09 Jan 2019
Water Color Sensor & Aquaculture Microbiology
Written by Zach Stein

Water Color and Pond Aquaculture

One of the things we’re very excited about with Osmobot is the potential our camera units have for understanding what is going on in the pond in aquaculture. 

Aquaculture ponds are highly complex bodies of water with the microbiology constantly shifting in reaction to the environment. These shifts can have major impacts on the survival, growth, and feeding rates of shrimp and fish and they sometimes are pretty hard to predict. 

Imagine if we had a sensor that could start peeling back the mystery of microbiological life in the pond in real time. 

Water Color = Microbiological Life in a Pond

Range of water color in a shrimp pond

As you can see from the image above, there is a broad range of colors in a pond as it transitions through different microbiological states of dominance. 

It goes from bright green all the way to bright brown and in this case, it is transitioning from an algal-based to a bacterial system. 

How Farmers Study Their Microbiology Today

Today farmers check on the microbiology in their ponds today with a few methods. 

Eyes – Most shrimp and fish farmers still analyze the microbiological life of their ponds the old fashioned way, inspecting the surface of the water, taking a container-full, and using their gut sense

Proxies – Some shrimp and fish farmers will use other things to give them clues to what is going on biologically, such as water quality parameters. If your dissolved oxygen suddenly crashed, you may have had an algae die off.

Microscope – The most scientific of farmers will take water samples to their on-site lab and inspect the amoebas, diatoms, and other microbiological life in the sample. 

Real Time Microbiology Sensor?

One of the “glimmers of greatness” for Osmobot is not only that it can read the top water quality parameters for a fraction of the price in a package that is much easier to use; it is that in getting a scientifically-precise camera into the water, what else can Osmobot follow?

As you can tell from this blog, one of the aspects of Osmobot we are particularly excited about is what insights we can generate in regard to water quality. 

One of the advantages of using a camera is that we can use the latest data analysis tools to create highly powerful models that correlate all kinds of microbiological variables with water color. 

Conclusion

Osmobot will not be able to detect Microbiology on Day 1. It likely won’t be ready even in Year 1, but as a software-based sensor, it will always be improving.

We are incredibly excited about the potential of what our sensor could learn and uncover for what is happening in the pond on every level, but especially the microbiological one. 

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