Cultivation Tips

Hatching Vannamei Shrimp: Complete and Detailed Guide

6 February 2024
Cover - Cara Pembenihan.webp

In vannamei shrimp cultivation, the quality of shrimp fry is one of the determining factors for success. High-quality fry ensures the growth of healthy shrimp, leading to the achievement of production targets.

Obtaining quality shrimp fry relies on proper vannamei shrimp hatching techniques. Shrimp farmers generally obtain shrimp fry from hatcheries. Are you aware of the process that hatcheries conduct to supply high quality fry?

The vannamei shrimp hatching process involves several stages, including the selection of broodstock, maintenance, spawning, egg hatching, and larvae maintenance. Read on to learn about the process of hatching vannamei shrimp!

Important Factors in Hatching Vannamei Shrimp

Hatching vannamei shrimp is typically done in hatcheries which have considered the following factors. These factors ensure adequate facilities and biosecurity measures:

1. Water Source

The water source quality is crucial in ensuring the production of high quality shrimp fry. Make sure that the water source has sufficient and accessible freshwater. Also, several requirements for the water source are:

  • Free of pollution and heavy metal precipitates
  • Relatively low organic matter content
  • Salinity of 24-35 ppt
  • pH of 7.8-8.6

2. Environment

The environment where vannamei shrimp hatching takes place needs to be free from diseases to prevent transmission. Moreover, make sure that the environment allows for safe waste disposal, as the waste generated from vannamei shrimp hatching activities is rich in organic matter.

3. Facilities and Equipment

To hatch vannamei shrimp, farmers also require adequate facilities and equipment, including the following:

  • Laboratory, storage for chemicals, storage for equipment
  • Tanks or containers for sedimentation or filtration system and reservoirs, quarantine, fry storage, spawning and hatching, fry maintenance, natural feed culture, and waste management
  • Production and harvesting materials and equipment, machinery, and laboratory equipment
  • Biosecurity facilities such as barriers between production units, footbaths, hand sanitizer, work attire, and personnel equipment

How to Hatch Vannamei Shrimp

After the hatchery ensures that the requirements mentioned above are fulfilled, the process of hatching vannamei shrimp can begin. Hatching can be classified into two stages, pre-production and production.

1. Pre-Production

A. Container Preparation

The containers required for hatching include tanks for broodstock handling, egg handling, larva maintenance, and natural feed culture. All these tanks need to be dried and cleaned from adhering dirt using disinfectant.

B. Media Preparation

Next, prepare the medium in the form of seawater that will be used during the maintenance period. Ensure the seawater is free from mud, then sterilize it with 90% chlorine with a dosage of 10-20 ppm or 60% chlorine with a dosage of 30-40 ppm.

2. Production

A. Broodstock Acquisition

Ensure that the broodstock used certified SPF (Specific Pathogen Free) and SPR (Specific Pathogen Resistant). The minimum age of the broodstock should be 7-8 months. Conduct visual observations on the broodstock to confirm the following criteria:

  • Uniform size
  • Full gut
  • No cracks on shell or back
  • No hollow areas
  • All body parts are in good condition

Laboratory observations of the broodstock are also conducted to ensure they are free from viruses, bacteria, parasites, and fungi.

B. Broodstock maintenance

Male and female broodstock are kept in a separate maintenance space, which is a concrete pond with a depth of 80-100 cm, where they are stocked with a density of 1-4/㎡.

During maintenance, ablation is performed to accelerate gonad maturity in female broodstock by removing the X-Organ from the eyestalk of the shrimp. This is done by massaging the eyestalk and cutting it.

Subsequently, the measurement of Gonad Maturation Level (GML) is conducted based on the development of ovaries, located on the dorsal or back part of the shrimp's body. The higher the GML, the thicker the shrimp's ovaries become. The color also changes from white to reddish-yellow.

Throughout maintenance, broodstock should be fed with high-protein feed to accelerate gonad maturation. Recommended feed includes pellets with an amount 10-45% of the body weight and a protein content of 30%.

Hatchery staff can also give natural feed such as squid, shellfish, and marine worms at a dosage of 20%-30% of biomass per day and a frequency of 4-6 times per day.

C. Spawning

Spawning is the activity where female broodstock release eggs, followed by fertilization by sperm from the spermatophore located in the female broodstock's telicum. Approximately 4-5 hours later, the eggs will be released. These eggs will develop into larvae, which will later develop into vannamei shrimp for cultivation.

Read more: Vannamei Shrimp Life Cycle: From Eggs to Adult Shrimp

After spawning, separate the eggs from the broodstock, and carefully transfer the eggs into the hatching pond.

D. Egg Handling

Within 12-16 hours, the eggs in the hatching pond will develop into nauplii. To aid the hatching process, provide aeration and manually stir the eggs every 15 minutes.

The objective is to keep the eggs floating on the water surface, as eggs settling at the bottom are more susceptible to fungal infections and may not hatch. Additionally, clean the pond walls from any mucus deposits.

E. Nauplii Harvesting

Nauplii represent the early stage of vannamei shrimp larval development. At this stage, shrimp do not require external food intake as they have reserves within their bodies.

During the nauplius stage, larvae undergo six molting stages: Nauplius I, Nauplius II, Nauplius III, Nauplius IV, Nauplius V, and Nauplius VI. Nauplii to be harvested should have reached stage 4 (N4).

Harvesting is done gradually by waiting for nauplii to float on the pond surface, then transferring them to larvae maintenance tanks.

F. Larvae Maintenance

Larvae maintenance should be done until the shrimp reach the post-larval stage (PL), typically lasting for 15 days. Provide feed according to the size of the larvae's mouth. 3 days after hatching, larvae can be fed with artemia as natural feed every 3 hours.

Additionally, maintain water salinity in the range of 15-25 ppt and perform water replacement of 25-50% of the total pond water.

G. Feed Management

Feed provided to the larvae includes natural and artificial feed. Natural feed is given during Nauplius VI – Mysis III stages. Microalgae such as diatom Chaetoceros sp. Is known to have good nutritional quality for larvae.

Artificial feed is also given to support the growth and survival of vannamei shrimp larvae. The recommended artificial feed should have a protein content of at least 20-70% and carbohydrates at 20%.

H. Water Quality Management

Water quality management plays a crucial role in supporting the life and growth of larvae until they develop into post-larvae. Proper management includes regularly checking the water quality, performing water replacement, and siphoning. Keep water quality parameters in the following range:

  • Temperature: 27-32°C
  • Salinity: 15-25 ppt
  • Dissolved Oxygen (DO): > 4 ppm
  • pH: 7.4-8.9


The vannamei shrimp hatching process in the hatchery includes broodstock acquisition, maintenance, spawning, harvesting, and larvae maintenance. The whole process is done with strict feed management and water quality as they are crucial for larvae to develop into shrimp fry to be used for shrimp cultivation.

Shrimp farmers are advised to get their shrimp fry from hatcheries. However, if farmers are interested in hatching vannamei shrimp on their own, farmers need to implement strict operating standards and use high quality broodstock.

To assist you throughout the cultivation process, JALA is #HeretoHelp with JALA App. JALA App is an application to record, monitor, and analyze your cultivation conditions conveniently.

On JALA App, you can also consult any cultivation issues and check the most recent shrimp prices in your area. Register yourself now on JALA App or download the mobile version on Google Play Store or App Store!

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