We consider a coupled physical-biological model describing growth of microalgae in a raceway pond cultivation process, accounting for hydrodynamics. Our approach combines a biological model (based on the Han model) and shallow water dynamics equations that model the fluid into the raceway pond. We present an optimization procedure dealing with the topography to maximize the biomass production over one lap or multiple laps with a paddle wheel. On the contrary to a widespread belief in the microalgae field, the results show that a flat topography is optimal in a periodic regime. In other frameworks, non-trivial topographies can be obtained. We present some of them, e.g., when a mixing device is included in the model.