The effects of ozone treatment on chemical parameters of a recirculating aquaculture system producing hybrid striped bass

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Virginia Tech


The hypothesis tested in this study is that the application of ozone to reuse aquaculture water provides more favorable conditions for hybrid striped bass at production levels. Evaluation of water quality in fish culture systems being treated with ozone was made during a production trial (1200 fish/14,OOO 1). Originally, a control and four ozonated systems with doses of 3, 13, 25, and 45 g O3/kg feed/day supported fish for experimentation but, due to mechanical failure, only the control, the 13 and 25 g O3/kg feed/day treatments completed the full 35 week study. On an equal feeding basis, concentrations of dissolved organic carbon (DOC), carbonaceous biochemical oxygen demand (CBODs), and chemical oxygen demand (COD) were lowest in the most heavily ozonated systems. Ozone increased the biodegradation of DOC. Total suspended solids, particle size and distributions were impacted by ozone's flocculating properties. The percentages of particles in the smallest size range, 5-20 microns, were greater in the control system than the ozonated systems during weeks of equal feeding rates. When feeding rates differed, the control system maintained a larger number total particles per kilogram of feed administered. The pH of the ozonated systems was lower than the control which favored the ionized (less toxic) form of ammonia. Enhanced biodegradation of organics in the ozonated systems may have increased carbon dioxide production and caused a decline in pH. Greater nitrification in the ozonated systems may have also decreased the pH. Higher total ammonia nitrogen (TAN) levels were produced in the control on an equal feeding basis. Average weekly TAN t unionized ammonia (NH3), nitrite and nitrate concentrations remained at acceptable levels across treatments and throughout the production trial. Overall, the major indication of improved system conditions due to ozone treatment was that fish raised in the ozonated systems fed steadily throughout the growth trial while the control system's culture experienced periods of reduced feeding.