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FISH FARMING

TECHNOLOGY
SUPPLEMENT

Recirculation
aquaculture
systems

All go for
Aquaculture
Europe 2014!

Technical aquaculture
conference
- focus on the Mediterranean

SUPPLEMENT
FISH FARMING TECHNOLOGY

because the water makes only one pass through the tank and then

RAS
is discarded. Although several improvements can be added to older
designs to reduce water usage and create hybrid types of operations,
these are not exactly true water recirculation farms.

Benefits of Water Recirculation
Aquaculture System Designs
Recirculation aquaculture systems Fish farmed in any facility must be supplied with the correct
conditions necessary to remain healthy and grow with a good Feed

R
ecirculation aquaculture systems (RAS) represent an Conversion Rate (FCR). Fish need a continuous supply of clean water
exciting, eco-friendly and unique way to farm fish. Instead at an appropriate temperature and dissolved oxygen content that is
of the traditional method of growing fish outdoors in optimum for good growth.
open ponds, net cages or tanks, this system rears fish at Water recirculation farms accomplish these tasks. A mechanical
high densities within an operator controllable rearing environment and biological system is necessary to purify the water and remove
inside a building. Recirculation systems filter and clean the water for or detoxify harmful waste products and uneaten feed. The fish must
recycling back through the fish culture tanks. New water is added be fed a nutritionally complete feed on a daily basis to encourage
to the tanks only to make up for water loss due to splash out and fast growth and high survival. With that in mind, it is now possible
evaporation and to replace that used to flush out fish waste materials to review the potential benefits of using a Recirculation Aquaculture
to storage tanks. Systems.

RAS designs have several system process technologies, all of which Low water Requirements
work together to ensure minimum loss of water, heat and of course Because RAS farms recycle most of their water, they consume
fish stocks, while constantly cleaning and re-using the fish tank water. considerably less than other types of culture systems and are especially
RAS farms can be designed to various levels of complexity, however well suited to areas with limited water supplies. The required quantity
all true water recirculation designs involve the use of equipment to of water needed to successfully grow fish varies with the species of
remove and safely store wastes, clean and re-use water and maintain fish selected, size of the farm system, and the unit process equipment
rearing conditions at or near optimum for the species of fish being design. As a general rule, a minimum water volume of one-five gallons
raised. is needed for every pound of fish reared and minimum new water
In contrast, many older style tank farming systems that have been flows of five-20 gallons per minute are needed to grow 50,000 - 75,000
used to grow fish are termed “open” or “flow through” systems pounds of fish per year.
A properly designed and operated recirculation system requires
a minimum daily input of water, just enough to clean the waste
from the filters and to replace water lost to evaporation. This
allows construction of fish farms in areas where ground water
is limited and even opens the possibility of an operation being
located in an urban area to use de-chlorinated municipal water.
Such a production facility could be located close to the market.
By comparison, a recirculation system which produces the same
number of pounds of fish as 1000 acres of ponds (about 4.8
million pounds of fish) would require only about 4000 gallons of
fresh water each day or 1.5 million gallons per year. However, to
fill 1000 acres of ponds averaging just 5 feet in depth, once only,
would require 1.6 billion gallons of water. That is just to fill the
ponds and does not include any water added to maintain levels or
freshen the ponds after the initial filling.

Less Land Requirements
Since fish in a recirculation system are reared in tanks, with oxygen
being supplied and their metabolic wastes removed by constant recir-
culation of water, fish can be safely stocked and grown in high densities.
Currently the goal, which designers are striving to attain, is 1 pound of
fish per gallon of water. However, many people consider 0.5 to 0.75
pounds of fish per gallon of tank water as being acceptable. In pond
aquaculture, the common maximum density is about 0.003 pounds
of fish per gallon of water. Therefore, a recirculation system can be
located in areas where large amounts of level land (to build ponds) are
not available. The low land requirement also permits the facility to be
located in areas where the soil cannot hold water or, again, in urban
areas, or housed in vacant farm or warehouse buildings converted to
fish farming.

