SILVER PERCH

RAS

Commercial POD Aquafarming

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One picture is worth a 1000 words:

A Kel Gordon POD Aquafarming Design

applied to pond construction.

POD can also be modular tank design

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kel Gordon Silver Perch & Fish Farm Construction Silver Perch & Water Quality

 

All RAS applications, including Silver Perch RAS, that I have had the pleasure of inspection, are top heavy in design. Sure they are shiny and tech savvy however, they lack the simple necessities of longevity so overlooked by all RAS applications that I wonder if they have ever actually been aquatic farmers in any commercial sense. I worked at one, in southern NSW, for just one day before quiting. The stench and accepted mortality were as disgusting as the metal decay was amazing. The entire multi-million dollar project would not see five years of operation. No profits there I am afraid. So I designed the POD System based on commercial viability.

The POD System is entirely flexible to tank design or pond layout. The same rules of filtration apply so the design can be altered to suit species, quantity and available land. My cheapest tank design consists of a rolled corrugated iron oval with a commercial liner. It has a ten year life span on the liner and 20 years on the frame. So, a 100,000 litre tank costs about $1500.... Ten tanks gives you an awesome farm for $15,000 in culture tanks. I think that is something special, even if it is my own design.

May I suggest a new approach based on what you wish to achieve? Then build a pilot scale version to 'acclimatise and educate' yourself to fish farming methods and procedures before expanding out. Believe me it is the safer way to successful aquaculture.

Many decisions depends on where you are and the viable culture species available to you.

The POD design RAS is, in my observed opinion, the best RAS design as it removes much of the labour and maintenance issues associated with normal RAS. It also produces a far superior fish product in terms of flesh texture, growth and reductions in disease issues.

Most importantly, the design is based on achieving the highest return due to the above reductions in operating and maintenance costs as well as providing much more pleasant environmental surroundings for the fish. 

 

 

The thing with RAS thinking is; that you need sophisticated technology and mechanisation. I know this to be wrong. Nature has been purifying water for a very long time. It's efficient and its free. You do not need drum filters nor indeed any mechanisation as you will see from the pic above. 

There are two RAS units of 30 tonne each. They operate on one 3.5 kilowatt pump each. That is all the power requirement.... Oh you will probably need a backhoe or excavator to clean the filters once every second year. 

Now here is the thing. RAS systems drive people mad. They are extremely stressful, costly and DO NOT make money. Unless of course you have friends in the government who support you with grant funding. It has never been my privilege and indeed Fisheries would not even acknowledge the POD RAS system existed even though it could turn over 30 tonne per 18 months with one labour/management component. The words simple, successful and sustainable don't seem to mean much to the Dr Plod’s of DPI Fisheries. After all there has not been a new aquafarming permit in NSW or Queensland in 15 years. So, why do we pay millions for aquafarming research?

  

POD stands for Prodigious Organic Diffusion. (very large form of organic reduction) 

The filtration process has three major steps. Firstly a ‘drum filter' or mechanical filtering stage ultising only velocity reduction to remove particles.

Secondly, a nutrient stripping stage. The farm in the pic used water hyacinth plants, incorporated into the mechanical filter, to absorb the excess nitrogen and other nutrient excess. However, this stage could easily incorporate an aquaponics stage. It is the same application except the hyacinth plants created several tonnes of high nutrient compost and not a crop.

And thirdly, any remaining nutrient was removed through a two stage biological filter. Basically 20 tonnes of gravel with integrated plumbing. Simple yes but the water on the down side of the bio filter was drinkable..... If that is not a first nothing in aquaculture is...in 1987....  :-)

And yet the design has failed to gain any foothold in the new RAS industry. In a world attracted to shiny bobbles, muddy ponds don't cut the mustard. It is indeed a sad lesson in life that a species and size variable design, that could have gone global in application, simply dried up in ignorance.

I had researched and developed a relaxed aquafarming application whereby daily labour was reduced to feeding and observation. Such simplicity does not require constant water analysis. The system is self-monitoring and self-buffering over many months.

The pumping was automatic by timer to maintain a constant head and gravity supplied the aeration. If aerators were added I suspect an increase in biomass loading by maybe 50%. But then, that is not the point of POD RAS. Health, quality, performance and disease free statis are.

In my opinion, the commercial point, of POD RAS, is to generate a sustainable profit without being chained to the wheel. To be able to enjoy the process of aquafarming with a system able to function for at least 10 to 15 years without maintenance. The site above achieved that goal.

Email Kel to find out more............. kel@aquafarmer.com.au

Silver Perch Aquafarming

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