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Open-File Report 2015–1097

Literature Review of the Potential Effects of Formalin on Nitrogen Oxidation Efficiency of the Biofilters of Recirculating Aquaculture Systems (RAS) for Freshwater Finfish

By Kim T. Fredricks

Thumbnail of and link to report PDF (405 KB)Summary

A comprehensive literature review was done for the effects of formalin on biofilter function in recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) using these databases: ISI/Web of Knowledge, Scopus, and Pubmed. Inclusion and exclusion criteria were developed as the literature review was conducted. The initial search produced 5,682 potential citations. Once the literature search was complete, these 5,682 titles were screened for applicable papers using the inclusion and exclusion criteria. If the title contained any of the inclusion terms, it was retained. Titles of the remaining papers were then screened for exclusion terms. If the title contained one or more of the exclusion terms, it was eliminated from further consideration. This refined search produced 1,287 papers.

After the initial screening, the remaining 1,287 papers underwent a second screening. Titles and abstracts (when available) were again read to verify that the topic of the paper was related to RAS. During the second screening, a second person verified that the papers proposed for elimination were not related to RAS. A combined reference list of the 443 remaining papers was created and submitted to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center (UMESC) librarian to obtain the actual papers; electronic copies of those citations were obtained and reviewed. The UMESC librarian also would receive weekly updates from Scopus (a bibliographic database containing abstracts and citations for academic journal articles) using the search terms. Any resulting papers from those updates also were screened using the inclusion criteria, and any relevant papers were requested. From those, 82 were cited in the literature review. An additional 10 references were obtained from weekly updates or reference mining other sources and were incorporated into the final literature review.

First posted May 27, 2015

  • Open-File Report 2015–1096
    Companion Report - Literature Review of the Potential Effects of Hydrogen Peroxide on Nitrogen Oxidation Efficiency of the Biofilters of Recirculating Aquaculture Systems (RAS) for Freshwater Finfish

For additional information, contact:
Director, Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center
U.S. Geological Survey
2630 Fanta Reed Road
La Crosse, WI 54603

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Suggested citation:

Fredricks, K.T., 2015, Literature review of the potential effects of formalin on nitrogen oxidation efficiency of the biofilters of recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) for freshwater finfish: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2015–1097, 17 p.,

ISSN 2331-1258 (online)




I.   Overview of Aquaculture

II.  Recirculating Aquaculture Systems (RAS)

III. Diseases

IV. Use of Formalin in RAS

V.  Conclusions

References Cited

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