SHRIMP POND WATER IMPROVES THE PERFORMANCE OF A LOWER PROTEIN FEED DURING NURSERY PRODUCTION OF THE PACIFIC WHITE SHRIMP Litopenaeus vannamei

The Journal of the World Aquaculture Society, June (2000)

Penaeid shrimp reared in hypereutrophic pond water grow significantly faster than shrimp in oligotrophic well water, and this growth enhancement is especially pronounced in postlarval shrimp. The objective of this study was to determine if the nutritional benefits of pond water could supplement a lower protein feed for postlarval Pacific white shrimp, Litopenaeus vannamei.

Sixteen 230-L tanks were stocked with 10-day postlarvae (mean weight < 0.01 g) at a density of 350 shrimp/tank. Four treatments (four replicates/treatment) were tested for six weeks and consisted of: 1) shrimp grown in well water and fed a commercially available 45%-protein feed (W/45), 2) shrimp grown in pond water and fed the same 45%-protein feed (P/45), 3) shrimp grown in well water and fed a commercially available 52%-protein feed (W/52), and 4) shrimp grown in pond water and fed the same 52%-protein feed (P/52). Feeds were provided ad libitum and all tanks experienced 15-20% water turnovers/day. Shrimp from each tank were counted and batch weighed at the end of the experiment. Data were analyzed using a two-way ANOVA. 

Mean weight gain for shrimp in the W/52 treatment (1.23 + 0.08 g) was 69% greater than mean weight gain for shrimp in the W/45 treatment (0.72 +/- 0.05 g). However, mean weight gain for shrimp in the P/52 treatment (1.89 +/- 0.05 g) was only 5% greater than weight gain for shrimp in the P/45 treatment (1.80 +/- 0.08 g). Survival was > 91.5% for all four treatments.

These results suggest that the natural productivity in pond water provides postlarval shrimp with sufficient nutrients to make up for nutritional deficiencies in the lower protein feed. Importantly, the 52%-protein feed used in this experiment was about ten times more expensive than the 45%-protein feed. If postlarval shrimp are grown in hypereutrophic pond water, feed costs can be reduced significantly while still maintaining high levels of production.