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Aquacultural Engineering 3 (I 984) 103-118

Flow Distribution Studies in Fish Rearing Tanks. Part 1 - Design Constraints

A. Klapsis and R. Burley

Department of Chemical and Process Engineering, Heriot-Watt University, Chambers Street, Edinburgh EH1 IHX, UK

A BSTRA CT The hydraulic behaviour of any fish-containing tank, pond or silo is of central importance to all aspects o f intensive fish rearing. The reticulation o f fluid and local fluid velocities in particular systems will directly and indirectly affect fish physiology and metabolic rates in the intensive rearing process. It is also recognised that the fluid also has an important role to play in food and heat distribution and removal o f waste solid material. This paper therefore reviews the design constraints placed upon such systems in the context o f previous studies as an indicator as to how to make the most efficient use of square tanks for intensive fish rearing, which is the subject o f Part 2 o f the paper {Klapsis and Burley, 1984).

INTRODUCTION The design constraints on fish rearing tanks, ponds, etc., are several. The most important of these is clearly to ensure that the equipment is designed for efficient use and the profitability per unit volume is maximised throughout the equipment. Such a main objective requires a clear understanding of how fluids behave when either injected into or removed from large holding 103

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A. Klapsis, R. Burley

volumes and what the effect of the hydraulic characteristics will be on parameters such as, for example, oxygen, fluid velocity and temperature levels, detritus removal a n d food distribution. These variables are all interlinked through both the general flow and the particular local conditions that pertain to given fish rearing methods. In this context it is instructive to look at previous design histories and observe the previous developments in response to demand for increasing production of intensively reared fish.

NOTE ON TERMINOLOGY In view of the wide range o f equipment developed by the industry, it is useful to define some of the terms that will be used later on in the text. In this context 'tank' refers to portable or semiportable units up to 3.5 m in diameter, while 'pond' or 'pool' refers to permanently installed units up to 12 m in diameter. The ponds or tanks can have different geometries; diagrams of different designs are presented in Fig. 1.

PLAN

od
PLAN

S E C T I O N

~ C I R C U L A RP O N D

R A C E W A Y

S E C T I O N

C R O S S S E C T I O N

FOSTER LUCAS SI LO

CROSSS E C T I O N

Fig. l.

Diagramof different pond/tank designs.

Flow distriburion srudier in fish rearing ranks - I

105

HISTORIC DEVELOPMENT OF TANKS/PONDS Hydraulic characteristics - circular systems Cobb and Titcomb (1930) reported that as early as 1904 Mayhall had used circular shaped rearing ponds with a central outlet for salmonid husbandry at the State Hatcheries in Washington State, USA. The pond used by Mayhall was fitted with a water supply from a perforated pipe extending across the middle of the pond, as shown in Fig. 2, arranged so as to jet water to try to ensure a clockwise flow of

CENTRE WASTE PIPE

WATER INJECTION

--iiF i
Fig. 2.

TO WASTE

Diagram of pond used by Mayhall. (See Cobb and Titcomb,

1930.)

