The experimental hatchery is set up for the induction of reproduction in controlled conditions of fish species of conservation or commercial interest, and for the rearing of larvae and juveniles. Currently, experiments are focusing on mullet roe from the Flathead Grey Mullet.
The lab includes a production workshop of phyto and zooplankton, with two annular photobioreactors for microalgal cultivation (215 liters). There are also 2 truncated tanks for the breeding of rotifers (350 liters) – a live food for the first larval stages of many fish species.
A peristaltic pump provides a flow of nutrients and vitamins, inside the photobioreactors. In this way, microalgae cultures can be diluted or concentrated according to need and, through “overflow”, converge in the breeding tanks of rotifers. The laboratory is also equipped with shelves to house the maintained cultures by providing air, light and carbon dioxide to algal strains and to the rotifer culture. A laminar hood equipped with UV light is present to aid in the renewal of cultures and for the maintenance of sterile conditions.
The room for housing and conditioning brood stock and for rearing of larvae and juveniles is equipped with two independent recirculation systems each with a bio-filter, a mechanical filter, a UV lamp, chillers, a protein skimmer and a ventilation system. Two 2.5 mc tanks intended for inducing reproduction are topped by siphons that gather the eggs produced into a collection tank. The four tanks intended for the rearing of larvae have a volume of 2 cubic meters each.
Finally, the maintenance of controlled conditions for hatching is ensured by three conical hatcheries of 300 liters, complete with recirculation system, bio-filters, filtration systems, UV lamp and chiller.