The Government of the Hungarian People's Republic assisted by the United Nations Development Programme and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations is engaged in a project whose main purpose is to strengthen the research capabilities and facilities at the Fish Culture Research Institute (FCRI), Szarvas, Hungary, and to formulate and implement an integrated research programme in fish culture in ponds and man-made lakes and natural waters of Hungary.
As part of the project operation, FAO assigned Mr B.D. Combs as Consultant (Water Recycling System) from 1–29 December 1978, as a follow-up on an earlier assignement, with the following terms of reference:
To evaluate the technology and parameters of the Institute's water recycling fish rearing plant.
To elaborate and implement a simple but efficient water quality control system in order to ensure safe operation.
To elaborate a research programme and formulate proposals to simplify the systems technology and decrease operational costs.
To elaborate an operations manual with special respect to fish hygiene.
Research work utilizing water recycling systems for year-round indoor fish rearing began early in 1974 at FCRI. The favourable results obtained with a 100-litre capacity aquarium-size system, induced Institute personnel to design two larger controlled environment rearing systems, one running on warm water (20–25°C) and the other on cold (4–8°C) in 1975–76. These rearing units have been used primarily for small-scale feeding experiments.
During February and March 1976, the Consultant assisted in the design of an indoor water recycling fish rearing plant with a capacity of 80 m3 of rearing space (Combs, 1976). The design was completed early in 1976, construction began in August 1977 and the plant was essentially completed in December 1977. Trial operation of the mechanical equipment commenced in early 1978 and the first fish put into the system in May 1978.