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A. Klapsgs, R. Burley

water in the pond with evenly distributed velocity across the radius. The original tanks were 5 ft in diameter and 18 in in depth, but later developments increased the size to 25, 50 and 100 ft diameter. The outlet was a central concrete base into which were set two elbows, one to take the normal overflow, the other to allow siphoning off of the accumulated solids. This design was later modified by Cobb and Titcomb, replacing the radial pipe with a single tangential pipe at the surface of the water, nearly parallel with the bank at water level. Surber (1933) also used circular pools with central outlets. A cylindrical metal leaf screen was placed around the central standpipe whose upper part lay above the water level whilst its base lay close to the bottom of the pool. Between the base of the central standpipe, which screwed into a sleeve in the foundation, and the outer cylinder, metal leaves were arranged to permit the removal of detritus whilst preventing the passage of fish. This design was found to increase the self-cleaning action because the water was forced to pass under the screen at a relatively increased velocity thus carrying away the majority of the waste materials produced from the intensive fish rearing. Burrows and Chenoweth (1955) were the first to report studies in flow patterns for three model fish holding facilities, namely the circular pond, the Foster gucas and the raceway (Fig. 1). This was the first detailed study of local velocities for the circular pond as a function of position, albeit for a fixed flowrate/depth configuration (Fig. 3). Burrows and Chenoweth also introduced tracer methods for the analysis of fluid-based phenomena, such as mixing, by-passing and dead volumes, which need to be quantified in any real system and scaled-up from model studies. These dye studies showed up areas of poor water interchange caused by the short circuiting (Fig. 4). The short circuiting effect did, however, encourage movement over the base of the tank transferring the waste material, settled in the dead areas, to the centre screen. Studies on the flow patterns of the Foster Lucas and raceway ponds (Fig. 5) showed up similar short circuiting and dead zones of poor water exchange. Looking at what are now termed 'Exit Age' distribution response curves, we can see some indication of the short circuiting that occurs in

Flow distribution studies in fish rearing ranks - 1

107

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DEAD AREA

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2'-6" MEDIUM VELOCITY B"Std. PIPE OUTLET 0). SECTION OF CIRCULAR PONO

Fig. 3.

Diagram of circular pond.

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A. Klapsis, R. Burley

SHORTLY AFTER DYE INJECTION

kS MINUTES AFTER DYE INJECTION

Fig. 4.

Diagram of flow patterns and dead areas c a u s e d b y s h o r t c i r c u i t i n g .

29'-6"

27'- 0" \ -J,Screens*outlet pipe "

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Fig. 5.

Diagramof Foster Lucas and raceway ponds.

all these ponds (Fig. 6), and as expected the raceway pond had the 'best' overall performance. A full explanation of response curve analysis is given in the Appendix. Larmoyeaux e t al. (1973), in their study of tank flow behaviour, described the flow patterns for various (diameter/depth) ratios, given

F l o w d i s t r i b u t i o n s t u d i e s in fish rearing t a n k s - 1

109

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Fig. 6.

Diagram showing 'E' curves in all three model ponds of Burrows and Chenoweth (1955).

in Figs 7 and 8. These studies revealed that the volume of the water was divided into four zones, with inter-zone variation being created by angling the water inlet jets, which were o f different diameters. Silos Turning to deeper circular tanks, i.e. silos, Buss et al. (1970) were the first to report the use of vertical cylindrical silos for intensive fish rearing with a length-to-diameter ratio of 3 : 1. Later Buss (1975, 1976) patented and discussed the use o f silos in which oxygen was introduced at the b o t t o m o f the silo through a simple sparger, as shown in Fig. 9. The flow of water within the silo was, as shown, from the b o t t o m to the top, so that fish waste products, both solid and dissolved, tended to be carried upwards and removed from the water as it passed from one tank to the next in a cascade system. MacVane (1979) used a silo where the water entered tangentially and developed an ascending vortex flow. This spiral action, assisted by the swimming movement o f the fish, caused solids to gravitate towards the centre o f the tank, facilitating self-cleaning of the equipment. The b o t t o m of the tank was shaped as an inverted obtuse cone with a drain at the centre. Finger (1974) also

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A. KIapsis, R. Burley

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Flow patterns for diameter to depth ratios of 3:1 and less. (After Larmoyeux et al.. 1973.)

patented a silo which contained a perforated water circulating tube which extended downwards along the greater part o f its length. A water heater was used to regulate the water temperature and an air heater was used to heat the air above the water surface. Fruchtnicht (1975) used a silo having a tangentially directed sprinkler for a water inlet, whilst an evacuation orifice in the base was covered

Flow distribution

studies in fish rearing tanks - 1

111

INLET

NOZZLES

Fig. 8.

