While there are undoubtedly huge growth opportunities for aquaculture today — particularly in Asia — rising costs associated with inputs, raw materials and feed remain a growing problem. Maintaining optimal feed conversion rates is now more important than ever, and managing costs is key to running a successful and profitable fish farm. However, in order to maximise profits and reduce costs, care must be taken not to adversely affect the rate of progress – something that seems relatively small can actually have a huge impact on growth. Here are my five tips for managing farms to reduce costs.

1. Provide nutritionally balanced feed

It should come as no surprise that, in general, the most expensive element of a producer’s business is feed. In fact, some farms report that feed accounts for as much as 50-70% of their operating costs. While important, cost per pound should not be the main determining factor in feed selection; Performance must also be considered. In the long run, the cost of using inferior feed is actually higher, resulting in an unnecessary increase in feed conversion rate (FCR). Under the FCR, farms can increase the amount of feed needed to produce a unit of meat. Lower-cost feed is often seen as the most efficient — but even if the feed cost per pound of fish or shrimp produced is low, when you factor in growth rates and other factors, the bottom line suffers when the fish reaches market size.

It is effective and practical to evaluate feed performance by considering a variety of properties. Some features to consider include

  • Feed efficiency
  • The growth rate
  • The overall quality
  • Digestibility
  • Health and immune support
  • Reduce drug costs
  • The water quality maintenance

The quality and integrity of the feed selected will vary for different species and stages of life. Proper preparation of feed will help ensure that animals and farms get the best results. Determining protein content is a simple and commonly used method of assessing feed quality – the higher the better.

Machine for Making Fish Feed

Floating fish feed machine is the best choice for homemade fish feed and fish farms. With a floating fish feed extruder, you can use cheap local raw materials to produce high-quality feed and reduce feed costs.

Also Read:
How to make floating fish feed
Floating Fish Feed Production Process

2. Support health

Providing a feed that provides good nutritional balance will directly affect FCR and the overall success of the farm. Vitamins and minerals must be added to feed to create a nutritionally balanced and truly complete diet that meets the basic nutritional needs of fish and shrimp.

Each species and growth stage has specific nutritional needs, but a healthy gut is key to achieving and maintaining optimal health for all fish and shrimp. Gut microbiota, gut morphology, immune system and nutrient absorption — and how these elements interact — all play an important role in the health and performance of fish and shrimp. Manna oligosaccharides (MOS) have been shown to affect intestinal health; However, different fermentation methods, manufacturing methods and yeast strains can have a great impact on the function.

Animals in farmed environments also need the necessary nutrients to meet their basic nutritional needs. Organic trace elements are ideal because they are more bioavailable than inorganic materials and can be absorbed, stored and utilized by animals.

3. Maintain optimal water quality

Correct water quality maintenance depends on understanding the correct water quality and fish and shrimp farming is absolutely essential. The ideal environmental conditions will vary for different species of fish and shrimp. If these conditions are not maintained, they may have a negative impact on growth and performance – if the immune response is reduced, the risk of disease in the farms may increase.

Using a nutritionally balanced, high-quality raw material selection in your aquatic feed will lead to higher palatability and digestibility, which will be directly reflected in the waste excreted by fish and shrimp. Low feed digestibility leads to increased protein and mineral excretion. These wastes may contain potentially harmful nitrogen and ammonia, which will pollute water and harm fish and shrimp.

When choosing a feed, pay more attention to protein utilization rather than protein content, as this saves both time and some of the labor costs associated with treating water and overall management.

4. Develop a best practice management plan

This is the key to achieving optimal farm performance. A well-implemented management plan will support better breeding and biosafety practices.

Review the feeding schedule to obtain accurate information on frequency, rate, ration size and duration of feeding.
Good communication with team members who are less involved in technical work; This is essential for successful implementation. Make them aware that both overfeeding and underfeeding can have a negative impact on FCR — in contrast, accurate feed management can greatly improve farm outcomes.
Automated feeding technologies require an initial investment, but over time they actually help reduce labor costs and end feeding practices that can lead to poor water quality.
The correct management methods mentioned above will also create greater opportunities for large-scale farming.

5. Implement technology

Circular aquaculture systems (RAS) is a relatively new innovation. Designing a RAS facility would give producers more control and allow for enhanced management of aquaculture systems. Complete control of all factors of production helps to ensure a stable environment and to reduce stressful conditions that may affect and weaken an animal’s immune system. Choosing the right feed is also important for these types of systems.

Mechanical filters in the RAS facility will remove large and sturdy faeces. However, producers should be aware that providing feed unsuitable for this environment can lead to excessive waste production, reduced nutrient absorption and poor water quality.

Profitability depends on optimized FCR. Fish are sensitive to a number of external factors, including fluctuating water temperature, water quality and oxygen levels — all of which affect growth and performance.

How to reduce the costs in aquaculture farm