4th Edition

Ithaca publishing company


The 4th Edition of the definitive reference book on Recirculating Aquaculture Systems 

is now available!

Book pricing

*cost does not include shipping

Chapter Highlights

Water Quality


Learn how to optimize fish health 

and growth rates through the understanding and management of critical water quality parameters. 

Chapter includes information on various water quality parameters including:

dissolved oxygen, temperature, nitrogen,

 pH, alkalinity, carbon dioxide, and solids.

Biofiltration & Biofilter Design


Learn about the fundamentals of biofiltration and biofilter types for RAS. 

Chapters include explanation of the nitrification process, impact of water quality on nitrification, detailed descriptions of biofilter types, pros and cons of biofilter options, biofilter design considerations, and design examples.

Fish Health


An effective fish health management program is a critical part of a successful aquaculture business. Learn about

prevention and control of infectious disease problems in RAS. Chapter covers biosecurity, reducing introduction and spread of pathogens, monitoring and surveillance, diagnosis, and treatment.



Interest in aquaponics is growing daily. Learn about the exciting integration of fish and plant culture in RAS! 

Chapter includes information on nutrient dynamics, plant growth requirements, hydroponic subsystems, plant selection, approaches to system design, pest and disease control, design examples and economics.

Ozone & UV Irradiation


Maintaining good water quality and biosecurity are important for successful RAS. Learn about disinfection of inlet water and disinfection of RAS system water.

Chapter covers factors influencing disinfection efficiency, UV and ozone doses required for inactivation of fish pathogens, methods of ozone generation and transfer, and other methods of disinfection.



Managing nitrate level is an important aspect of operating a RAS. Excessive nitrate concentrations adversely impact both fish health and receiving waters.

Chapter covers stoichiometry of  denitrification, factors controlling denitrification, effect of denitrification on alkalinity and phosphorus removal, types and design of denitrification reactors.

Additional content

Waste Management

Fish Nutrition & Feeds

System Management & Operations

Table of contents

Table of Contents (pdf)


About the Authors

Michael B. Timmons, Ph.D.


Dr. Timmons received his B.S. in Agricultural Engineering from the Ohio State University, his M.S. in Agricultural Engineering from the University of Hawaii, and his Ph.D. from Cornell University. Dr. Timmons has worked in aquacultural engineering for 25 years as a researcher, teacher, and extension specialist. He has published widely and has served as primary editor on many of the Aquacultural Engineering Society meeting proceedings and for the series of bi-annual meetings sponsored by Virginia Tech on Water Recirculation Systems. He was one of the founders of the Aquacultural Engineering Society and has served in several officer positions including President. Dr. Timmons was a J. Thomas Clark Professorship of Entrepreneurship and Personal Enterprise (1999-2006) at Cornell University where he is still a professor in the Department of Biological and Environmental Engineering. Dr. Timmons has been a principal investor (he put his house on the line!) in the design, construction, and operation of a commercial recirculating tilapia farm (~500 tons per year of production) and thus provides the viewpoint of a commercial aquaculturist in addition to his experience as a researcher and extension specialist. You can contact Dr. Timmons by email, mbt3@cornell.edu

Todd Guerdat, Ph.D.


 Dr. Todd Guerdat is an assistant professor of Agricultural Engineering at the University of New Hampshire in the Agriculture, Nutrition, and Food Systems Department. He is also an Affiliate Faculty member in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department and is a member of the School of Marine Science and Ocean Engineering. 

Dr. Guerdat’s agricultural engineering research program is centered on scalable nutrient capture and reuse systems and controlled environment agricultural production systems. His research seeks to answer foundational questions using first principles and applies the results in a practical manner for students and farmers alike. Todd is currently working toward optimizing the integration of recirculating aquaculture systems with hydroponic crop production (aquaponics) for improved nutrient utilization while preserving economic sustainability.

Dr. Guerdat earned his Ph.D. in Biological and Agricultural Engineering from North Carolina State University. His research focused on water and wastewater treatment in recirculating aquaculture systems at the commercial scale. He has also served as the president of the Aquacultural Engineering Society.

 You can contact Dr. Guerdat by email,  todd.guerdat@unh.edu 

Brian J. Vinci, Ph.D., P.E.


Dr. Vinci is the Director of the Freshwater Institute, a field office and program of The Conservation Fund (Arlington, VA). Dr. Vinci earned his B.S. and M.Eng. degrees in Agricultural and Biological Engineering from Cornell University and earned his Ph.D. in Biological and Environmental Engineering from Cornell. He leads engineering projects in the areas of fisheries bioengineering, aquacultural engineering, environmental engineering, and facility/infrastructure planning. Dr. Vinci is a Past-President of the Aquacultural Engineering Society, a Past-Vice President of the Maryland Society of Professional Engineers, and an active member of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers and the National Society of Professional Engineers. He is a licensed professional engineer (environmental) in New York, Pennsylvania, and Mississippi. You can contact Dr. Vinci by email,  bvinci@conservationfund.org  

additional Learning opportunities

Cornell University: Designing Recirculating Aquaculture Systems Online Course


This self-paced course explains the basic engineering principles behind a successful recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) design. The objective of this course is to provide sufficient information so that you will be able to design, construct, and manage your own RAS system. Basic principles of business management and securing investment capital for the small family farm will also be reviewed. At the conclusion of the course, you will have received the essential information necessary to design your own system and have a fundamental knowledge of the principles influencing the numerous design options. 

Find out more

The Conservation Fund: Water Recirculating Aquaculture Systems Workshop


This four-day course presented by The Conservation Fund’s Freshwater Institute will cover the fundamentals of water recirculating aquaculture systems  including circular tank design and management, carrying capacity, biofiltration, solids control, oxygenation, carbon dioxide control, water quality, ozonation & UV and fish health & biosecurity. The course also includes a discussion of system operation & management and system design. The course will include a site visit to a RAS facility. Course materials provided include a binder of all presentations, supplemental materials on a USB drive, and a textbook. 

Find out more

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