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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Stoneville, Mississippi » Warmwater Aquaculture Research Unit » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #319320

Research Project: Water Quality and Production Systems to Enhance Production of Catfish

Location: Warmwater Aquaculture Research Unit

Title: Performance evaluation of four different methods for circulating water in commercial-scale, split-pond aquaculture systems

Author
item Brown, Travis
item Tucker, Craig
item Rutland, Billy

Submitted to: Aquacultural Engineering
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/12/2015
Publication Date: 1/1/2016
Citation: Brown, T.W., Tucker, C.S., Rutland, B.L. 2016. Performance evaluation of four different methods for circulating water in commercial-scale, split-pond aquaculture systems. Aquacultural Engineering. 70:33-41.

Interpretive Summary: Split-pond aquaculture systems have widely been adopted by United States Catfish farmers as a way to improve production performance. Pump performance was evaluated with four different pumping systems at various rotational speeds. Water flow rates, power input, and pumping efficiency were evaluated for each pump type. The least expensive pump to operate was the twin, slow-rotating paddlewheel pump, followed by the paddlewheel aerator pump, high-speed screw pump, and axial-flow pump. Our results show that four different pumping systems can be effectively installed and used to circulate water in split-ponds, although, water flow rate, rotational speed, required power input, efficiency, initial investment cost, and operational expense varied greatly between the pumping systems tested. Long term studies are underway to better define the relationship between water flow rate and fish production in split ponds. That information will help identify the pumping system most appropriate for split-pond aquaculture.

Technical Abstract: The split-pond consists of a fish-culture basin that is connected to a waste-treatment lagoon by two conveyance structures. Water is circulated between the two basins with high-volume pumps and many different pumping systems are being used on commercial farms. Pump performance was evaluated with four different pumping systems. Rotational speeds ranged from 0.5 to 3.5 rpm for a twin, slow rotating paddlewheel pump, 12.5 to 56.5 rpm for a paddlewheel aerator pump, 60 to 240 rpm for a high-speed screw pump, and 150 to 600 rpm for an axial-flow pump. Water flow rates ranged from 8.6 to 77.6 m3/min while water flow increased with increasing rotational speed and power input varied directly with flow rate and ranged from 0.24 to 13.43 kW for all four pumps. Water discharge per unit power input (i.e., pumping efficiency) ranged from 3.5 to 70.9 m3 ·min-1·kW-1 for the pumps tested. In general, pumping efficiency decreased as water flow rate increased. Initial investment cost for each pump and complete pumping system ranged from US$5,850 to $22,900 and $15,335 to $78,660, respectively. The least expensive pump to operate was the twin, slow-rotating paddlewheel pump, followed by the paddlewheel aerator pump, high-speed screw pump, and axial-flow pump. Long term studies are underway to better define the relationship between water flow rate and fish production in split ponds. That information will help identify the pumping system most appropriate for split-pond aquaculture.