Behind the graceful beauty of the flower and stem of its leaves, lotus was able to provide a safe and comfortable protection for prawns (Macrobrachium renbergii) during a moulting period (changing skin). With this beautiful shelter survival ratio can reach 95%, and no less important that the procurement cost is so cheap that will reduce production costs prawns.
This paper is presented in order to share the experience of farmed prawns for nearly 13 (thirteen) years without stopping. Experience makes the metamorphosis shelter from shelter midrib of coconut leaves, twigs of bamboo, woven bamboo, plastic netting, until a series of bamboo rod building, everything is quite cumbersome, less effective and less efficient as well as the saddest are ‘dirty / destructive’ scene in the pool shrimp. Incidentally the location of aquaculture prawns done in a circle of “Ledok Gebang” (a writer’s fishing lodge dining) which is always crowded with guests, especially at the end of the week and on holidays, so the scenery is “beautiful” on a bed of shrimp ponds “absolute” necessity.
1. Significance Shelter
Shelter is a refuge for prawns which are in weak condition, either because they are moulting and because the size is smaller than its competitors. There are two highly unfavorable properties of the life of prawns, but if the two properties can be handled well, then “the hunchback” will provide multiple benefits to its owner. The first is to grow into bigger the hunchback must change clothes (by breaking the skin and change into a new skin), this moulting process takes about 6 days. When the process of moulting is of course the shrimp in a very weak condition. The second property that aggravate the condition of the first trait is that the prawns prefer to prey on others than on food rations from the owner, perhaps a friend own meat is more tasty than the shrimp feed pellets. The nature of these cannibals would be implemented successfully if there is no protection against the weak.
Shelter any shape and material should meet several requirements as follows: to provide protection to shrimp; easy in the procurement of materials and workmanship; durable (long lasting) if necessary, can be used for several breeding seasons; cheap (practically and economically), and do not pollute the environment (whether physical, chemical, or biological)
2. Fuss Make a Shelter
Making shelter is a must when wanting good yields, without the shelter of prawns will prey on each other freely. Law of the jungle or the law applies here rather pond, who is currently in a state of being strong would prey on the weak condition.
Shelters have been available since the fry dispersed into the pool, because the prawns are cannibal is since inception (since the post-larvae). That is why if delivery fry (seed shrimp) in a plastic bag lasts more than 5 hours without cooling water temperature, confirmed the number of fry will be reduced because edible friend.
Shelter commonly used include palm leaf midrib immersed in 1 / 3 the height of the water pool. Shelters of this type is good enough to protect the shrimp, because of the nature and density of leaves, but unfortunately this material is not durable, usually within 2 s / d 3 months have been destroyed by weathering. So farmers have to install a new one. Besides, of course, quite troublesome too costly especially if the midrib of coconut leaves had to be purchased. Weathering and decomposition of leaves of this palm will certainly lead to contamination that would interfere with the health of shrimp.
Other materials are bamboo sticks on top of the tree, the shelter of this type is quite durable, but less well in protecting shrimp, because the less dense branching. Likewise, the woven bamboo and plastic netting, while less durable also can not protect to the maximum because the only form of sheet / plate 2 dimensional flat.
Building a series of bamboo is certainly more durable and more protective, but its manufacture is quite troublesome and certainly with no small cost considering the price of bamboo rising with the increase of other building materials. And one more thing to note when less careful process of decay will cause the bamboo shrimp drunk and would interfere with its growth.
3. Back To Nature
To provide protection of the safe and comfortable and friendly environment, can actually mimic the life of shrimp in the wild. Shrimp in their natural habitat refuge on the roots of mangroves, pandanus roots, grasses and other aquatic plants. Of course we can not plant mangroves and pandanus prawns in ponds, because the figure big it will interfere with the management of the pool.
Several alternative water plants that can be used as shelters include papyrus (Cyperus papyrus), jasmine water (echinodorus macrophyllus), mendong (fimbristylis globulosa), lotus (Nelumbo nucifera), lotus (lotus nymphaea), ornamental turning water / lavender (pontederia cordata) , kana water (thalia dealbata), reed water (typa angustifolia), and of course a giant lotus (victoria cruziana).