Control of Water Temperature
The low water requirement of recirculation systems opens up

002 | INTERNATIONAL AQUAFEED | Fish farming Technology
FISH FARMING TECHNOLOGY

the possibility of economically controlling temperature which, next environment. By maintaining dissolved oxygen at optimum levels,
to the lower water amounts need, controlling water temperature the fish have better food conversion and are less stressed, which
(and the resulting stock growth rates) is one the greatest benefits of translates into greater disease resistance, less wasted feed and
these systems. Control of water temperature allows the aquaculturist faster stock growth.
to produce a fish species, which could not normally be raised in a In addition, the fish are isolated from potential environmental
given geographic area. It also permits the water temperature to be contaminants such as off-flavor caused by algal blooms that can affect
maintained at the optimum level to maximize food conversion and cages and from any potential pollution resulting from soil run-off or
provide optimum growth. Growth can also occur throughout the year, residual pesticides into the water that the fish are held in. This results in
maximising production and allowing rapid turnover of the product. In a high quality product. In many cases where the fresh water is supplied
theory, marketing of the product is also enhanced, since fish can be by wells, the likelihood of disease outbreaks are greatly reduced and
supplied each week. medications are not required. 

Protection From The Elements Summary
and Potential Predators There are various designs for recirculation systems and most will
By rearing the fish indoors, the farmer is no longer limited by work effectively if they accomplish oxygen and aeration, removal of par-
weather conditions where a sudden cold spell can wipe out a year’s ticulate matter, biological filtration to remove waste ammonia and nitrite
production by killing the larval fish or disrupting the normal spawning of and buffering of water pH levels. These processes can be achieved by
the brood fish. In addition, pond and cage culturists can lose their crop using the simple units, that use combination filters which are often used
to low oxygen during the summer or winter and have greater difficulty in small farm systems. In the case of larger farms filtration will often be
controlling predators. Having the fish indoors also permits harvest at carried out using several interconnected components and unit processes.
times when heavy rain, snow or ice would stop the harvest of pond Land based fish farms that use RAS technologies are indeed an
fish or cage, creating a definite market advantage to the indoor farmer. alternative to pond and cage culture systems. As with any technology
Indoor RAS farms are designed to prevent stock escapement, meaning or any other business the operators must have the knowledge and
less potential for loss and mitigation of potential conflicts with regula- the inclination to manage the business and undertake the daily tasks
tions governing
Reed Mariculture, water
Inc. bodiesHatchery
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Ad Campaign | Theme: Ad-1 required. In RAS farms
Shellfish Dietthe staff must A
| Design: care| for and manage
Version: 1 both the fish D
stocks and the systems. So having the best systems and no knowledge
International
Placement:Control of Water Aquafeed
Quality| Size: Half Page | Dimensions: 190mm X 132mm
of good husbandry will not work. Knowledge is king and one should
With recirculation systems, the aquaculturist has the opportu- not attempt operating a farm without having the training and experi-
nity to control water quality, to the benefit of the live fish stock ence required. Water recirculation farms are also generally more costly
and to the final product sold in the supermarkets and to the to build and more complex to manage.

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Fish farming Technology | INTERNATIONAL AQUAFEED | 003
FISH FARMING TECHNOLOGY

