Master of Science in Civil Engineering (MSCE)


Civil and Environmental Engineering

Document Type



Airlift-equipped recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) provide water-circulation, aeration, and degassing efficiently and reliably. This project investigated the need for biofilters in a fish hatchery environment to address biofouling of tank water from hatching eggs. Eggs of various fish species were selected and Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD), total Kjeldahl nitrogen (TKN), and protein loading and content were measured and compared. Means for all samples were: 0.67±0.05g BOD₅/g, 10.89 nitrogen±0.84% and the mean protein content 69.22±3.82%. A statistical analysis indicates that Rachycentron canadum (cobia) and Ictalurus punctatus (channel catfish) is the most representative of the multi-species lot when compared to Balantiocheilus melanopterus (bala shark), the targeted species for this study. Secondly, this project sought to quantify the costs associated with domestic tilapia growout production using Airlifted PolyGeyser® RAS technology. A cost analysis was applied to a given facility, based on feeding rate and annual production requirements. Results indicated a capital cost of $4,887,000 for the entire facility including $4,671,000 for RAS equipment. The annual production cost of the growout was determined to be $953,140 for the facility. The production cost of growout is $0.93 per pound of fish. The calculated facility equivalent equipment cost was $0.26 and the purge facility $0.1 per pound of fish. The total production cost of the facility per pound of tilapia produced was $1.19. The life cycle costs of the facility over period of 30 years was $25,572,000, of which feeding represents 43% with a cost of $11,056,000. Operation cost has the second highest cost of $5,053,000 then stocking cost, at $2,373,000. The thesis presents a tabular template of costs applicable to airlifted PolyGeyser®-equipped facilities.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Malone, Ronald F