CSAR fish facilities

CSAR consists of a 750m2 controlled environment building containing six wet laboratories, a dry laboratory, a quarantine facility and three dedicated fish laboratories located in the Department of Biosciences.

All main CSAR systems normally operate as RAS's, but can be reconfigured as static- or flow-through systems if required.

Centralised air and water temperature controls allow temperature ranges of 10-27°C to be maintained across fresh, brackish or marine systems. Local seawater is drawn from adjacent Swansea Bay, sand-filtered and ozone-sterilized prior to use.

Lighting is programmable according to light intensity and photoperiod, with electrical power backup available via a 500Kva generator. Life support systems include sand filtration, protein skimmer, bio-filter and UV sterilization, alongside alkalinity and pH dosing systems. In situ probes and alarms monitor life support systems via a comprehensive SCADA network, allowing user interface via adjacent touch screens and remotely by desktop and mobile phones.

Industry grade RAS systems

The two largest CSAR laboratories both have industry-grade RAS systems, each 60m3 in volume, with water circulation rates up to 100m3/h.


Quarantine facility

  • 5 x 1.4m diameter rearing tanks, (1.5 m3 operating volume)
  • Self contained RAS, fully isolated from all other systems

Dedicated fish laboratories

Freshwater Lab
Salmon lab

Self-contained RAS (with optional flow-through) with:  

  • 6 x 180L rearing tanks
  • 4 x juvenile rearing and behaviour troughs
  • 8 tray salmonid egg incubator
  • Behavioural experiment arena
Tropical Lab
Tropical Lab

Self-contained RAS with:

  • 8 x 300L rearing tanks
  • 18 x 30L juvenile rearing and trial aquaria
  • 2 x 1.4m diameter spawning tanks
  • 4 x egg hatching jars
  • Behavioural experiment arena
Killifish Lab
Killifish Lab

Control temperature laboratory with:

  • Static housing aquaria
  • Egg hatching room
Aquatic animal model Lab
Aquatic animal model lab

Control temperature laboratory with:

  • Stand Alone recirculating Zebrafish housing system
  • Stand Alone recirculating Killifish housing system
  • 8 x mixed species recirculating systems

Algal Biotechnology at CSAR

CSAR has the largest microalgae production facility among British Universities and offers research and technological development expertise to businesses wishing to engage in this technology area. Our areas of expertise encompass:

  • Microalgae strain library
  • Water quality control technologies
  • Modelling to optimise process design and operation
  • Harvesting, concentration and separation technologies
  • Production of lab scale quantities of algal biomass
  • Physical and chemical characterisation of products
  • Screening for bioactive properties
  • Materials testing
  • Development and evaluation of feed additives
  • Macroalgal (seaweed) hatchery

Algal biotechnology is a new and growing business sector with applications in such diverse areas as second generation biofuels, carbon dioxide capture, waste water remediation and natural products manufacture (eg, omega-3 oils, pigments, antioxidants).

Algae facilities

Algae Lab
Algae Lab

Controlled environment lab with:

  • Sterile cultures 20ml  → 2L → 20L Carboys
  • 20 x 100L batch culture capacity,
  • Culture of marine and freshwater species
  • Harvesting, concentration and separation technologies
  • Macroalgal (seaweed) hatchery

Commercial scale algal production facility with:

  • 1 x 400L semi continuous Biofence™ culture system
  • 2 x 600L semi continuous Biofence™ culture systems
  • 1 x 2000l vertical culture system
Dry Laboratory

Dry Laboratory

CSAR has a dedicated dry laboratory equipped with specialist equipment for use in areas of microspcopy, histology, water chemistry, analytical techniques and cell culture.