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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Research Project: Split-Pond Aquaculture Systems: Design Refinements for Catfish Production and Evaluation for Culturing Other Species

Location: Warmwater Aquaculture Research Unit

Project Number: 6066-13320-005-08-R
Project Type: Reimbursable Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Jan 1, 2014
End Date: Dec 31, 2017

Evaluate split pond designs for catfish aquaculture. Evaluate split ponds for culture of warmwater species of commercial value.

Split ponds consist of a fish-holding basin connected to a larger waste-treatment basin by conveyance structures through which water is circulated using high-volume pumps. Although rapidly adopted by catfish farmers, system design varies greatly among current users. The apparent success of split ponds for growing catfish has also generated interest in the possibility of culturing baitfish. Researchers at four institutions will collaborate to determine the best split pond designs for catfish and baitfish aquaculture. Engineering performance models for five high-volume pumps used in catfish split ponds will be developed. Commercial-scale systems using these pumps will then be evaluated for fish performance, water quality, and flavor quality. Additional studies will be conducted to determine the effect of dissolved oxygen management in the waste-treatment section on system water quality, fish flavor quality, and fish production. Studies will also be conducted to determine the best split pond design for growing baitfish. Priority design issues (fish barriers to prevent fish escape and the ratio of fish culture to waste-treatment area) will be studied to arrive at the best configuration. Results of this project will be distributed to aquaculturists through refereed journal publications, articles in trade journals, conferences, and a Southern Regional Aquaculture Center fact sheet.

Last Modified: 07/26/2017
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