RAS 500 – a small scale laboratory system for shrimp cultivation at the Institute of Oceanography, University of Gdansk
In June 2017 a small scale RAS laboratory system for shrimp cultivation was installed at the laboratory of the Institute of Oceanography, University of Gdansk, for the purpose of the InnoAquaTech project pilot 2 – “Farming shrimp in Poland: Increasing the potential of recirculating aquaculture systems”.
Purpose of the RAS 500 system
The RAS 500 has been specifically designed and installed by AquaMedic Poland Bartosz Blum for the cultivation of whiteleg shrimps in a closed recirculating system with a total water capacity of 500-1000 l. The main purpose is to conduct experiments which will determine how different factors in various combinations effect survival rates, basic physiological processes, protein content and weight gain of whiteleg shrimps (Litopenaeus vannamei). Simultaneously data for recommendations on facility designs and shrimp cultivation will be collected and processed.
Since November 2017, the young shrimp from Florida are swimming and growing in this laboratory and the trials are ready to begin. Now the team working in the project is focused on the first trial: Growth and nutritional value of shrimps cultivated on commercial diet.
RAS 500 consists of 3 separate tanks: water reservoir, treatment unit (containing: electric cabinet, electronic cabinet, mechanical filtration, protein skimmer, UV and ozone sterilization, biological chamber, heating, filter sump, aeration) and 500 l shrimp tank – source of the name “RAS 500” (link to blueprint). In fact, there are two versions of the RAS 500, which differ in the biological filtration systems. One is using a trickling filter, the other uses a moving bed filter.
The system has been designed in a way, that evaporation of water is limited to minimum. The whole system is manufactured from corrosion and sea-water resistant materials. The advantageous utilization of gravity guarantees a very efficient water flow, that only requires one pump located in the filter sump. Parameters such as pH, redox, salinity, etc. of the circulating water are continuously monitored.
Analyses performed in this pilot:
- Mortality of shrimp (every day)
- Growth rate (based on total length and fresh weight measurements)
- Elemental composition (carbon, hydrogen and nitrogen contents)
- Calorific value (combustion calorimetry)
- Nutritional value and level of chemical contaminants
- The data collected in these analysis are essential for SME service offers, such as the development of financing guidelines and the decision-support-tool for investors.