Primzone Ozone

RAS
Research shows that water treatment with ozone increases produc-
tivity at RAS aquaculture systems.
Three reasons why ozone in aquaculture improves water quality
and increases aquaculture productivity.
As recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) operate by reusing
the fish tank water it is essential to control the water quality. Many
studies show that treating RAS systems with ozone increases pro-
technology overview ductivity as fish health and survival is increased.
At RAS the organic load tend to be high and the homogene-
ous fish stock leads to a high risk of infections and problems with
Pentair bacteria, fungi and viruses. Although ozone is not primarily used for
DSF Series™ Drum Screen Filters: Rotary Micro Filters disinfection at RAS the reduction of solids and DOC often creates
In demanding aquaculture applications, drum screen filters have an environment that is less favourable for bacterial growth and thus
proven to be highly efficient and reliable in removing solids from creates a reduced need for disinfection.
volumes of water large and small. Pentair Aquatic Eco-Sytems is 1. Removal of colloidal solids with ozone micro flocculation
product to offer our DSF Series™ line of drum screen filters, with a The organic load is a constant concern for RAS systems,
wide range of models, sizes and micron ratings to meet the specific especially when the fish density is high and the water exchange
needs of nearly any field application. Featuring a field-proven design rate low. Ozone has the ability to cause clumping or micro
and the highest quality materials available, the DSF Series™ follow flocculation of fine and colloidal solids, which in turn facilitates
the simple, robust and time-tested principles of drum screen screen removal by filtration and sedimentation.
filter operation. 2. Removal of dissolved organic compounds
Water containing solids enters the rotary drum in the front of Ozone changes the characteristics of the dissolved organic
the system. Water passes through the micro-mesh filter, which compounds (DOC) by oxidation and precipitation that makes
filters out solids (for increased durability, stainless steel wedge-wire it easier to remove the DOC by bio filtration and sedimenta-
filtration material is also available). As the filter mesh or wedge-wire tion.
material becomes increasingly loaded with solids, the water level 3. Turn lethal nitrite into harmless nitrate with ozone treatment
within the drum increases to the point that it triggers the cleaning A high organic load is a favorable environment for nitrite
process. As the drum starts to rotate, the spraybar nozzles scour growth. When reducing the organic load with ozone treat-
the filter mesh or wedge wire with high-pressure water, returning ment the risk of nitrite growth is also reduced. Ozone also has
the screen to its original permeability. This allows the internal water the ability to oxidize nitrite to nitrate.
level to drop and stop the cleaning process. Solids that are cleaned Suffer with any of the above problems with water quality at your
from the water are collected in a trough and transported away from RAS plant? Contact our Aquaculture Specialist Dan Johansson.
the drum screen filter.
www.pentair.com/en/solutions/advanced-filtration-and-desalination How Primozone can help you increase productivity with ozone
water treatment
Primozone offers unique solutions for water treatment of recir-
culating aquaculture. We offer ozone generators and ozone water
WATER proved treatment systems that are especially designed for the aquaculture
WATERproved develops, delivers and installs aquaculture systems market. The Primozone OM-series ozone generators have several
for all kinds of application. advantages that applies to aquaculture fish farming such as:
Careful planning, precise calculation and simulation of the set up • compact in size
make you safe money when it comes to energy efficiency and ease • built in redundancy
of maintenance. • easy to operate
Selling state of the art technology, we develop all projects com- • low life cycle cost
pletely in house - from basic calculation to 3D model farm design. • ozone levels automatically controlled by redox/orp values in
We know what we are doing-all our staff have practical farming each tank
background in recirculation and flow through systems. • ozone distribution module that can distribute ozone to several
We worked with Trouts, Chars, Salmons, Sturgeons, European different tanks with individual ozone dosage
Perch, Pike Perch and Cyprinids.
WATER proved is working together with notable suppliers such
as Hydrotech, Lykkegaard and Ultra Aqua. All individually manu-
factured devices in plastic or steel are made in Germany and from
highest quality.
WATER proved will join Aquaculture Europe in San Sebastian AquaBioTech - Filtration Systems
on booth No. 25. We consider the show an excellent place for As a result of our own research and development work we have
exchanging with international scientists, farmers and business part- developed some of the most advanced and cost effective filtration
ners. There are already lots of meetings arranged with customers solutions available on the market today. Filtration modules that can
during the exhibition. From the venue San Sebastian we hope to process two – 2000m3 / hour of water are available, as well as
get into contact with new customers from Europe and especially custom-designed solutions that are specific for each client's require-
France and Spain. Our French representative, Mr. Sylvain Delord ments and budget.
from Smart Aqua, will also join us during this show. www.aquabt.com/filtration-systems

