How to Set Up and Care for Your Shrimp Farm
Shrimp farming or “การเลี้ยงกุ้ง” in Thai, is a profitable and sustainable business that is gaining popularity all over the world. If you are thinking of starting your own shrimp farm, it is important to know how to properly set up and care for your ponds to ensure the success of your venture. In this article, we will guide you through the steps to take when setting up your shrimp farm and how to care for your shrimp.
Step 1: Planning and Preparation
Before starting your shrimp farm, it is important to plan and prepare your site properly. There are several factors to consider such as the location, soil quality, and water source. Here are a few tips:
Choose a location that is easily accessible and near the market. It is also important to consider environmental regulations and zoning laws that may affect your operation.
The soil in your pond should be firm and composed mainly of clay to prevent water leakage. Conduct soil tests to ensure pH levels are between 7.5 and 8.5, which is the ideal range for shrimp farming.
The water source for your shrimp pond should be of good quality and free from pollutants. You can use groundwater, surface water, or a combination of both. Test the water for pH, water hardness, salinity, and alkalinity.
Step 2: Setting Up Your Pond
After securing a suitable site, it’s time to set up your pond. Here are the steps to take:
The size of your pond will depend on how much shrimp you plan to raise. For a starting business, start small. An 0.1-hectare pond can hold up to 15,000 shrimp while a 1-hectare pond can hold up to 150,000 shrimp.
The ideal pond design for shrimp farming is a circular pond with a shallow depth of not more than 1.5 meters. There should also be a drain at the bottom of the pond for easy water exchange during cleaning.
To prevent water loss, the pond should be sealed using bentonite clay that is compacted using a roller. Alternatively, you can use a pond liner made of PVC or HDPE.
After sealing the pond, apply organic fertilizers such as chicken manure or cow dung at the rate of 20 kg per hectare. Fertilizing the pond encourages the growth of plankton which is food for the shrimp.
Step 3: Stocking and Care
Now that your pond is ready, it’s time to stock it with shrimp. Here are the steps to take:
Choose shrimp species that are suitable for your location and climate. Some of the popular species include the Giant Tiger Prawn, Whiteleg Shrimp, and Black Tiger Shrimp.
The ideal number of shrimp to stock per square meter is 16-20. Overstocking may lead to poor water quality and stunted growth.
Maintaining good water quality is key to the success of your shrimp farm. Check the water temperature, pH, and dissolved oxygen levels regularly and make adjustments as needed.
Shrimp feed on plankton and commercial shrimp feed. Feed them twice a day in small quantities to avoid overfeeding which can lead to poor water quality.
Setting up and caring for your shrimp farm requires proper planning, preparation, and attention to detail. By following the steps outlined in this article, you will be on your way to a successful and sustainable shrimp farming business.
Q1: Is shrimp farming profitable?
A: Yes, shrimp farming can be very profitable if done properly and with the right management practices.
Q2: How long does it take for shrimp to grow to market size?
A: Shrimp take 90-120 days to grow to market size depending on the species and conditions.
Q3: What is the ideal temperature for shrimp farming?
A: The ideal water temperature for shrimp farming is 28-32°C.
Q4: How do you prevent diseases in shrimp farming?
A: Proper pond management practices such as regular water exchange, removing dead shrimp, and maintaining good water quality can prevent diseases in shrimp farming.
Q5: Can I raise shrimp in freshwater?
A: Yes, shrimp can be raised in freshwater but they require a regular supply of minerals and nutrients to survive.
Q6: How do you harvest shrimp?
A: Shrimp are harvested using a seine net or a cast net. Harvesting should be done early in the morning or late in the evening.
Q7: What is the average lifespan of shrimp?
A: Shrimp have an average lifespan of 1-2 years in the wild, but they can live longer in captivity if properly cared for.
FAO. (2010). Shrimp Farming and the Environment. Retrieved from http://www.fao.org/3/i1643e/i1643e00.pdf
Department of Fisheries. (2015). Shrimp Farming: Technical Guidelines. Retrieved from https://inmotionfarms.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/409018703-Shrimp-farming-technical-guidelines-1.pdf