Allen Associates News, Products and Specials

Release of the CIAC Aquaculture and Aquaponics System South Africa

Allen Associates’ monitoring and control systems boost industry and research across the sub-continent.

Lands are surveyed, and buildings and mine shafts positioned, using Allen instrumentation.

Likewise, project times are being slashed in marine and freshwater hydrographic surveys.

Commercial Aquaponics

In agriculture, benefits flow from merging traditional lore with scientific systems in meteorology, leaf transpiration, soil moisture and temperature.

Real-time data supports pest eradication and crop management. Irrigation surveys and laser land-leveling enhance the farm investment.

Allen Hydroprobe Courses guarantee compliance with Directorate of Radiation safety standards and the efficient use of our precious water supplies.

But, despite international models, sub-Saharan Africa lags behind nations embracing the benefits of aquaculture and whose yields from fish husbandry rival those from wild fishing.

But a later start carries the benefit of 20:20 hindsight and a local developer has augmented the international success stories with his own experience and plotted a course for emerging fish farmers which meets critical nutritional goals and will ensure profitability and long term employment.

We bring to Africa CIAC, the modular, industrial-quality, automated aquaculture and aquaponics system.

CIAC uniquely places decades of research and development within the reach of communities and entrepreneurs recognizing the rich economic and welfare potential of inland fish farming.

What is Aquaculture?

The term ‘aquaculture’ in its broadest sense refers to the method of breeding, rearing, and harvesting both fish and plants in a number of different aquatic agricultural environments such as ponds, rivers, lakes, and the ocean.

What is Aquaponics?

Aquaponics combines aquaculture (raising fish) and hydroponics (the soil-less growing of plants) into one integrated system.

The marriage of the systems allows plants to feed off the organic fish waste whilst the plants provide a natural filter for the water the fish live in.

The third participants are the nitrifying bacteria or microbes and the composting red worms that flourish in the integrated growing media.

Together they convert solids into vermicompost providing food for the plants and ammonia from the fish waste, first into nitrites, then into nitrates.

By combining both systems aquaponics capitalizes on the benefits of both aquaculture and hydroponics whilst removing drawbacks associated with each.

What comprises CIAC, the Charmel Irrigation & Agricultural Controller?

Fish Rearing in a Tunnel Farm:


  1. Number of tunnels per controller: Each CIAC controller supports up to four tunnels, and allows individual settings in each tunnel for the functions described below.
  2. Operational set points: easily set and fine tune for water and air temperature, pH, ORP, EC, DO, ammonium and nitrate.
  3. Tunnel security: door lock and unlock times allow you to pre-set but do not prevent convenient push button override.
  4. Air temperature regulation: (1) Ventilation flaps open and close to regulate air temperature at set points. (2) Automatic fan offers additional control after the flaps are open.
  5. Water temperature: Water heaters or coolers operate automatically according to set points.
  6. Feeding: Automation of the entire process according to fine temperature variations avoiding feeding when water quality is unsuitable.
  7. Waste removal: Starts automatically at set times but stops when water level sensor is open to avoid the pump drawing in air.
  8. Water change: Emergency water change takes place if ORP or pH values fall below pre- determined levels.
  9. Water levels: When the sensor detects a low, the pump and valve activate to fill the respective tank automatically.
  10. Breaching a maximum limit triggers an alarm.
  11. Water pressure: Optional pressure detection in water pipes allows auto-correction via set points to avoid damage to seals and pipes.
  12. Water usage: The system measures the amount of water used per month and sums it yearly.
  13. Graphic record: Water & electricity usage, water & air temperatures, pH, ORP, DO and EC readings are logged for graphic review, or converted to a csv file for spreadsheet analysis.
  14. Manual override: All settings can run in manual or in automatic mode.
  15. User Interface: When the system encounters alarms, notes or warnings, information is displayed on the screen, and remains until the situation is clear.
  16. Major alarms: These are broadcast via 3G modem to system managers.
  17. Server database: Data and alarms are remotely logged for statistical graphics, backup & analysis.


Fuel Dispensing:


  1. Features: CIAC supports manual and automatic fuelling.
  2. Fuel Inventory updates: Continual, by volume and value according to refueling and usage.
  3. Graphics: Display monthly usage and a csv file option for transfer to spreadsheets.
  4. Notifications: A minimum fuel limit can be specified to trigger a notification.
  5. User Interface: Errors, notices or warning messages are displayed on the screen.
  6. Security: Fuel dispensing requires authorisation via a manager’s password.


Due for 2016 Release:


  1. Power controller
  2. Water filtration and purification controller
  3. Cold storage controller for harvested inventory – temperature and air composition.


For more information please contact us.

Image credit: Aquaculture Innovations

Comments are closed for this post, but if you have spotted an error or have additional info that you think should be in this post, feel free to contact us.


Get the latest updates in your email box automatically.