Submitted to: Aquacultural Engineering
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/15/2006
Publication Date: 5/1/2007
Citation: Pfeiffer, T.J., Lawson, T.B., Church, G.E. 2007. Engineering considerations for water circulation in crawfish ponds with paddlewheel aerators. Aquacultural Engineering. 36(3):239-249. Interpretive Summary: Commercial crawfish production ponds plant rice to serve as feed for the crawfish in the ponds. The crawfish feed upon the rice vegetation and other organic matter and microorganisms growing on the rice vegetation. The rice vegetation as it decomposes consumes oxygen and can greatly reduce crawfish production if supplemental aeration is not provided. Paddlewheel aerators can be used effectively to aerate and circulate the water in shallow crawfish production ponds. Paddlewheel aeration replenishes oxygen to the water and helps move the oxygenated water throughout the pond Research has shown that increased oxygen and circulation can greatly increase crawfish production. For optimum aeration and circulation of the oxygenated water in the shallow crawfish ponds either one or two paddlewheels must be in operation and set with the proper paddle depth. One and two paddlewheel aerators at three different paddle depths were operated in shallow crawfish ponds planted with rice to determine the energy consumption and efficiency of each.
Technical Abstract: Commercial crawfish production methods are based on providing aquatic vegetation as forage for the crawfish. The animals feed upon the decaying vegetation and other organic matter as well as the microorganisms growing on the vegetation. The decomposing vegetation consumes oxygen and can greatly reduce crawfish production if supplemental aeration is not provided. Paddlewheel aerators can be used effectively to aerate and circulate the water in shallow crawfish production ponds. The effect of paddlewheel aeration is twofold: oxygen is replenished to the water and the oxygenated water is distributed throughout the water column by the circulatory patterns created by the paddlewheels. Research has shown that increased oxygen and circulation can greatly increase crawfish production. Engineering considerations of paddlewheel operation in shallow ponds are necessary for optimum application. The energy consumption and efficiency of one and two paddlewheel aerators with different paddle depths operating in shallow crawfish ponds planted with rice were determined.