Central drain or shrimp toilet, one way to manage waste

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Aquaculture is one of the strongest and fastest growing sectors of the food industry, with production doubling in the last decade. In order to achieve higher production levels, aquaculture systems are now operated in intensive and super-intensive systems. This intensification results in the accumulation of organic matter due to the use of large amounts of formulated feed and fertilizers. In addition, organic waste (excretory products) from farmed organisms is also a significant source of organic waste accumulation. Uneaten feed and feed metabolites accumulate in sediments, which are decomposed under aerobic or anaerobic conditions, but their excessive accumulation can lead to disruption of the decomposition cycle on the pond bottom.

So what can be done?

Farmers use a variety of physical, chemical and biological methods to manage organic matter pollution in ponds. These include water exchange, liming, sediment removal, aeration, etc.

Another method that has been adopted by farmers in recent years is to make shrimp toilets or central drains in the middle of the breeding pond. Farmers use about 5-7% of the total pond area for this purpose. The shrimp toilet consists of 7-10 cement-concrete pillars with a gentle slope towards the center, where there is a small well about 2-3 feet deep. The picture below shows the shrimp toilet.

Shrimp toilets are used for waste management in aquaculture systems in various regions of the world. This method is particularly popular in South East Asian countries, Bangladesh and India. It is used to better manage organic waste and maintain water quality in shrimp ponds.

Siltation in shrimp ponds is one of the factors causing infections in shrimp. Excess food and feces released by the shrimp eventually reach the center of the pond where anaerobic conditions are most prevalent, resulting in the simultaneous formation of ammonia and hydrogen sulfide. This ultimately leads to stress in the shrimp and increases the chance of early infection.

Advantages of shrimp toilets
Shrimp toilets play an important role in shrimp farming by helping to maintain water quality, which is essential for shrimp health and growth. Shrimp produce waste and other organic matter. This can accumulate in the pond and over time reduce water quality. This can lead to poor growth, disease and even death. The Shrimp Toilet prevents contamination and water quality deterioration. The continuous movement of the water through aeration draws all waste such as feces and excess feed into the Shrimp Toilet well. As these wastes accumulate in the central drain, farmers can pump them out of the pond and improve water quality.

As well as removing waste, the shrimp toilet has other uses. Shrimp toilets can control the amount of nutrients in the pond. Nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus are present in pond water and their excessive accumulation leads to algae growth and ultimately oxygen depletion and other problems. Shrimp toilets can help control these nutrient levels by removing organic matter before it decomposes and releases nutrients into the pond water.

It turns out that the shrimp toilet is an important tool for maintaining water quality in shrimp ponds, which is very important for shrimp health and growth. By eliminating waste and controlling nutrient levels, shrimp toilets can help ensure sustainable and healthy shrimp farms.

In general, the shrimp toilet:

1. Reduces the possibility of infection

2. Reduces the risk of disease

3. Reduces stress for the shrimp

4. Keeps the shrimp feeding area clean

5. Eliminates the need to use high doses of chemicals

6. Reduces the possibility of ammonia formation

7. Provides conditions for proper pool preparation

8. Controls Feed Conversion Ratio or FCR

9. Prevents contamination


Another concept that should be considered when designing the shrimp toilet structure is the concept of the HDPE or rubber umbrella placed over the central drain hole. The purpose of placing this umbrella over the central drain hole or shrimp toilet is to increase the suction area in this structure. The HDPE umbrella is a 2.5-meter diameter umbrella placed approximately one meter above the shrimp toilet. In addition to increasing suction, this umbrella prevents shrimp from accidentally leaving the central drain.

Waste Management

Statistics show that it takes about 500 grams of waste to produce 1kg of shrimp. For example, to produce 10 tons of shrimp, about 5 tons of waste is produced. That’s a lot, isn’t it? Shrimp farmers need to find a basic solution to collect and manage this waste. The improper release of this waste into the environment can stimulate pathogens and even cause mass mortality of shrimp.

To better manage this waste, experts recommend that farmers set aside about 5% of the cultivated area to create a pit as a temporary place to collect waste during the growing season. The collected waste should be moved to another location at the end of the growing season. These pits should be constructed so that the waste is collected and transported in an environmentally friendly way.

It should be noted that proper waste management not only prevents disease, but is also environmentally friendly and can be a source of income for farmers. The waste collected can be turned into organic fertilizer and used in agriculture.


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