004 | INTERNATIONAL AQUAFEED | Fish farming Technology
FISH FARMING TECHNOLOGY

HydroTech
The highest levels of filtration efficiency
Water is filtered through the periphery of the drum and parti-
cles are carefully separated from the liquid through the special cell
structure of the filter panels. As solids build up on the filter cloth,
the automatic system starts rotating the drum and initiates the back-
wash. Solids are gently rinsed off the filter cloth and collected in the
waste trough and discharged. The filtration continues on clean filter
cloth during the backwash, thus allowing a continuous filtration pro-
cess. The unique design of our filter panels prevents fragmentation
through careful handling of the solids. This high filtration efficiency is
essential in optimizing water quality parameters.

Flexible, modular design
The modular design incorporates 5 different drum diameters ranging
from 0.5 m to 2.0 m with filter areas from 0.35 m2 for the HDF 501
to 22.5m2 for the HDF 2010. In total there are 20 different standard
drum filter sizes depending upon your requirements. We also work
with our knowledgeable clients by providing unique configurations
to meet specific needs.

Variable drive systems
The Hydrotech Drumfilter is available in two drive system versions:
direct drive and chain transmission. Direct drive: The direct drive
is used on the two smallest drum sizes with 0.5 and 0.8 m drum
diameter. Chain transmission: For larger units, a chain drive provides
optimum performance.
www.hydrotech.se/aquaculture

Faivre Drum Filters
The operating system is simple. The water to be filtered is directed
into a rotating drum. The outer surface of the drum is manufactured
with a number of stainless steel plates covered with stainless steel
(or Nylon) mesh plates. Suspended solids larger than the perfora-
tions are unable to pass through the mesh and thus, are retained
in the drum.
The slowly rotating drum sepa¬rates the solids from the water
and discharges the solids through a dis¬charge channel located at
the top of the drum as indicated on sketch.
FAIVRE filters are designed to resist to all corrosion, due to their
construc¬tion entirely of stainless steel type AISI 304L for fresh
water, and type AISI 316L for salt water.
All parts of the filter have been engi¬neered and calibrated for
their spe¬cific duty.
FAIVRE drum filters are manufactured with less moving parts as
possible. The drum is driven by belts so as main¬tenance is reduced
to a minimum.
The efficiency of the design is contained within the construction
of the stainless filter plates that are integrated into a strong stain-
less steel framework. Replacement of filter¬ plates is operated in a
few minutes due to the exclusive design. The filter plates are easily
cleaned and replaced on the drum.
FAIVRE offers a complete range of efficient filters, strongly made
and economic to operate.

Fish farming Technology | INTERNATIONAL AQUAFEED | 005
FISH FARMING TECHNOLOGY

Best Aquaculture practices:
Technical BIOSAFETY- The new objective
of modern farming
aquaculture by Dr Pierpaolo Patarnello –
Veterinary Fish Pathologist

