First shrimp farm in Austria uses innovative Xylem pump solution

Entrepreneurs Daniel Flock and Markus Schreiner turned to Xylem for industry-leading technology to help breed “White Tiger” shrimp in the middle of Austria, without the use of chemicals and antibiotics. It is the first shrimp farm in Austria, and it uses entirely organic methods.

In order to successfully farm the shrimp, native to Asia, Xylem installed an innovative pump system in rearing and filtration tanks that keeps almost 700,000 liters of water in constant motion, with no wastewater produced.

White Tiger shrimp, usually imported from Asia, are often raised in conditions with lower environmental standards. Medicines and chemicals can be added to the water, which the shrimp absorb, in order to increase the yield.

To provide an alternative, Flock and Schreiner began to pursue their vision of organic shrimp farming in The Alps, with expert advice from Xylem.

Creating a tropical climate and a constant temperature

The biggest challenge to solve was creating conditions to maintain optimal temperature in the rearing tanks holding the shrimp. The hall where the tanks are kept needs to have a tropical climate with almost 100 percent humidity, and the saltwater in the tanks must maintain a constant temperature of 28 to 30 degrees Celsius. This poses major problems for common electrical systems.

Xylem technicians began developing an optimal solution for the farming location, based in Tirol, Austria.

“With Xylem’s broad product portfolio, we can offer pumps for all kinds of challenges,” says Xylem technician Manuel Schreder. “In discussions and on site, we precisely defined all the parameters and developed our concept in terms of performance, results and price. Our design was also modular, so it can be expanded later without any problems.”

“We decided to use Xylem’s saltwater-resistant plastic pumps, which are designed as double pumps to ensure operational safety,” says Daniel Flock, founder of Alpenaquafarm Tirol GmbH.

A complex pumping system for a delicate operation

Working in partnership, Xylem and Alpenaquafarm developed a sophisticated system to circulate and treat the water, so that no wastewater is produced. This is done in specially constructed tanks and is fully automated. Additional biofilters accelerate the process and ensure the health of the shrimp. The balance of the water is maintained by constant controls and measurements. Water is only added to compensate for evaporation.

From the rearing tanks, water runs through a biofilter to the filtration tanks. There, two whirlpool pumps increase the oxygen content of the water. After this process, other pumps made of highly resistant polypropylene send the treated water back to the rearing tanks.

The pumps are able to easily pump liquids with small solid particles without causing blockages. This is particularly important because nutrients are added to the water in order to achieve optimal shrimp growth. The pumps continuously move at least 35 liters of water per second through the system.

To keep energy consumption as low as possible, the building that houses the rearing tanks is highly insulated, like a refrigerator. In order to further improve the efficiency of the farm, solar heating is used. The solar system on the roof heats a water-glycol mixture. Xylem’s Lowara-brand Ecocirc XL pump circulates the mixture between the roof and a heat exchanger, ensuring that the main heating system only has to work on cloudy days without any sun, driving energy efficiencies.

“The customer explained to us the specific requirements for the project, and together we created a customized solution specifically for this shrimp breed,” says Xylem technician Manuel Schreder. “It’s exciting to support our customer in launching the first shrimp farm in Austria, using organic methods, and to help them solve the challenges this involved.”

The innovative Alpenaquafarm organic shrimp farm is already a success. Orders for sustainably produced white tiger shrimp are being received from all over Austria, Germany and Italy.