Then why choose lotus (lotus nymphaea)?. The former because it is easily cultivated in-empower (the origin of the mud and water then be), the latter is able to live at a depth of pond water prawns (shrimp pond water depth of at least 80 cm); third easily controlled growth; four forms of canopy / leaf stalk is ideal as shelter (long leaf stalks followed the pond water depth); fifth cheap, especially the local type (flowers bloom at night), can be searched for free in the swamps; and sixth able to protect and shelter, shade and form a broad leaf provide somewhat dark atmosphere around the plant (due prawns including nocturnal animals that prefer the dark), and the seventh beautiful eyes, able to enhance the appearance of the pond.
4. Way of setting up a Pool With Shelter of Lotus
The main requirement for the growth of the lotus plant is the presence of mud on the bottom of the pool, rather than rock or hard soil, and these easy things that can be provided because almost all the mud shrimp ponds, minimal tillage layer basis. Some things to consider when setting up a pond with lotus shelter are as follows:
• Processing of land
Shelter should have been available when fry sown, so that at the time of land preparation as well prepared hole for planting lotus. Manure spread as fertilizer bottom of the pool, as shrimp culture in general, no need to add fertilizer to the lotus. This beautiful Shelter can be planted with a distance of 1-2 m from the dike surrounding the pond with the distance between plants +2 m. Lotus can be planted seedlings can also be “tuber” lotus cut. If the lotus seedlings are used, then shelterpun ready soon, but if the piece “tuber” is used then we have to wait until the lotus buds popping, this usually takes about 1 week post-logging pending the formation of plangton in the pool. Although the lotus buds that grow still cute, but it can also protect the fry are still cute. With increasing time shelter will grow along with the growth of shrimp.
When the fry grow into tokolan aged 2 months (when grading tokolan can be done) cantikpun shelter has grown teenager, he too more beautiful when the flowers show off. The treatment is carried out is not too complicated because of the lotus plant, including a no fuss, easy to adapt. Lotus will thrive because it has come to absorb fertilizer bottom of the pool is given at the time of land preparation. Treatment is only done to keep the plant growth does not cover the entire surface of the water until the pond. Lotus leaf surface area be kept evenly ranged between 30% – 40% of pond surface area, adjusted to a cultivated shrimp population. Fertilization aftershocks are given only once a month to fertilize ponds, as is usually done by the shrimp farmers, and better if added probiotics to balance pond ecosystems.
At harvest time when the pool drained of water, shrimp will come out of his hiding place around the clump of lotus follow the flow of water and the shrimp will accumulate in a number kemalir along the middle of the pond and further into the hole collection. If this does is crop selection (taken incoming harvest size, this usually happens when the grading was not done when tokolan), then water again digenangkan immediately after the selection so there is no problem with lotus survival.
But if that does is the total harvest, which means the whole shrimp in ponds is taken, then the pool will be allowed to dry for several days and the bottom of the pool will direct sun. And what about the lotus that always need a pool of water?. Apparently it’s pretty well-adjusted, broad leaves and long stems will dry up, will instead appear small leaves with short stalks. He’s not dead, only to adapt, because the lotus has a hump (a kind of tuber) dipangkal daunya stalk that can be used to survive in difficult times. When flooded again someday “the beautiful” will grow normally again, and ready to provide protection to “the hunchback”.
• The period of the next planting
When the shrimp arrived next planting period arrives, and the pond has dried a few days (one to two weeks) for recovery, then the cycle will repeat itself again. Bottom of the pool re-cultivated land, fertilizer spread basis, then what about the lotus plant. If the location of plants is considered good, then it does not need to be left unharmed again, but if it is considered less precise means of the beautiful needs to be transferred, and if deemed to be a lot less then it could be taken tuber and cut into pieces to be propagated. At this multiplication can be done in vegetative lotus can be planted in the pond and others.
With lotus manufacture proven cost-saving shelter, do not even need to add the cost of the next growing season because the shelter can be used repeatedly, as long as soil fertility maintained. If necessary with a little creativity shrimp farmers can sell puppies and lotus root as an additional income.