3 Common Types Of Aquatic Systems

There are three major kinds of aquatics systems, which are defined broadly as “closed,” “semi-open,” and “open.” An open system involves  water incoming from a certain source (e.g., city water, well water, or surface water) that flows through the culture facility once, and then is discharged into the ocean, retaining pond or similar. Two examples of open systems are cage and raceway systems. Semi-open systems have a certain capacity for recirculating water. It requires some form of treatment. However, freshwater coming from an external source might be added as necessary for supplementing the treated water. A closed system might be natural, like a static outdoor pond, or might be a highly engineered system; before recirculation, an intensive aquaculture system relies on extensive filtration of the water. Typically, aquariums are considered to be closed systems. However, the carrying capacity and complexity of the design of individual systems can vary significantly.


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Outdoor Ponds 

Typically, outdoor ponds are built out of clay-based soils, or they might have a kind of plastic liner for retaining water. There are water table ponds in California as well, which might a certain level of groundwater horizontal flow in and out of a pond. Production ponds can vary in size significantly, but the surface area will be maximized by a good design while minimizing the depth (ideally less than 6 feet) at the same time. The design reduces the risk of stratification that may result in “turnover” catastrophic events (refer to Dissolved Gases). An aeration device ideally should be available for every outdoor pond. A majority of aquaculture production ponds in the southeastern region of the United States range from 0.1 up to 20 surface acres worth of water. By contrast, recreational fishing ponds normally have smaller surface areas but might be very deep, which substantially increases the risk of turnover and stratification.

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Ornamental Ponds & Decorative Ponds

Ornamental ponds can vary from a couple of hundred gallons of water up to many thousands. Usually, the water quality of larger ponds (more than 10,000 gallons) is easier to manage and also more forgiving for owners who might overfeed or overstock the fish. Water is provided to larger ponds from either city water or well source and run as closed systems. It is also critical for these systems to have supplemental aeration and is frequently provided by a stream, waterfall, or other aesthetic means to move water. Clinicians not only should test the dissolved oxygen when an ornamental pond is being evaluated but assess water movement as well.


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