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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Leetown, West Virginia » Cool and Cold Water Aquaculture Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #331774

Research Project: Developing and Refining Technologies for Sustainable Fish Growth in Closed Containment Systems

Location: Cool and Cold Water Aquaculture Research

Title: Survey of large circular and octagonal tanks operated at Norwegian commercial smolt and post-smolt sites

Author
item Summerfelt, Steven - Freshwater Institute
item Mathisen, Frode - Grieg Seafood Asa
item Holan, Astrid Buran - Nofima
item Terjesen, Bendik Fyhn - Nofima

Submitted to: Aquacultural Engineering
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/26/2016
Publication Date: 7/28/2016
Citation: Summerfelt, S.T., Mathisen, F., Holan, A., Terjesen, B. 2016. Survey of large circular and octagonal tanks operated at Norwegian commercial smolt and post-smolt sites. Aquacultural Engineering. 74:105-110.

Interpretive Summary: There is great potential to reduce fixed and variable costs with the application of large (more than 1,000 cubic meters) circular-type culture tanks for smolt and post-smolt production. However, hydrodynamic challenges are encountered in such large culture tanks and there is potential to optimize conditions for fish culture within these large tanks. To better characterize the existing status and operation of large culture tanks, a survey was conducted to determine the geometry, operating parameters, and other key features of large circular or octagonal culture tanks used to produce Atlantic salmon smolt and post-smolt at six major Norwegian Atlantic salmon production companies. A total of 55 large tanks were reported at seven land-based hatchery locations, i.e., averaging 8 large tanks per land-based site with culture volumes ranging from 500 to 1300 m3 per tank. Land-based tanks were flushed at a mean hydraulic retention time (HRT) of 35 -170 min to support a maximum feed load of 525 to 850 kg/day per tank. Almost half of the large tanks reported in this survey were installed or renovated since 2013. These more recent tanks were operated at more rapid tank HRT's, i.e., less than 53 min, than the longer HRT typical of the large tanks built before 2013. In addition, flow per unit of feed load in land-based tanks that began operating before 2010 were lower (19 -30 m3 flow/kg feed) than in tanks that began operating later (33 -40 m3 flow/kg feed). Survey results suggest that the recently built tanks have been designed to operate at a reduced metabolic loading per unit of flow, a tendency that would improve water quality throughout the culture tank, all else equal. This trend is possible due to the ever increasing application of water recirculating systems.

Technical Abstract: A survey was conducted to determine the geometry, operating parameters, and other key features of large circular or octagonal culture tanks used to produce Atlantic salmon smolt and post-smolt at six major Norwegian Atlantic salmon production companies. A total of 55 large tanks were reported at seven land-based hatchery locations, i.e., averaging 7.9 (range of 4 -12) large tanks per land-based site. In addition, one 21,000 m3 floating fiberglass tank in sea was reported. Culture volume ranged from 500 to 1300 m3 for each land-based tank. Most tanks were circular, but one site used octagonal tanks. Land-based tank diameters ranged from 14.5 to 20 m diameter, whereas the floating tank was 40 m diameter. Maximum tank depths ranged from 3.5 to 4.5 m at land-based facilities, which produced diameter-to-average-depth ratios of 3.6:1 to 5.5:1 m:m. The floating tank was much deeper at 20 m, with a diameter-to-average-depth ratio of only 2.4:1 m:m. All land-based tanks had floors sloping at 4.0 -6.5% toward the tank center and various pipe configurations that penetrated the culture tank water volume at tank center. These pipes and sloping floors were used to reduce labor when removing dead fish and harvesting fish. Maximum flow ranged from 3 to 19 m3/min per land-based tank, with 400 m3/min at the floating tank, but tank flow was adjustable at most facilities. Land-based tanks were flushed at a mean hydraulic retention time (HRT) of 35 -170 min. Maximum feed load on each land-based tank ranged from 525 to 850 kg/day, but the floating tank reached 3700 kg/day. Almost half of the large tanks reported in this survey were installed or renovated since 2013, including the three tank systems with the highest flowrate per tank (greater than 17.6 m3/min). These more recent tanks were operated at more rapid tank HRT's, i.e., from 34.8 to 52.5 min, than the 67 -170 min HRT typical of the large tanks built before 2013. In addition, flow per unit of feed load in land-based tanks that began operating before 2010 were lower (19 -30 m3 flow/kg feed) than in tanks that began operating later (33 -40 m3 flow/kg feed). In comparison, the floating tank operates at a maximum daily tank flow to feed load of 160 m3 flow/kg feed, which is the least intensive of all tanks surveyed. Survey results suggest that the recently built tanks have been designed to operate at a reduced metabolic loading per unit of flow, a tendency that would improve water quality throughout the culture tank, all else equal. This trend is possible due to the ever increasing application of water recirculating systems.