Start your own aquaculture business | Part 1

Although aquaculture is a hobby for most people, it has potential commercial prospects. From doing your research to making use of technology and the right filtration systems, there are a lot of things you can do to make your aquaculture business a success.

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What is aquaculture?

Aquaculture (also known as aquafarming) is the farming of fish, algae, aquatic plants, crustaceans, molluscs and other organisms. It involves cultivating freshwater and saltwater populations under controlled conditions.

According to the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, “aquaculture in South Africa is divided into freshwater aquaculture and marine aquaculture”.

Tips for starting your own aquaculture business

Do your research

Aquaculture involves rearing a large amount of fish and understanding how to take care of them. Understanding the needs, environment, and biology of fish is essential to your success. Start by carrying out research online to ensure that you have all the information you need to rear fish. Knowledge of their natural habitat is useful, and you’ll also need to determine how you can replicate these conditions in an artificial environment.

Visit other farms

Learn more about aquaculture by visiting other successful farms in South Africa. This will enable you to apply the knowledge you have gained through research to practical situations in local conditions. Visit as many farms as you can to learn more about the systems they’re using. However, during your visits you’ll also come across unsuccessful aquaculture farms. These systems are still worth viewing as you can learn from their mistakes.

Understand filtration

Solid waste needs to be removed prior to the biological filtration process. This waste can put your system at risk by quickly blocking the surface area, which is essential for good bacteria to facilitate the decomposition of ammonia and nitrate. Solid waste can quickly overpower the bio-filter and pollute the water. Fish then become sick or die. While drum separators may appear to get the job done at first, they can become problematic after a few months of heavy usage. The majority of drum systems use backflushing to remove waste matter but they’re often inadequate when a layer of slime coats the screen. In these instances, a backwash is not enough to clean it, so it needs to be dismantled and the slime removed with a pressure cleaner.

The belts or gears that drive these filters are accompanied by sensors and electric motors, which can break down easily. As an alternative to the drum filters, you can invest in a deep-V sediment settlement tank. This technology is convenient and easy to use. With a decreased chance of the system breaking down, your fish are safer than they are with more complicated systems.

Use technology

High-tech systems used in the US and Europe are typically not suitable for the conditions in South Africa. Finding spare parts and assistance for this technology is not easy to access, which can be detrimental to your efforts to rear fish. If the system breaks, it can kill your fish and ruin your business. It’s advisable to invest in simple and durable technology that’s sourced from Egypt or Asia. This technology is more suitable for use in local conditions.

Now that you know more about aquaculture, you can get your business off to a great start. Don’t forget to read part 2 of starting your own aquaculture business next week!

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Start your own aquaculture business | Part 1 | AgriMag Blog
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Start your own aquaculture business | Part 1 | AgriMag Blog
Aquaculture is a hobby for most people and has potential commercial prospects. From doing your research to using technology, you can make this a business.
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