The Faculty of Fisheries and Protection of Waters (FFPW) consists of the Research Institute of Fish Culture and Hydrobiology in Vodnany (RIFCH), the Institute of Aquaculture and Protection of Waters (IAPW) in Ceske Budejovice, the Institute of Complex Systems (ICS) in Nove Hrady and the International Environmental Educational, Advisory and Information Centre of Protection Vodnany (IEEAIC).

The RIFCH is focused on scientific and especially applied research, education and activities in the fields of fisheries and protection of waters. The RIFCH utilizes a small fishpond farm, river fishing preserve, specialized laboratories, aquarium rooms, two experimental facilities for research into reproduction, genetics and the breeding of fish, and the intensive breeding of fish and crayfish, including recirculation systems with water filtration. The IAPW provides research, educational and consulting services focusing on pond aquaculture, nutrition and feeding of fish in ponds and intensive culture of fish. The ICS deals with the study of complex systems in natural and social sciences, with technical and other applications of research results.

JU-IFA (Intensive Freshwater Aquaculture Units)

Infrastructure: JU-IFA (Intensive Freshwater Aquaculture Units)

Location: Vodňany, CZECH REPUBLIC

Web site address: https://www.frov.jcu.cz/en/faculty/faculty-parts/research-institute-of-fish-culture-and-hydrobiology/laboratory-of-intensive-aquaculture

Contact: Tomáš Policar (policar@frov.jcu.cz)


The Intensive Freshwater Aquaculture Units (IFA) includes:

1) Two experimental rooms for controlled larval and juvenile culture can be used for different experiments with optimization of nutrition, environment conditions (temperature, light, oxygen, pH), fish density, polyculture stock, frequency of feed application, and the daily feeding rate using an automatic self-feeder from the Imetronic company, etc. to study the effect of the mentioned parameters/conditions on the efficiency of larval and juvenile culture in different high-valuable fish species such as pikeperch, perch, largemouth bass, grayling, Danube salmon, African catfish, etc. Each system is equipped with modern experimental RAS including all technical components with a total water volume of 6 m3 and 9 experimental tanks (each with 350 litres).

2) One fish culture chamber for controlled environmental stimulation (temperature, light regime, and feeding regime) of out-of-season or normal season reproduction in different fish species broodstock is equipped with modern RAS including experimental tanks (4 and 6 tanks with each volume 1.2 m3 and 350 litres, respectively), mechanical and biological filtration, degassing, oxygen saturation and ozone water treatment saturation.

3) Large scale RAS hall for intensive aquaculture of ongrowing or grow-out stock of different species includes two separated RAS, each system with a total water volume of 30 m3 and controlled temperature, light, pH and oxygen conditions and the possibility to use ozone treatment for water sterilization. Each RAS system has 10 experimental tanks with an average volume of 1.2 m3 and can be used for different large-scale experiments related to the optimization of intensive aquaculture (for example: nutrition, environmental conditions, water quality, fish density, stock etc.) in ongrowing or grow-out stock of different species (for example: pikeperch, perch, largemouth bass, grayling, Danube salmon, African catfish etc. ).

4) Laboratory of mass rotifer production can be used for controlled mass production of freshwater (Brachionus calyciflorus) or marine rotifers (Brachionus plicatilis). This laboratory is equipped with a batch or a continuous RAS production system from the Pentair company and an experimental aquarium system where different nutrition aspects of the first exogenous feeding can be tested in a larval culture of different fish species such as pikeperch, burbot, tench or some ornamental or marine fish species.

5) Haematological and biochemical laboratory is equipped with complete facilities for the analytical analyses of chemical, biochemical, haematological parameters (ultracentrifuge, double-beam spectrophotometer SPECORD 210, plate-reader with fluorescent and luminescent module Infinite M200PRO (TECAN), VETTEST 8008 analyser, analyser of blood gases Radiometer ABL90 Flex, real-time PCR, PCR thermocycler, NanoDrop). This installation can be used for different biochemical and hematological analyses from different aquaculture, physiological and toxicological studies.

6) Histological laboratory is equipped with the tissue processor Histomaster 2052/1.5, modular tissue embedding center – Leica EG1150, semi-automatic rotary Microtome, automatic slide staining system – TISSUE-TEK® DRS™ 2000, SEKURA, contrast and fluorescence microscopy. Also, this installation can be used for different tissue analyses from different aquaculture, physiological and toxicological studies.

7) Hatchery for broodstock management, egg incubation, and hatching of larvae is equipped with tanks and other facilities which can be used for broodstock management and reproduction. Also, this hatchery can be used for egg incubation and larval hatching in different types of jars or incubators. The hatchery can use the water supply from the flow-through or recirculating system. In this way, the water temperature during egg incubation can be easily controlled.

8) Pond culture system includes a maximum of 9 experimental ponds with a total area of 0.16 or 0.08 ha, which is supported by water from the river Blanice, that can be used for the optimization of larval, juvenile, or marketable mono- or poly- culture of different fish species.

Services currently offered by the infrastructure

This installation offers fish culture under RAS and pond conditions related to larval, juvenile, ongrowing, grow-out and broodstock stages, technical support and routine biological examinations for exact and precise experiments related to environmental stimulation of gametogenesis and final reproduction in broodstock, fish nutrition and feeding, optimization of fish husbandry, optimization of cultured conditions during all phases. Laboratories are enabled to assess the effects of xenobiotic on biochemical, chemical, haematological indices and histopathology in fish and crustaceans. Service/support of this installation will observe changes in the tissues of fish and crayfish exposed to tested substances on the level of gene expression and thus help us assess possible negative effects of these substances on the exposed organisms with high sensitivity.

Modality of access

The access will comprise the use of the facilities with regard to experiments and access to the laboratory equipment. Usually, trained and experienced engineer- and technical staff will carry out the standard procedures and the general maintenance. The external user will be strongly integrated in all processes, sampling, data recording, due analyses and assessment, and preparation and dissemination of results. Facility will provide suitable supervision and guidance for potential unexperienced users to properly carry out the work. Scientific support will include advice on experimental design and methodology, documentation of results for all experiments conducted in the project and appropriate sampling and storage of samples. The technical and management staff will be helpful with the overall project´s implementation.

Unit of access

One unit of access is defined as 1 week. Typical duration of the project is 4-20 units for IFA installation.

On average each user or user group is expected to stay 14 days at the IFA. It is offered specific training and performance of experiments related to fish handling and nutrition in intensive farming of high-value fish, their reproduction including stripping of gametes, evaluation of sperm or egg quality, preparation of experimental food, assessment of larval and juvenile quality, optimization of culture in larvae, juveniles and other stages, evaluation of the physiological status of fish, behaviour observation, determination of survival and deformities, biometric of fish etc.; preparatory work-related experiment and set-up of experimental design, preparatory work in the laboratory – treatment of samples, equipment calibration and measurement on the analytic instrument.


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