Effects on Water Quality of Additional Mechanical Aeration in the Waste-Treatment Cells in Split-Pond Aquaculture Systems for Hybrid Catfish Production
Type of DegreePhD Dissertation
Fisheries and Allied Aquacultures
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Split-pond aquaculture is a new, innovative system for intensification of pond aquaculture in the southeastern USA. Split ponds have a fish cell and a waste cell, approximately 20% water surface area and 80% water surface area, respectively, in which water recirculates to improve water quality and allow more intensive production than possible in traditional ponds. This three-year study focuses on the possible benefits of using mechanical aeration in the waste-treatment section of the split-pond culture system. The present study was conducted on a commercial catfish farm in west Alabama that has eight split-ponds, each with a fish-holding section of approximately 8,000 m2. Water quality was assessed through a variety of parameters that had the potential to be affected by oxygen using standard analytical chemical procedures in the field and laboratory. Further investigation also determined poor circulation rates and aeration in split-ponds because of poor management. This dissertation discusses water quality and intensification of pond aquaculture, water quality and aeration in split-pond waste cells, and best practices of the split-pond design.