Deakin University

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Reductions in nutrient discharge from aquaculture through recycling of water utilising floating media and activated carbon filtration

conference contribution
posted on 2005-01-01, 00:00 authored by C Steicke, Veeriah Jegatheesan, C Zeng
Nutrient discharge into coastal areas, such as the Great Barrier Reef can result in the degradation of coastal ecosystems. For example, excess nitrogen and phosphorus can damage corals through inducing algal bloom and subsequent shading. Excessive phosphorus can further weaken coral skeletons making them susceptible to damage. Land based industries such as aquaculture can contribute to such problems. This study set out to develop a system whereby water from aquaculture can be constantly reused resulting in minimized waste discharge. A three-stage filtration system utilizing floating media and activated carbon was designed to harness bacterial processes that could reduce both particulate and dissolved compounds to the extent whereby approximately 100% reuse of the wastewater became possible. This involved efficient and effective particulate and biological removal mechanisms in both aerobic and anaerobic zones of the filtration system. This design reduced dissolved nitrogen levels by up to 70% and maintained low phosphorus levels, which allowed the reuse of water for the successful culture of barramundi with a survival rate of 97% over 25 days. This pilot scale study demonstrated the potential of reusing aquaculture wastewater from the viewpoint of reducing nutrient input into coastal environments. Future research will refine these processes and assess the performance of the system at several commercial scale applications.



CRC Reef and Rainforest CRC. Joint conference (2005 : Townsville, Qld.)


112 - 112


CRC Reef Research Centre


Townsville, Qld.

Place of publication

Townsville, Qld.

Start date


End date






Publication classification

E3.1 Extract of paper; E Conference publication


L Goggin, T Harvey

Title of proceedings

Rainforest meets Reef : Joint conference of CRC Reef and Rainforest CRC conference abstracts

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