Maybe you have decided to try something new or are exploring a business idea and looking at shrimp farming, which is not a bad idea, but you will need a lot of help if you are starting.
Shrimp farming is mostly practiced in China, Thailand, and Indonesia. And it involves more than just dumping these shrimps in a big bath of water, as you need to gather a lot of prerequisite knowledge before diving into this.
We have explained in detail 12 easy steps to start shrimp farming at home and all the helpful tips you need to know about.
How To Start a Shrimp Farming At Home
Raising shrimps is an ever-growing business that can be useful globally, especially to the food industry. Below are 12 steps to get you started on shrimp farming. Following these steps at first may seem tiring and difficult, but with consistency and the right strategy, you will observe a quick growth.
Step 1: Prep Your Shrimp Farm
The preparatory steps involve choosing the right location for this and using the appropriate measurement to build an environment for these shrimps.
You should aim for an area that is not prone to flooding and is free from pesticides and other harmful chemicals.
As for measurement, your shrimp farm should be between 2 to 5 feet deep and have a total surface area of 1 to 5 acres.
You will also need to provide equipment like aerators, skimmers, and filters to keep your farm clean and healthy at all times.
You can use the appropriate shrimp feed or fertilize their habitat to allow algae to grow and serve as natural food for them.
Step 2: Improved Biosecurity
Biosecurity means protecting your shrimps from bacteria and other harmful organisms. This way, they have normal growth and are productive. To ensure that your farm is biosecure, you must employ the following tactics.
- Since water does not directly interact with the soil, you should use pond liners for easy water control.
- To prevent animals from carrying bacteria and viruses, have a proper fencing system to keep them out.
- All visitors must be clean; this can be done by disinfection, and keeping your environment clean also helps.
- All feeds for shrimps should be protected in a clean and safe environment free of any organism that may carry pathogens.
- Inspect the water quality of your shrimp farm in any laboratory close by.
Step 3: Use Aerators
Aerators are devices that increase airflow in your shrimp farm. They do this by transporting oxygenated air around the environment for the shrimps’ use.
The best type of aerator is the paddlewheel aerator, made especially for shrimps and fishes.
Another alternative is to use a fountain aerator. It works by disturbing your shrimp farm’s surface, pumping water into the air so that oxygen is collected in small droplets that are later transported back into the water.
You can choose whatever method of aeration you desire based on your budget and preference.
Step 4: Go for Juvenile Shrimp
Juvenile shrimps are purchased after they have hatched from their eggs. Eventually, they hatch into larvae which then develop into mature shrimp.
The hatching stages are one of the most important stages in raising shrimps, and if you do not have sufficient knowledge about raising shrimps at this delicate stage, you should opt for juvenile shrimps.
The major reason for choosing juvenile shrimps is to reduce the stress of farming as a beginner. You can get healthy juveniles from a good hatchery.
Step 5: Adjust The Shrimp Environment
Shrimps cannot remain in one environment for a long time; they need a change of water and environmental conditions. This will make their growth steady and accurate.
Step 6: Nourish Your Shrimp
Good food is vital for the survival of shrimps, and as we have discussed earlier, you can grow some algae in their habitat to serve as natural food for them, or you can opt for shrimp feeds instead.
Shrimp feed should have a minimum of 32% to 45% of protein, and they should also have lipids, carbohydrates, and vitamins included in their diet. They should be fed twice daily with at least 5 grams of their feed.
Step 7: Supply Probiotics
Probiotics are bacteria that keep your shrimp. Using probiotics at the start of your farming will help juvenile shrimps adapt more to their environment, and during significant moments like water change or harvest, use probiotics to keep them sound.
Step 8: Study The Shrimp Health
Juvenile shrimps should be checked weekly after stocking to ensure they are doing fine. You can observe the shrimps by mere looking or for better evaluation. You can use a microscope. Here are some of the most important things you should check in a shrimp.
- If they are swimming energetically
- If their gut is full
- If their morphology is normal
- Their gills should be white or grayish
- There is no residue of molting on the head of the shrimp
- There should be no cuts or twists on their body
- You should check if there is cloudiness in their muscles
Step 9: Take a Sample of The Shrimp
Sampling the shrimp is important to monitor the growth of shrimp and determine whether there will be an adjustment to their feeding regimen.
A sample is done every 5 to 7 days, and it aims to calculate the mean body weight of shrimps which can be done by diving the total weight to the number of shrimps.
Step 10: Use The Baby Bucket Sampling Technique
The baby bucket sampling technique is done to determine the survival rate of your post-larvae shrimps 24 hours after stocking.
This sampling method gives you a clear picture of the population of shrimps after they have passed through a stress-filled session and their ability to survive in this condition.
The baby bucket has holes at the sides that are covered with a mesh, and to use it, use it with about a hundred post-larvae shrimps and leave it to rest at the surface of the pond for about 24 hours.
After the designated time has passed, the PL shrimps can be counted to evaluate the previous data on population and survival. This sampling is important in determining whether there will be an adjustment to their deeding regimen.
