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The use of novel optode sensor technologies for monitoring dissolved carbon dioxide and ammonia concentrations under live haul conditions

Journal article
Authors P. J. Thomas
Dariia Atamanchuk
J. Hovdenes
Anders Tengberg
Published in Aquacultural Engineering
Volume 77
Pages 89-96
ISSN 0144-8609
Publication year 2017
Published at Department of Chemistry and Molecular Biology
Pages 89-96
Language en
Keywords Sensors, Instrumentation, Well boat transport, Live-haul transportation, Fish welfare, Water quality, lifetime-based optode, salmo-salar l., seawater, oxygen, alkalinity, waters, ocean, fish, sea, ph, Agriculture, Fisheries
Subject categories Biological Sciences, Chemical Sciences


Fish health under live haul transportation on wellboats and in other recirculating aquaculture systems depends on frequent and reliable measurements of water quality, that may change in response to changes in the environmental conditions and treatment processes. While reliable technologies exist for sensors measuring some water quality parameters such as Oxygen concentration and salinity, there is a lack of sensor technologies for the measurement of other critical water quality parameters such as water pCO(2) and NH3 concentrations. Presented is the theory of operation and performance of prototype optical sensors for the measurement of pCO(2) and NH3, as well as the methods used for their calibration and characterization. In order to evaluate the sensor's suitability for aquaculture applications we temporarily installed the sensors on a weliboat and monitored the water quality during the transportation of live mature Atlantic salmon between fish farms and slaughter facilities on the Norwegian coast. Under transportation with different stocking weights and recirculation conditions, the CO2 optode prototypes recorded measurements that coincided with measurements from standard laboratory analysis of spot samples. The pCO(2) concentration in the well throughout the testing was shown to vary between approximately 300ilatm and 20 000 atm. Compared to the pH derived pCO(2) estimation method widely applied in aquaculture, the CO2 optode was more sensitive to small fluctuations in CO2 concentration, and gave measurements closer to the CO2 values recorded by laboratory analysis of spot samples. The NH3 optode reported measurements that were consistent with spot samples analyzed using the salicylate-hypochlorite reaction. In contrast to pCO(2), the concentration of NH3 during the observed weliboat missions was found to be very low and stable at 0.8 0.31.4L(-1). Once fully developed, the CO2 and NH3 optodes could contribute to better water quality control and efficiency during well boat transportations and other recirculating aquaculture systems. (C) 2017 Published by Elsevier B.V.

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