Fresh Tilapia ProducerFresh Keepers operates using a Recirculating Aquaculture System (RAS) to maintain the environment of each tank in which the fish are raised. A typical system circulates 45,000 gallons of water (or more) through a filtration system once every hour and back into the tank. Using this system allows us to simply recycle the water. This recycling system is cleaner than traditional open-air ponds. All water entering the facility is tested ground water and free of contaminants, giving Fresh Keepers Cooperative’s fish a very high quality with a consistent year-round supply to its customers. About 99.75% of the water in each unit is continuously cleaned and returned to the fish tanks. In open-air ponds nuisance animals can enter freely and spread disease. Additionally, fish waste settles on the bottom of the pond, which creates an unhealthy environment for the fish. To eliminate waste, manure filtered from the water during the recycling process is used as fertilizer on nearby farm fields at agronomic rates according to standards set by Soil and Water Conservation.  The RAS system requires a substantial capital investment; however, the resulting cleaner fish and minimal waste make it a sound choice for an aquaculture operation. A RAS allows for control of the environment in which the tilapia are produced. The controlled environment yields fish of exceptional quality and flavor.