Aquaculture North America

Nitrogen sensor for recirculating aquaculture systems

November 10, 2015
By Linda Hiemstra

In collaboration with European partners, Nofima, one of the largest institutes for applied research for fisheries, aquaculture and food research in Europe, has developed a fully automatic sensor to measure levels of nitrogen compounds in recirculated water.  The sensor has been developed specifically for aquaculture and tested in recirculating aquaculture systems for the measurement of the nitrogen nitrite.

            The biofilters of recirculating aquaculture systems contain micro-organisms that convert nitrogen-based waste products to nitrites and nitrates. High levels of nitrite and ammonia indicate that biofilter is not functioning optimally and can be toxic.    

            The sensor will provide real time water quality data and is a component of measurement equipment that measures eight parameters simultaneously and continuous on-line measurements of nitrite, total nitrogen compounds, pH, salinity, oxygen level, carbon dioxide level, total gas saturation and temperature. 

            The work was carried out at the Nofima Centre for Recirculation in Aquaculture at Sunndalsøra, Norway.  Nofima’s role in the project was to contribute expertise of fish needs and limits for various parameters of water quality, to test the prototype, and to evaluate how it can be further developed such that it can be used in recirculating aquaculture systems. Consortium partner OxyGuard is now planning to take the prototype towards commercialisation and sale to the industry.

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