In pond substrate to increase yield and size of freshwater prawns

Project Overview

Project Type: Farmer/Rancher
Funds awarded in 2015: $7,477.00
Projected End Date: 02/15/2017
Grant Recipient: Don's Prawns & More
Region: North Central
State: Ohio
Project Coordinator:
Don Maloney
Don's Prawns & More


  • Animals: shellfish


  • Animal Production: aquaculture

    Proposal summary:

    The problem in temperate climates is that production of freshwater prawns is limited to a single season, with growout taking place in approximately 100 days. Under these constraints of temperate climate and time, pond production rates must be maximized to achieve commercial viability. Another problem is to achieve greater yields without increasing the number or size of the ponds. The larger the pond, means more use of our precious natural resource, water. Prawns are primarily bottom feeders and as such are constrained to a two-dimensional area rather than the whole area of the pond like finfish. This is further aggravated by the fact that they are territorial and cannibalistic. Several studies have documented the benefits of adding artificial substrate to production units (e.g., tanks) to increase available surface areas besides the bottom for prawns. This added surface area has the ability to create a high-density pond. This means using the same pond, the same quantity of water and yet is able to add more prawns to produce a higher yield. There maybe a cost/benefit issue. This grant will determine if the cost of the substrate will generate a higher yield compared to the pond with no substrate and therefore offset the cost of the substrate by paying for itself. To create this added surface area at the bottom of the pond, a plastic bird netting will be staked into the pond. The reason for bird netting is it has a lower cost then the orange construction fencing. By research, we will prove if with substrate we can use the same amount of pond space and water, a valuable resource, yet increase the size and yield of the prawns. This grant will also see if the higher volume and more revenue will offset the cost of the substrate.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    1. Determine how adding substrate to ponds affects the total yield of freshwater prawns in aquaculture system in order to enable local farmers to maximize yield while conserving other resources including money, water, electricity and land.
    2. Foster hands-on experience in the aquaculture industry for FFA students.
    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.