For example, the boys from Pioneer Fish Farm spent 1 week, in 1995, learning advanced fish hatchery techniques at Hallidays Point Fish Farm & Fish Hatchery. They were given backup support for their first few spawnings. And now they are highly commercial aquaculturists. The following paragraphs discuss commercial thoughts on fish hatchery construction relative to the species and potential commercial outcomes.
Fish Hatchery Design Applications for Aquaculture
This photo represents the new generation of Fish Hatchery Rearing Design, for government research in western culture. Concrete, self-draining floors, plastic 'igloo' construction with fibreglass and plastic tanks and PVC plumbing. This system is efficient, neat and aesthetically pleasing as well as capable of oxygen injection. However this setup is simply not commercially viable. Although this serves a research purpose it does not lend anything to improving functional design in commercial fish hatchery culture. This rearing facility would send native fish farms broke.
This photo represents my original 'igloo' style freshwater species Fish Hatchery Design in mid production run. When we built this we had no practical experience with fresh water fish and design information was impossible to acquire. As a result everything here had to be portable and serve more than one function as the spawning method and larval rearing methods changed considerably over the ensuing learning curve of fresh water fish breeding.
The design here was one of variation, motility and limited budget. However this hatchery became so efficient we never built the next generation design. The cost of construction including equipment was less than $3000 AUD in 1989. We used simple hatchery construction design with the power connections off to each side and water and air supply overhead down the middle.
The black plastic tanks were bought from the infamous 'Yabby Blue' project for $20 each and they became the breeding tanks, the nursery tanks and also the holding tanks for marketing Silver Perch, Goldfish, Koi, Eel-Tailed Catfish Australian Bass and Golden Perch.
The fibreglass 'barrels' shown here were oyster hatching tanks we bought for $50 from the original 'Mr Oyster' setup at South West Rocks.
Native fish larvae were maintained in these until the 'functional jaw' phase and then simply drained directly into the nursery ponds. We never touched the juvenile stock.
Larvae bred here were always drained into newly prepared nursery ponds usually on day 4-5 after hatch. However, by transferring day-5 larvae back into the spawning tanks and running a slight flow to waste recirculating system we maintained larvae until day 25. Larvae were fed on a mix of dried zooplankton and commercial starter dust at 20 feeds per day.
This procedure dramatically improved survival in the nursery ponds as the live feed was no longer the 'predator'. Survival consistently went to over 80%.
Now there's something you don't hear about every day.
The hatchery floor was 20mm river gravel layed over an efficient under gravel ag-pipe drainage system. Tanks were simply drained into the floor which tended to kept the hatchery drier than most concrete floor hatcheries.
This style of hatchery has commercial potential in nearly every fish farm situation. The design was simple and cheap but highly efficient. We were the first to on-grow 5-day silver perch larvae and artificially feed until day 30. We achieved better than 80% cohort survival using this method. Something every silver perch farm should consider.
The breeding technology developed here and, eventually this hatchery was on-sold to the boys from Pioneer Fish Farm. after more than ten years of commercial production.
There are always commercial alternatives. Hatcheries can be efficient, commercially productive and relative to individual farm budgets.