Biofloc ...... Fish Farm 4.0 in Sakon Nakhon Province Thailand
What is Biofloc? ....... Biofloc technology (BT) is a fish farming system that recycles waste nutrients as fish food. Biofloc, specifically cultured microorganisms, are introduced into the water to form microbial protein from toxic fish waste and other organic matter. This maintains water quality as well as lowering costs.
In a simple term .....It is combination of aquaculture and water traetment by action of microoganiasm
wasted materials occured in fish pond are treated by action of microorganism and turn into nitrogen gas released to the air, so that water is habitable
Biofloc system has 2 main components the container and electric air pump that runs 24 hours
The good things of biofloc
First let's look at the current situation of the traditional fish farming, as a matter of fact fresh water fishes in market are coming from 2 sources
A. Wild caught from natural sources like lake, river, swamp and wetlands
B. Farm raised ...... earthen pond, plastic pond, concreate pond and floating fish farm or cage farming in the river and lake
These wild caught and farm raised had been doing well for many centuries but one of thse days "Climate Change" beginning to walk in our life ....... natural resources are gradually deteriorated and led to many problems of food security and health risk.
1.Tilapia cage farming in Mekong River are frequently damaged from the sudden changes of water level and poor quality water as well as infection of diseases and parasites
2.The earthen fish pond always face losses due to a natural phenomema called "Turnover" caused by heavy rainfall during monsoon season
3. Health problem like bile duct cancer caused by liver fluke infection
4. Problems of El Nino and La Nina that caused severe drought and flooding
5. Socio-economic of Thailand has drifted from agricultural economy to the ubanization, large number of the young generation left their rural hometown to find jobs in the big cities and left behind the aged members to fate hard work farming. However 2021 GDP of agricultural sector dropped down to 8.53% comparing to the 34.78% of industrial sector (www.thailand gross domestic product agriculture sector)
6.The traditional farming are constantly under the pressure of high cost of production
All these above obstacles can be minimized by introduction of biofloc farming, it is a close system that can be managed to avoid the severe drought flooding and parasites infection, more over it requires less water less spacing and less labor. The system can be effectively operated with electronic digital platform or artificial intelligent that is up to the alley of young generation.
Tilapia cage farming in Mekong River are frequently damaged by the sudden changes of water level and water quality
Heavy rainfall caused cold water settles to the bottom and displacing toxic materials and gases turnover to the top of the pond where fish are living
life cycle of liver fluke in fresh water, people who consume uncooked fish are under health risk of bile duct cancer
Biofloc Farm in Sakon Nakhon Province ....... a community enterprise called "The Fit Farm"
The original biofloc farm is established in 2020 by Adeqnic Engineering Solution Co;Ltd located in Village Don Chiang Ban, Subdistrict Chiang Krua, Sakon Nakhon District of Sakon Nakhon Province. The inspiration of start up came from research and development project under the Department of Fisheries of Sakon Nakhon Rajbhat University.
Biofloc research and development at department of fisheries at Sakon Nakhon Rajbhat University has been conducting since 2017
Meeting between representative of Adeqnic Engineerin Solution and Ajarn Songsub Arunkamol the head department of fisheries on 22 June 2020
July 2021 the Community Enterprise "Fit Farm" is officially set up to carry on the biofloc farming from Adeqnic Engineering Solution in order to comply with the community enterprise regulation.
Fit Farm a community enterprise established in July 2021
Over all pictures of The Fit Farm
The indoor farm with 6 ponds of 134 CuM and 6 ponds of 33 CuM
Out door farm with 2 ponds of 2.4 CuM and 2 of 12 CuM
A Breakthrough Technology : food security, food safety, precision farming and environmentally friendly agriculture
1. High productivity
Biofloc is a close system farming with high productivity comparing to the traditional earthen pond, thus requires less water and spacing, that means one ton of water in biofloc could yield an average 30 kilogram of production while the traditional earthen pond has only 0.74 kilogram (Cost-benefit of Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticcus) cultured in Sakon Nakhon province, Sittichai Hatachote, Department of Aquaculture, Faculty of Fisheries, Kasetsart University, Bangkok. and colleagues July 2020)
In a peroid of 6 months, one ton of water in biofloc system can yield 30 kg of production while the traditional earthen pond has only 0.74 kg
Area based comparison, the biofloc requires only 576 Sq.m. to produce 18 tons per year (31 kg / Sq.m.) while traditional earthen pond needed 2,000 Sq.m. to yield 3.5 tons (1.7 kg / Sq.m.) So the ratio of spacing requirement Biofloc V / S Earthen Pond = 1: 17 economically speaking biofloc farm has more cost effective if land value is included as one of the investments
2. Zero waste farming
The most crucial component of biofloc system is 24 hours air pump in order to activate the action of microorganism by keeping them in water circulation movement, thus electric power supply must be secured with the automatic generator. The solar system can be effectively operated as supplementary power supply.
The "Floc Series"
Sediment of biofloc can be used directly as high protein chicken feed
The drainage water that's rich in organic nutrients are served as irrigation water in vegetable farm and grow aquatic plant "azolla pinnata" to make chicken feed
With the help of advanced digital technology the target yield of production can be precisely calculated since the system are run under appropriated conditions
1. mortality rate is very low
2. growth rate and feed conversion rate are predictable
3. all neccesary factors like dissolved oxygen, PH value are sensored and automatically reported while other data like concentration of flocculation can be checked easily
4. AC electric power supply is hybridized with solar power and automatic generator to ensure 24 hours supply
5. farm performances are operated and reported with internet of things (IoT)
4. Food Safety
"You are what you eat" ...........it is important to eat good food in order to be healthy and fit. Biofloc is one of the food safety aquacultures that is free from many parasites because it is a close system. There are many choice of foods prepared from tilapia raised in biofloc.
Precaution and safety measures
As a matter of fact the biofloc system need precaution measures to make sure that it is well operated
1. Automatic back up electric generator in case of the power failure especilly during the monsoon season
2. Need well trained operator to run the farm as there are some important factors to be taking care of like level of dissolved oxygen, concentration of the flocculation, dropping of temperature that causes irregular feeding etcs
Well trained farm operators are needed to make sure that the system is running properly
Biofloc is a one of the promising agriculture of today since we are seriously needed food safety and environmentally friendly farming as well as the climate change adaptation and resilience. Moreover it is very well fitted with the modernized digital technology and labor shortage situation of the Thai society.