Wageningen UR Livestock Research (DLO-WLR) is the Netherlands research institute established to provide the scientific support that is essential for developing the knowledge needed for sustainable and profitable livestock farming. The aquaculture research is integrated in the departments of the institute according expertise levels, and holds in its portfolio a wide range of fresh water and marine species and culture technologies.
Within Aquaexcel2020, independent units for research on RAS engineering and RAS operation are provided. DLO-WLR has at its deposition independent units for research on fish performance, suited for experiments with all types of species (freshwater and marine) in larval, juvenile or grow-out phase: a swim carousel and several RAS with various options on the number and size of the tanks, depending on the proposition of the TNA user. All systems are equipped with mechanical and bio-filtration units. In addition filter modules can be exchanged to meet the specific needs of the end-user, such as UV disinfection, ozone treatment, up-flow filtration and denitrification.

Name of the infrastructure: Recirculation facilities of DLO-WLR
Location: Wageningen, The Netherlands
Website address:
Contact: Wout Abbink


The Recirculation facilities enable research on RAS engineering and RAS operation. The unit for RAS Research offers two sets of research infrastructure:
1. Six pilot scale RAS either for cold, warm, fresh or marine studies; up to 3 m³ and 1.5 kg feed per day; to replicate treatments on system level
2. A 3600 L swim carousel with a motor driven propeller reaching speeds up to 1.2 m/s which can be applied for simulated migrations, exercise training and critical swimming speed tests.

Services currently offered by the infrastructure

The recirculation facility service aquaculture researcher uniquely as they offer the:

  • Ability to test in identical and truly independent RAS at system level (system as experimental unit) effects of nutritional factors (nutrient composition, feed technology), environmental factors (pH, O2, alkalinity, temperature, salinity etcetera) and management factors (stocking density, sex ratio, genotype etc.).
  • Choice out of different RAS configurations and tank composition (volumes, flows, tank replicates) based on the experimental objectives (e.g. drum filter filtration or sedimentation; comparison real flow through versus RAS) allowing for the most economical set-up.
  • Comparison of flow through with recirculation on pilot scale at different temperatures
  • A tool for simulated migrations, exercise training and critical swimming speed tests.

Modality of access

Users will be given access to the facilities based on the common procedures of DLO-WLR. The necessary local arrangements will be taken by the technical staff, e.g. system set-up, adaptation of biofilms and water quality, adaptation of the required experimental animals etcetera. In case the proposed experiment falls under the code of conduct and regulation for usage of experimental animals, the approval of related experimental commissions has to be granted a priori the experiment can be started. The experiment needs to be supervised by a certified researcher of DLO-WLR. Users will have access by directly staying at the facilities and being integrated in the scientific atmosphere at DLO-WLR. The TNA guest will be supported by local staff, such as the directly involved technical staff dealing with the direction of the scientist to conduct the experiment. A local responsible scientist will collaborate with the TNA guest to ensure that the regulation of DLO-WLR and national animal protection laws are followed. TNA guests will be granted with internet access to the scientific literature and databases of DLO-WLR and other e-infrastructure and labs. The in RAS experiments experienced research staff will safeguard the success of the experiments by support during the design phase, the generation of a work protocol and the related animal experimental code of conduct, execution of the experiment and data acquisition.

Unit of Access

The unit of access is defined as 1 system-week; equalling the occupation of 1 RAS for 7 days. The duration of the trial is greatly dependent on the proposition of the TNA user; the number of systems to be used (and thus to be prepared in advance), the type of trial, and the type of system used (carousel or RAS).