SP 4 - FishCUBE

Subproject 4



The FishCUBE represents the production unit at the highest trophic level. Aquaculture as part a tritrophic system, including considerations for animal welfare, represents a new scientific approach. In the first phase, a system and interface description is provided for the implementation of aquaculture. The information, material and energy flows as well as the necessary data connection within the entire CUBES Circle are described in detail. In this phase, the necessary sensors are also selected, which are integrated into the FishCUBE for continuous data acquisition and quality control. Subsequently, the system is set up with a hydrocyclone for separating sediment and process water. Fish production starts after implementation of the measurement technology as well as the connection to the CUBES Circle. Parallel to the implementation of aquaculture, feeding trials will be carried out in the IGB's aquaculture facilities in order to advance the innovative development of "aquaponic feed" based on insect proteins and other beneficial biogenic resources. This feed will be developed for the three feeding types of fish: herbivore, omnivore, and carnivore. The aim is to implement the feed composition in such a way that the PlantCUBE receives as many macro- and micro-nutrients as possible from the FishCUBE without any negative impact on fish or plant growth. For each fish type, the respective aquaponic food is designed including a “finisher feed”with high-quality ingredients in order to produce the highest possible quality food for the consumer by fortification.

The animal welfare studies based on stress and immune parameters under the established cultivation conditions (densities and aquaponic feed) will begin with the successful implementation of the FishCUBE in the CUBES Circle. All experiments will be carried out in both IGB and FishCUBE husbandry facilities. FishCUBE, as an integral part of the CUBES Circle, produces resource-efficient fish for the local market.


Prof. Dr. Werner Kloas is head of the Department of Ecophysiology and Aquaculture at Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB) and professor for Endocrinology at the Humboldt University, Faculty of Life Sciences, with expertise in zoology, animal physiology, endocrinology, ecotoxicology, and sustainable aquaculture.

In CUBES Circle his focus of interest is on nutrient cycles across CUBES for fish, plants, and insects and the well-being of the fish. In order to increase sustainability the research aims to develop aquaponics feed, based on sustainable resources and to assess their impacts on fishes with varying nutritive physiology. The group aims to optimize feed input on fishes and their nutrient emissions serving as fertilizer for plants to go further towards application using different fish species and developing a strategy how to integrate them best into CUBES Circle.

Contact: werner.kloas(at)igb-berlin.de


PD Dr. Klaus Knopf has been a research scientist at Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB) with expertise in experimental parasitology, fish immunology and parasite ecology.

In CUBES Circle his focus of interest is on the well-being of the fish. The working group investigates how maintanance conditions and nutrition affect the stress-physiological and immunological status of fish. By combining a behavioral biological research approach with the physiological parameters, recommendations for animal welfare-appropriate stocking densities will be developed.

Contact: klaus.knopf(at)igb-berlin.de


Christopher Shaw (MSc.) is part of the scientific staff at the Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB) in the Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V. and investigates alternative feeds for sustainable aquaculture. Due to his experience from salmon farming in land-based recirculating systems he aims to join theory and practice and thereby present the aquaculture sector with future-oriented perspectives.
In the scope of CUBES Circle he is conducting feeding trials with the primary focus lying on alternative protein sources, fish welfare and product quality as well as the interface to the Plant- and InsectCUBE.

Contact: shaw(at)igb-berlin.de

Other employees (cooperating or former): Radek Gebauer and Virginia Marten