Shrimp farming has been a growing industry in the United States and abroad since the 1970s.At the very least, a start-up shrimp farm needs two drained ponds: a “nursery” pond for maturing young shrimp and a “growth” pond for mature shrimp that have not yet reached market size. The pond must be aerated and provide proper nutrients for the shrimp population to reproduce.
Choose the location of the shrimp farm. Important considerations include climate, proximity to the ocean and easy access to young shrimp. Farms in warmer climates will have longer shrimp seasons than farms in colder climates. Farms built near oceans or river deltas can provide water from these sources for these ponds, and farms built in areas where shrimp are an important part of the ecosystem can use these naturally occurring populations to supply their initial crops. Farms far from the ocean should make sure they find a hatchery willing to keep shrimp in the pond.
Two drained ponds, a nursery and a growing pond, are connected by a hermetically sealed culvert. Shrimp ponds range in size from 0.5 to 3 acres. The depth of the pond should be determined by the type of shrimp the farmer wants to grow. Culverts s should allow water from the nursery to flow into the nurseries so that mature shrimp can be easily transferred from one pond to another. If the shrimp farm is located near the ocean, a gate system is established so that the pond can absorb fresh seawater.
Fill the pond with salt water from a nearby ocean or other source. Some shrimp farmers grow algae and zooplankton in ponds to create a sustainable ecosystem for shrimp, a process known as “green water” farming. Some farmers use “green water” technology in seedling ponds to convert shrimp into cheaper synthetic feed during “growth”. All farmers should regularly test the quality and temperature of the pond water.
Shrimp storage ponds allow the entry of larvae from nearby water bodies or from nearby hatcheries. The initial shrimp larvae should be kept in the nursery for no more than 25 days. After that, they should move to “growing” ponds, where they mature three to six months before harvest.
Regularly inflate the pond to provide natural water inflow and outflow, or use commercially available paddle wheel aerators. Regular aeration prevents the water from stagnating and provides oxygen to the shrimp.
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