SECTION

Flow patterns for diameter to depth ratios of 5: 1 and 10: 1. (After Larmoyeux et al., 1973.)

by a high removable latticed dome. The water volume was divided by several removable floors to form a multistorey tank. Moore (1977) used concentrically arranged tanks, of an appropriate volume, to provide an optimum rate of growth for fish in each stage of their life.

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A. Klapsis, R. Burley

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Fig. 9. Silo due to Buss(1975).

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Prevost (1940) had previously also used a vertical assembly o f five superimposed tanks, from which the outlet o f one tank was used as the inlet to the next. Whilst altering the depth to width ratio in one sense intensifies the operation, it does not overcome the basic problems o f intensive fish rearing referred to previously, although it does have the obvious advantage of more usable volume per unit area o f floor space. Oxygen availability As mentioned in the Introduction the hydraulic characteristics o f any fish rearing tank design impinge on all the processes which occur within that tank. From this consideration we can see that it is important to have fully oxygenated water in every part o f the tank, with no dead areas, and a minimum dissolved oxygen concentration being maintained. Ellis and Wastfall (1946) have stated this to be 5 ppm (or mg liter-l); however, this is species specific. Studies by Prevost (1940), Davis (1946) as well as Burrows and Chenoweth (1955) have shown that even distribution o f the fish within the tank helps oxygen distribution. The instantaneous local oxygen concentration is dependent on both the rate o f oxygen consumption

Flow distribution studies in fish rearing ranks

1 13

a n d oxygen input, which in hydraulic terms means the rate of arrival

of oxygenated water. Thus an important engineering hydrodynamic design parameter is to maintain the dissolved oxygen availability throughout the tank. This can be done by: (1) increasing the water flowrate; (2) introducing oxygen or air (Mitchell, 1976; BOC, 1976); (3) redesigning the water injection system (Larmoyeux et al., 1973). Mechanical cleaning devices Most fish tank designs rely on the intrinsic flow patterns to carry away uneaten food and solid waste products. On the other hand, relatively few devices have been developed, some of them mechanical, for this specific purpose. Smith and Jones (1970) developed a brush that cleaned the turning vanes used in a raceway pond for directing the flow of water around the corner. MacVane (1979) described two methods for cleaning shallow cylindrical tanks such as manual vacuuming and lowering the-water level while developing a central vortex, i.e. flushing. Haynes (1975) used turning brushes at the bottom of the tank to stir up the waste materials and keep the fish off the bottom, whilst Bolton (1957)had previously employed a floor scraper to clear up the bottom of a sedimentation tank. In order to obtain self-cleaning action, the minimum water circulation velocity at all cross-sections of the tank must be of the order of 0-2 f t s -l (Burrows and Chenoweth, 1970). Importance of velocity levels The local fluid velocity must be sufficiently high to induce a selfcleaning action, but not too high to cause stress in the fish (Burrows and Chenoweth, 1970). Burrows has stated that the optimum velocity will be size and species specific. The fluid velocity also affects metabolism; for example, physically conditioned fish were more efficient food converters than stock not exercised (Poston et al., 1969). Optimum swimming velocity for better food conversion was investigated by Kuipers (1983).

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A. Klapsis, R. Burley

Burrows and Chenoweth (1955) highlighted the importance of efficient food distribution in the fish rearing tank. They stated that food distribution was primarily a function of fluid velocity. The fluid velocity is used to distribute food pellets throughout the tank/pond and induce a rolling action on the pellets over the base of the tank suitable for bottom-feeding fish. Suitable treatment of certain feeds allows them to stay in the upper region of the water column for a longer period of time but the unnecessary accumulation of food and waste products will cause a further drain on the available oxygen. This emphasizes the importance of designing a flow system which enhances the removal of detritus and uneaten tbod, whilst maintaining an acceptable level of oxygen supply throughout the tank.

