Farming tilapia profitably

Low intensity RAS via Aquaculture Production Units is the entry into fish farming. High intensity RAS is for larger scale businesses.

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Industry Experts

William, Donovan, Hugo, Ross and the engineering team have many combined decades of experience in aquaculture and in business development. We're a powerful combination.

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Proven Systems

We use the same systems we sell. We know them backwards, inside and out.

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What’s in it for you?

We sell fish farming systems called APUs (Aquaculture Production Units). These are 10kl self contained fish farms.We sell these in conjunction with a helping hand to get you started, to master the skills you will need to become a fish farmer. In addition we supply you with feed, fingerlings and a buy back program to take care of all the niggly backend problems that face typical first time farmers.

The most common question we are asked is how much money can you make in fish farming and if it is profitable?

Because there are so many answers to this incredibly long piece of string we can only generalise. Yes it is profitable, or we wouldn’t be doing it. BUT it it does require some scale and it requires a lot of learning to hit your production targets consistently and regularly – practice makes perfect. It is full time work because farming is a career, not a sideline, fish never sleep, water never sleeps and neither will you.

There are many moving parts to a working fish farm model. This offers obvious complexity to an extent but with the right guidance and appropriate learning you can farm successfully, and at a profit. The scale of those profits is as variable as the weather and to answer the questions will require a study appropriate to whatever circumstances you find yourself in.

We have a typical example on this site here…

Along the way we have developed a management tool to help you navigate the waters. This comes with the system, and it will help you keep control of your farming as you go, keeping track of where you are in terms of growth rates and overall performance.

We will help you track your water quality, allowing you to predict problems before they occur.

Think of us as your guide in the process.

Scale

An Aquaculture Production Unit or APU is really just a machine. It is of a semi intensive Recirculated Aquaculture System (RAS) design that has been developed with the specific focus of allowing you to produce fish at your own pace in your own time, allowing you to stretch yourself as you go.

Once properly fine tuned this machine will produce fish steadily for you – and of course you can have as many machines as you like. Aquaculture, after all, like all farming benefits from scale – the larger the better. The APU design uniquely allows you to scale one or one hundred units at a time.

Species selection

We focus on the Nile tilapia because it is the easiest species to make commercially viable quickly.This is because it grows up to two times as fast as other tilapia species and “time in the tank” is a critical cost factor.

Over time genetic selection has brought to bear about even better performance from the species. More has been invested in Nile tilapia than in any other tilapia – and the results are there for all to see.

If you want to see measurable results you need do deal with measurable fish. It is vital to make sure your fish that you buy can deliver on their growth promise – under performing fish are worse for you than dead fish.

Time Frames

The time frames are up to you – how much effort you put into your operation will dictate how much reward you get out. Be realistic – if you have never farmed fish before you can expect a learning curve – farming is not something that can be learned in a month.

The APU is low risk because relative to other aquaculture operations it is cheap and simple. An APU costs R30k each ex VAT – there is no simpler or faster way to get into aquaculture meaningfully and to acquire the knowledge and production the APU is capable of.

Why use RAS?

1. Because you can scale it. Anywhere.

Non RAS systems can only be located where there is water. Lots of water. And land. Lots of land. Think long terms – these two things constrain the final scale of your operation. RAS though can be installed anywhere. Like us – in a downtown warehouse in the middle of the city. Or on your own plot of land. In your garage. A shed…

2. Because you can control it.

Control over the fish production environment is key.  Extensive (i.e. external in the environment) systems put you at the mercy of a continually fluctuating environment. This means you have continually fluctuating production. Let’s face facts, climate change phenomena are not our friends. Floods, droughts, typhoons, storms – it’s getting worse, not better.

The APU

We made it small enough to manage but big enough to pack a production punch.

We kept it standalone. We did this so that you can scale to any size farm you want to, and you can start off at any scale you feel comfortable with.

We kept it SIMPLE. Just follow the rules and anyone should be able to farm fish successfully. The intention of the system is to provide you with a tool, the tool that you will use to LEARN how to farm fish successfully.

You can start with your own APU in literally under two hours. As mentioned it costs R30k ex VAT, or R65k ex VAT for a two APU system upgraded to a coupled side channel blower (increases reliability and reduces air pump maintenance).

Some economics

One ton of fish. At R65/kg that’s R65k per year income. You will need to allocate feed costs of around R19k, electricity costs of around R3.5k, water costs of around R2k and around R6k worth of fingerlings to your direct cost of production. Variable costs of labour, processing, marketing and sales and so forth you’ll need to work out – these are all unique to you.

After that it’s simple. Produce more fish, make more money. Scale up, scale up, repeat, scale up, repeat. Buy Ferrari.