In 2013, Les Knoesen was involved in the design and construction of two of the largest indoor shrimp production buildings (barns) in Florida. Each barn was four NFL field lengths long and contained 4.5 million gallons of seawater with a production capability of 1 million pounds of shrimp per annum.
During the design and construction phase Les was introduced to Dr. Tzachi Samocha, Professor Emeritus at Texas A&M AgriLife Research. Dr. Samocha had done extensive research & trials on successful technology known as Mix-o-Trophic Biofloc used in the production facility. Dr. Samocha was chief advisor for this facility and Les trained with the staff under Dr. Smacha and Dr. Leandro Castro from Brazil who spent two years working with Dr. Samocha on Biofloc Technology at Texas A&M Agrilife.
ITHUBA SHRIMP FARM WAS BORN
Les was so impressed with the Biofloc technology (BFT) he decided to design and build his own facility in Fellsmere Florida using the Biofloc system.
Ithuba Shrimp Farm has been successfully operating since August 2014 and currently produces shrimp broodstock for the international market.
Ithuba Shrimp Farm is recognized as one of the few farms successfully using the Biofloc technology in the United States and is set to become a training facility under Dr. Samocha as its chief advisor.
ITHUBA'S SUCCESSFUL PRODUCTION SYSTEM
The production system used in Ithuba is a Mix-o-Trophic Biofloc that is more energy-efficient than traditional production systems. At Ithuba, a dual pump system is used to circulate the water through specially designed injectors to mix and aerate the water. This setup eliminates the need for a separate aeration system powered by a blower or paddlewheels.
The combination of autotrophic, heterotrophic, and chemotrophic bacteria (named Mix-o-Trophic) provides a unique Biofloc system. Nitrogenous wastes are controlled in-situ by the Biofloc system eliminating the need for circulating the water through an external biofilter and there is zero discharge of recirculated water.