About the CAOS System

The Climate and Acidification Ocean Simulator (CAOS) System at Mote Marine Laboratory’s Elizabeth Moore International Center for Coral Reef Research & Restoration is a multi-user, outdoor raceway experimental system designed to mimic future ocean acidification (OA) and climate change (CC) scenarios. The present infrastructure can support projects in need of basic flow-through or static seawater access with temperature and pH regulation. CAOS system is available for Mote staff, visiting scientists, students and educational groups.

If interested in renting a raceway within CAOS system, please check our system availability and fill out our Facility Use Request Form below.


System Infrastructure and Capabilities

Nearshore water is pulled from 6’ below the sea surface where the seawater is passed through a sand filter and forced draft degasification tower before being stored in a 4,000 gallon holding tank. While inside the tank it circulates through a foam fractionator and is mechanically filtered through a 1-micron cartridge before being sent to the 3M sweep gass membrane contactor where dissolved gasses are stripped. The filtered seawater then passes through a UV sterilizer before being delivered to one of three 1,000-gallon storage tanks (Header Tanks) where it is temperature regulated for distribution.

The Header Tanks are capable of injecting pure CO2 back into the treated seawater to manipulate for a range of Ocean Acidification (OA) conditions. Water quality and chemistry of the supplied seawater in CAOS is measured routinely by the in-house OA chamistry lab, and this information can be provided upon inquiry; if additional water sampling is needed, please contact the Ocean Acidification program. Each raceway within the CAOS system has independent temperature control and manifold assemblies to accept up to three different sources of water. Manipulative temperature control can be adjusted to mimic seasonal conditions.

The CAOS system contains 12 shallow raceway tables (100” x 40” x 12”) and 6 deep raceway tables (76” x 40” x 24”) available to rent. Each raceway can be used “as is” and can accommodate individual aquarium tanks (available components listed below). The entire CAOS system is covered by an overhead shade structure outfitted with a 60% light reduction cloth. Light levels are routinely monitored and this information can be provided upon inquiry.

Rental costs

We ask for a three months advance request, as space fills up quickly. The system is provided “as-is” unless discussed and approved by the CAOS research coordinator prior to scheduled use. Fees for use of this system do not include project management, maintenance of experimental aquaria, maintenance to rebuild the system to specific needs, or staff time (other than the initial set-up and system orientation). If any modification or adjustments are needed to the system, there may be further charges for technical support and supplies. Scientists working on collaborative projects with Mote staff are eligible for discounted rental rates; more details can be provided upon inquiry.

*Accessories are supplied with raceway rentals at no extra charge.
**Check availability of raceways and aquaria with CAOS research coordinator 

Raceway rental fees

Type Capacity Availability Daily Rate Weekly Rate Monthly Rate
Shallow Raceway 200 gal
(8’ long)
12 $20 $140 $540
Shallow Raceway with heat/OA +$45 +$60 +$1,080
Deep Raceway 200 gal
(6’ long)
6 $20 $140 $540
Deep Raceway with heat/OA +$50 +$53 +$1,200

Glass aquaria rental fees

Type Capacity Availability Daily Rate
Closed 2 gal 60 $4 (per unit)
Flow-through style 5 gal 80 $10 (per unit)
Flow-through style 20 gal 12 $40 (per unit)
Flow-through style 37 gal 20 $74 (per unit)