, Volume 20, Issue 3, pp 559-569
Date: 18 Oct 2011

Effect of diatom supplementation during the nursery rearing of Litopenaeus vannamei (Boone, 1931) in a heterotrophic culture system

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Bio-floc shrimp culture systems have been investigated in an attempt to optimize water use and prevent the discharge of effluent into the environment. The importance of microalgae in maintaining water quality and nutrition of the shrimp is well known in conventional systems; however, its maintenance amid bio-flocs and its role in the shrimp performance in this system are still poorly understood. The aim of this study was to evaluate the contribution of diatoms in the performance of Litopenaeus vannamei reared during the nursery phase in intensive system with minimal water exchange. Shrimp (0.31 ± 0.10 g) were reared among diatoms, bio-flocs and the combination of the two forming the mixture medium. The survival of shrimp was high in all treatments (90–97%). However, the shrimp reared among diatoms showed higher weight gain (P < 0.05) and feed conversion ratio significantly more efficient, reaching a value of 0.47. The results indicate the importance of diatoms in bio-floc culture systems and points out to future research in an attempt to maintain a constant presence of these microalgae in culture medium without requiring successive inoculations.