Monday, June 24

Compressed Air Applications in Aquaculture

Aquaculture is an essential industry in the United States that is many times overlooked.  It is also a major industry that utilizes compressed air to efficiently carry out various duties within the aquaculture and aquafarming world. Let's take a look at how compressed air is used:

What is Aquaculture?

Aquaculture is the term used to describe the industry that raises aquatic organisms for consumer use. It involves aquafarming in a variety of techniques and locations to raise commercially farmed fish, crustaceans, and mollusks for human consumption. Aquaculture and aquafarming can happen on a small or large scale, meaning a small backyard fish farm or a large commercial aquafarming business.

High quality health of the of the aquatic environment and its water conditions is crucial to the health and growth of the organisms living within it. Air compressors and their related equipment help support this industry in ensuring the water quality remains high and is aerated effectively to contribute to the sustainability and health of aquaculture and aquafarming.

Aquaculture industries help build the seafood supply, support commercial fisheries, restore habitat and at-risk species, and maintain the economic growth in communities that house aquaculture farms.

Air Compressor & Blower Applications


Oxygenation is the primary process that air compressors power. They blow a steady supply of oxygen into the water to ensure the fish have access to it for survival and proper growth. Oxygenation also deters the growth of unwanted bacteria and pathogens that could infect the fish.


Compressed air aids in circulating the water to maintain consistent temperature and proper distribution of nutrients throughout the entire body of water. Without circulation, there is risk of thermal stratification and stagnation that can be harmful and, ultimately, deadly to any aquatic life and their environments.


Compressed air powers a process called bubble aeration to prevent excessive algae growth. Air compressors push air into the bottom of the body of water, causing bubbles to form and rise to the surface. This circulates the water and adds oxygen that circulates the water and lifts the unhealthy or dead fish to the surface to be collected.


Various compressed air blower technologies are used to assist in the distribution of mass feeding within aquaculture. Feed barges are equipped with these blowers to generate airflow that carries the food into the water and distributes it throughout the water farming pens. Blowers can also power pneumatic conveying systems in fish hatcheries and farms to distribute the feeding pellets and powders throughout the farm. The size of the aquaculture system will also dictate the size of blower that is needed to feed the aquatic life properly and efficiently.

Bubble Curtains

Some aquatic environments need to create bubble curtains to protect their aquatic life and environments. These bubble curtains are created by compressed air that pushes a ring of air bubbles around the aquatic life/environment. The bubbles rise and create a “curtain” that forms a wall-like structure out of bubbles to prevent unwanted species from entering the aquatic environment inside the bubble curtain. These are frequently used in ocean environments to keep algae and jellyfish out.

Live Fish Handling

Pressure systems are a gentle and efficient solution for loading and unloading live fish in the aquafarm. Blowers assist in powering this process of transporting live fish to and from their designated locations. Utilizing blowers minimizes handling time and is healthier for the entire aquatic life population.

Dead Fish Removal

Dying, or already dead, can quickly cause disease that can spread rapidly throughout the underwater farm. Compressed air is used to blow air down through a conical device in the water that begins to rise upward as air is blown into it. This creates a suction affect that removes the dead aquatic life and the surrounding contaminated water. Once brought to the surface, they are properly removed from the body of water and disposed of.

Where Are Common Aquaculture Companies Located?

Aquaculture companies or Aquaculture farms can be located on coastal areas with Ocean access or built inland all around the world! They can range from giant marine aquaculture systems to smaller backyard, man-made fish farms. According to the National Aquaculture Association, the below are the most common forms of aquaculture and the types of areas they are located in:

  • Ponds: Ponds are the oldest and most common system for aquaculture. They can be as small as 1/10th of an acre and span up to 20 acres.
  • Tanks: Indoor tanks can come in a variety of shapes and sizes, being constructed of manmade materials.
  • Raceways: Raceways are like rivers as they have water that flows in a single direction, but are manmade, controlled environments. These raceways are generally located near a water source like wells or rivers and discharge into a wetland or holding pond.
  • Shellfish Bags, Cages, & Baskets: These systems are in coastal waters utilizing floating bags or cages that are tied together to form long lines that expose or submerge shellfish, and baskets are used to collect and raise them out of the water.
  • Net Pens: Net pens are utilized in both freshwater and saltwater, whether it be offshore marine environments or inland lakes. This also means that they can range in size, but they all share the common process of raising fish in a natural environment and utilizing nets to create a pen around them to monitor and care for them.




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