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Thai Betta Farm visit


Bettarazzi
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Thought I should give you guys a report and post some pics from the fish farm visit I went on in Thailand before it fades into dim distant memory. :P Pichet Plaisanguan, from Interfish, organised the visit to 2 farms for the overseas guests at the Thai Betta Show. What a fascinating experience.

They spawn the fish in these tiny containers. I don't know how many are lined up there. But there's lots. A round plastic container 18 cm in diameter and about 3 cm deep. They just chuck the pair in, cover it with a tile that looked a bit like asbestos, and come back in a week. A WEEK??!! No food, no light, no disturbances. Actually one of the guys got yelled at for lifting one of the tiles to have a look.

Growout tubs. They're about a metre across and filled to about 30-40 cm deep.

More growout tubs.

Close up of a growout tub. There's about 200 fry in there. No filter.

Edited by Bettarazzi
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This is how they sort fry out prior to jarring. They net them out of the growout tubs and put them over this net that's been stretched over a ceramic container filled with water. And then they use the spoon to scoop out the fry that are the right size. But the colours are all mixed up.

They jar them in these little bottles. It's got a slit on the side which is for water changes. I tried to get them to show me how they did it but apparently water changes had been done for the day. But apparently they have some kind of device which allows them to pick up 10 jars at a time or something like that. They then just tip the jars onto the slit. Water and poop drains out while the fish stays in the jar. They then have another device that allows them to fill all the jars at the same time. I mean, look at it! There must only be about 200 ml of water in there. And look how big the fish is!

Thousands of jars. They're not originally opaque by the way. They were once clear. They're just really, really dirty. Mostly dust and mud.

You can walk on the jars. I tried to avoid it seeing that I'm about double the weight of the average Thai. :P But eventually I did have to walk across a section so I could see what was happening on the other side.

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This is what they use to age water. The can of pepsi is just there to provide a sense of scale. I disposed it thoughtfully after I'd finished with it.

The farm 'showroom' where we selected fish that we wanted to purchase.

The farmer, Mr. Nukhon with his wife and daughter. His daughter was a real showoff and talked at me for about 10 minutes obviously fascinated by my camera and delighting in being photographed. I got a nice close-up picture of her but I thought I shouldn't post it on the internet. She was quite determined to speak to me and kept pointing at the camera wanting some kind of response. I finally asked Pichet to translate but he said she was speaking some kind of baby gibberish which he didn't understand.

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This is what they use to age water. The can of pepsi is just there to provide a sense of scale. I disposed it thoughtfully after I'd finished with it.

Sure you got jealous and tipped the pepsi into the aged water lolol *kidding*

BTW whos the drunk guy holding the CT? lolol *kidding again*!! I could have so much fun putting captions to that photo lololol but ill resist out of kindness :P

Here we worry about keeping the tanks clean and over there they dont even mind! I guess it doesnt matter if the containers are dirty if the water is changed once a day.

Does it seem to you from your visit that they breed selectively? or do they just chuck fish together.... mass produce them and keep the best and sell off the ok ones?

A very good post Mike

Edited by brettc777
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That was my 'OMG look how small the jar is' look. Congrats on the 1000 posts btw. What customised rank are you going to pick for yourself?

I think they kinda breed selectively, although that farm produced commercial quantities for export to pet shops. Some of the ones they put out for us to buy were ok. And the people I were with bought quite a few. I didn't particularly see any I liked so I didn't buy any from that farm. We visited a smaller farm after this one which had better quality fish and I did buy some there.

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lol nice one... i just noticed that those jars are skinny? WT#? how do they turn around?

There is heaps of jars! didnt by any chance count how many there were? lol

yeah my 1000th post come up in my "dying fry" post, what a moment! lol. Dont know what im going to have, ill have to work it out.

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I think they have to do something like a swimmers turn ie somersault. Although bettas are pretty flexible so I think they can actually turn around. But yeah, not much room to move in there. Stops them biting their tails I guess.

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wow great post michael ive allways been interested in how the thailand farms work

do all the farms there run pretty much the same?

the bettas in the grow out tubs i presume are eating what ever flys into them but how are the ones in the jars being feed?

im amazed in the living conditions of them that they can grow soo well in those grow out tubs with no filters and those small jars

i was amazed too that you could walk on the jars like that, hmmm... im concidering making a betta floor for my room now lol

Edited by divy
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I only saw two farms and they were pretty much the same. The fry in the grow out tubs are fed daphnia which they grow in big ponds on the property. The ones in the bottles are fed a food they make themselves. It has eggs and high protein baby cereal. It's mixed together and steamed. It looked a bit like scrambled eggs, maybe just a bit firmer. They drop a bit of that in each bottle every day. Must take absolutely ages to feed all of them.

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I would not have worried about walking on the bottles. Todd is nearly 6 ft and he wandered around no problems. (much to the amazement of the children) (Even I stand head and shoulders above most Thai people - makes me feel even more like an ungainly, fat hippo)

The "device" for cleaning is just a rack with a wire lid. i have a photo somewhere, will try to dig it up. The bottles are placed in a row on the rack and the wire lid flipped over. The whole thing then inverts. The water drains out etc. The bottles are returned to the upright position and then filled with a hose attached to something that looks like a very large rake. Each "tine" of the rack is an open metal tube. the water flows from each tine, which is spaced apart the same distance as the bottles. Once full, the bottles are put back in position. It is usually a young child doing this. you have to squat down and up many times. Not good for the knees!

You look NOTHING like I imagined! :P

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I updated the logo LOL!

I'm completely obsessed with it. I really, really want my own line of aquarium goods now. For those of you who are a bit confused, this whole thing is a cross post (yeah, naughty, I know) from here which was itself an off topic thread hijack.

Quick someone ask a fish farm question. Like, "how do they clean those jars?".

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Um Um Um...how do they tell if there are dead fish in the bottles or not? seeing as u can barely see through them any more!? And how do they dispose of the dead fish? Do they recycle them in some way or just bury them in mass graves? there's a question relevant to the thread! Oh and you do sound like a hunky male model on the phone Mike! hahaha slight trace of an accent though. :P

Edited by Fighters4U
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OK Im up for it ...how do they clean those jars?????

Love the latest logo , it has a real fishy feel to it now.

Had to do a google on the word Bazzi and is has a middle eastern flavour to it , seems theres a Mohomad Bazzi who has a bit to do with the crisis in Lebanon .

No rude Italians to be found.LOL.

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Um Um Um...how do they tell if there are dead fish in the bottles or not?

Well you can still sort of see into the bottle. And they have to lift the bottles out to change water every few days. It didn't occur to me to ask but I guess they dispose of the dead bodies somehow.

Oh and you do sound like a hunky male model on the phone Mike!

Shucks... thanks... Deep down I always knew... :P

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OK Im up for it ...how do they clean those jars?????

I am soooo glad you asked. And it just so happens I have a little video clip of someone doing just that.

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Pretty nifty, huh? Oh these are empty jars. Thought I better clarify that. The jars are only scrubbed like this once the fish have been removed. They only get water changes while the jar is occupied with a fish. That's about 3 months between cleanings!

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