Daily micro particle distribution of an experimental recirculating aquaculture system – A case study

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The particle size distribution (PSD) in a recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) was investigated duringa 24-h cycle. PSD was analyzed in water sampled at several locations in a recirculation loop containing a60-m drum filter, a submerged fixed-bed biofilter and a trickling filter.In relation to total counts, the system was dominated by micro-particles with particles smaller than20 m comprising >94% of the distribution in all samples. However, the system presented a substantialvolumetric influence of larger particles, reflected by a PSD derivate ˇ-value of 3.40 ± 0.18. Overall ˇ-valuesthroughout the compartments (p = 0.584) and experimental period (p = 0.217) were not significantlydifferent, although specific components seemed to marginally affect the PSD.A high internal water turnover rate (one system passage every 50 min) promoted the rapid removalof large particles from the system. Permanent volumetric particle removal above 60 m (31% reductionin the relative contribution from each size by the drum filter) per passage, but marginal productionand removal of particles throughout the rest of the system further support the ˇ-value stability andconsequent PSD equilibrium.The results showed a stable ˇ-value in the mature RAS. The ˇ-value is influenced by the containedcompartments and system configuration, and may be used as a system performance-predicting tool.Mechanisms of particle influence on system and fish performance should be addressed in future studies,and are herein discussed
Original languageEnglish
JournalAquacultural Engineering
Pages (from-to)28-34
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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