Prof. Abdul A Rahman
Prof. Abdul A Rahman

Project development

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Project development

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Cysts production

Specification of cysts to be produced in DCW salt works

     Sl.No Particulars Specification

1. Size of Cysts 235.2+/- 1.3 micrometer

2. Hatching efficiency > 3 lakhs nauplii/gm

3. Moisture < 5%

Hatching percentage > 90%

HUFA (Highly unsaturated

Fatty acid) Content .. 17 mg / gm.

Artemia cysts production:

Period of cysts production ­ January ­ August 2002

Total No. Days ­ 30 x 8 = 240 days.

Cyst collection ­ 3 days once

Hence production days - 240/3= 80 days

Population details

120 million of Artemia biomass will produce 0.9 to 1 kg of cysts / ha / day.

Say 48 million population 1 acre area will produce about 360 gms / day.

The older Artemia will die and recruitment of population will take place naturally and hence population sustainability is to be maintained at 40 million / acre / day and hence cyst production would be 300 gms of day.

Pond area 7acres

Water surface area 61/2 acres

Hence for 61/2 acres the population production would be 260 million.

40 million 1 acre / day 300 gms.

260 million 61/2 / day 2 Kg

Say 2 kg

Total no.of production days 80 = 2 x 80 = 160 kg


Projected figure trial production during December 2000 15 kg.

Total production of Cysts 175 kg

1:1 Introduction:

Among the live diets used in the larviculture of fish and shellfish, nauplii (baby Artemia) of the brine shrimp Artemia constitute the most widely used food item. Annually, over 2000 metric tonns of dry Artemia are marketed worldwide for on-site hatching into 0.4 mm nauplii.

As of to day, Artemia is being produced and exploited on the five continents. Nonetheless, presently a large part of the cysts market is still supplied by harvests from one location, The Great Salt Lake in Utah, USA.

Artemia products e.g., disinfected and decapsulated cysts, various biomass preparates, which presently have application in hatchery, nursery and brood stock rearing. All these developments resulted in optimized and cost-effective applications of this live food in hatchery production.

2. Life Cycle:

In natural environment at certain moments of the year Artemia produce cysts that float at the water surface and that are thrown ashore by wind and waves. They are metabolically inactive and do not further develop as long as they are kept dry. Upon immersion in sea water 30-35 ptt the cysts hydrate and the embryo resumes its interrupted metabolism.

After about 20 hours the outer membrane of the cyst bursts and the embryo appears. With in a short period of time the hatching membrane is ruptured and the free­ swimming nauplii is born.

The larva grows and differentiates through about 15 molts.Adult Artemia (+/ - 1 cm in length) have an elongated body with complex eyes, a digestive tract and 11 pairs of functional thoracopods. The male has a paired penis. Female can be recognized by the brood pouch. Eggs develop in two tubular ovaries and the ripe eggs migrate into the unpaired uterus. Fertilized eggs normally develop into free swimming nauplii. In extreme conditions (e.g., high salinity, low oxygen levels) the cysts are released. The cysts usually float in the high salinity waters and are blown ashore where they accumulate and dry.

Under optimal conditions, brine shrimp can live for several months, grow from nauplii to adult in only two weeks time and reproduce at a rate of upto 100-200 nauplii or cysts at every 5 or 6 days.

3.Geographical distribution:

Africa - Algeria, Egypt, Kenya, Tunisia,

Australia and New Zealand.

North America and Central America

Asia ­ China, India, Iraq, Israel, Korea, Pakistan, Srilanka, Taiwan, Turkey.

Europe ­ Bulgaria, France, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain.



Rajasthan ­ Didwana

Sambhar Lake

Gujarath ­ Gulf of Kutch

Balamba salterns



Bombay ­ Vadala



Chennai ­ Kelambakkam


Tuticorin ­ Veppalodai


Spic Nager


Karsewar island

Saltwater Springs


Kanyakumari ­ Thamaraikulam

4. The basic principles for Artemia production in salt works

4.1 .Increase water depths . Salinity range 100 to 150 ppt .

