Use of Spirulina platensis in treatment of fish farming wastewater

Sara Monaliza Sousa Nogueira, José Souza Junior, Hudson Damasceno Maia, Jefferson Pablo Sousa Saboya, Wladimir Ronald Lobo Farias


Each year, the amount of fish produced around the world increases, which contributes to several environmental impacts such as the disposal of effluents  without treatment in the environment. This scientific work had as main objective the development of Spirulina platensis in fish effluents, a low cost medium for the production of biomass, in order to reduce the levels of some inorganic nutrients to reach the allowed parameters by the Brazilian environmental standards for effluent disposal and to enable reuse of the water. Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) fingerlings were produced in fresh water. The effluent generated by the culture was transferred to a pool where seawater was added until the salinity of 10 ‰ was reached. A strain of cyanobacteria, Spirulina platensis, was inserted into the mixture in order to remove the nutrients dissolved on the fish culture effluent. The abiotic parameters analyzed were: absorbance, pH, dissolved oxygen, temperature, salinity and concentrations of ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and phosphate. The results revealed that the maximum cellular density of S. platensis resulted in the production of 0.22 g L-1 of dry biomass and maximum productivity of 0.03 g L-1 day-1. The concentration of ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and phosphate got lowered by more than 94.8%, maintaining the nutrient levels within the standards those required by Brazilian environmental standards. Hence, this effluent has become adequate for reuse in fish production or could be safely disposed in nature.


Oreochromis niloticus; Microalgae; Cyanobacteria; Bioremediation; Nutrients

Texto completo:



ALONSO, M. et al. Molecular characterization of microalgae used in aquaculture with biotechnology potential. Aquaculture International, v. 20, n. 5, p. 847-857, 2012.

ANDRADE, M. R.; COSTA, J. A. V. Culture of microalga Spirulina platensis in alternative sources of nutrients. Ciência e Agrotecnologia, v. 32, n. 5, p. 1551-1556, 2008.

AMERICAN PUBLIC HEALTH ASSOCIATION. Standard methods for the examination of water and wastewater. 22. ed. Washington, D. C, 2012.

ARAUJO, G. S. et al. Bioprospecting for oil producing microalgal strains: evaluation of oil and biomass production for ten microalgal strains. Bioresource Technology, v. 102, n. 8, p. 5248-5250, 2011.

BENEDITO, E. et al. The influence of fish cage culture on δ13C and δ15N of filter-feeding Bivalvia (Mollusca). Brazilian Journal of Biology, v. 73, n. 4, p. 743-746, 2014.

BRASIL. Ministério do Desenvolvimento Urbano e Meio Ambiente. Conselho Nacional do Meio Ambiente. Resolução nº 357, de 17 de março de 2005. Diário Oficial [da] República Federativa do Brasil, Brasília, DF, 17 mar. 2005.

BRASIL. Ministério do Desenvolvimento Urbano e Meio Ambiente. Conselho Nacional do Meio Ambiente. Resolução nº 430, de 13 de maio de 2011. Diário Oficial [da] República Federativa do Brasil, Brasília, DF, 13 maio 2011.

CHAIKLAHAN, R. et al. Cultivation of Spirulina platensis using pig wastewater in a semi-continuous process. Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology, v. 20, n. 3, p. 609-614, 2010.

CHEUNBARN, S.; PEERAPORNPISAL, Y. Cultivation of Spirulina platensis using anaerobically swine wastewater treatment effluent. International Journal of Agriculture and Biology, v. 12, n. 4, p. 586-590, 2010.

CHINNASAMY, S. et al. Microalgae cultivation in a wastewater dominated by carpet mill effluents for biofuel applications. Bioresource Technology, v. 101, n. 9, p. 3097-3105, 2010.

CHUNTAPA, B.; POWTONGSOOK, S.; MENASVETA, P. Water quality control using Spirulina platensis in shrimp culture tanks. Aquaculture, v. 220, n. 1/4, p. 355-366, 2003.

CONVERTI, C. et al. Cultivation of Spirulina platensis in a combined airlift-tubular reactor system. Biochemical Engineering Journal, v. 32, n. 1, p. 13-18, 2006.