conference
Dr Pierpaolo Patarnello, an early pioneer from

E
uroFish, in association with Turkish Mediterranean marine aquaculture who has
been in the industry for twenty years spoke.
- Focus on the Food, Agriculture and Livestock
Ministry delivered an interesting He gave an informative presentation on how to
Mediterranean programme. International Aquafeed, modernise fish farming, stating that, ‘Aquaculture
following the attendance of Tom Blacker cannot be reinvented as [in] the past’. In order
by Ruby Bircher report from three talks given by presenters to achieve this, a new approach must be found.
at the conference. Following a holistic approach, the welfare of the
workers, the welfare of the animals, the protec-
Tom Blacker from At the welcome address it was highlighted tion of the environment and food safety are all
International Aquafeed that aquaculture in Turkey has grown to world- vital factors to be considered in reaching this
Magazine attended the wide propor tions with Izmir at its centre. goal. By improving and regenerating the trade,
Izmir acts as an ‘important hub for the Turkish Dr Patarnello says that ‘Turkey will be the leader
recent conference entitled aquaculture sector’ said Mr Carçak from of aquaculture in the Mediterranean’.
‘Tendencies in Aquaculture the Turkish Food, Agriculture and Livestock The Mediterranean is a diverse ocean for
Value Chain’. The full-day Ministry. Turkish aquaculture is growing rapidly, fish farming from west to east, with dedicated
partly because of consumer dietary demands industry sites spread throughout. However,
conference took place at the for animal protein and omega 3 as well as Turkey has to take more care than they are
FutureFish Eurasia exhibition Turkey’s noticeably increasing population. It currently doing with regards to environmental
in Izmir, Turkey, on Friday is encouraging to see how dynamic aquacul- impact. Currently, minority species fish are
ture is in this country, with huge trade flows being developed at the same level and in the
6th June 2014. EuroFish between Europe and Turkey. Equally, compet- same way that bass and sea bream were in the
organised seven separate itors from emerging markets are growing as early 2000s. Choice of feed, water control and
talks with questions and well and internal factors relative to Turkey sanitation must be bettered to see the industry,
are also creating new challenges. All industry as a whole, improve. Sanitary control, in par-
answers. organisations, companies and par ticipants ticular, is critically important—pathology is just
must partake in aquaculture actively, share the tip of the iceberg. Diseases easily develop
experiences and ask questions. in water and, in the aquaculture industry it

