Evaluation of an Experimental Recycled Water System For Brackish Water Aquaculture
New Mexico has a vast reserve of brackish water that is unsuitable for production of traditional agricultural crops. Preliminary studies have indicated that this water could be utilized for aquaculture. Evaporation and erratic water temperatures, however, have been deterrants to aquaculture in this state. A possible solution to these problems is the use of indoor, recycled-water systems. A system was tested to determine the effectiveness of various filtration techniques for recycling effluent water.
Recycled-water systems data suggest that several aspects of these systems have potential for high yield aquaculture. Tilapia, Tilapia nilotica, increased their total biomass 870 percent in 56 days while being fed only catfish feces and uneaten fish food flushed from vertical raceway sumps. A biofilter, composed of volcanic ash rock and chemoautotrophic bacteria, was shown to be effective for removal of ammonia through nitrification.
The data also suggest that even though these systems are potentially feasible, there is a need for further development, adaptation, and testing of component parts.