Hatchery

Southern Cross Sea Farms is one of a small number of hatcheries located in the state of Florida. A number of growers ranging from backyard operations to commercial-sized facilities purchase their seed from us. Food and Water are vital to the production of healthy clams.

Clams are sensitive to water quality, and require clean, unpolluted water. In fact, since clams are filter-feeders, they can actually improve the quality of the water where they are farmed. This means that clam farming operations often have a positive impact on coastal environmental health and quality. The brood stock is kept in a conditioning room where temperature is maintained at an even 68 degrees. They stay in tanks of constantly running saltwater that are monitored for cleanliness. When it is time to breed the clams, the feeding process is increased. They are fed higher doses of phytoplankton. This will enhance the production of eggs. Brood stock is placed on a spawn table and the temperature is manipulated from cool to warm.
This temperature change, much like the change of seasons, will induce spawning. Each female will produce millions of eggs. This process can take hours or days. We bring in ocean estuary water in order to achieve the perfect growing environment. Our tanks recirculate water through a unique filtration system that cleans the water and rids it of any impurities. Clams feed very low on the food chain. They consume phytoplankton and are in essence the vegetarians of the sea. Clam Food and Water
To begin the food process, several species of phytoplankton are purchased from nationally certified laboratories. This is the most nutritious food available for clams. This phytoplankton begins its development in small test tubes and is gradually transferred to larger containers. Fluorescent lights are mounted behind the containers to create a perfect growing environment for this food. Clams Food and Water
Food is then mixed with our filtered water. Each addition is constantly monitored and eventually this food is transferred into our specially designed greenhouse. Mother Nature is still the best source of light for producing sun-filled phytoplankton that is just right for feeding our precious baby clams.

We grow various types of phytoplankton at different levels of maturity so that there is always a steady supply of food for our clams. All our baby clams in the hatchery have to be fed daily, 365 days a year. They are fed this nutrient rich phytoplankton of cultured algae. Clams Food and Water