Joined: Jun 29, 2003 Posts: 7087 Location: Bengaluru, India
Posted: Wed Apr 05, 2006 7:48 am Post subject: Fish Breeding farm - How to setup? What is Required?
I am starting this thread after I received an interesting PM about what it takes to set up a Fish Breeding Farm.
For starters let's not be specific about the variey of fish that would be bred in this farm, let's assume it's the whole gamut of fish.
I have seen many such farms, and noted many aspects, but I don't have first hand experience.
So put in your ideas and start a lively discussion as to what it would take to set up such a facility.
I know a lot of it would be common sense advice, and not practical experience, but we have at least made a start.
The areas to cover would be would be Holding tanks for the breeders, Fry care, Fry feeding, Conditioning of the breeders, Growing live food, culling, water management, water recycling, water purification, disease control and management, quarantine, equipment, lighting, packing, man power requirement, man power training, line breeding, cross breeding, selective breeding, exports and imports procedures, tank setups, farm layout and size.
The above are not in any particular order and there should be more areas to cover so please start listing your thoughts.
Even a definition of the above terms would be a quick way to kick this discussion on track. We can then build up on the topic based on the definition.
Come on people let's indulge in every aquarists dream and setup a virtual fish farm!
I just returned from Penang a couple of days back... saw quite a lot of fish farms there especially discus farms , and i have a minor first hand experience too and suggest the following:
Most important is to reckon the size of the setup and the farm size, since this is where everyone is wrong once the breeding starts. It is always less tanks less space and more fish at a certain point of time. Forces of demand also play a major role here since if sales are down then the holding space required would be more than usual.
A lot of freshwater supply and treating the water to suit the needs of the fry. In fact i heard from some discus breeders that they were paying a shitload of money for water (however this may not be applicable to other fish except discus since i dont have enough exposure to any other fish and dont know their water requirements.)
One very important thing is HARDCORE RESEARCH especially into medication and diseases and conditioning of the breeders. In fact with a lot many tanks you are bound to get disease atleast once or more than once in a year and can prove to be disastrous with so many fish. I heard from some breeders that they had to close down their farms for months together when they had epidemics in order to protect their reputation.
Next comes the fry feeding and growing them at a very fast pace. This again involves research. Every breeder with any kind of setup will always fall short of tanks at one point of time and the best would be to grow them fast in order to sell them fast.
I wouldnt suggest man-power training as a very important criterion since if someone is doing it at a professional and a full time level and is around to supervise the setup, then the employees can be under constant giudance and training can be on the job itself. Since it would be very difficult to explain to someone all aspects of breeding and maintaining fish without actually practically doing it.
For a full fledged operational farm, (that is after the initial 2-3 breeding cycles), quarantine would be the least important issue after a certain stage, since there would be hardly any new fish coming in.
As regards the line and strain breeding, it would actually depend on the target customers. To some this may be at the top of the list and to others it may be at the bottom. The question is are u going in for quantity or quality breeding.
Lighting in the setup can be adjusted later on since this would not be very costly. This would not be a major problem since i have observed that in breeding most of the fish good lighting is required only at the time of feeding (especially the fry).
It is also very important to get a nice grip on the packing and shipping of the fish, since if your fish end up dead at the destination, then the whole purpose of breeding is vitiated. Import is not at all important since you would rather concentrate on the breeding and get the imported fish through some agent rather than taking the headache yourself. Export procedures are not very important unless you are targeting foreign customers, but initially i dont think that any farm (especially in india) would target customers from foreign countries. So this can also be left to a later stage.
Joined: Dec 19, 2005 Posts: 2753 Location: Surat, Gujarat
Posted: Wed Apr 05, 2006 3:51 pm Post subject:
This is something I would love to discuss!
Ok, my understanding of a fish farm is where you breed and rear the fish to a respectable sellable size and then sell it to the wholesaler/retailers.
[B]1) The facility should include an insulated shed with racks set-up for stocking new arrivals and qurantine facility - tanks are easier to treat than ponds!
2) stocking ponds for rearing fry with water in-let and out-let facility with a power head and side compartment for bio/mechanical filtration
2a) the outdoor ponds should have adequate facility to stop birds preying on the fish - a green mesh cover supported with angles can be helpful!
3) packaging area where fish are stocked prior to sales and pre-conditioned for the transit stress. (this facility should include the oxygen cylinders and a constant supply of water that is pre-treated for the transit stress)
4) for breeding - the facility should include a range of tank sizes with/without partition and lots of grow-out tanks for the new born fry to be transferred
5) The set-up should be located in an area which preferably has a canal near-by the ensure constant supply of water or the bore-well water should be suitable enough to keep most fish without much expenditure on the treatment of water like RO etc.
6) the farm facility should be self sufficient in making or atleast stocking different feeds and feed suppliments depending on the dietary requirement of different fish.
7) the individual himself should be experienced and should compulsorily knowledgeable to deal with the day-to-day affairs of fish farm problems like power failures to ailment treatment!
the staff should be honest and well trained! (honest for obvious reasons - and trained to take some critical decisions on the spot in your absence)
9) the farm should preferably have a water re-cycling facility with rain water harvesting to save natural resources.
10) last but not the least - breeding fish should be attempted only with the knowledge of the market - surplus breeding means you have to feed a lot of fish who will fetch a low rate in the market - consider the demand and supply ratio before spawning the fish!
more on this later...........
Joined: Jul 09, 2003 Posts: 3496 Location: Trivandrum, Kerala
Posted: Wed Apr 05, 2006 8:23 pm Post subject:
A lot of it depends on scale, IMO.
I've seen commercial establishments (I won't call them farms ) in Bombay, which are little larger than a 20'x10' room. About a dozen 120 gallon tanks (6'x2'x2') for stocking/growout and a like number of 10-40 gallon tank for spawning fish. These places were producing most of the staple LFS fish, from livebearers to anabantoids to cichlids to cyprinids. An aerator was pretty much the only piece of equipment in evidence with a few sponge filters here and there. 50% water changes, twice daily, were the norm for the growout tanks, along with copious amounts of live foods.
A couple of breeders with the space to spare had cement grow out tanks outdoors instead of aquaria indoors. Since none of them had wells, dechlorination systems and large water storage tanks were a prerequisite.
Such setups do afford the luxury of efficient quality control (whether people choose to follow it is another story) and are ideal for scenarios where you want to focus on line-breeding and strain development. Much smaller setups (about 1/2 dozen tanks total) are also viable, expecially if you want to focus on a single species.
Then, there is the Florida fish farm style, where you have a lot of land, perfect weather and lots of water. Buy land, construct dozens of large ponds and introduce seed populations of fish in each pond. Seine the ponds after 6 months or so and sell. The good part about this is pond raised fish are often healthier/larger then tank raised fish. The drawback is they are often more skittish and likely to hybridise, especially if you have several species in a pond or neighbouring ponds.
Joined: Dec 19, 2005 Posts: 2753 Location: Surat, Gujarat
Posted: Wed Apr 05, 2006 10:10 pm Post subject:
But IMO we can call it a fish room and not a farm - I think Beta is having a similar set-up (comming up) but, still a farm is a farm and you can grow fish faster in bigger set-ups = more turnover = more money
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