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"Development of an automatic process of in-house collection, storage and application of adaptive bacteria culture for fish farms." (ADAPOND)
Start date: Sep 1, 2008, End date: Feb 28, 2011 PROJECT  FINISHED 

"Evidence from recirculation systems shows that new starters experience 30-80% loss in sales almost unavoidably in the first year during the adaption period of a biofilter, accompanied by the failure losses from fish medication and seasonal depressions counting summingly for more than €70-90M annually in Europe. Low reliability of biofilter systems are considered the main reason why people avoid entering fish farming business. Our idea is to reduce the bio-filter recovery time after failure by developing an Intelligent Biofilter Control (IBC) system. Real-time monitoring system will detect the viability and metabolic activity of the bacteria culture. At healthy period excess bacteria are extracted, prepared for storage and stored by automatic collection system. In case of biofilter failure, the stored culture will be cultivated for rapid recovery of the biofilter thereby providing increased productivity of the farm. The major barriers to overcome are: (a) Biofilter start-up and recovery processes in fish farm are slow, taking 3-6 weeks. (b) Methods of bacteria extraction and storage are designed for usage in laboratory and not providing the efficiency required for industrial applications; (c) Limited knowledge about how is the recovery performance of recultivated bacteria related to the health before collection; (d) Existing methods to assess the viability and metabolic activity of bacteria are complicated and time consuming. We intend to overcome these barriers by speeding up the recovery of a bio-filter by recultivating the stored adapted bacteria. Farm productivity will increase up to 15%; Farm supply security will improve, increasing the sales price about 5%, there is less environmental risks, and less hazard to fish health. Process for automatic extraction of the bacteria from the bio-filter, preparation for storage, and storage in industrial scale."
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