Effect of natural production in a zero exchange suspended microbial floc based super-intensive culture system for white shrimp Litopenaeus vannamei

Wasielesky Junior, Wilson Francisco Britto; Atwood, Heidi; Stokes, Audrey; Browdy, Craig L.


Zero water exchange, super-intensive culture of shrimp in enclosed raceway type systems can be considered environmentally friendly in that containment of water within the system prevents potential spread of disease between the wild populations and cultured animals and avoids nutrient rich waste from polluting coastal waters. However, as a relatively new strategy for shrimp production, there is much still to be learned about the potential biological and economic benefits of producing shrimp in suspended microbial floc based systems. Understanding shrimp feeding behavior and quantification of shrimp feed consumption provides valuable information for culturists to improve feed management, one of the keys to economic viability. The objective of this study was to evaluate the nutritional contribution of varying levels of microalgae/bacterial floc on survival, growth, food consumption, and FCR of Litopenaeus vannamei juveniles fed diets with different protein levels in replicated experimental microcosm tanks. The 20 day experiment evaluated 9 treatments, three water types fed three different protein diets. Water was recirculated within a sump and consisted of either clear, UV filtered water, water containing microbial floc from an adjacent zero exchange super-intensive raceway production unit, or a 50:50 mix of clear water and raceway water. Diet treatments were either no food, 25% or 35% protein content. Treatments were randomly assigned to 50 L, mesh covered plastic bins receiving each water type. Each treatment consisted of five replicates, each containing 44 shrimp, with a mean stocking weight of 1.82±0.71 g for a final density of 300 per m2. Shrimp in each treatment (except the no feed treatment) were fed 3 times daily via a specially designed feed tray. Food consumption and FCR were calculated based on weight gain, survival, total consumed feed, feed loss through leaching, and initial feed moisture content. Results were analyzed by two-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) and differences between the means analyzed by Tukey's test (α=0.05). Survival in the fed treatments was greater than 98% in all treatments (P>0.05). Survival in the non-fed treatments was significantly higher in the raceway water treatments than in the clear water treatment (P<0.05). Final weight, weight gain, final biomass, food consumption and FCR were significantly higher (P<0.05) in all treatments fed with 35% protein feed. This result suggests a positive relationship between the growth parameters and the protein content of the feeds in this system, and confirms the benefit of natural productivity for production of L. vannamei. © 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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