Removal of nitrogen by Algal Turf Scrubber Technology in recirculating aquaculture system

J. Valeta, M.C.J. Verdegem

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Ongoing research in recirculation aquaculture focuses on evaluating and improving the purification potential of different types of filters. Algal Turf Scrubber (ATS) are special as they combine sedimentation and biofiltration. An ATS was subjected to high nutrient loads of catfish effluent to examine the effect of total suspended solids (TSS), sludge accumulation and nutrient loading rate on total ammonia nitrogen (TAN), nitrite and nitrate removal. Nutrient removal rates were not affected at TSS concentration of up to 0.08 g L-1 (P > 0.05). TAN removal rate was higher (0.656 ± 0.088 g m-² day-1 TAN) in young biofilm than (0.302 ± 0.098 g m-² day-1 TAN) in mature biofilm at loading rates of 3.81 and 3.76 g m-² day-1 TAN (P <0.05), respectively, which were considered close to maximum loading. TAN removal increased with TAN loading, which increased with hydraulic loading rate. There was no significant difference in removal rate for both nitrite and nitrate between young and mature biofilms (P > 0.05). The ATS ably removed nitrogen at high rates from catfish effluent at high loading rates. ATS-based nitrogen removal exhibits high potential for use with high feed loads in intensive aquaculture.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)945-951
JournalAquaculture Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • fresh-water algae
  • waste-water
  • ecosystems

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