Land-Based Integrated Aquaculture Systems: Sustainability Assessment of a Pilot Scale System

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Conference Proceeding

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Recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) provide an effective method to produce aquaculture products inland with minimal discharge of waste products and minimal water loss. High costs associated with waste treatment for RAS have triggered the growth of integrated aquaculture systems (IAS), which incorporate macrophytes that can be developed into useful products into the treatment train. The objective of this research was to examine an inland marine based pilot scale IAS with three different methods for solids treatment: a sand filter followed by a plant bed, only a plant bed, and geotubes. Between May 2011 and April 2012, water quality was tested at 7 points located throughout the IAS for COD, TN, TP, and TSS every 4 to 6 weeks. Average chemical oxygen demand (COD) and total suspended solids (TSS) removals were 62% and 88%, respectively. Total nitrogen (TN) and total phosphorus (TP) removal rates were 49% and 11% on average, between the three treatment methods. In general, the plants provided sufficient nutrient removal for safe fish production, and the fish provided enough nutrients for ample plant growth.

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Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation, WEFTEC 2012, p. 3616-3631