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Old 04-08-2012, 01:14 PM
Try2B Comprehensive Try2B Comprehensive is offline
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Growing colossal shrimp at home

I know people farm shrimp, but beyond that basic fact I really don't know anything else about it. What does it take to raise shrimp in one's home? I'm wondering about the equipment, the techniques, how long does it take and so on, but on a hobby scale, something to do in the guest room.

Also, I would like to grow the most absurdly large shrimp possible. Assuming we don't give them drugs or otherwise make them diseased/taste gross, how big a shrimp can you grow? I'd really like to pull a lobster-sized home-grown shrimp out of the oven to set in front of some guests
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Old 04-09-2012, 09:10 AM
Try2B Comprehensive Try2B Comprehensive is offline
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If it helps, the idea was inspired by this article on aquaponics:
Quote:
It's all part of the fledgling world of urban "aquaponics," vertical farms set up in old warehouses, where plants and fish are raised symbiotically. The idea is that water containing fish excrement is used to feed and fertilize the plants, which then filter that water before it goes, through a series of pipes, back to the fish.
The twist is just going for enormous shrimp instead of environmental benefits or profits. Who knows, maybe it would lead to more shrimp farming, since our industries seem intent on destroying the oceans...
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Old 04-09-2012, 11:31 AM
aruvqan aruvqan is offline
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So it would be just having a swimming pool set up like a sea water aquarium instead of a little tank?

Couldn't you do something like go to some island in the caribbean, buy a piece of property and dig a rectangular pit that has a tiny channel going into the surf and installing a mesh to keep shrimpies in the new dugout seawater tank, tossing in breeder shrimps and a daily amount of Purina Shrimp Chow and waiting while they breed up?
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Old 04-09-2012, 12:05 PM
Lukeinva Lukeinva is online now
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Setting up operations on a Carribean island may not be too practical, for anyone not living in the Carribean.

Another solution would be one of those inflatable backyard swimming pools (a rather sizable pool) set up in the basement of your home. With the correct water salinity and a good filtering system, and a heater. Populate it with jumbo shrimp and feed them plenty of Purina Shrimp Chow it may be feasible. However...growing a shrimp to the size of a lobster is another question.
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Old 04-09-2012, 03:18 PM
purplehorseshoe purplehorseshoe is online now
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I used to have a community tank (10 gallons) with a rainbow shark and a school of tiger barbs - both are fairly aggressive fish.

I often buy little feeder shrimp to help keep the tank clean. One batch included a slightly-darker individual - still tiny, but different. The fish store guy warned me that that one would grow much bigger. I laughed and assured him that I'd feed the shrimp to my cats if he got too big.

He got big. Then he got bigger. He gradually, one by one, ate the contents of my tank. He got bigger. And BIGGER. Turns out, he's one of these, and his body length alone is around seven inches. He OWNS that tank, and is rapidly outgrowing it if anyone *cough* has a larger tank to donate to a good cause. He looks a lot like this fella.
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Old 04-09-2012, 03:27 PM
sitchensis sitchensis is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by purplehorseshoe View Post
I used to have a community tank (10 gallons) with a rainbow shark and a school of tiger barbs - both are fairly aggressive fish.

I often buy little feeder shrimp to help keep the tank clean. One batch included a slightly-darker individual - still tiny, but different. The fish store guy warned me that that one would grow much bigger. I laughed and assured him that I'd feed the shrimp to my cats if he got too big.

He got big. Then he got bigger. He gradually, one by one, ate the contents of my tank. He got bigger. And BIGGER. Turns out, he's one of these, and his body length alone is around seven inches. He OWNS that tank, and is rapidly outgrowing it if anyone *cough* has a larger tank to donate to a good cause. He looks a lot like this fella.
Could you please eat him and report back as to taste and quality?
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Old 04-09-2012, 04:54 PM
Carptracker Carptracker is offline
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I was going to suggest macrobrachium (prawns) too. There are many species of macrobrachium, although rosenbergii is the one most commonly used in aquaculture. They are relatively easy to grow. IIRC, rosenbergii is from Madagascar, but there are macrobrachium species that are native to the US,and Central America, and which exceed rosenbergii in size. Some can exceed 2 foot long, including the very long and thin chelae. That size would yield a tail about 6-7 inches long, but not as wide as a lobster. They are catadromous, and very difficult to spawn, but if you collected one, it would be easy to maintain and grow in a large aquarium. The problem with the native ones is that they are very aggressive to each other and eat each other up, so you have to keep them separate in aquaculture, whereas rosenbergii will live together, at least to a higher degree.

These are EXCELLENT eating. I don't know where you are from, but you can catch them in many of the rivers that run to the gulf in Texas. Somehow they make it above the dam and get into Lake Corpus Christi, too. They are not super abundant, but you can catch them by going to the edge of rockier areas and putting a chicken neck on a string. When the prawn comes to the bait, pull it slowly toward you until you can get a net around him. This is difficult and you have to both stealthy and fast. You can catch them in crab traps too, sometimes, but in Texas it is illegal to run crab traps above the tide line. And below the tide line you will be very lucky to catch one of these.

In Costa Rica, I have caught many wild machrobrachiums (both native and non-native) by taking those termite hives from trees or decaying buildings, dropping the whole thing into a feed sack, then stomping on the bag to break up the hive. Then weight the whole thing with a few rocks or big shell pieces, place in the water in the mangrove areas, and prop the mouth open with a stick. Go back after dark with a flashlight and quickly pick up the sack and sometimes you can get a machrobrachium in it. Low percentage, but worth the effort if they are big ones. Average size yields a tail 4 inches long or so, but you can get bigger ones.

I have raised these in pond aquaculture in Costa Rica, along with tilapia, with some success. But really, I think we got almost as many macrobrachium in ponds we did NOT stock with the things as those we did stock, just because they would come in from the river. They seem to like tilapia ponds a lot. Lots to eat there, I guess.
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