Cultivation Tips

Steps for Vannamei Shrimp Cultivation: From Preparation to Harvest

Kalyca Krisandini
Kalyca Krisandini
26 October 2023
Cover - Cara Budidaya Udang Vaname.webp

Nowadays, the shrimp cultivation business is becoming increasingly popular due to the high demand for shrimp in the market, particularly vannamei shrimp.

Are you interested in starting a vannamei shrimp cultivation business? Simply follow these steps, from farm preparation to maintaining your cultivation, for a successful journey. To equip you with the necessary steps for vannamei shrimp cultivation, check out this article!

Steps to Prepare for Vannamei Shrimp Cultivation

Cara Budidaya Udang Vaname Proper steps for vannamei shrimp cultivation require the right preparation. What should be prepared before starting cultivation?

1. Capital Calculation

Shrimp cultivation requires significant capital preparation, including buying/leasing land, pond construction, electrical installation, accommodation construction, preparation of tools to be used, cultivation operations, and more. All these preparations require a considerable initial capital, determined by the cultivation area.

2. Farm Preparation

Next, you can start with pond preparation. Vannamei shrimp requires a suitable ecosystem to grow well until harvest.

To build the pond properly, you need to first prepare your shrimp pond design with the size and shape according to your planned stocking density, so that the shrimp can move freely and grow well.

The shrimp cultivation facilities to be considered in the pond design are:

  • Cultivation pond, water tank, and sedimentation pond
  • Inlet and outlet channels
  • Water gates
  • Dikes
  • Other supporting constructions (irrigation system, warehouse, generators)

Make sure that all these facilities are planned in terms of size and layout for easier management. Before starting the construction, clean and level the area that will become the pond. Use high-quality materials and install adequate aeration and water filtration systems.

Read more: Performing the Preparation of Concrete Ponds for Shrimp Farming

Not only that, ensure that the pond is sterile and dry to avoid the risk of shrimp diseases. Prepare supporting facilities such as screens, paddlewheels, and biosecurity facilities such as predator deterrents.

3. Growing Planktons

Planktons are required throughout cultivation as a natural food source, oxygen producer, and to reduce the intensity of light that enters the pond so that the environment is more comfortable for the shrimp. Thus, before starting vannamei shrimp cultivation, farmers need to apply fertilizers in the pond to support plankton growth.Fertilizers can be organic, such as compost or rice bran, or inorganic, in the form of synthetic fertilizers containing nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.

How to Cultivate Vannamei Shrimp

Once the pond is ready for cultivation, farmers can start cultivating shrimp. Pay attention to these steps so that your cultivation can go well until harvest.

1. Choosing and Stocking the Fry

To ensure the pond is ready for stocking of shrimp fry, check water quality parameters such as pH, dissolved oxygen (DO), temperature, and salinity. Make sure these parameters are suitable or close to ideal conditions for the fry to grow.

At the arrival of the fry, ensure that documents such as Specific Pathogen Free (SPF) or Specific Pathogen Resistant (SPR) certifications are complete. SPF indicates that the fry are free from pathogens, while SPR shows the genetic resistance of those fry against the pathogens.

Additionally, conduct sampling on at least 10% of the total ordered shrimp fry to get an overview of their quality. If the quality is good, choose a time for stocking when the water temperature is low, such as at night or early morning. The fry will adapt to the pond conditions (acclimatization) more easily if the difference in temperature and salinity between the packaging and pond is not too far.

2. Feed Management

Vannamei shrimp cultivation requires good feed management to support shrimp growth. This includes administering feed according to shrimp’s needs based on its age, nutrition requirements, and feeding frequency.

Feed is a significant expense in shrimp cultivation, and efficient feed management leads to better cost efficiency.

For vannamei shrimp, feeds are categorized into three types: powder feed (for shrimp aged <15 days), granule/crumble feed (for shrimp aged 16-45 days), and pellets (for shrimp aged 46-120 days).

3. Maintaining Water Quality

Proper vannamei shrimp cultivation cannot be separated from maintaining water quality. Water is the living environment for vannamei shrimp, so its quality needs continuous monitoring. If there are changes or fluctuations in water quality parameters during cultivation, farmers need to take appropriate steps to restore water parameters to ideal conditions.

