A More Cost Effective and Sustainable Raceway Design for Indoor Shrimp and Fish Production

Project Overview

Project Type: Farmer/Rancher
Funds awarded in 2024: $26,295.00
Projected End Date: 02/15/2026
Grant Recipient: OceanArc Technologies
Region: North Central
State: Ohio
Project Coordinator:
Ashtyn Chen
OceanArc Technologies


No commodities identified


No practices identified

Proposal summary:

The two main questions we are trying to solve:

1. Is there a better large indoor tank structure that is more
durable and professional than a swimming pool, less expensive and
easily moveable than fiberglass tanks, less labor intensive and
easily movable than a wood frame raceway? These 3 typical options
all have issues that are heavy burdens individually, especially
for the beginning farmers.

2. Is there a more efficient way to heat large bodies of water in
the grow out tanks than through the air or through hydronic
systems, two methods commonly used?

These two questions weigh heavy on every farmer in the Midwest
region, not specific to Ohio, where there are typically smaller
farmers spread out, newer farmers starting out on budgets, and
dealing with the seasonality in the region.

Project objectives from proposal:

Metal Frame Raceway Design Drawing

The raceway system will be built out at one of the OceanArc
locations in central Ohio and also at the Green Valley Shrimp
Farm facility to produce saltwater shrimp indoors. The raceway
will measure 10FT W x 40FT L x 3FT H, divided into moveable
powder-coated metal panels that are 3FT W x 10FT L each. 10 of
these panels bolt together using bolts and screws to build the
tank frame which will sit on the concrete floor. This raceway
will hold 9,000 gallons of water, effectively replacing the
footprint of (3) 14FT DIA swimming pools currently used in most
OceanArc facilities.

This system will be more robust and agile than any other build
(swimming pools, fiberglass tanks, wood frame tanks,etc). If we
want to make smaller raceways with smaller bodies of water, we
can just disconnect two sets of panels opposite each other in the
raceway and reconnect the others. If we want to make larger
raceways with larger bodies of water, we can just connect
additional two sets of panels opposite each other in the raceway
and bolt everything together. If we want to move the raceway
altogether to a different location for any reason (rented
facility no longer accessible, moving the farm, etc), just
disconnect everything and move it easily in those straight
panels, one by one! Note that the HDPE liner we use is tough
enough for us to adjust but easily and cheaply replaceable many
years down the road.

In addition, the heating and plumbing system will be upgraded.
Instead of using hydronic heating system or heating through the
air, neither as efficient as heating the water directly, a
Hayward 50K BTU heat pump will be used to heat (and chill, which
is an added option in the summer months!) the water directly. The
water will be pumped from the pond on one end with a 1HP Hayward
pump into the heat pump and then sent back into the pond through
the other end through a number of nozzles, effectively creating a
continuous raceway in one direction to prevent dead zones.

The above raceway design will function as our “treatment” to see
if we can answer the two questions we are trying to solve: if
there is a more efficient, durable, and cost-effective
fish/shrimp production design for indoor aquaculture and if there
is a more efficient and simple way to heat the water specifically
in the Midwest, where there are winter seasons to deal with.

For the “control” group, we will use (3) 14’ FT circular swimming
pools normally used at OceanArc facilities to compare the
performance of how the saltwater shrimp grow compared to how they
grow in the “treatment” design.


1. Evaluate how well the metal frame raceway design with HDPE
liner hold up through several grow out cycles of saltwater shrimp
compared to the typical swimming pools used.
2. Compare harvest weight, survival rate, and food-conversion
ratio between shrimp raised in the raceway design and shrimp
raised in the swimming pool design.
3. Measure temperature daily (preferably continuously if
possible) for both raceway and swimming pool designs to test
temperature uniformity through the grow cycle.
4. Compare energy usage between the raceway design that heats
water directly and the swimming pool that heats water through
hydronic heat.
5. Share findings to fellow farmers and potential farmers through
presentation at the Ohio Aquaculture Association Annual

Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.