Grow-out of sandfish Holothuria scabra in ponds shows that co-culture with shrimp Litopenaeus stylirostris is not viable
- We examined the potential for producing the large numbers of sandfish (Holothuria scabra) needed for restocking programmes by co-culturing juveniles with the shrimp Litopenaeus stylirostris in earthen ponds. Our experiments in hapas within shrimp ponds were designed to detect any deleterious effects of sandfish on shrimp, and vice versa. These experiments showed that a high stocking density of juvenile sandfish had no significant effects on growth and survival of shrimp. However, survival and growth of sandfish reared with shrimp for 3 weeks were significantly lower than for sandfish reared alone. Increased stocking density of shrimp also had a significant negative effect on survival and/or growth of sandfish. A grow-out trial of juvenile sandfish in 0.2-ha earthen ponds stocked with 20 shrimp post-larvae m-2, and densities of sandfish between 0.8 and 1.6 individuals m-2, confirmed that co-culture is not viable. All sandfish reared in co-culture were dead or moribund after a month. However, sandfish stocked alone into 0.2-ha earthen ponds survived well and grew to mean weights of ~400 g within 12 months without addition of food. The grow-out trial demonstrated that there is potential for profitable pond farming of sandfish in monoculture. Further research is now needed to identify the optimal size of juveniles, stocking densities and pond management regimes.
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- Sustainable aquaculture 
- Journal Article