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  • Do you know about Biofloc fish farming technology and is it a good business option in India?

    Want to know what is bilfloc farming? wondering whether it is worth doing business in this field and how is it done? On this Ask Expert page check out advice for all your queries.

    Biofloc fish farming is a technique that utilises both land and water resource to floc and grows bacteria in the water that is used to farm fish for business. I do not have much knowledge about it but would like to clear my doubts from the experts in the forum.
    1. What is Biofloc fish farming and how is it done?
    2. What are the requirements(Land, water, electricity, technology, manpower, etc) and the initial cost required for Biofloc fish farming?
    3. What type of fish can be grown through this farming method?
    4. What if the food and other supplements that are required and other permissions required to start the requirements and the cost of the same for Biofloc fish farming?
    5. How do we manage the waste that is accumulated Biofloc fish farming?
    6. Is this farming method profitable and worth starting it in our country?
  • Answers

    4 Answers found.
  • It is a cost-effective technology. Nitrate, Nitrite, Ammonia are toxic materials to the fish and shellfish. These are converted to useful products called a proteinaceous feed. This method is used in aquaculture system. Very limited water exchange is an advantage in this method. The culture of Biofloc will be productive if the culture tanks are exposed to the sun. The cost is less in this system.
    The important three requirements are:
    1. Sunlight
    2. A carbohydrate source
    3. Aeration
    The first step for this process is to make a tank or pond. These ponds should be lined ponds, concrete ponds or indoor tanks. There should not be any influence of soil over water parameters or Biofloc processes. Outdoor ponds should have lids. So that rainwater will not entre into the tank which will have an influence on alkalinity,

    The second step is to arrange the aeration system. A large volume of aeration is required to maintain oxygen levels. This system will see that there will be some movement in the tank and no solids will settle. 6mg of oxygen per hour per litre is the requirement. So one has to plan the aerators that will cater to the need. Generally, 30 HP aerator may be needed for a hectare.

    The third step is preseeding. This will help fast development of Biofloc system and the tank will get stabilised. This preseeding material will be available in the market.

    The fourth step is the selection of the variety. shrimp and tilapia are very good candidates. They improve feeding efficiency.

    The fifth step is to select a carbon source input. carbon sources and feed mixtures which are a carbon-to-nitrogen (C/N) ratio more than 10 are good. Molasses, cassava, hay, sugarcane or starch are good inputs.

    The next step is Biofloc growth. Start aerating after adding the carbohydrates. Then Biofloc should start growing fast. Sunlight is also good for this. If there is no rain you can keep the lids of the tanks open. Growth is to be monitored.
    The growth should be monitored by measuring the numbers by taking frequently sample water. Initially, the pond will look green and later on will change to brown.
    Aeration system should work continuously and there should be a fall back arrangement if there is a power failure. Regularly water quality should be monitored by measuring dissolved oxygen and Tammonia content, Growth rate is also to be monitored. Once the growth has come you can harvest. Before you go for the next batch the tank should be cleaned properly.

    The following are some important benefits of this method:
    1, An eco-friendly method
    2, Wastewater can be used and hence waste generation is less
    3. It gives more density of fishes in the water body
    4, Productivity will increase.
    5. Less water pollution
    6. Cost-effective

    You have to submit your proposal for obtaining permission before you go for the process
    1. National Fisheries Development Board. You have to send your proposal to the office of this organisation in the area you propose the farming
    2. Development of Inland Fisheries and Aquaculture,
    3. Development of Marine Fisheries and Infrastructure and Post Harvest Operations
    4. National Scheme of welfare of fishermen
    5. Institutional Arrangments for the fisheries sector in India
    6. Monitoring, control and surveillance and other need-based interventions in Fisheries.
    7. Strengthing of Database and the geographical information systems in the fisheries sector to start the fish farming business.

    The cost depends on the cost of the land where you are proposing to have the process, how much area you propose and the scale at what you want to start.

    always confident

  • Biofloc fish farming is a technique in which the fish are produced in a confined artificial tank and the nutrients are fully utilised by the fishes and over and above that the waste materials are again recycled and reused which helps in cutting the cost of fish farming as compared to the normal aquaculture method used in open ponds.

    The main technique used in a Biofloc tank is to convert the waste material like Nitrogen, Ammonia along with the fish faeces back to the feed material. For this to happen, the presence of sunlight also required which acts as a catalyst. So, the Biofloc technology works like a waste treatment plant. Recycling nutrients is certainly an eco-friendly method and from that angle also it is a sustainable environment maintenance mechanism. That is one reason why many aqua farmers are going to adopt these technologies. The Biofloc tanks come in different sizes and a number of tanks can be kept adjacent to each other depending upon the size of Biofloc farm.

    Thoughts exchanged is knowledge gained.

