Start Date: Nov 12, 2004
End Date: Nov 02, 2009
Design and construct replicated recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) to evaluate efficiency of current RAS technology components (i.e., pumps, biofilters, microscreen and swirl solids separators, oxygen saturators, SCADA units) for the production of marine finfish in low salinity environments. Conduct waste excretion and solids velocity studies for different stages (fingerling-juvenile-broodstock) of selected marine fish to establish baseline information for recirculating system design and component sizing. Develop suitable dynamic system models of RAS processes and components to determine cost-effective production output. Evaluate the utilization of wood fiber materials for the removal of ammonia and suspended solids of the organic effluent from recirculating systems in efforts to achieve enhanced water re-use. Determine the nutrient digestibility of traditional and non-traditional feed ingredients to replace fish meals and oils, and evaluate the efficiency of diets containing these ingredients in terms of growth, performance, health, nutrient partitioning, and carcass quality. Establish nutrient requirements for the development of broodstock diet to increase egg and larval quality resulting in enhanced reproductive success and reduction of reproductive stress. Determine nutrient and energy requirements for rearing pompano, black sea bass, and flounder in low salinity environments for optimal growth, performance, health, nutrient partitioning, and carcass quality. Establish and refine spawning procedures including hormonal induction, photothermal manipulation, and sex ratio modification to achieve year-round reproduction of target broodstock species such as black sea bass pompano. Develop procedures for consistent production of larval through juvenile stages of selected species via research involving physiology, stocking density, water quality, and physical factors of culture systems.