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Paddlewheel Water Mixing in Split Ponds Used for Catfish Production

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  2021 ASABE Annual International Virtual Meeting  2100881.(doi:10.13031/aim.202100881)
Authors:   David E Brune, Gregory Schwartz, Brian Ott
Keywords:   Algae Culture, Aquaculture, Mixing, Partitioned Aquaculture, Split Ponds, Water Quality,

Abstract. The Partitioned Aquaculture System (PAS) was developed at Clemson University from 1990 to 2009. The technique is one of using slow-moving paddlewheels to provide uniform mixing of fish-pond culture water while cultured fish are held within high density raceways. In this configuration, approximately 5% of system area is used for fish culture with the remaining 95% devoted to water treatment. To take advantage of the enhanced algal treatment capacity of the PAS for application to commercial catfish culture at reduced cost, a simplified version of the PAS, entitled, the Split-Pond (SP) was installed at the Warm Water Aquaculture Center in Stoneville Mississippi. The Split-Pond makes use of existing catfish ponds confining fish at lower densities than in PAS raceway (~20% of total system area). This study was undertaken to compare mixing effectiveness of paddlewheels vs culvert pumps in SPs with, and without, internal levees dividing water flow within the waste treatment section. Dissolved oxygen and temperature measurements were taken 1 ft below the water surface and 1 ft above pond bottom using a YSI oxygen meter, suspended from a boat positioned at 30 x40 ft increments across the five acre pond. Preliminary analysis of the date suggests SPs containing levees, configured with culvert pumps providing 8,000 gpm water flow, impart mixed conditions to approximately 33% of the volume of the treatment zone. SP treatment zones without levees, using paddlewheels providing 10,000 gpm flow, was seen to provide mixing to approximately 50% of the treatment zone water volume.

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