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This discussion took place on The Shrimp Listin late January 2009.
Ahmed Alfaidy (firstname.lastname@example.org): I have a 1,000-hectare shrimp farm with 120 five-hectare ponds and a processing plant that can handle 50 metric tons of shrimp a day. I plan to stock 20 shrimp per square meter. Next, I want to start preparing my hatchery. How do I determine how many broodstock and nursery tanks I will need?
Jeff Prochaska (email@example.com): That’s not a simple question to answer. There are several books and manuals out there on hatchery design that provide the basics. I’m sure you could find some good information on the Internet.
B. Sakthi Mohan Ganesh (firstname.lastname@example.org): Jeff is correct! It’s not something you can learn through email and basic texts. You need a consultant for site selection, finance, design and implementation.
What species are you culturing?
Dallas Weaver (email@example.com): Depending on your water supply, the potential virus contamination of that water and your source of broodstock, you may want to keep the hatchery specific pathogen free, or close to it. That requires very careful treatment of the incoming water. In most cases, it's economical to recycle water in the maturation system, which allows higher water flows and a larger number of spawning events. You will need a filter systems that removes a very high percentage of the waste products for this to work. Aquaneering, a company in San Diego, California, USA, has designed and provided a lot of recirculating systems for shrimp maturation facilities, primarily in the Americas, with excellent results. Recirculating systems cut the water requirement for maturation systems by 90% or more and allow for treatment of raw water to prevent pathogens from getting into the system in the first place.
We have designed some maturation systems for the Asian market (where labor costs are low), but your needs will depend on many factors. Our Asian design is based on fluidized bed filters designed by Dallas Weaver. We have operated some of them in Qingdao, China, for the past year, and they are highly cost effective. They are being used for the maturation of fish and shrimp, growout nutrition trials, and fish meal and oil replacement trials at our five-million-liter research center for turbot, flounder, sole, bream and shrimp (P. vannamei and P. japonicus). The recirculating systems allow us to maintain a biosecure environment, control temperature, and apply some of the production systems across species. This effort is a joint development of Aquaneering, Aquafauna Bio-Marine [Lai’s company], American Life Science and Food Company, and Qingdao Samuels Industrial and Commercial Company (China).
In 1994, we implemented fluidized beds (developed by Dallas Weaver in the mid-1970s) at a hatchery in Costa Rica. We are now installing five vannamei maturation systems in Nicaragua. Contact me off-line for more information.
Ahmed Alfaidy (firstname.lastname@example.org): Dear Mr. Sakthi, Thanks for your concern. I'm not seeking to learn by email; I'm basically looking for information on how to size the hatchery in relation to my growout area and stocking density. I don't want to construct a hatchery; I only need the numbers of tanks and postlarvae. Our species is P. indicus.
Leonido C. Tala (email@example.com): Getting the right advice on how to make the most out of your farming operations is site specific. You need to invite an expert to your farm, to see your set-up and assess what you need to do. You don’t have to do what he says, but at least he will open your eyes to what needs to be done. It’s impossible for anyone on The Shrimp List to advise you properly without seeing your site.
Laurence (firstname.lastname@example.org): I ran an integrated indicus farm (maturation, hatchery, processing and feed production) from 1992 to 2004. I've done a review of feed management practices for some shrimp farmers in Iran and also worked in Saudi Arabia for over six months. I can offer you two consulting options: a site visit and write-up of a plan that suits your requirements, or a spreadsheet model and written report on your requirements without a visit. For the second option, I would need lots of detailed data on your site and farm set-up. Please contact me off-list for information on my fees. I will forward my resume if you want it.
Regunathan Chidambara (email@example.com): Before buying any books, make sure they are for indicus, not some other species. Species makes a big difference when it comes to hatcheries. Before starting work on your facility, you have to know what level of biosecurity you plan to adopt, the size of postlarvae you plan to stock, and the quality of your incoming water.
Sources: 1 The Shrimp List (a mailing list for shrimp farmers). Subject: [shrimp] Hatchery. January 22–26, 2009. 2. Bob Rosenberry, Shrimp News International. Updated. March 22, 2017,
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