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Influence of tank design and hydraulic loading on the behavior, growth, and metabolism of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss)

January 1, 1995

Subadult rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) stocked at 48 kg/m3 (3 lb/ft3) were subjected to treatments of tank design (rectangular plug flow, circular, and cylindrical cross flow) and water exchange rate (1·5 and 2·5 exchanges/h) to determine their effects on fish behavior, growth, and metabolism. Ambient light levels and current velocities were also measured in each of three tank sectors (upstream, middle, and downstream) to determine their relative contributions to behavioral effects. Tank design significantly affected fish orientation to current, contact time with tank surfaces, and frequency of agonistic encounters, though aggression levels were relatively low overall. Gradients in fish distribution by sector were greatest in plug-flow tanks. Effects were either modified or eliminated by increasing the water exchange rate from 1·5 to 2·5/h. Multiple-regression analysis showed the following hieararchy of independent-variable effects on fish distribution: tank type > exchange rate > aggression level > current velocity > light level.

Significant effects of tank design were also observed on fish growth in terms of biomass gain (cross flow > plug flow > circular). These results were matched in metabolic studies, where both oxygen consumption and ammonia excretion were highest in circular and lowest in cross-flow tanks. Reduction (cross-flow compared with circular tanks) in oxygen consumption averaged 13·6%, ammonia excretion 17·5%. These results were also modified by an increase in water exchange rate. Tank-design effects on fish metabolism and growth may be mediated, at least partly, through changes in fish behavior.

Publication Year 1995
Title Influence of tank design and hydraulic loading on the behavior, growth, and metabolism of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss)
DOI 10.1016/0144-8609(94)P4425-B
Authors Robert M. Ross, Barnaby J. Watten, W. F. Krise, M. N. DiLauro, R. W. Soderberg
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Aquacultural Engineering
Index ID 1014706
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Leetown Science Center