As aquaculture becomes more popular and sophisticated, many companies are offering exciting new technologies that require major infrastructure investment. But what about existing local fish farms – how can fish farmers keep up with developments without going into debt?
The majority of land-based aquaculture centers around the world use earthen ponds. This traditional extensive farming method is characterized by significant land use, high water consumption and low productivity – typically producing up to 2kg of fish per cubic meter of water. Traditional fish farmers are usually limited by the local water quality and the carrying capacity of the pond. They generally struggle with poor water quality because of the high levels of ammonia that the fish excrete as a byproduct of feeding, which become toxic for the fish in the pond ecosystem. This limits the quantity of fish that can be raised per cubic meter of water.
Some aquaculture consultants would say that these farmers should dismantle their earthen ponds and instead install intensive concrete, aluminum or plastic tanks with sophisticated water treatment systems. This clearly requires a major infrastructure investment together with the disruption of building and stocking new ponds, causing loss of income and incurring heavy debts.
At AquaLifeNet we do not believe in unnecessary expenditure to update earthen ponds that are in good condition. We have developed an efficient biological water treatment system that can be installed in existing ponds for a fraction of the cost, bringing farmers major improvements in productivity and allowing them to grow more fish per cubic meter while reducing their water usage.
Increasing Fish Production in Earthen Ponds
Our BioFishency water treatment system provides higher water quality by removing the ammonia and other pollutants, making it possible to grow more fish with the same infrastructure and water volume. We can typically double production by increasing productivity to 4kg of fish per cubic meter of water.
Our mini-RAS (Recirculating Aquaculture System) is a plug-and-play, all-in-one system in which water flows from the top of the pond, passing through filtering elements that remove pollutant particles, CO2 and ammonia, and simultaneously oxygenating the water before it is recycled back into the pond. The mechanical filter is cheap and easy to install and maintain, which is important for farms that are located in isolated areas without access to engineering expertise. It is also power-efficient, requiring minimal electricity inputs, and highly sustainable.
We have seen excellent results in fish farms where existing facilities have been upgraded through the installation of our Biofishency filter. Not only are CO2 levels reduced and oxygen levels increased in the ponds, but we have seen significant improvement in TAN (total ammonia nitrogen) removal, causing a significant improvement in the ammonia oxidation rate. In a two-year trial performed in our R&D facility, we demonstrated a doubling from only 0.94 g-N/L/Day to 1.99 g-N/L/Day.
In trials carried out by Israel’s Ministry of Agriculture Fishery Department at their Dor Research Station, similar earthen ponds were stocked with hybrid striped bass. A BioFishency filter was installed in one 800m3 pond and its productivity was compared with a similar 800m3 pond with no filter. Over two years, the pond with the filter produced 5,600 fish, and the pond without the filter yielded 2,500 fish. The different in production density was 3.3 kg/m3 in the filtered pond and 1.5 kg/m3 in the unfiltered pond. The feed conversion ratio was 1.45 with filtering and 1.6 without.
Mini Recirculating Aquaculture Systems
In many aquaculture facilities, the installation of complex RAS systems involves high infrastructure investment costs, particularly where earthen ponds are replaced with plastic, concrete or aluminum tanks. We don’t think that it is always necessary to build new fish tanks, unless they are damaged or cracked.
Since most of the aquaculture in the world takes place in developing countries, BioFishency has developed an affordable mini-RAS system that is designed to increase productivity in existing earthen ponds in medium-scale fish farms throughout the developing world. We have seen that it not only increases productivity but also saves precious resources such as water and electricity, without requiring major infrastructure investment. Our technology is cost-effective, affordable, and easy to use and maintain.
At AquaLifeNet we believe that fish farming should be sustainable – both ecologically and economically. We can work with farmers’ existing infrastructure and install state-of-the-art mini-RAS systems that double their productivity without breaking the bank.