  • Biofloc Technology is a system to remove waste from water. It is a way so that no disease gets transferred during the process. This is the process of using a set of good bacteria acting as probiotics maintaining water quality free from harmful bacteria.
    Biofloc consists of an amalgamation of different substances such as bacterial, algae, protozoans , organic sludge etc. There is sometimes the formation of electrostatic forces helping them to bind together.
    Before investing in such a business, we need to have basic knowledge about the following inputs-
    1) Tank Making - The tank should either be made from cement or tarpaulin. Even Stainless Steel can be used for long lasting. Our main consideration is the storage of water having high holding capacity. A circular pattern of the tank would allow fish to move in a continuous way without any obstruction.
    2) Water formation in Bio Fish farming -
    The tank is to be filled with water maintaining PH value in the range of 7.5 - 8 and TDS should be within the range of of 1400 - 1600. Molasses to the extent of 10 GM should be used per 100 litter of water for maintaining fish feeding.
    3) Fish Stocking - The Fish Seeds should be kept for at least thirty minutes in order to make fish seed disinfected.
    4) Maintain Water Quality -
    1) Check the oxygen level regularly, it should be within the range of 6- 8 ppm.
    2) Ammonia content should to the extent of zero ppm.
    3) TDS limit should be around 1660. If it is low, put some raw salt and if it is high replace the old water.

  • Biofloc fish farming has already been started in our country and it is being seen as a profitable industry as compared to the conventional open pond fish farming. The main difference is that in Biofloc farming the total control on the parameters and other things is in our hands as the fishes are grown in an isolated tank where no external water or other mixing of pathogens or infectious material can take place. It is modular in nature as one can put as many tanks adjacent to each other as permitted by the size of the land and the capacity to undertake the production. It is convenient also in many other aspect. Let us see the details of this technology by answering the query point wise -

    1. Biofloc fish farming is a relatively cheaper method of fish farming as compared to the conventional open pond type. The traditional farming is done is open pond areas and is prone to water incursion from outside. In fact the main push for Biofloc fish farming came from the need to avoid outside water to the fish farm which had potential to induce diseases and other infections in the fishes. With that beginning thought the Biofloc systems were designed. Biofloc farming uses big size tarpaulin or thick polythene tanks where no outside mixing is allowed and the system works as an enclosed unit. The core of the biofloc system is the waste management process which keeps the tank clean and free of any disease causing pathogen.

    2. The interesting thing about the Biofloc farm is that it is modular and one can go for as many tanks as are permissible within the enclosed land available. These tanks are to be kept in glass roofed sheds to allow sunlight to reach them and different sizes of these tanks are available. Then, there is the waste treatment plant which keeps the water in the tank in a clean state. Depending upon the farm size some labourers are to be employed for feeding the fish or shrimps. A rough idea of major expenses would come from the following data -

    a) Price of round tarpaulin PVC coated liner tank, size 4 metres (this is the most commonly used size), and capacity 10000 litres is in the range Rs 10000 to 15000.
    b) Waste treatment plant costs about Rs 7 to 12 lakhs depending upon the volume to be cleaned.
    c) Set up charges including labour, fish seed, feed (food for the fishes) and chemicals for fishes to grow, water and electric charges etc come to about Rs 1.4 lakh for one harvest season of say 30 to 45 days.

    3. Many types of fishes, shrimp etc can be grown in this Biofloc technology but only thing one has to see the availability of fish seed (small fishes which would grow bigger in the Biofloc system). This is an important point as it should be available from the local fishermen who sell it on a cheaper rate. So it is natural that this farming can be adopted in areas near to sea-shores. At one time about thousands of these small fishes would be needed as seed to Biofloc tanks.

    4. The person or the company interested to start Biofloc operation in an area has to get themselves registered with the Fisheries department and there are many documents to be submitted and licenses and approvals are required from NFDB (National Fisheries Development Board), DIFA (Development of Inland Fisheries and Aquaculture) etc. The process is a bit complex as there are many things to be submitted to the multiple authorities and cumbersome and might require to take help of some agent or agency who are professionally getting these licenses for the interested people. The details of those permissions and licenses are an elaborate one and can not be reproduced here but one can go to the fisheries department site and get the details.

    5. Fishes are given high protein diet for their quick growth and a lot of that is discharged back as waste in the form of nitrogen. The waste management system recycles this nitrogen back into the consumable feed and this is one reason why the cost of feed ultimately decreases in Biofloc system. As the waste is removed on a regular basis the health of the fish also remains in good shape which is an important aspect for getting the revenue from the sale of these well grown up fishes.

    6. Biofloc farming method is already being undertaken in our country and these tarpaulin tanks are even available from the Amazon and other online stores. If one does the financial analysis of the revenue generated by the sale of large number of fishes vis-a-vis the initial and routine expenditure in the Biofloc fish farming then one would easily find that it is a profitable business in fact much profitable in comparison to the conventional pond farming. That is the reason why many enterprising people are going for this method of fish farming in our country. The aquaculture industry was already well developed in our country and only thing what is now added is the Biofloc technology to make it more profitable.

    Knowledge is power.

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