Management practices of ornamental fish species in different aquaria in Kampala and Jinja Districts, Uganda
Nabirye, Lovisa Mary
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There are various ornamental fish species in the world. These are usually used for tourist attraction since they possess beautiful colors. They are usually kept in aquariums situated in homes, academic institutions, hotels, malls, aquaria shops. However, in Uganda, most of the people who possess these fish species obtain them from importation and at usually at higher prices. Despite the high prices of these fishes, a number of farmers report to be experiencing mortalities which is more likely as a result of poor management. Therefore, the study aimed at identifying ornamental fish species, assessing the water quality in the respective aquaria and assessing the challenges that aquarists are facing in the management. The study was conducted in Jinja and Kampala districts of Uganda. By observation and fish indentation guide together with consultations, different ornamental fish species were identified. Water quality parameters that is dissolved oxygen, temperature and pH were measured on site using an OxyGuard Handy Polaris 2 and G $ B meter. An interview guided by a semi-structured questionnaire was used to obtain information about the management practices. Data was collected from 47 tourism related institutions in Jinja and Kampala districts respectively. Of the 47 institutions visited, 70% were hotels and over 60% of the eight (8) aquarists possessed 1-5 fish species with Gold fish 6 (60%) being most dominant fish species. Some other species kept include dotted platis 1 (10%) and Sword tails 3 (30%). Water temperatures in the aquariums visited ranged between 21.2-28℃ and with a mean water temperature of (23.7± 0.77) ℃. The pH ranged between 5.4-7.8 with an average pH of 6.6±0.48 and DO ranged between 0.1-5.6mg/l with an average DO which was (2.57±0.79) mg/l. The physico-chemical parameters within the aquariums was favorable to the fish species to thrive in since species kept require optimally warm waters. Critical challenges faced by aquarists include transport costs, sickness and death of fish plus electrical instabilities. Results of this survey reveal that different ornamental fish species are kept in the same tank and this makes it hard for aquarists to understand the optimal water parameters that will favour all the fish species one is rearing. Among the ornamental fish species kept, Gold fish was the most cultured ornamental fish.