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Researchers determine how to improve biofloc production using cheaper feeds

A research team from China and the United States recently found that using a less expensive feed with a specific carbon/nitrogen ratio may improve performance in a shrimp biofloc system. Their study determined that both feed and C/N ratio had significant effects on biofloc development, water quality, shrimp performance, feed utilization and input cost, and that the best water quality and performance of Litopenaeus vannamei were achieved with the C/N ratio of 12:1 for both feeds.

May 17, 2018

A research team from China and the United States recently found that using a less expensive feed with a specific carbon/nitrogen ratio may improve performance in a shrimp biofloc system.

In their study, researchers conducted a two-factor experiment to evaluate the effects of two commercial shrimp feeds and four different C/N ratios on biofloc development, water quality, growth performance, feed utilization and input cost in an outdoor tank system stocked with Litopenaeus vannamei juveniles under high-density and zero-exchange conditions. The two feeds used were a less expensive feed formulated for semi-intensive production systems and a more expensive one designed for hyper-intensive systems.

“Organic carbon (molasses) was added daily to provide calculated carbon to nitrogen (C/N) ratios of 12:1, 15:1, and 18:1 based on the carbon-nitrogen content of the feed and the carbon content of the molasses throughout the experiment. No molasses was added in the control group which had a C/N ratio of 9:1.”

Results found that feed and C/N ratio had effects on the performance of biofloc-based, zero-exchange shrimp culture systems, and that the best water quality and performance of Litopenaeus vannamei were achieved with the C/N ratio of 12:1 for both feeds.

Initiating the culture with biofloc-rich water and then adding a small amount of organic carbon regularly could effectively sustain the continued development of mixotrophic bioflocs in zero-exchange high-density shrimp culture systems.

In addition, the study found that economic benefits were improved using the less expensive feed of SI-35 under the tested conditions, and input costs could be decreased using a C/N ratio of 12:1, due mainly to reduced molasses and NaHCO3 usage.

This article includes excerpts from the study abstract, published in the Journal of Aquaculture

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