BT3210 - Recirculating Aquaculture Systems RAS


Examination arrangement

Examination arrangement: School exam
Grade: Letter grades

Evaluation Weighting Duration Grade deviation Examination aids
School exam 100/100 4 hours D

Course content

Microorganisms in aquaculture systems are omnipresent and function as friends and foes. Traditionally the focus has been on pathogenic organisms, but e.g. the development of recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) clearly illustrates that bacteria can be used to secure a good chemical water quality. Recently it is well documented that the establishment of mutualistic interactions between host and microbes are essential for viability and welfare of the host. The course will have focus on how microorganisms can be used to secure high chemical and microbial water quality and how biosecurity and mutualistic host-microbe interactions can be promoted. For detoxification and treatment of waste, both traditional and new methods will be covered. An overarching focus of the course is sustainable waste handling and fish welfare. In the mandatory group assignment, the students will get an in-depth knowledge to one aspect of microbial management and to communicate this to fellow students.

Learning outcome

Have good knowledge about the beneficial and problematic compounds produced by microorganisms that are relevant for aquaculture. Understand the microbial processes that are most relevant for aquaculture. Have good knowledge about the different types of microbes that are most relevant for aquaculture (e.g. bacteria, archaea, fungi, algae, and viruses) and their most relevant effects on water quality and fish health. Have good knowledge in the various possibilities for how nitrogen can be detoxified and removed through microbial and physiochemical processes. Have good knowledge in different technologies and operation strategies for using microbes for water treatment (e.g. nitrification and denitrification bioreactors). Have good knowledge in how phosphorus and organic matter/sludge can be removed and handled. Understand how microorganisms affect the health of the reared organism, and how microbial management can be used to increase the probability of mutualistic host-microbe interactions. Have knowledge about methods for biosecurity and disinfection, and how they affect the microorganisms and the cultivated organisms. Understand mechanisms for microbial problems other than pathogens (e.g. H2S and off-flavour) and how they can be prevented and treated.

Get practical experience in reviewing the scientific literature on a defined topic, and to be able to communicate the outcome from this review in written form and orally.

Learning methods and activities

The course consists of lectures (40 hours), project assignment (40 hours), exercises (10 hours), excursion (10 hours), and self-study (100 hours). Total workload is estimated to 200 hours.

Compulsory assignments: Term paper and oral presentation

Compulsory assignments

  • Term paper and oral presentation

Further on evaluation

In case of postponed exam (continuation exam) written exam may be changed to oral exam. The project assignment is apporved by each group presenting their assignment and discussing it with fellow students and the teacher.

Specific conditions

Course materials

"Recycling of water in hatchery production - Background Booklet for courses in recycling technology for hatchery production" 2nd edition 2017 by Fjellheim, A.J., Hess-Erga, O.-K., Attramadal, K.J.K., Vadstein, O., NIVA, NTNU, SINTEF, Marine Harvest and Scottish Sea Farms, 28 pp. ISBN: 978-82-577-6842-3.

A selection of scientific publications will be provided at the start of the course.

Credit reductions

Course code Reduction From To
VM6010 7.5 AUTUMN 2020
BT6010 7.5 AUTUMN 2022
More on the course



Version: 1
Credits:  7.5 SP
Study level: Second degree level


Term no.: 1
Teaching semester:  SPRING 2025
Extraordinary deadline for course registration: 2024-12-01

Language of instruction: English

Location: Trondheim

Subject area(s)
  • Biotechnology/Aqua Culture
  • Aqua Culture
  • Water Engineering in Fish Farming
  • Aqua Culture
  • Biology
  • Biotechnology
Contact information


Examination arrangement: School exam

Term Status code Evaluation Weighting Examination aids Date Time Examination system Room *
Autumn ORD School exam 100/100 D INSPERA
Room Building Number of candidates
Spring ORD School exam 100/100 D INSPERA
Room Building Number of candidates
  • * The location (room) for a written examination is published 3 days before examination date. If more than one room is listed, you will find your room at Studentweb.

For more information regarding registration for examination and examination procedures, see "Innsida - Exams"

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