Among many water quality parameters, four crucial parameters to be considered are:

  • Temperature: 26-32°C
  • Salinity: 15-30 ppt
  • pH: 7.5-8.5
  • DO >4 ppm

During cultivation, water quality may decline, so it's essential to prepare water tanks if there's a need to replace water in the middle of the cultivation period. The size and number of tanks should be based on the water needs of cultivation, around 20-30% of the total pond volume.

4. Regular Sampling

As the cultivation keeps running, it becomes challenging to monitor each shrimp individually. Therefore, regular sampling is needed to efficiently assess shrimp conditions.

Sampling involves observing several shrimp as a representation of the whole cultivation to understand their condition and calculate feed requirements.

When sampling, ensure that shrimp are not in the molting phase for more accurate results. Also, conduct sampling when the weather is not too hot, and 2-3 hours after feeding to facilitate shrimp collection.

Sampling should be done with sterilized nets to prevent the spread of diseases among shrimp.

5. Preparing for Harvest

The final stage is the harvest, a moment every farmer anticipates in their shrimp cultivation. In general, harvesting can be divided into two types: total harvest and partial harvest.

Total harvest is generally done when the Average Body Weight (ABW) of vannamei shrimp reaches more than 14 grams.

Read more: The ADG of Shrimp: An Easy Way to Measure Shrimp Weight Growth

On the other hand, partial harvest is usually done if the pond's capacity has reached the maximum limit, posing a risk to continue cultivation. An exceeded capacity can be signified by reduced DO and slowed shrimp growth.

Before harvesting, ensure that shrimp are not in the molting phase. Conduct sampling to ensure that only <5% of shrimp are molting, and <10% have soft shells.

Additionally, harvest when the temperature is low, as high environmental temperatures can increase shrimp metabolism and the risk of stress or quicker mortality. To maintain the quality of vannamei shrimp, harvest as quickly as possible, ideally within 3 hours.

Frequently Asked Questions about Vannamei Shrimp Cultivation

Those are the steps that farmers need to take in preparing and running their vannamei shrimp cultivation. Aside from following these steps, farmers might still have other concerns. Here are some common questions new farmers might have and their explanations.

1. How long does vannamei shrimp cultivation take place?

Vannamei shrimp can be harvested when they are over 100 days old, approximately three months. However, if the pond's capacity is nearing the maximum limit, partial harvest can be done at Day of Culture (DoC) 60-70 to avoid shrimp deaths due to oxygen or nutrient deficiency.

2. How much is the capital for vannamei shrimp cultivation?

The capital for vannamei shrimp cultivation depends on the chosen cultivation system. The more intensive the cultivation, the higher the required capital due to more fry and feed usage. Additionally, water management is more intensive due to the high amount of leftover feed, organic matter, and waste produced.

When calculating the capital for vannamei shrimp cultivation, consider construction costs, electricity, pumps, aerators, buildings, shrimp fry, and feed. Ensure that the accumulated capital aligns with the farmer's financial capacity.

3. What does vannamei shrimp consume?

Generally, shrimp farmers use two types of feed: natural feed and artificial feed. Examples of natural feed include plankton, such as Chaetoceros sp, Tetraselmis sp, Isochrysis sp, Nannochloropsis, and Chlorella sp. Some farmers also administer live feed at the beginning of their cultivation, such as artemia.

However, shrimp cultivation with semi-intensive, intensive, and super-intensive systems relies on artificial feed. Artificial feed contains nutrients essential for shrimp, including protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and essential amino acids.


Before starting a vannamei shrimp cultivation business, you need to prepare the pond and calculate the capital.

Next, during cultivation, manage feed, water quality, and conduct regular sampling to maintain shrimp quality until harvest. If cultivation is planned and executed with good management, success is achievable.

During cultivation, it is crucial to record and monitor various data such as water quality, feed, plankton, finances, and more. To assist farmers in avoiding manual record-keeping, JALA is #HeretoHelp through JALA App, a shrimp farm management application.

Available in both web and mobile versions, shrimp farmers can record more than 40 cultivation parameters. JALA App also provides estimates and visual graphs to help farmers better understand their pond conditions and take appropriate actions.

Not yet registered with the JALA App? Access on your web browser now or download the mobile version from Google Play Store or App Store and start shrimp cultivation more conveniently!

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