Evaluation of Recirculating Systems for the Culture of Channel Catfish

Channel catfish can be cultured at high densities in carefully managed recirculating raceway systems. Various flow rates, exchange rates, and tank to filter ratios were investigated in ten recirculating systems employing biological filters, settling chambers and foam strippers. Limestone, shells, styrofoam and teflon rings served as effective filter media, but coal slag restricted water flow and was not satisfactory. An equation was developed to evaluate the effects of system design on water quality. Water quality varies directly with fresh water exchange, flow rate per tank, and the filter size. Production was greater in systems with small tanks and large filters (5 Ib/ft3) than in systems with large tanks and small filters (1 lb/ft3). Densities in excess of 7lb/ft3 per tank have been obtained, indicating recirculating systems may become an increasingly important method of fish culture.

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