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After Solar-powered Irrigation, President Duterte inaugurates Solar Fish Tanks

And now, Solar Fish tanks!

By Manny Piñol

In the excitement over the Solar-Powered Irrigation System (SPIS) prototype which was inaugurated by President Rody Duterte on Friday, little attention was given to an equally revolutionary innovation in the utilisation of the power of the sun, this time in producing healthy fish for the country.

Called the "Circles of Life," the tandem fish and vegetable production tanks were actually designed by Filipino-American Rocky French who operates a Tilapia Fish Farm in the desert of Coachella Valley in Southern California using bigger circular concrete tanks.
In the briefing I gave President Duterte and those who attended the SPIS switch-on ceremonies on Friday in New Janiuay, M'lang, North Cotabato, I said that the "Circles of Life" is the Department of Agriculture's answer to the growing demand for fish.

It is also intended to address the expected shortage of fish supply in Metro Manila because of the decision of the government to dismantle the fish pens in the Laguna de Bay which is the source of 36% of the supply.

The "Circles of Life" are actually two 30-foot diameter circular tanks which could hold and raise up to 6,000 Tilapia fingerlings in one tank and grow vegetables using improvised Aquaponics in the other.

The secret to this new technology is the Solar-Powered Aeration System which moves the water from the Tilapia tank to the vegetable tank where Kangkong (watercress) filters the water and pumps it back to the fish tank.

The water from the Tilapia tank carrying fish wastes serves as the fertilizer to the Kangkong and other vegetables planted.in perforated containers partly submerged in the water.

The Kangkong and other vegetables serve as the natural filters before water is pumped back into the fish tank.
The.movement of the water using what designer-inventor Rocky French, a Fil-Am based in Southern California but originally from Tacurong, Sultan Kudarat creates an aeration which allows higher density of Tilapia raised in a relatively small tank.

The key component of this innovation is the Venturi-System aeration equipment which operates using a small water pump powered by at least four solar panels.

It was I who actually suggested to French the idea of replicating his of raising fish in tanks in the Philippines.

The idea entered my mind when President Rody Duterte announced the dismantling of the fishpens choking Laguna de Bay.

With the help of young solar technicians Moses Khuu, Kyu Whang and Gabriel Esparagoza, French designed a working model in his Tilapia Fish Farm in the.middle of the desert in Coachella Valley, Southern California.

After seeing the working model in his Coachella Valley Fish Farm in California last November, I asked French to build two proto-types in the Philippines.

One was built in front of the Dept. of Agriculture office in Quezon City but it still has to be perfected as it lacks the Venturi-System aerator.
Looking at the two circular fish tanks being viewed by President Duterte last Friday, I started imagining how this, with Presidential support, would contribute to greater food production in the country.

This system could be established in the banks of Laguna de Bay, rivers, upland areas and even in the backyards of many homes in the country.
Even the rich living in Metro Manila with enough space in the backyards of their homes could now raise their own fish.

(Photos by Roldan Gorgonio, Al Jacalan, John Pagaduan)
Originally posted on Secretary Manny Piñol's Facebook page.

After Solar-powered Irrigation, President Duterte inaugurates Solar Fish Tanks After Solar-powered Irrigation, President Duterte inaugurates Solar Fish Tanks Reviewed by Raelyn Luchansky on 9:21:00 AM Rating: 5

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