Outdoor Macroalgae Growout System

The design of the Macroalgae Growout System is the result of continuous experimentation and as presently configured the unit is capable of delivering a reliable and sizable crop of macroalgae on a daily basis. The facility is currently used to provide a year round supply of Gracilaria sp. to the Aplysia Resource Lab.

The basic system consists of seven 2,400 gallon rectangular, fiberglass tanks supplied with filtered seawater from the head tank at rates as high as 25 gpm, the normal flow rate being 10 gpm. The tanks have a white gel coat interior and interior dimensions of 22' x 6' with a depth of 4' offering a surface area of ~132 sq. feet. Aeration and agitation is provided by a full length pvc air manifold supplied by the facility blowers. There are also 4 square, 900 gallon slant tanks available for independent, stock, or auxiliary cultures, inoculations, or experimental use. The disposal system is gravity based and feeds into a well capable of handling flow as large as 500 gpm.

Light and temperature conditions in the tank field can be monitored with the use a Li-Cor quantum light sensor. The information obtained from the sensor is then logged with a Li-Cor LI-1000 Data Logger and then transmitted and stored in the computer lab for analysis. Information gained through this system can be used to optimize algae growing techniques and methodology.

In addition, the macroalgae facility has a selection of typical support equipment such as, harvesting baskets, cleaning supplies, an O'Haus scale, and an American DX-58 drying oven.

Figure 15- A diagrammatic overview of the Macroalgae Culture System showing the drainage plumbing and collection pit.

Last modified: 10 January 1994