CONCLUSIONS It may be observed that many problems arise from trying to simultaneously satisfy several criteria. The main problem in present fish rearing tanks lies in improper mixing and short circuiting with irregular flow patterns. From this problem others arise: the local depletion of oxygen in certain areas, for example, with a simultaneous build-up of ammonia and insufficient self-cleaning action for detritus removal. Origin of problems As described earlier, many types of fish tank exist, such as the circular tank, the raceway type, the Foster Lucas, the silo, etc. Many of these tanks have been constructed in their particular geometry due to considerations of space utilization without taking into account any of the problems previously mentioned. Having decided the geometry of the tank that will be used, the water inlet/outlet configuration design is the next step to be determined. Again, this decision may have been taken not on the basis of previous research or experimental work but for reasons of simplicity, expediency and lack o f understanding. Thus, imperfect mixing and subsequent problems may easily occur directly as a result of the geometry of the tank and its incorrect inlet/ outlet design.

F l o w distribution studies in f~sh rearing tanks - 1

Im.

W A T E RJ N IJ E C T O IN

--I
m

1 15

d l c x m .
O V E R F L O W

FLUID DEPTH DEPENDS ON LENGTH OF CENTRAL STANDPIPE OF 10,15,25cms

Fig. 10. Square fish rearing tank outline due to Klapsis (1983).

Analysis o f a specific problem with respect to a square tank As an example, a fish rearing tank 1 m square with rounded comers and a central outlet was investigated from the point o f view o f flow, mixing and distribution o f local fluid velocities. Such a tank shape is shown in Fig. 10. From the commercial point o f view this particular geometry gives a 2 1% increase on usable surface area over its circular counterpart, but at the expense of increased problems o f design for uniform circulation, mixing and detritus removal. The water inlet design that had been used previously allowed water to enter the tank asymmetrically above the surface normally near one comer. This particular water inlet design, in conjunction with the square shape o f the tank, meant that the fresh water could not possibly reach all the parts of the tank, giving good mixing and oxygenation; indeed, the opposite was bound to occur. Due to the larger fluid drag forces near the tank walls and the base of the tank, the cleaning efficiency was not very good, i.e. uneaten food particles and excrement were not easily transported to the outlet. To maximize the drag forces at the base, it is necessary to increase the velocity gradient at the base of the tank so that the drag forces are

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A. Klapsis. R. Burley

sufficient to remove the majority of the faeces and uneaten food. In order to achieve this the single outlet was changed to a new outlet with four submerged pipes, one at each corner, discharging water at several depths from small orifices. The standpipe and screen were modified so that they would encourage the vortex flow pattern developed by the new inlets. The operational behaviour of this design of tank is the subject of Part 2 of this study (Klapsis and Burley, 1984), the first part having identified the important parameters and their interrelationships as far as intensive fish rearing are concerned.

APPENDIX Response curve analysis Response curve analysis is an important tool used in the hydraulic analysis of flow and mixing in vessels used throughout the chemical and process industries. Basically a stimulus, usually in the form of an impulse or step change in the fluid concentration, is applied at the inlet and at some point later the response of the system is recorded in the form of curves shaped for an input delta function, as we can see in Fig. 6. Full details of the appropriate analysis are given by Danckwerts (1953) and Levenspiel (1966). The curves shown in Fig. 6 due to Burrows and Chenoweth (1955) are not in the standard form of properly scaled variables as can be seen from a concentration maximum greater than unity. The general shape of the response curves, however, do permit some qualitative analysis. The curves show an early peak, which indicates by-passing, and a long tail, which indicates dead water regions or regions of poor mixing. Of the three traces presented there is little to choose between Foster Lucas and circular ponds, whilst the raceway pond, as might be expected, shows enhanced mixing characteristics. The offset at zero time indicates the relative velocities for a given holding value, but needs to be interpreted within the context of the particular vessel geometry. In terms of the mean residence time the fluid on average spent longer in the raceway, whilst Foster Lucas and circular ponds show a long tail in their exit age distribution curves.

