Improved farming technology to optimize production, water quality and disease prevention in model trout farms (FOOP) (38950)

Project Details


The aim of the project was to identify water quality parameters of significance to production traits and disease resistance in rainbow trout; specifically ammonia nitrogen, nitrite nitrogen, carbon dioxide, oxygen and nitrogen gas.

The project further aimed to pinpoint where in the model trout farm changes in water quality occurs. From these findings the project will attempt various rectifying actions to improve water quality. Finally, a series of experiments in collaboration with DTU Vet will clarify the importance of water quality parameters on disease resistance.

Examination of operational conditions at a number of different model trout farms showed that supersaturation with nitrogen gases was a chronic problem, and that dissolved CO2 levels were generally 2-3 fold higher than equilibrium conditions. Nitrogen supersaturation did however not occur at levels that negatively influenced production parameters (feed intake, feed conversion, and growth), however, CO2 levels were shown in laboratory experiments to negatively influence production at the observed levels. Ammonia and nitrogen levels were all within safe thresholds as verified by growth studies performed in the laboratory.

Fixed bed and moving bed biofilters each have their advantages and shortcomings. Hydraulic conditions in fixed bed biofilters caused a reduction in N turnover efficiency; however under laboratory conditions (optimal hydraulic conditions) fixed bed biofilters outperform moving bed. In site observations shown that fixed bed biofilters are also more resilient to variations in operational conditions, and are better at removing chemical therapeutants, possibly due to a higher load of organic material within the filter.

Biofilter performance was shown to be sensitive to both dissolved oxygen levels and alkalinity, but not at levels relevant for daily operation.

The project was coordinated by DTU Aqua and funded by the Danish Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries and the European Fisheries Fund (EFF).

Research area: Aquaculture
Effective start/end date01/10/201101/10/2013


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