BioFloc Technology – An overview!
Biofloc technology (BFT) is an innovative and eco-friendly fish farming technique that involves stock-breeding of fishes, in a micro-organism rich ecosystem, artificially created in a tank.
The term Biofloc(Bio=life, Floc= aggregate) refers to clusters of micro-organisms such as bacteria, fungi, algae, protozoa, and other kinds of organic particles like fish faces and uneaten feed. All these, together, form loose clusters of organic matter which are held together by a thin film-like substance.
Ecosystems rich in Biofloc enable recycling of the waste from the fishes into an organic feed. This not only serves as a protein-rich source of food for the fishes but also maintains the optimum Carbon: Nitrogen ratio, which is a pre-requisite for viable production.
The best part is, the process involves zero to minimal water exchange within the ecosystem. This reduces the chances of water contamination and ensures a high level of bio-security.
BFT was invented by Prof.Yoram Avnimelech, an Israeli environmentalist in the ’70s to promote a more sustainable mode of fish farming. In the past few decades, Biofloc has become increasingly popular all across the world, including India.
But why are people opting for this method of fish farming, nowadays? What makes it unique or better than traditional fish farming techniques?
Over the years, Biofloc Technology has been able to address some major drawbacks of traditional aquaculture practices.
BFT has the following clear advantages over the age-old traditional methods:
- It is Eco-friendly. Over-fishing has caused serious damage to the marine and aquatic ecosystems, resulting in a steep decline in fish catch. Biofloc fish farming aims to reduce environmental concerns by creating protein-rich artificial ecosystems in fish tanks.
- BioFloc fish farming improves land and water use efficiency as only a limited area of land is required for setting up the fish tanks. The availability of natural water resources for fish farming and the ever-increasing costs of land acquisition has always been a concern for fish farmers.
- Limited or zero water exchange involved in the process helps to prevent the introduction of diseases from external sources into the fish tanks. This enhances the survival rate of the fishes.
- Biofloc itself serves as a protein-rich feed for the fishes which reduces the need for add-on feed. This helps in the cost reduction of fish feed.
Further, the Indian tropical climatic conditions have proven to be congenial for cultivating a wide variety of fishes and shrimps.
The initial investment in BioFloc fish farming is considerably low at around Rs. 30,000/- for a 4 meters diameter fish tank, which generally yields 600 kilograms of fishes within 5-6 months. The cost of harvesting is an additional Rs.35000/–40000/- approximately. One can harvest a minimum of 400kgs fish in such a tank, which converts into a revenue of Rs.56000/-, considering that the produce sells at Rs.140/kg at the least. The ROI, therefore, is easily achieved within 2 harvests during a year, not to mention the high-profit margins.
Biofloc fish farming works best with fishes that can derive nutritional benefits from the direct consumption of the ‘floc’. The commonly used species for this method are shrimp, tilapia, koi, carps, etc. All common fish species that can tolerate high solid concentration in the ecosystem are suitable for Biofloc fish farming.
BFT is a completely scientific approach and therefore, one must gain a thorough understanding and training on the same, before venturing into the farming process.
We, at KisanFlex, strive to create best-in-class products to address the customer requirements and enhance our services through continuous technological innovations and end-to-end customer support.
We strongly believe in the cohesive growth of this nascent industry, by maintaining a close association across different value chains and creating sustainable value for all stakeholders.