm1 electrical conductivity gotten in this survey indicates high conductivity of the ponds when associated with discoveries of Anago et al.21 and Momota et al.22. Electrical conductivity is a significant measurement of salt content in water. High salt concentration could result in adverse influences on water biota. The low EC here implies low salt concentration in the freshwater18. The monthly in addition to seasonal dissimilarity of composition and richness of zooplanktons might be due to the variations of aquatic and physicochemical parameters in the artificial lake23. The high richness of zooplankton in dry period could be attributed to the escalation in photic depth due to solar radioactivity intensity as well as the decrease in input muddled/turbid materials from other tributaries of the river24. Zooplankton spreading has been stated to serve precisely as pointers/indicators of the prevailing water quality circumstances of pond10,19. Numerous authors reported on the significance of zooplankton in the efficiency of self-cleaning developments24. Zooplankton is an important link in the transformation of energy from manufacturers to consumers25. Zooplankton plays a main role as efficient filter feeders on the phytoplankton and as a food source for other invertebrates, fish larvae and fish24. In this study, copepods were the most plentiful recorded when compared with rotifers. This discovery is related to the results earlier reported by Auta et al.5, Oparaku et al.10, Zabbey et al.26 and Obot et al.27 who reported copepods as the most abundant species in freshwaters of South East Nigeria. Their abundance could be attributed to their successful adaptation to freshwaters in the tropics and the favorable water quality parameters. And this disagreed with Aquino et al.28, who discovered that the highest frequently appearing in addition to plentiful zooplankton belong to the Rotifera, which comprised 11 species the highest number of species belonging to a lone/single group amongst the three that was examined.

The aforementioned reports have recognized that species of copepods share some things in common with other zooplankters, such as viscous, nutritionally dilute and hazardous environments, which have given rise to numerous of them evolving specialized and efficient adaptations in an attempt to survive the main challenges of nourishing and living in water. Possession of special body form which ensures efficient prey hunting with the ability to move swiftly at high speed. The speed ability also enhances its chances of escape from predators such as fish29. Altering all chemical, physical and biotic conditions disturbs the dispersal and incidence of zooplankters indirectly or directly. The ecological characteristics of zooplankton in ponds and reservoirs in Turkey are widely recognized, yet there is a scarcity of studies conducted in flowing environments. To comprehensively comprehend the factors influencing population distribution, it is imperative to take into account all chemical, physical and biological properties25.

The study underscores the importance of monitoring and managing water quality parameters in fish ponds. It highlights the significant role of physicochemical factors such as dissolved oxygen, pH and conductivity in sustaining aquatic life. The findings contribute to the understanding of the health of the aquatic ecosystem in FUDMA fish ponds. The study suggests that the physicochemical parameters within the optimal range support the well-being of zooplankton, a crucial component of the aquatic food web. The research implies that maintaining optimal water quality conditions is essential for the success of aquaculture practices. This knowledge can be applied to enhance the sustainability of fish farming operations by ensuring suitable conditions for fish and zooplankton production.

The study provides valuable insights for aquaculturists, guiding them in optimizing water quality conditions for the production of fish and zooplankton. Practical applications may include adjusting factors such as temperature and dissolved oxygen levels for optimal fish growth. The research emphasizes the use of physicochemical water factor checks as tools for environmental monitoring. These measurements can help scientists predict natural processes, identify human impacts and ensure the overall health of aquatic environments.

Based on the study, recommendations can be made for aquaculture practitioners to regularly monitor and optimize water quality parameters. This includes maintaining appropriate pH levels, dissolved oxygen concentrations and conductivity to support the growth of aquatic organisms. The study suggests the importance of conserving the natural balance of physicochemical factors in aquatic ecosystems. The variation in zooplankton composition and richness with changes in aquatic and physicochemical parameters warrants further investigation. Future research can focus on understanding the intricate relationships between environmental factors and zooplankton dynamics for more informed aquatic ecosystem management.


The study on water quality and zooplankton community interaction in FUDMA earthen production fish ponds provides valuable insights. The analysis of water quality parameters, including physical and chemical attributes, indicated that they were within acceptable ranges for pond environments. The presence of various zooplankton subclasses, such as Cyclopoid, Copepoda, Caleinoida, Moina, Brachionus, Asplanchnopus multiceps, Polyarthra vulgaris and Asplanchna, suggests a diverse zooplankton community in the ponds. The study's findings highlight the favorable water quality conditions for aquatic organisms in the FUDMA fish ponds. Furthermore, the identification of the most common zooplankton, including Cyclopoid, Copepoda, Caleinoida and Moina, contributes to our understanding of the zooplankton composition in the studied ponds. The temporal variations observed in the zooplankton community, with fluctuations in abundance across the sampling months, provide valuable information on the dynamic nature of these aquatic ecosystems. Overall, the study underscores the importance of considering both water quality parameters and zooplankton dynamics for effective pond management. The results contribute to the broader knowledge of ecological interactions in earthen production fish ponds, emphasizing the need for comprehensive assessments to ensure the sustainability of these aquatic environments.


This study’s findings are of paramount significance as they provide a detailed assessment of the physicochemical parameters in FUDMA fish ponds, shedding light on the intricate dynamics that influence water quality. The observed variations in temperature, transparency, dissolved oxygen, electrical conductivity and pH across the three-month survey period offer valuable insights into the seasonal fluctuations within the aquatic environment. The identified correlations between these parameters and heavy metals further enrich our understanding of potential environmental influences. This research provides a foundational dataset for future studies aiming to optimize fish pond conditions, enhance aquaculture practices and mitigate potential environmental stressors. The insights gained have implications for both ecological research and practical applications in aquaculture and environmental conservation.


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How to Cite this paper?

APA-7 Style
Auta, T., Sani, B.F., Sadauki, M.A. (2024). Water Quality, Zooplankton Community and their Interaction in FUDMA Earthen Production Fish Pond. Asian J. Biol. Sci, 17(1), 93-101.

ACS Style
Auta, T.; Sani, B.F.; Sadauki, M.A. Water Quality, Zooplankton Community and their Interaction in FUDMA Earthen Production Fish Pond. Asian J. Biol. Sci 2024, 17, 93-101.

AMA Style
Auta T, Sani BF, Sadauki MA. Water Quality, Zooplankton Community and their Interaction in FUDMA Earthen Production Fish Pond. Asian Journal of Biological Sciences. 2024; 17(1): 93-101.

Chicago/Turabian Style
Auta, Timothy, Benjamin Felix Sani, and Mustapha Amadu Sadauki. 2024. "Water Quality, Zooplankton Community and their Interaction in FUDMA Earthen Production Fish Pond" Asian Journal of Biological Sciences 17, no. 1: 93-101.