Flow distribution studies in fish rearing tanks - 1

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A full analysis o f flow and mixing in terms of by-passing, dead volumes and well mixed volumes is given by Cholette and Cloutier (1959), such analysis being appropriate for the quantitative estimation of fish rearing tank fluid behaviour.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS The contribution of Mr A. R. Osborne and Mr B. T. Linfoot, Department of Civil Engineering, Heriot-Watt University, is gratefully acknowledged, as are the Heriot-Watt University funds which supported this research; also the authors wish to thank Mr D. Klapsis who provided a bursary for the work to be carried out.

REFERENCES BOC (1976). Treatment of liquid. UK Patent 1,455,567. Botton, J. (1957). Improvements in or relating to scraping and scumming apparatus for sedimentation tanks. UK Patent Specification 782357. Burrows, R. & Chenoweth, H. (1955). Evaluation of three types of fish rearing ponds. US Department o f the Interior Fish and Wildlife Service, Research Report 39. Burrows, R. & Chenoweth, H. (1970). The rectangular circulating rearing pond. The Progressive Fish Culturist , April, 167-8 t. Buss, K., Graft, D. & Miller, E. (1970). Trout culture in vertical units. The Progressive Fish Culturist, October, t87-91. Buss, K. (1975). Fish husbandry system. USPatent 3,916,834. Buss, K. (1976). Fish husbandry system. USPatents 3,981,273 and 3,996,839. Cobb, E. & Titcomb, J. (1930). A circular pond with central outlet for rearing fry and fingerlings of the salmonidae. American Fisheries Soc., 60, 121-3. Cholette, A. & Cloutier, L. (1959). Mixing efficiency determination for continuous flow systems. Can. J. Chem. Eng., 37, 105. Davis, H. S. (1946). Care and diseases of trout. US Department o f the Interior Fish and Wildlife Service, Research Report 1Z Danckwerts, P. V. (1953). Chem. Eng. Sci., 2 (I), 1. Ellis, M. M. & Wastfall, B. A. (1946). Determination of water quality. US Department of the Interior Fish and Wildlife Service, Research Report 9. Finger, J. (1974). Vertical fish farm. US Patent 3,804,063. Fruchtnicht, E. (1975). Fish growing tank. US Patent 3,870,018.

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Haynes, R. (1975). Recirculation fish raising tank with cleanable filter. US Patent 3,886,902. Klapsis, A. (1983). Investigation of flow and mixing effects in fish rearing tanks. MSc Thesis, Department of Chemical & Process Engineering, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh. Klapsis, A. & Burtey, R. (1984). Flow distribution studies in fish rearing tanks. Part 2. Kuipers, J. (1983). Increase in growth rate in Atlantic Salmon by sustained exercise. Unpublished report. Larmoyeux, J., Piper, R. & Chenoweth, H. (1973). Evaluation of circular tanks for Salmonid production. The Progressive Fish Culturist, 35 (3), 121-31. Levenspiel, O. (1966). Chemical Reaction Engineering. Wiley, New York and London. MacVane, T. (1979). Fish culture tank. USPatenr 4,141,318. Mitchell, R. (1976). Performance characteristics of pond aeration devices. Proc. 7th Annual Meeting ~orldMariculture Society. 25-29 January, pp. 561-81. Moore, J. (1977). Fish growing tank and method. USPatent 4,003,337. Poston, H., McCartney, T. & Pyle, E. (1969). The effect of physical conditioning upon the growth, stamina and carbohydrate metabolism on brook trout. New York Conservation Department Fisheries Research Bulletin No. 31, pp. 25-31. (Cortland Hatchery Report No. 36.) Prevost, G. (1940). A method for increasing the capacity of trout hatchery. The Progressive Fish Culturist, 70, 430-5. Smith, Q. & Jones, 1. (1970). Turning-vane brush for recirculating ponds. The Progressive Fish Culturist, April, 119-20. Surber, E. (1933). Observations on circular pool management. Trans. Amer. Fish. Soc., 63, 139-43.