Extensive is how shrimp farming got its start. The stocking densities are the lowest, 15 - 60 PLC's per square meter, and they take up the most real estate. Extensive farms begin with large earthen ponds. These can range from 1 - 10 hectares, with the economic sweet spot being somewhere in the middle. As these ponds are directly exposed to the soil, they each take on a slightly different character as the bacterial populations evolve differently in each pond. Fertilizing the pond to generate the proper bacteria and the proper micro-fauna is essential as this supplements the shrimp's diet and generates oxygen in the pond. Extensive shrimp farming the primary method in Latin America. With stocking densities being low, extensive fish farmers primary concern is dissolved oxygen.
Semi-intensive shrimp ponds have higher stocking densities, 60 - 90 PLC's per cubic meter and smaller ponds (0.5 - 1 hectares). The desired output of such ponds is 3-4 tons/hectare/year. With higher stocking densities, the need for supplemental aeration and feed increases. Traditionally these ponds are earthen, meaning that each can still have its own character. Unlike extensive farming, these ponds need daily water quality monitoring checks for dissolved oxygen, pH, and ammonia. Other parameters in the nitrogen cycle such as nitrates, nitrites, and phosphates are important, as well. Such systems are widespread throughout southeast Asia.
Intensive and super intensive shrimp farming are a different beast entirely than semi or extensive. These consist of many plastic-lined ponds that are much smaller, and much more densely stocked -- 100 - 250 PLCs. While the capital needed to build such systems are considerably higher and the operational costs are heavier in operating them, the rewards are high: 10 - 20 tons/hectare/year. But with this higher reward comes greater risk. With so many animals in a relatively small space, water quality issues can become exacerbated fast. Mortalities per harvest can be higher and whole ponds can be put at risk if not continuously monitored. Intensive shrimp farming is on the rise as major investors are seeing its benefits and fast returns. They are concentrated in China and southeast Asia
In all of these methods, continuous water quality monitoring in the cloud is a plus, and with intensive and super-intensive, it's a necessity. We see two factors standing in the way from existing systems monitoring water quality online, the high up front cost of the hardware and the difficulty of keeping such systems calibrated at scale. With OsmoBot we're solving for both.