OUR FIRST RAS PRACTICUM IS “IN THE BOOKS….”
The staff of PAES W.A.T.E.R. (http://paeswater.com/), our research and demonstration facility in Apopka, Florida, has wrapped up our first Recirculating Aquaculture Systems (RAS) Practicum. This is a unique experience in the aquaculture community, with participants able to work in a modern RAS facility in a hands-on mode, learning the daily routine of operating and managing our five recirculating aquaculture systems. Participants followed the culture of two species of finfish, and conducted daily water quality analyses with a variety of instrumentation.
During the five days of the workshop, we presented detailed instruction on each of more than 20 components of the systems, from tank components and construction, to moving bed biofilters, to UltraViolet (UV) light treatment units. Each component was discussed in detail, including the design, operation, maintenance, the location of the item in the water treatment system, and much more. Dr. Tom Losordo, well-known around the world for his RAS engineering expertise, presented classroom sessions on all the required unit processes involved in RAS.
Our participants were a diverse group, coming from very different backgrounds and experiences. Each of them came eager and prepared to learn during the week, and presented us with a variety of questions and curiosities. All participated in calculating tank volumes, concentrations of additives such as salt and sodium bicarbonate for alkalinity, fish growth rates, and the all-important Feed Conversion Ratios (FCR). Facility layout, electrical layout, emergency backup and operation, and safety were all additional topics that were covered. Our PAES W.A.T.E.R. staff did an excellent job in making our participants welcome, and plans are underway for our next course offering. Please check our events calendar for upcoming workshops on the Events Calendar!