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JamesMusslewhite

Building a Small Lobster Hatchery here in the Philippines

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JamesMusslewhite

I cannot imagine Tilapia NOT eating food given to them. The little runts I have in my (temporary) aquarium, will eat you out of house and home. I put some sword plants in with them, due to high ammonia levels - in order to help drop it. They "snack" on the leaves daily. 

 

What do you feed them? Duckweed, they will die for.

 

I make my own dried feed using the basic guide found in this pdf http://www.ctsa.org/files/publications/AmerSamoa_ChildrensFeedManual_secure.pdf

 

but I also will use some additional ingredients to the mix: unprocessed brown flower, crushed dried peas or beans, crushed dried boiled peanuts, crushed sun dried boiled yellow squash, ground dried trash fish, coconut oil or palm oil, ground dried coconut meat and liver oil.

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Paul

I hear they love Black Soldier Fly Larvae, too.

 

IMG_2401_r.jpg

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JamesMusslewhite

I hear they love Black Soldier Fly Larvae, too.

 

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Their certainly not picky, if they can get their mouths around it they will try to eat it.They do love worms, grubs and maggots. I remember a client in who put bug lights and zappers out in the middle of his ponds, Another would hang rotting meat so they would attract flies, flies make little maggots, maggots fall into the water and the fish loved the free protein. Seen the same trick used in chicken yards to help supplement their fowl.

Edited by JamesMusslewhite
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JamesMusslewhite

Great idea, the lake has prawns or small shrimp in it, late at night the fishermen use bright lights and nets to haul them in right off the shore area's, but maybe I could find a much larger prawn that would work, it's fresh water though, Laguna de Bay.

What you are probably looking for is a species known as an 'Asian Tiger Prawn' or 'Curry Tiger Prawn'.

black-tiger-shrimp-indonesian-fisheries.

Edited by JamesMusslewhite
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M.C.A.

James, that's what the prawns look like here ... but they catch them so small seems like they never reach maturity same with many of the fish.  Thought about buying a small boat and spot light and trying my luck at catching them, they use large round or square nets and scoop them up.

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JamesMusslewhite

James, that's what the prawns look like here ... but they catch them so small seems like they never reach maturity same with many of the fish.  Thought about buying a small boat and spot light and trying my luck at catching them, they use large round or square nets and scoop them up.

I posted a thread on a design for a 10 foot x 10 foot PVC floating net cage that I will be using here in this facility

http://www.livingincebuforums.com/ipb/topic/95157-simple-design-for-a-10%E2%80%99x10%E2%80%99-pvc-floating-fish-cage/

 

You can easily adapt the setup using bamboo and 5 gallon water jugs as you flotation and cover with fish netting. They will easily last one season and allow you to separate and size what you catch. The help minimize lose of stock, you can accurately adjust your feeding ratios greatly reducing feed waste. This helps you to raise them like a crop and allows them to easily to reach a market size. The problem most encounter is trying to bring fish to market size in open mixed species ponds is the competition for feed by more abundant smaller stock makes the larger fish to stay more under weight and potential size. This means more time is needed to raise market size stock which greatly increases ones expense due to needing more feed than would be normally needed  if caged raised. Plus during heavy rains and or rising water levels of rivers, streams or lakes your crop does not just simply swim away.

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Headshot

I could never be a lobster farmer. I would be inclined to eat up all of the profits.

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Scotsbloke

Well over the years I have posted threads on the subject of fish farming and lobster huts.

I'm not being a patronising beaver here...but you're a seriously good poster.  If it's lobsters, boat-building or helping to bring murderers to justice.

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JamesMusslewhite

I could never be a lobster farmer. I would be inclined to eat up all of the profits.

