Aquaculture North America

Paddlewheel more cost effective than pump: study

July 21, 2019
By Ruby Gonzalez

Paddlewheel aerators are superior to pumps in aerating ponds Using paddlewheels for aeration in split ponds brings down costs

Using paddlewheels for aeration in split ponds brings down costs and is also much more effective than using pumps, research shows.

A team at the Mississippi State University’s (MSU) Delta Research and Extension Center produced a “very robust design” to improve circulation between the split pond’s waste-treatment area and the fish area.

“My work recognizes the paddlewheel as being far superior to any other pump option. Correct sizing of the return flow pipes can reduce cost and improve performance,” said Dr Jonathan Pote, head of the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering at MSU.

Pole said the split-pond aquaculture system has been proven to have advantages over traditional ponds in terms of cost, production and operation. It produces more pound of fish per area. It is also easier to manage in terms of stocking, feeding and harvesting because these are done in a much smaller area. Aeration is also less costly since the volume aerated is much smaller. However, additional investment is needed for the construction and controls.


Aeration in split ponds is critical, especially towards the end of production cycle. “In the late season, when the fish are extremely large, the nutrient and algae concentration are at their maximum. The system becomes unstable, reaching extremely high and low dissolved oxygen concentrations. It is critical that the produce is harvested on time. Any delay contributes to fish losses and poor quality fish and endangers the whole system,” Pole said.


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