Water depth: 40 ­ 50 cm

Lethal Temperature 350 C and more

4.2. Proper strain of Artemia : in function to local climate conditions and in function of

types of utilization of produced Artemia in local aquaculture (e.g., need for small

nauplii as food for larvae)

4.3. Use of agricultural fertilizers : e.g., urea, ammonium nitrate, mono- or di-ammonium

phosphate or organic manure(e.g., Chicken dung) to increase the primary


in the ponds)

4.4.Introduce a small quantity of freshly hatched nauplii .

4.5.Through proper fertilization.

4.6.Expose Artemia to higher salinity.

Details to be worked out depending upon the available water quality reports.

5. Monitoring the Artemia population

For production purposes

The following procedure is recommended

5.1. Twice a week sample collection

1.2. Sample / pond.

5.3 Collect samples at fixed point

5.4 Divide the pond into three habitats

Peripheral ditch

The ditch


In these areas temperature and algae abundance differ.

6. Sampling method

6.1. Per sample site 5-10 l water is filtered over 100 micrometer sieve

6.2. Conical net is dragged over a certain distance through water. Drags can be horizontal or vertical.

6.3. When population is dense net with a diameter of 30-50 cm and mesh size 100 micrometer can be used.

7. Sample fixation and study

7.1 . Sample fix it in formalin preferably 7 %.

7.2. Divide the population as



Adults (sexual differences are apparent)

The relative presence of each life stage is given a score as follows:

0 = not present

1 = Few individuals present

2 = present

3 = Dominant in the sample

8. The abiotic and biotic conditions relevant for Artemia biomass production

8.1 .Physico chemical Conditions

Ionic composition ­ Borewell water

Temperature , Air and Water


Dissolved Oxygen


Water Quality


Strain selection- (presently Vietnam strain)

Culture density-100/litre

8.3. Feeding

Feeding strategy

Selection of suitable diets- bacterial diet (avid rice bran)

8.4.Infra structure

Pond design

Filter design

9. Monitoring and Managing culture system

Very regular monitoring of the ponds is necessary to allow correct management.

The following data have to be collected.




9.4.Number of females

9.5.Brood size.


10.1 Select fixed sampling stations at every pond

10.2 Use always the same equipment and technique when measuring a certain

Parameter, (Refer flow chart).

10.3 The scores of each life stage of all samples in a pond are summed and plotted in


10.4. Use reproductive status of the females for population composition.

Large broods

Short retention times between broods

10.5. Gut of Artemia

Find the gut in the morning time

If guts are partly filled, animals are underfed.

10.6.Are the feacel pellets well fitted. (Keep some animals in a jar filled with pond water

and collect pellets from the bottom. Check pellets under a microscope)

Are the pellets short or do animals tail long pellets?

If tailing pellets are observed together with only partly filled pellets, animals are underfed. If tailings are observed but pellets and guts are well filled, food is not digested properly which can be over feeding or the presence of unsuitable algae.

Observe Swimming behavior.

Do they form clusters?

Do they swim quickly / continuously.

If not, animals are stressed.

11.0. Standardise the population sampling method.

11.1 Spot

11.2 Time

11.3 Sampling equipment

11.4 Check distribution of population at different time of the day.

11.5.To predict the cyst production

11.6.The volume and

11.7.Female abundance are good predictors.

12.0 Predators and Competitors



12.3.Copepods are the (predators) Rotifers and ciliates are the competitors

12.4.Control of infection

Heavy loss of preadults are faced due to infections with filamentous bacteria. As a result growth and moulting are arrested, overfeeding occurs, resulting in a collapse of the Artemia culture.


Apply terramycin or

Practical solution would be to raise in salinity from 45 to 60 ­ 70 ppt. together with higher water renewal rate.

Disease: It is known as ´Black disease´. It is caused due to dietary deficiency which intereferes with lipid metabolism. The black disease indicates the deterioration of water quality. Improving these conditions does not save the affected animals but appears to avoid further losses.

13.0 Harvesting, processing and storage of cysts

Artemia cysts will float at the water surface and wash ashore by wind and waves. When wind changes, the cysts will be carried around for a long time before they are thrown ashore. After rain falls the cysts might hatch due to salinity stratification.

