The word “vaccination” is recently more related to humans and Covid, but in the aquaculture sector the need to protect fish against infectious diseases caused by bacteria and viruses using a vaccination process is common. Therefore, it is no surprise that Fish Farm Feeder (FFF) manufacturing automated feeders for fish and shrimp farms was asked to help to optimize this activity. Listening to one of our clients and respecting its requirements, FFF, together with the client’s support, has designed, manufactured, and tested the new fish bath vaccinator with the aim to simplify the work of any hatchery farm.
Immersion Vaccination for Hatcheries
There are several ways how fish can be vaccinated. In case of FFF Bath Vaccinator as its name describes we speak about a vaccination by immersion. It means that vaccine is administered by bathing the fish in an immersion tank containing the vaccine suspension. It is suitable for any fish species, ideal for weight from 4 grams up to 10 grams. Its standard inner screens are equipped with 4mm interval between bars which can be customized as well if smaller fish are to be vaccinated.
Why to invest in a vaccinator?
Any standardization brings benefits. In the case of the vaccination procedure in hatcheries FFF has added advantages:
- Fry are smoothly “dewatered” automatically during a standard time before being admitted in the vaccination bath
- The bath duration can be adapted by the operator from around 25 secs to around 70 secs.
- The volume of the bath chamber is known and standardized, thus allowing for a precise dosage of the commercial vaccine product
- The quantity of commercial vaccine suspension is reduced through less wastage and optimal vaccinated biomass control.
A part of that it reduces the costs related with commercial vaccine as it can be generated with using optimal concentration and number of uses of the prepared bath. Losses of the vaccination bath volume are limited by standard “dewaterization” of the fry when it is automatically extracted from the bath.
FFF Vaccinator also means labour savings. The FFF Vaccinator remains under the control of a single operator for the whole process when vaccination at hatcheries often requires a team of 5 or 6 people to reach the same vaccination rhythm.
Any other benefits? Its tough construction. As any FFF product, the Vaccinator is manufactured from carefully chosen material and equipment. It is seawater resistant and highly reliable.
FFF vaccinator launched after testing
The FFF Vaccinator ergonomics and efficiency were cautiously tested at one of the marine hatchery located in France. It has been successfully tested with a fish-pump (PinPin variable speed) flow rate up to 15m3/hr and fry flow up to 10-12 Kg/cycle, equivalent to densities of 40-60Kg/m3 in the transfer water. At the highest rotation speed and fish flow, the vaccination rate can reach 1200Kg/hr.
Field testing enabled to include elements that simplify its usage:
- The FFF Vaccinator is on wheels to move into the hatchery. It is then stabilized with four extension legs with height adjustment to tank wall height up to 1,6 m.
- It is meant for direct connection to a fish pump but can also be used when fed with scoop-nets using an additional loading funnel.
If we speak about the fish welfare it was observed a huge stress reduction on the fish when using the FFF Vaccinator in conjunction with a fish-pump. The vaccination process becomes a continuous one at the rhythm imposed/controlled by the fish-pump.
And what about it commissioning?
The machine is shipped on to a EUR standard pallet. Commissioning is very easy and shall not require specific assistance. However, FFF is keen to support any new user if needed.