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PostPosted: Nov 4th, '15, 06:46 
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I am actively spending all my free time on working on a small scale commercial RAS project. Once its done I will be involving a couple of partners and applieing for financial support through EU agriculture programs.
I wanted to share some of my research and plans with people who love this as much as I do. So today went and created a dedicated web page to the project.
Here it is: http://fishfarm9.wix.com/rasresearch

I will be updating the page as much as I have free time. Writing and copying all my collected materials to web takes time and planning, so please be patient with me here.

Constructive critisism and feedback is appreciated!

Thanks!
Kristjan

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PostPosted: Nov 6th, '15, 04:05 
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Since I want to grow Barramundi up to 2,4-2,8 kg size, there is a stocking density problem which needs the best solution possible.
We can not physically lift the fish from small tank in to a larger tank every time the fish gains another 500g of weight. So the only solution is variable growth area for every fish stage.
There are total of 16 stages or 16 months grow cycle. The current plan is to grow them in small <15kg/m3 round tank until they reach 100-150grams. That takes up to 3 months depending which size fingerlings are bought. At this stage one tank worth of bio weight is still under 500kg and fish can be easily transfered to growout tanks. This leaves us with 12-13 months of growout from 150g up to around 2,4-2,8 kg.
Current plans for growout stage are two way oval or one way raceway type tanks with moving net walls separated grow areas for each size of fish.
All of this is done for economic reasons which leads to minimal volumes and maximum profitability.

Some new info soon available on web page too.

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PostPosted: Nov 6th, '15, 07:04 
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Growing a warm water fish to 8kg in northern Europe, isn't a great way to make money.

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PostPosted: Nov 6th, '15, 11:36 
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earthbound wrote:
Growing a warm water fish to 8kg in northern Europe, isn't a great way to make money.

Unless you've got a very good wholesale price for fresh fish?

But places that can grow them, freeze them, in a pond out the back without any heating will be able to undercut anything you can charge.

Why don't you grow something better suited to your climate like Trout?

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PostPosted: Nov 6th, '15, 15:56 
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I think he means 2.4 to 2.8 kilo's ?

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PostPosted: Nov 6th, '15, 16:24 
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Colum Black-Byron wrote:
earthbound wrote:
Growing a warm water fish to 8kg in northern Europe, isn't a great way to make money.

Unless you've got a very good wholesale price for fresh fish?

But places that can grow them, freeze them, in a pond out the back without any heating will be able to undercut anything you can charge.

Why don't you grow something better suited to your climate like Trout?


Its not 8kg. I suppose the comma as a decimal separator confused you? Fish is grown up to 2.8kg and the average marketing weight will be around 2.6kg. It is not ecomonically viable to grow Barramundi over 3kg in RAS, however, it is optimal to grow them up to 2.6 as average. I also did not mention yet, that 10% - 30% of the fingerlings are only grown to plate size fish. This percentage will be depending on the survival rate of the fingerlings. Why not to grow all the fish to 450-600g? Because plate size fish is not that popular here. People love a nice piece of fillet, not a small bony whole fish. That is why Atlantic Salmon is so popular in Baltic and scandinavian countries.
Everything in the whole system will be carefully designed to be as efficient as possible. That includes:
Fish market size, water usage, water volume, feed composition and feeding rates, building area and building volume, building heat demand, all electric components, etc.
Two largest expenses in RAS are the fish feed and labor force, which will total around 70-75%.

Why not Trout? The answer is simple. About 90% of consumed fish in our area is either local Rainbow Trout or Norways Atlantic Salmon. We do not want to compete against the 2000mt/y farms by growing yet another red fish. There is extra market demand for fresh high quality fish and Barramundi is likely the best kind of white fleshed fish to grow because of several factors.
We could grow cheaper Hybrid Tilapia or African Catfish with much less space required. That would cut a decent portion off from the inititial costs, but would not be that attractive in long term view. Tilapia and Catfish are both considered only medium quality fish and they will not sell in the price range of Barramundi.

One more important thing to mention is that the farm would only grow about 1800kg of fish per week. This amount is easily distributed to local consumers and restoraunts who are willing to pay one or two € more per kg than the resellers.

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PostPosted: Nov 7th, '15, 00:40 
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Hi Kristjan
I am jealous. Twenty years ago I would have walked down the same road you are starting on.
As such I want you to succeed.
Couple of points I would like to make.
Earlier this year at an Aquaponics conference here in the UK I listened to a presentation by Bruce and Charles Reed. They were reporting on their efforts to create an aquaponics farm in a disused quarry.
They applied for a EU grant.
In the end they decided it was not worth the effort.
Now. I admit my attention wandered not really relevant to what I am doing but I would suggest you contact them direct.
Old Quarry Farm Aquaponics on Facebook.

Fish Species Choice.
You have your own reasons for choosing Barramundi but consider two other possibilities.
European Perch and Arctic Char.
Big money is flowing into investment in EP RAS systems. There is a high value market centered on Germany/Switzerland. Demand is high and almost insatiable.
Arctic Char, cousin to Trout. Slower growing yes but likes the cool waters.
Google Arctic Char Caviar! Hmm life in the fast lane.
I said two.
I am growing Crucian Carp. You know the Eastern European market for that.
I wish you well.

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PostPosted: Nov 7th, '15, 05:22 
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Hi Titus,

Thank you for your suggestions. I have done some research about the European Perch. It grows slow and we have plenty of it in every lake and near Baltic Sea coast area. The large amounts of Perch fishing keeps our local prices down. So this this is not economically viable to grow in RAS. However, I am about to do some research about growing it in a small lake which is bordering my land.
Regarding Arctic Char, it is basically a Salmon for our consumers. So theres a big market and also big competition.

Again thank for your post!

It would also not hurt to mention that I am always open to aquaculture and aquaponics projects related job offers. With a little effort my research and passion for the industry can be adjusted to other countries anywhere in the world!
Plus, my wife is eager to move in to warmer climate, haha.

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