The evidence-based rationale supporting Superior Raceways™ is extensive and covers many fields of science. The evidence supporting the theories behind recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) is simple, but often difficult and expensive to implement. Additionally, traditional RAS (systems) are often plagued with mechanical and human errors.
"In-pond RAS"™ has many advantages over traditional RAS. Simplicity, reduced mechanical and technical dependence, reduced cost of installation and operation, plus greater reliability are just some of the advantages.
As an example of just one advantage, let's examine stress. Stress reduction in fish leads to stress reduction in growers. Stress on fish, other animals, or humans results in observable stress at the cellular level.
Stress at the cellular level is probably the strongest cause of most disease and growth deficiencies in fish. Stress in fish is strongly associated with less than optimal or "unnatural" environmental conditions. Low or supersaturated dissolved oxygen (DO) levels, nutritional deficiencies, unnatural temperatures, light, sound, or other environmental threats all play a strong role in reducing the autoimmune defense system. Nutritional deficiencies and stress have also been associated with higher levels of cannibalism.
As in humans, nutritional deficiencies experienced by brood stock or juvenile fish can lead to very significant growth and development problems later. While significant studies have been conducted regarding commercial fish feed, many questions remain. Of major significance is the impact of quality omega-3's in the diet, especially for fingerling production.
zooplankton as feed
Very significantly, most pond water is teeming with a wide variety of phytoplankton and zooplankton, rich in omega-3's. Superior Floating Raceways™ create a natural plankton sink by air-lifting in plankton-rich water, allowing the plankton to settle and accumulate at exceptional densities within the lower levels of the raceway. The result is a limitless banquet of quality, nutritious, live feed, including vitamins, minerals, protein, and fats – and it's all free.
Additional automated plankton harvesting of surrounding pond water can be achieved by placing a plankton-attracting light near the inlet airlifts. At night, the plankton rise from the pond bottom, are attracted to the inlet lights, and flow into the raceway.
Nutritional deficiencies in both animal and human studies have been proven to be associated with mis-programming of the beta cells in the pancreas, resulting in early on-set diabetes in humans and fatty liver disease, a significant problem in aquaculture.
- Better quality feed lowers volume of feed required.
- Feeding the fish rather than the pond lowers feed required.
- Better quality feed improves feed conversion ratio (FCR).
- Better quality feed reduces both fish excrement and feed waste.
- Reduced fish excrement and wasted food yields improved water quality in both raceways and ponds.
- Improved water quality yields healthier, faster growing fish, lower mortality rates, and potentially higher carrying rates.
- Rapidly increasing feed costs and efforts to improve quality mandate better feed management practices.
- A potentially more valuable and/or expensive fish mandates improved fish management procedures.
Superior Raceways™ provide unsurpassed opportunities for optimal feed, fish, energy, and environmental management. Let us know how we might help you.