We simultaneously removed carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) from fish effluents in compact filter reactors operating at different recirculation ratios (RRs) (2, 10 and without recirculation) to demonstrate microbial coexistence and determine the effect of the RR on the axial bacterial stratification. We also examined the global performance of anoxic, anaerobic and aerobic processes. Microbial communities (bacteria and archaea) were analyzed using 16s rRNA amplification followed by DGGE analyses. Their banding profiles were analyzed using ecological parameters and the most representative bands were sequenced. TOC removal was larger than 98% in the three reactors. The total N removal was 48% for the RR-2 reactor, whereas in the RR-10 reactor, there was no N removal due to the absence of nitrification in the final aerobic step. Coexistence and stratification of microorganisms were observed. The microbial communities were correlated with distinct biochemical processes in each reactor fraction. The RR had a large effect on the distribution of the microbial communities. When the RR increased from 2 to 10, the stratification decreased from 60 to 30%, suggesting a close relationship between reactor performance and the presence of nitrifiers. In the RR-10 reactor, the nitrifier concentration was only 4%. Thus, in combined processes, filter reactors should operate with a moderate RR to favor bacterial stratification and improve performance.
Journal of Environmental Management – Elsevier
Published: Sep 15, 2015
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