Aquacare controlled environment aquaculture systems
"AQUACARE ENVIRONMENT INC WAS ESTABLISHED WITH THE PURPOSE OF SUPPLYING COST EFFECTIVE EQUIPMENT TO THE GROWING AQUACULTURE INDUSTRY WORLDWIDE"
Aquacare Environment Inc was established in 1987 with the purpose of supplying cost effective industrial scale equipment to the growing aquaculture industry worldwide. The company began by marketing glass-fused-to-steel bolt together tank kits to the emerging aquaculture industry and has since grown into an integrator of complete systems. Working closely with JLH Consulting Inc to provide leading edge bio-plans and system designs, Aquacare is growing along with the industry.
Aquacare has partnered with JLH Consulting with the goal of reducing capital costs, improving the growing environment and controlling operating costs of farms. The use of pre-engineered and pre-fabricated system components helps to standardise farm designs and lower the installed cost of fish farm equipment. Equally important is the operating cost of the farm. To that end, Aquacare and JLH have worked to reduce pumping heads and oxygenation cost to help their clients operate as cost effectively as possible.
Distribution and OEM arrangements and relationships with specialised world-class manufacturers allow Aquacare to specify and ship the best value in components available to build and operate a successful fish farm. Adapting equipment manufactured for a larger market to the specific needs of aquaculture provides an economy of scale unique to this industry.
Circular tanks are becoming standard in aquaculture because of their cost effectiveness per cubic meter of volume and inherent self-cleaning nature and long life-cycle. Tanks are also becoming larger and thus cost-effective construction methods are needed. For tanks 100 cubic meters and larger, it is hard to find a more cost-effective and long-lasting tank system than the glass-fused-to-steel bolted together tank which was developed over seventy years ago for use as animal feed and manure storage tanks and silos. Today, this tank system is in use in thousands of applications worldwide, ranging from water treatment and storage, to aquaculture tanks.
In addition to circular tanks, Aquacare also supplies MxCell Raceway® tanks. These are plug-flow raceways that are divided into a series of hydraulically separated cells that act like circular tanks, providing the self-cleaning environment that traditional raceways cannot.
Self-cleaning drum microscreen filters, with fine mesh screens, are the first line solids removal mechanism used in modern fish farms. It is important to remove these solids in a gentle way, using gravity flow, rather than pumped flow, would macerate the solids and make them more difficult to remove.
Dissolved nutrients in recirculating aquaculture systems are most effectively removed using fixed film biofilters. A variety of fixed-film biofilter media are used in aquaculture, of varying efficiency. Low cost sand media provide a huge surface area but come with an ongoing energy cost to keep the sand fluidised.
Structured polyethelene, or PVC media, provide good surface area, however they need to be fluidised using blower air. Newer media are on the market offering higher specific surface area, stable performance and reasonable energy efficiency.
Fish metabolism produces CO2 which must be removed in recirculating systems. A variety of stripping systems are in use. Aquacare prefers to supply industrial grade floating aerators combined with good ventilation, which cost efficiently removes the produced CO2 from the system.
Intensive aquaculture, with high feeding rates, requires supplemental oxygenation in order to allow commercial fish densities and good feed conversion. In order for the added O2 to be available to the fish, it must be dissolved into the water. The Oxyflow® oxygenator does exactly that with relatively low operating pressure and very high efficiency.
Moving water is the heart of an intensive aquaculture system.
In Aquacare"s modern system the water is pumped only once, after solids removal and biofiltration, just before oxygen enrichment through the Oxyflow® and back to the fish tanks with sufficient head to create a healthy current in the rearing tank.
All critical components are supplied in multiple units, so in the event of one component failure, the life support system will still work.
Precision feeding, controlled by computer, is essential for profitable aquaculture. One of the best ways to distribute the correct feed to the individual tanks at the correct time is to use pneumatic feeders. These deliver precise doses of feed frequently to each tank population. Frequent smaller feedings also help to maintain a balanced load on the biofilters and help to assure optimum feed conversion ratios. Modern pneumatic feeders also track feed usage and inventory.
While it is not realistic to expect computers to operate the fish farm, it does make sense to use widely available computing power to assist the operators in monitoring the aquatic environment, and to know exactly what critical equipment components need attention to help avoid expensive failures.
Human operator observation of the fish cannot be replaced by machines, however, knowing what the critical water parameters are in real time is a significant management tool. This is where customised monitoring alarm and control systems, as supplied by Aquacare, provide a significant return on investment to the farm owners.
As the growth of the market for controlled environment aquaculture production systems continues to outpace other food producing systems, Aquacare is ready to engage with clients to design and build efficient, scalable and manageable fish farming systems worldwide.