 

The trick is to put enough fingerlings in your nets to insure you can eat all you want and at least still financially break even. This is what I have been doing for the last 4-5 years. We drop 50-100 fingerlings in our nets so we can eat enough to make us happy and then sell the rest (if any are left) and use the proceeds to seed the next crop of those tasty little sea bugs. Put a couple of one pound butter/beer steamed sea bugs on my plate along side a thick slice of medium-rare bullvine with sides of spicy camp-style dutch oven BBQ beans and Southern-style creamy mash potatoes w/brown skillet gravy and I will literately eat myself into a Garfield Coma... :biggrin_01:  

happy-baby-eating-chocolate.jpg

 

One venture I fully intend on doing later this year or early next year is start raising a couple of quality calves a year as freezer-suffers. I want to build a small 10 foot x 10 foot walk in refrigeration unit so I can properly hang and cure my meats and sausages. The beef here is always fresh cut which tends to always be a bit tougher than I like. This is because it simply has not properly had the hanging time to tenderize through curing.

 

I also like a pit cooked pork, but I also really really miss a proper honey-cured ham that is smoked to perfection. My wife and I both agreed that I should plan on adding an addition to our little dirty kitchen and make a decent size smoker with a large side rack pit which is large enough to cook a whole split-pig. This lechon method used here is good, but it just gets a bit old after a while. I am a true blue Texas Southern Gulf Coast BBQ aficionado and I really miss quality hand-rubbed BBQ and sauces. Oh and I really really miss a smoked/grilled spicy Boudin sausage...

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besides a really good BBQ you should be able to eat it, drink it and wash your face in it all at the same time... :rofl:

Edited by JamesMusslewhite
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TheWhiteKnight

How much do the fingerlings cost? Could you produce your own fingerlings?

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BossHog

 

 

Could you produce your own fingerlings?

 

Theoretically you could...

 

 

if you were a lobster.

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JamesMusslewhite

How much do the fingerlings cost? Could you produce your own fingerlings?

It is such a sliding scale that there is no set price for a fingerling. As a rule the locals tend to size them according to being the approximate size of batteries. Smaller than a 'AAA' are risky when buying as they are more prone to shock during being transported long-distances. Typically 90php-150php each, but if you purchase 100 pieces and you have 50% loss than you have actually paid 180php-300php.'AA' typically cost 200php-350php. 'D' size 400php-850php.

 

'AAA' size can easily take 12-14 months to reach the market weight of .5 kilo

'AA' size can take 8-10 months to reach market weight.

'A' size can take 6-8 months to reach market weight.

 

To successfully get breeding pairs to mate is quite possible. The triggers are controlled diet, regulated water temperature, and appropriate lighting. A female can be induced to breed three times a year. A New Zealand hatchery in 2002 carefully logged the production of one breeder pair which actually mated 3 times in one year. This female released 1.6 million fertile eggs of which successfully produced 1.1 million viable Planktonic Phyllosoma (larva) in just one yearly cycle. So yes it is quite possible and have multiple females producing fertile eggs in one facility. The facility I have designed actually houses five mature females and three mature males.

 

The larvae are very sensitive, highly susceptible to heavy losses and are voraciously cannibalistic. Because of this there are a lot of variables which must first be considered, anticipated and properly address There must be redundant procedures and protocols in place to even expect to successfully obtain any sizable percentage of a crop to successfully survive through Stage IV growth inside the facility. Once the larvae progress to latent Stage 5 they are then placed into floating net cages where they have to be regularly monitored. They must be separated by size and removed and isolated during molting cycles as they shed their hard outer shell and are then extremely vulnerable to injury from attacks by other lobsters within their enclosure.

 

Do it correctly and it can be a very profitable venture, make one miscalculation, fail to anticipate a problem, try to cut corners, get lazy or stupid, fail to properly follow through a required procedure or fall short of their nutrition requirements at any of their first 5 stages of growth and you can lose most if not all of a crop within mere hours or days. Every larvae lost will cost you a potential sale. A single lobster can be sold for 90php to upwards of 3,000php depending on the size at the point of sale. Losing 80,000-800,000 or more in a period of a year can seriously cost you.

