The majority of ballast systems I encounter recirculate the air. Piston tank systems, water pump systems with sealed tanks, including the OTW system which compresses the air into the fore and aft compartments. They all work on boats with low and high waterlines.
However they require fairly large cylinders, as the systems run at modest pressures, and the displaced air has to go somewhere.
For boats with very high freeboard, a dual stage system has a lot going for it. Either a snort type, or vented water pump, main tank, with a smaller trim tank based either on a small piston tank or a sealed tank water pump system. With those you get the advantages of each system, and it follows fullsize practice more closely.