COSTA, B. R. et al. Optimization of Spirulina sp. drying in heat pump: effects on the physicochemical properties and color parameters. Journal of Food Processing and Preservation, v. 40, n. 5, p. 934-942, 2016.

EUROPEAN COMMISSION. Directive 2010/63/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council Legislation for the protection of animals used for scientific purposes. Of 22 September 2010. Disponível em: Acesso em: 18 fev. 2012.

FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION OF THE UNITED NATIONS. The state of world fisheries and aquaculture 2012. Rome: FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Department, 2012.

GÜROY, D. et al. Effect of dietary Ulva and Spirulina on weight loss and body composition of rainbow trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss (Walbaum), during starvation period. Journal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition, v. 95, n. 3, p. 320-327, 2011.

HSIEH, C. H.; WU, W. T. Cultivation of microalgae for oil production with a cultivation strategy of urea limitation. Bioresource Technology, v. 100, n. 17, p. 3921-3926, 2009.

JAIN, S.; SINGH, S. G. Low cost medium formulation using cow dung ash for the cultivation of Cyanobacterium: Spirulina (Arthrospira) platensis. Emirates Journal of Food and Agriculture, v. 25, n. 9, p. 682-691, 2013.

JOURDAN, J. P. Cultivez votre Spiruline: manuel de culture artisanale. France, 2012.

LAVENS, P.; SORGELOOS, P. Manual on the production and use of live food for aquaculture., Rome: FAO, 295 p. 1996. (FAO Fisheries Technical Paper, n. 361).

LEFEBVRE, S. et al. Outdoor phytoplankton continuous culture in a marine fish-phytoplankton-bivalve integrated system: combined effects of dilution rate and ambient conditions on growth rate, biomass and nutrient cycling. Aquaculture, v. 240, p. 211-231, 2004.

MARKOU, G.; GEORGAKAKIS, D. Cultivation of filamentous cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) in agro-industrial wastes and wastewaters: a review. Applied Energy, v. 88, n. 10, p. 3389-3401, 2011.

MATA, T. M.; MARTINS, A. A.; CAETANO, N. S. Microalgae for biodiesel production and other applications: a review. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, v. 14, n. 1, p. 217-232, 2010.

MEZZOMO, N. et al. Cultivation of microalgae Spirulina platensis (Arthrospira platensis) from biological treatment of swine wastewater. Food Science and Technology, v. 30, n. 1, p. 173-178, 2010.

PUMAS, P.; PUMAS. C. Cultivation of Arthrospira (Spirulina) platensis using low cost medium supplemented with Lac wastewater. Chiang Mai Journal of Science, v. 43, n. 5, p. 1037-1047, 2016.

TAYAG, C. M. et al. Administration of the hot-water extract of Spirulina platensis enhanced the immune response of white shrimp Litopenaeus vannamei and its resistance against Vibrio alginolyticus. Fish and Shellfish Immunology, v. 28, n. 5/6, p. 764-773. 2010.

TEIMOURI, M.; AMIRKOLAIE, A. K.; YEGANEH, S. The effects of Spirulina platensis meal as a feed supplement on growth performance and pigmentation of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). Aquaculture, v. 396-399, p. 14-19, 2013.

TURCIOS, A. E; PAPENBROCK, J. Sustainable treatment of aquaculture effluents-what can we learn from the past for the future? Sustainability, v. 6, n. 2, p. 836-856, 2014.

VIDOTTI, E. C.; ROLLEMBERG, M. C. E. Algae: from aquatic environment economy to bioremediation and analytical chemistry. Química Nova, v. 27, n. 1, p. 139-145, 2004.

WUANG, S. C. et al. Use of Spirulina biomass produced from treatment of aquaculture wastewater as agricultural fertilizers. Algal Research-Biomass Biofuels and Bioproducts, v. 15, p. 59-64, 2016.

Revista Ciência Agronômica ISSN 1806-6690 (online) 0045-6888 (impresso), Site:, e-mail: - Fone: (85) 3366.9702 - Expediente: 2ª a 6ª feira - de 7 às 17h.