Edited by JamesMusslewhite
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TheWhiteKnight

It is such a sliding scale that there is no set price for a fingerling. As a rule the locals tend to size them according to being the approximate size of batteries. Smaller than a 'AAA' are risky when buying as they are more prone to shock during being transported long-distances. Typically 90php-150php each, but if you purchase 100 pieces and you have 50% lose than you have actually paid 180php-300php.'AA' typically cost 200php-350php. 'D' size 400php-850php.

 

'AAA' size can easily take 12-14 months to reach the market weight of .5 kilo

'AA' size can take 8-10 months to reach market weight.

'A' size can take 6-8 months to reach market weight.

 

To successfully get breeding pairs to mate is quite possible. The triggers are controlled diet, regulated water temperature, and appropriate lighting. A female can be induced to breed three times a year. A New Zealand hatchery in 2012 closely logged in the production of one breeder pair which mated 3 times in one year, where the female released 1.6 million fertile eggs which successfully produced 1.1 million viable Planktonic Phyllosoma (larva) in one yearly cycle. So yes it is quite possible and have multiple females producing fertile eggs in one facility. The facility I have designed actually houses five mature females and three mature males.

 

The larvae are very sensitive, highly susceptible to heavy losses and are voraciously cannibalistic. Because of this there are a lot of variables which must first be considered, anticipated and properly address There must be redundant procedures and protocols in place to even expect to successfully obtain any sizable percentage of a crop to successfully survive through Stage IV growth inside the facility. Once the progress to Stage 5 they are placed in floating net cages where that have to be regularly monitored. They must be separated by size and removed and isolated during molting cycles as they shed their hard outer shell and are then venerable to injury from attacks by other lobsters within their enclosure.

 

Do it correctly and it can be very profitable venture, make one miscalculation, fail to anticipate a problem, try to cut corners, get lazy or stupid, fail to properly follow through a required procedure or fall short of their nutrition requirements at any of their stages of growth and you can lose most if not all of a crop within mere hours or days.

 

Thanks for the detailed response. So eventually you wont be buying the fingerlings from others?

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JamesMusslewhite

Thanks for the detailed response. So eventually you wont be buying the fingerlings from others?

 

 

Well lets say that I certainly hope that I will not be having to buy anymore fingerlings.... :rofl:

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JamesMusslewhite

For the most part the expense to setup a lobster hut is not that much. First you try to find a location that has a decent current flow, that at low tides still maintains a water depth no less than 1 meter. You have to have someone attend the nets and feed your product, so you need someone you can trust to live out on the hut at night to protect your nets from possible thieves. If you have family members who you trust then this is a good venture to invest in. I have built three lobster huts over the last six years. Non actually cost me more than $800 to construct (including nets).

 

The first Lobster hut I built was constructed deep in the mangroves forest of Cabunga-an, Dinagat Island.

 

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It was a great place to visit as it was secluded and peaceful. I had some really peaceful sleeps and fun family gatherings there. I raised a few crops of lobster there and it certainly more than paid for itself as well as served as an education on right and wrong ways. The main issue being in the mangroves was problems caused during the heavy downpours encountered during heavy rains, especially during the long extended rains during rainy seasons. Fresh water runoffs quickly changes the waters in the cages from clean saltwater to a murky brackish water. The mud stirred up by these fresh water runoff quickly changes the water salinity and the mud stirred up actually irritated the lobster. It did cause some unnecessary lose of product.

 

I took that hard earned lesson and incorporated it into the design of the hatchery. I designed into the lobster facility a large concrete storage tank 10 foot (long) x 5 foot (wide) x 6 foot (height) to insure that I always have a sufficient clean saltwater reserve on standby during the long extended rains. Though we sold the mangrove hut I certainly learned a lot about the process which I used knowledge gained there and incorporated into the design and in the implementation of various processes. I also carried this knowledge over in the construction of the next two lobster huts we were to later built and are currently still operating.

 

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Edited by JamesMusslewhite
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