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Aquaculture, fish, filtration, aeration

Water treatment, recirculating systems, hydroponic

Aquaculture or fish-farming can be of different sorts. It can be situated on rivers, lakes and even in the sea in floating cages for tuna for instance. It can be high-density when operated in tanks.
In such cases, filtration and aeration are of the utmost importance. While a biofilter helps with the transformation of ammonia into nitrite and nitrite into nitrate, a mechanical filter (sand filter or drum filter) deals with the removal of particles (fish manure and uneaten feed). Aeration is provided through blowers which diffuse oxygen under the biofilter and by having air-stones and venturis placed around the tanks especially in cages where fingerlings are kept in high density. Dissolved oxygen levels should normally be above 5mg/litre. The pH is tested daily and should be around 6.5 or 7. If lower, more water needs to be exchanged or lime added.
Pumps are used around the farm to recirculate water and the sumps where detritus accumulate need to be siphoned often. Waste water leaving the farm needs to be treated to strip it of its nutrients. Hydroponics can be used for this purpose and it has the added advantage of producing another sellable product. Large paddies through which the waste water runs have been planted with water chestnuts which grow to record sizes. Another suitable crop is watercress.
Fingerlings need to be graded regularly because their growth rate differ. Fish which have reached market size must be harvested promptly so as to keep the tank biomass at a manageable level. Once harvested, fish are kept in purging tanks for a few days before being killed, packed and shipped

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