Cysts should be harvested as soon as possible after production.Maximum guarantee for good hatching quality and at the same time reduced contamination with impurities are ensured when cysts are harvested from the water surface instead of from the shore. Hence, install cyst barriers in the water close to the shoreline.

Collection of floating cysts, free from adult Artemia, is best done with a double ­ screen dipnet (refer diagram). Wave ­ breakers should be installed in two or more rows.Floating bamboo poles or casurina poles can be used.

Harvested cysts should be stored in closed containers in saturated brine.

Ensure that all cysts are properly dehydrated. This treatment in brine will reduce the water content in the cysts to about 20% and at the same time, will clean the cysts from heavy debris, which sinks in brine.

Cysts should be processed for further cleaning, drying / and packaging preferentially after not more than one month storage in saturated brine.

14.0 Processing:

Proper processing of the cysts is of crucial importance to guarantee maximal hatching quality of the cyst product.

Follow the steps,

Size separation with brine

Density separation in brine

Washing in fresh water

Density separation in fresh water

Drying below 400 C

15.0 Drying:

Spread the cysts in this layers of uniform thickeners (few mm only)

Assure good an exchange for effective drying

c) Do not expose the cysts to direct sunlight as this might result in critical temperature

increases within the cysts or UV damaging the embryo.

d) Drying should be continued until constant weight.

Cysts are sufficiently dry when they contribute a free flowing powder.

Temperature controlled room or in an oven at 35-380 C.

15.1.Fluidized bed:

Fastest and as a result of most homogeneous drying is achieved when cysts are kept in continuous movement in drying air, i.e., each cyst is dried individually at the same time.

15.2 Storage and packaging of dry cysts

Dry Artemia cysts are very hygroscopic and when kept in open air will eventually hydrate stage and reach breaking. Cysts should be stored in water tight containers so as to assure that their water content remains below the critical level of 9%.

Vacuum packing in metal cans can be done.

Artemia cysts production

Period of cysts production - one calendar year.

Total No. of Days - 30x8=240 days. (4 months Rainy period)

Cyst collection - Three Days once

production days - 240/3 = 80 days.

Population details

120 million of Artemia biomass will produce 0.9 to 1kg of cysts /ha/day.

Say 48 million population 1-acre area will produce about 360 gms/day.

The older Artemia will die and recruitment of population will take place naturally and hence population sustainability is to be maintained at 40 million /acre/day and hence cyst production would be 300 gms of day.

Pond area 7 acres

Water surface area 61/2 acres

Hence for 61/2 acres the population production would be 260 million.

40 million 1 acre/ day 300 gms.

260 million 61/2/ days 1950 gms- say 2 kg

Total no of production days 80x2 = 160 kg

Total production of cysts = 160 kg


Selling price @ Rs. 2500per kg x160 Rs 4,00,000

Less variable cost 2,20,000.


Net profit Rs. 1,80,000.


In addition to this biomass of Artemia could be harvested and sold to the aquarium fishes as a live feed.

Pilot project

The 7 acres (approx.) area may be utilised for this purpose.

One of the ponds may be divided into several portions and used as hatching tank. One kg of cyst can release around 200 - 250 millions of nauplii. Initially 1kg of cysts required which will be utilised to increase the required population.

3. The following are the requirement of materials.

Artemia cysts.. 1 kg @ Rs. 9,000 per kg

Cost of fertilizer

DAP 500 kg

Urea 3000kg

Potash 500 kg

Chicken manure

Bacterial feed Rs.45,000

Nylon filters40 &100 microns 5,000

Aerators (10 nos) 3,000

Hume pipes 30 nos. 22,000

providing intercross bunds with sand bags. 1,00,000

Casuarina poles 20,000

Misc. items like plastic buckets (5lits - 20)

(10 litres 10) mugs (10), pvc drums (25 Nos)

tea filters (20 nos) secchi discs etc. 6,000

Fluidized bed drier 65,000

Consultant fee including transport charges 1,00,000

Total Project costs Rs.3, 75,000

4. Variable costs:

Labour costs @ Rs. 10,000 p.m

Manure & fertilizers

Total Rs. 2,20,000

artemia certificates   artemia certificates

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