Freshwater Prawn Farming At Home
Although fish culture in ponds and tanks are known in Bangladesh for centuries, freshwater prawn farming has not been expanded widely compared to that of the carp farming. Among the factors that have slowed the expansion of freshwater prawn farming the scarcity of prawn fry (PL), unavailability of formulated pelleted diet and high price of the diet are considered as the main factors.
In recent years some hatcheries and fish feed industries have been developed which are contributing effectively to reduce scarcity of prawn fry and the unavailability of the pelleted diet. But the pelleted rations are quite expensive. As a result most of the farmers of Bangladesh are not interested to culture freshwater prawn in their ponds, though the economic value and the market demand of freshwater prawn, M. rosenbergii is much higher than that of carp. However, the present trend shows that freshwater prawn farming is becoming a significant and expanding industry.
There is a great potential or successful monoculture of freshwater prawn in numerous ponds of Bangladesh. Now-a-days the production of prawn from natural sources are decreasing day by day. So, scientific prawn culture should be introduced in freshwater ponds. Although some works have been done on the rearing of M. rosenbergii with different supplemental feeding and stocking densities; most of them are on polyculture. Therefore, the present study was undertaken to develop a suitable low-cost diet from indigenous sources for monoculture of M. rosenbergii in ponds.
Materials and methods
The experiment was conducted in 12 earthen rain-fed mini ponds of each 30m2 size situated behind the Fisheries Faculty Building, Bangladesh Agricultural University (BAD) Campus, Mymensing during the month from July to October’98. The water depth was maintained to maximum of 1.2 m using fine meshed PVC overflow pipe (2 inches diameter) on the bank fixed at 1.2 m above the pond bottom. All the ponds were of similar size, depth, basin configuration and the bottom type including water supply facilities from a deep tubewell. Undesirable species in the ponds were eradicated by repeated netting followed by application of rotenone (20 g/40m2 ). Liming was performed at the rate of 1 kg/40m2
• For formulation of experimental diets, different feed ingredients such as fish meal, shrimp meal, soybean meal, mustard oil cake, sesame meal, wheat bran, rice bran, oyster shell and vitamin premixes were collected from Dhaka and Mymensingh local markets.
Five experimental diets were formulated to contain 32% protein. Diets were also formulated to be isoenergic as far as possible to maintain similar energy levels.
A SABINCO shrimp diet (starter-III) from Saudi-Bangla Fish Feed Ltd, Bhaluka, Mymensingh was used as the control. All the collected ingredients were ground finely and sieved through 0.5 mm mesh. After sieving all the required amount of dry ingredients along with vitamin premix were weighed according to the formulae of experimental diets. The well mixed ingredients were then put into the pellet mill for the preparation of pelleted feed of size 3 mm.
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