006 | INTERNATIONAL AQUAFEED | Fish farming Technology
FISH FARMING TECHNOLOGY

is pivotal that they are stopped before mor- domino effect (if one goes wrong so do the are under stress. Small, white growths,
tality rates in fish increase. The speed at which others when the cages are adjoined)—as well occasionally mistaken for Ich, appear
technology is now allowing industries to work as the existence submersible PE cage models, on the fish’s skin, growing until the
at is saving both time and, resultantly, money. Bonnar Engineering and Dunlop cages made of fish eventually dies. While there is no
Because of this, any technology used needs to submersible rubber material. Open Sea cage known cure, some recommend surgery
be ensured that it is clean and safe. systems such as the Ocean Spar sea station in serious situations.
Finishing remarks focused on the impor- (USA) and the Subflex system were discussed • Pseudotuberculosis- this is an example
tance of the control at the production stage. also. The Refa Tension Leg Cage (TLC) was of a zoonotic bacteria that is common
Using a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) mentioned. The TLC is another Open Sea in South America. In fish, the disease
is a good way to achieve this. In the 1990s, cage system that, during the build-up of waves, causes the spleen, liver and lymph nodes
skeletal deformities in fish were a problem can sink by itself, catching fish easily with very to inflame as well as cells in tissues to
at the production stage. Practices around little maintenance required. die.
improvements at this stage are so vital for Darko Lisac concluded that, ‘Refa Med works • Streptococcus-this disease, also zoonot-
good quality products. Standards in produc- with farmers to overcome the environmental ic, is prone to appearing in fish that
tion can lead to standards in the end product, and operational constraints in the open seas live in stressful conditions, resulting in
such as certifying and tracing the route to and deliver functional technical solutions’. inflammation of the brain. Side effects
the consumer. Throughout the stages, Dr can include ‘lethargy, dorsal rigidity, and
Pierpaolo Patarnello said, ‘feed choice is abso- Health Management in Marine erratic swimming behaviour; death fol-
lutely essential’ for success. Finfish Production lows in a matter of days’. One way
On the whole, International Aquafeed by Dr Pierpaolo Patarnello– to control the infection is to decrease
Magazine found the talk very topical and inter- Veterinary Fish Pathologist the quantity of feed given to the fish;
esting. It raised other wider ranging issues such This was the second presentation Dr some antibiotics have also been proven
as how much longer is it expected to take Patarnello gave at the conference in which successful.
in order for Turkish aquaculture to develop? the concern for sanitation in fish farming was As has been mentioned, there are some
There are currently 4 standards internation- addressed. To an extent there is always some ways to ‘cure’ these diseases. But is there
ally for fish and Turkey must follow one. biological risk in intensive farming where infec- a way to manage the risk so that the
tious, as well as environmental diseases can fish don’t become infected in the fir st
Technological Developments in manifest. Stress in cultured fish is also a major place?
the Open Seas in Fish Farming problem that exposes them to disease due Dr Patarnello reveals that control is the key.
- by Darko Lisac of Refa Med Italy to the ‘metabolic stress condition to which It is important, he says, to always keep sanitary
Darko Lisac of Refa Med Italy has been they are subjected’. This refers to the uncom- conditions under control, to be vigilant and
in aquaculture for thirty-five years. In 1977, fortable habitat in which they live, including: willing to increase and adapt the conditions
the first trials of marine cage farming in the high density, intense feeding and a small envi- as and when problems arise. Other advice,
Mediterranean began, creating an early-stage ronment. regarding technical and strategic control,
cage. This later developed into steel cages, It is impor tant that disease in aquacul- was relayed to the audience. The applica-
however, it was found that the strength of ture is controlled not only to save the fish tion of health monitoring programmes by
the waves caused the metal to crack. Cages product itself but also the wild species. A fish farm managers can help to assess which
with flexible structures fit for absorbing the recurring problem of marine farmed fish best practices should be enacted. Prevention
force of the waves and environmental condi- is that the cages often attract those from was described as a proactive type of treat-
tions were soon produced — however, a new the wild. The promise of food and shelter ment:
challenge arose where, in the open seas, the encourages the wild fish to get into the • Increase the control over the manage-
waves are even greater. Circular cages were cages by slipping through available holes ment level of farms
later manufactured to solve this problem as it and gaps. Any possible diseases carried by • More attention to sanitary requirements
was found that it could withstand the severe these fish then infiltrate the water infecting of new seeds
exposure. the surrounding farmed fish. Dr Patarnello • More attention to prophylactic stand-
New nets are also now being tested, describes pathology as the ‘alteration of one ards for infectious diseases
using high tenacity polyolefin (plastic) to or more physiological aspects in a living • More attention to the feeding and to the
produce ‘knotless nets’. As Tom Blacker from organism which appreciably compromises its growth of cultured species
International Aquafeed saw at an earlier show biological functions until the extreme conse- The presentation concluded that the con-
this year-Aquaculture UK, W&J Knox are just quences of death’. Pathogens are exchanged tinuous environmental monitoring of fish
one of the companies who manufacturer between the fish, spreading disease, and, farms is vital in controlling the spread of
these products. However in Turkey, these nets potentially, inciting an epidemic. However, diseases. To do so requires specialized vet-
are excellent in local conditions because of the risk is not only limited to fish- in some erinarians to carry out the surveillance as
the following reasons: cases, diseases are zoonotic, allowing them well as making a routine of investigating the
• No water absorption to be passed to humans, putting the farmers fish, water and feed. Dr Patarnello finished
• UV protection in danger of infection as well. saying, ‘According to 2006/88, all European
• The waxy surface reduces the amount Several diseases that can develop were aquaculture companies must implement
of fouling mentioned, including: Sanitary Surveillance programs, aimed not
• Easy to clean in situ in which it is resist- • Vibriosis-results in skin and visceral only to control the epidemiological risk of
ant to abrasion haemorrhages. In some cases, strains disease spread, but also to minimize the
• High tensile strength- the fibres are of the bacteria have appeared that are use of disinfectants and chemotherapies
woven together tightly resistant to drugs/chemicals used to for a future production that is increasingly
Mr. Lisac then moved on to talk about other treat the disease. healthy and safe for our fish, for our envi-
equipment such as grid mooring farms and • Lymphocystis-it is found that this viral ronment, and for our children as future
the challenges facing them: big storms, the disease commonly manifests when fish consumers.’

Fish farming Technology | INTERNATIONAL AQUAFEED | 007