Step 11: Get Involved In Their Molting
Molting in shrimps is a significant moment in their growth, and you should be around to observe any changes. To better prepare for future molting, take samples in the various stages of their molting and provide an environment enriched with micro and macronutrients that form a healthy and strong exoskeleton. Some important minerals they need include calcium, copper, magnesium, sodium, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc.
Step 12: Harvesting Period
After raising your shrimps with effort, it is time for the harvest. You can market them as they are in high demand, or you can distribute them to family and friends for food.
Factors to Consider When Starting a Shrimp Farm at Home
Before starting a shrimp farm, you want to ensure that you have the best environment and facilities to care for them. You need to consider some crucial factors before proceeding to a shrimp farm.
Being close to farmlands and mangrove forests is not the ideal location for a shrimp farm because you have limited access to fresh water, which is very important to the whole process.
You should aim for a free and spacious environment free from chemical usage that may pollute the water of the shrimps.
Believe it or not, the soil condition greatly affects the growth of your shrimps. Acidic soil with a pH lower than 5 is dangerous for your shrimps, and you will need a fixed percentage of organic carbon (1.5% to 2.5%) and calcium carbonate (less than 5%).
And 50% to 75% of the nitrogen in the soil. 4 to 6 mg of phosphorus can be added to further boost the soil quality. Other important soil components to observe include the metal content, the soil type, and absorption level.
3. Water Quality
Water is the most important component of shrimp farming as it serves as a habitat for all their activities and plays a crucial role in their health and growth.
You need to have constant access to clean and quality water and check the water’s pH to ensure that it is not acidic. Below are some details concerning the quality of water being used.
pH is the measure of the acidity and alkalinity of your water. A high pH indicates a high alkaline level and can cause your shrimp’s mortality.
The most likely cause of this situation is the presence of numerous algae in their environment. This can be fixed by removing a considerable amount of the surface water and spreading some organic matter at the water surface; while doing all this, monitor the oxygen level and ensure that there is no massive decrease due to decay activities.
5. Presence of Nitrogen Compounds
While nutrients and minerals are essential for the molting process and growth of shrimps, a large amount of them (especially nitrogen compounds) can cause disaster.
When the concentration of nitrate is 1.8ppm, unionized ammonia will increase, which can cause hatchery problems.
Generally, when the nitrate concentration is over 1ppm, the pond becomes toxic for the shrimps, and a study shows that when the ammonia level is 0.26 ppm in a pH of 6.83, it can cause the death of half of the population of your shrimps within 144 hours.
6. Feed Type
A natural food source alone is not enough to produce a healthy shrimp. You must choose a shrimp feed with enough organic minerals and proteins. Be sure to use a trusted source to obtain these feeds.
Helpful Tips For Shrimp Farming
When you are a beginner going into shrimp farming, it can get overwhelming if you have very little knowledge about what you are doing, but here are some tips that you may find helpful when starting a shrimp farm.
- Sterilize every piece of equipment and disinfect every material getting close to the pond. Shrimps are very fragile and are susceptible to diseases easily
- Drain water from ponds. The water in a shrimp pond is their environment where they carry out their biological activities, and not changing the water can build a toxic environment for them.
- Before stocking your farm, observe the juvenile shrimps determine how successful your farm will be
- Predation will occur; the only solution is to be prepared for it. Shrimps are good-looking and ill attract animals that wish to feed. To prevent this, construct a safety fence to keep away these predators.
- Your attempt to prevent diseases on your farm will not always be accurate but dealing with this disease is what matters. Observe the shrimps for any abnormal changes or behavior and then identify if it is a nutritional deficiency or a parasite.
- Maintaining the right pH level is also important to create a stable and non-toxic environment for shrimps.
Frequently Asked Questions
Even after all the studies on shrimp farming, you will have some questions to which you require an answer. This section covers some of the frequently asked questions on shrimp farming.
How Much Does It Cost To Start a Shrimp Farm?
This requires a lot of investment in both effort and time, but when it comes to finances, you will need between $3000 to $5000 to get you started. This includes the cost of care and pieces of equipment.
How Long Does it Take To Grow Shrimp?
The growth of shrimps happens in four major stages. The Nauplius stage, protozoa stage, mysis stage, and the post-larva stage. Going through these stages will take a shrimp about 7 to 8 months before it is fully grown.
How Long Do Shrimp Eggs Take to Last?
Each shrimp lays about 20 to 30 eggs which may take 2 to 3 weeks to hatch under favorable conditions. The eggs are green or yellow and continue to get darker until they hatch in due time.
Starting a shrimp farm is a huge decision, and it can get crushing sometimes, so we have provided you with 12 easy steps to start a shrimp business. These steps cover the basics of shrimp farming, including nutrition, biosecurity, molting, and probiotics.
It takes 7 to 8 months for shrimp to fully mature, and caring for them within this period must be done with a lot of caution. We have listed tips to help you as a beginner on your shrimp farming journey. We have also answered some frequently asked questions to clear any confusion you have regarding this topic.
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We trust this article helped you learn how to start shrimp farming at home. You may also want to check out How to Grow Yellow Daisies in Your Garden.
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