AQ1 started development of IR sensors for waste feed detection and feeding control in sea cages in 1990. The IR technology has developed over 4 generations and the company has diversified into video and acoustic feeding control systems to provide a full range of feeding system solutions for tanks, ponds and sea cages.
The aim of the systems is to optimise feed utilisation to increase growth, lower feed conversions, produce higher quality fish and monitor and control the environment they grow in.
Feeding Systems for Sea Cages
The AQ300 Adaptive feeding system uses the Infra Red waste feed sensor and controls automatic feeders and feed cannons on sea cages. The AQ300 is versatile having managed feeding on 18 species of cultured finfish and it also monitors key environmental parameters and transmits data locally or globally through the mobile phone network.
A recent focus for AQ1 was the development of video based feeding systems. Popular with Tuna and Kingfish farmers the AQTV-Pro connects with one or two single or Pan/Tilt underwater cameras and transmits video images of fish feeding via WLAN to a feed boat/barge or by 3G (internet) to anywhere in the world.
For feeding control on all species the AQTV-Digital offers a cost effective feeding camera solution for centralised feeders or feed cannons.
Feeding Systems for Ponds
Understanding the needs of pond farmers to control feeding accurately, AQ1 has been developing passive acoustics (hydrophone) technology over the last 4 years. The SF500 Sound Feeding System contains smart algorithms which analyse fish feeding sounds and intensity and algorithms to control feed output to match this feeding intensity precisely.
The systems eliminate waste feed or under feeding and provides a full range of environmental monitoring capabilities. All this information is delivered real time to the operator on the farm or remotely through the Internet.
Feeding Systems for Tanks
Flow through tank and recirculating aquaculture systems provide an excellent platform for applying advanced feeding control technology.
In 2000 AQ1 integrated the IR pellet sensor into outlet pipes and particle traps in tanks. The sensor detected waste feed and the system regulated feed delivery with the Adaptive© feeding algorithm to achieve ration or satiation feeding outcomes. The system helps researchers to eliminate the variability that feeding and feed waste can have on research outcomes. The IR sensor has been connected with stand alone feeders and PLC systems in research projects in Australia, UK and Japan on Atlantic salmon, cod, red sea bream, flounder and amberjack.
Recently AQ1 introduced a new ultra sonic waste feed sensor for tanks, AS100. The sensor technology which is fitted in a stand pipe or particle trap was originally developed by the Freshwater Institute in the USA. The sensor is ideal for application into larger commercial land based systems with high water volumes and biomass. With its improved pellet discrimination capability and ability to integrate to existing PLC's or robotic feeders (www.arvotec.fi), this new sensor will help improve efficiency in the growing land based farming sector.