An In-Depth Discussion about Aquaculture Tanks
Aquaculture refers to the artificial creation of conditions suitable to raise fish. There are different kinds of aquaculture equipment that are designed according to the species of the fish that one wishes to cultivate. This apart, the number of fish required plays a role in determining the necessary number of tanks and their design. In successful aquaculture, tanks are designed to help fish grow in an environment similar to their natural environment. Many things need to be kept in mind when deciding to set up an aquaculture business as business profitability and the fish themselves can be negatively impacted if even trivial negligence occurs. One needs to take great care deciding on factors as simple as the shape of the tanks in which the fish would live at various stages of their growth cycle, right down to the kind of food that would be provided. Aquaculture tanks are available in various shapes and materials which need to take into account the local climate, whether it is different to the natural climate in which the fish is accustomed to survive, the species of fish, the number of fish and their various growth cycles. In a typical aquaculture system there are different tanks for each stage of the fish growth cycle. Overall, the most popular tanks are circular. Circular tanks are a preferred model for aquaculture as the water keeps flowing evenly across the tank. This ensures that the water remains clean, pushing any accumulated dirt towards the centre of the tank. A pump is used to keep water oxygenated and also to enable debris which might contaminate the water and affect fish health, to be collected for easy removal from the tank. An automated system is preferable, but constant monitoring by staff is also necessary to keep minor problems from becoming major ones. Apart from circular tanks, there are at least two other models of aquaculture tank: the raceways tank and the D-ended tank. Whether these tanks are used or not is again determined by the requirements of a particular aquaculture system. The raceways are tanks that are built in straight stretches as the name suggests. This kind of tank can also be a self-cleaning one if it operates at a high flow rate, which would mean that the fish would swim or move about at a faster pace ensuring that the water remains clean for longer periods as fish food would not accumulate at one place. The last model of tank used in aquaculture is the D-ended tank, which is relatively smaller in size and therefore in capacity in comparison to circular and raceways tanks. D-ended tanks are used in smaller aquaculture systems that have less turnover. All these tanks have a few disadvantages together with their advantages. For instance, circular tanks make it difficult to remove fish, more so if the tank is larger than 5 meters. A circular tank is also less desirable in terms of the area used as the round shape consumes a lot of space. In the case of a raceways tank the difficulty lies in an uneven distribution of oxygen throughout the water and a gradual deterioration in water quality due to inefficient water movement and oxygenation. Ultimately, it is the business type and the fish species being cultivated which determines the shape of tanks required as the disadvantages that are inherent in each kind of tank are offset by the advantages each offers for a particular size or type of business.