Aquaculture Europe 2023

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Add To Calendar 19/09/2023 11:30:0019/09/2023 11:45:00Europe/ViennaAquaculture Europe 2023EFFECT OF FEEDING RATE AND DIET PROTEIN CONTENT ON GROWTH PERFORMANCE IN Pennaeus vannamei UNDER BIOFLOC TECHNOLOGY PRODUCTION (BFT)Schubert 3The European Aquaculture Societywebmaster@aquaeas.orgfalseDD/MM/YYYYaaVZHLXMfzTRLzDrHmAi181982


S. Ferrando-Juan1 ,  M. Rodilla3 , S. Falcò3, I. Jauralde , L. Caro , S. Martínez-Llorens1, A. Tomás-Vidal1 , M. Jover1, D.S. Peñaranda1*


1Aquaculture and Biodiversity Research Group. Institute of Science and Animal Technology , (ICTA), Universitat Politècnica de València, Valencia (Valencia), Spain

2 Research Institute for Integrated Management of Coastal Areas, Universitat Politècnica de València, Valencia (Valencia), Spain

Universitat Politècnica de València, Camino de Vera s/n ,  46022. * Corresponding author :



 White shrimp ( Penaeus vannamei) production is the most  relevant aquaculture sector with a production of 4,966 million k g  in 2020 and a commercial value of 28,782 million U$. Biofloc Technology (BFT) is a sustainable  aquaculture system  based on the principle of recycling waste nutrients, particularly nitrogen, into microbial biomass , which  can be used in situ by the animals produced or collected and processed. It should be noted that the protein content of feed and feeding regimes can affect not only the growth performance, but  also influence water quality through nitrogen excretion,  thereby  inducing eutrophication.  Penaeus vannamei requires 30– 50% crude protein (CP) in its diet, but i t is important to take into account  the supplementary nutrients supplied by biofloc ,  that it has been demonstrated that  dietary protein levels of 24% gave comparable results to 32 or 40% protein (Panigrahi et al., 2019) . The feeding regime is a controversial research field that needs to be more studied. Up today, most farmers fed shrimp based on conventional tables, which consider the size and biomass of the organisms to adjust the feeding rate . Tables do not consider the availability of natural productivity of BFT, resulting in a possible overfeeding or underfeeding that eventually might lead to adverse consequences . As consequence, the aim of the present study was to optimize the protein feeding rate using feeds with low protein content at different feeding regimes.

Material and Methods

 In the present study,  five protein content levels:  30, 34, 38, 42,  and 46% were assayed  using three feeding rates: 100, 85, and 70%  using as reference the feed intake (FI) proposed by Kureshy and Davis (2002) as 100% group.  Each group had 4 replicates, therefore  a total of 60 experimental units.  The feeds were manufactured by adjusting the carbohydrate (Panigrahi et al., 2019) and dietary lipid levels to 10%. All experimental groups were manually fed three times a day.  Once shrimp reached  an  average weight of 0.5 g, they were introduced into the tanks at final densities of 350 shrimp/m2 (super-intensive production conditions). To assess both survival and growth performance, shrimp were sampled weekly (Kuhn et al., 2010).  The animals were housed in 90 L tanks at a salinity of 21±0.15 g/L, temperature of 28 ºC, pH 7.5-8.5, oxygen >5 mg/L, and alkalinity >150 mg/L monitored daily by the multiparametric HANNA equipment, HI19829 Model . Ammonium, nitrite, nitrate, alkalinity, and phosphate values were measured weekly using colorimetric kits in a spectrophotometer (Hanna I nstruments). Total suspended solids  (TSS) were determined  following  the protocol of Strickland and Parsons (1972), by weighing the solids retained on glass-fiber Whatman filters (0.45 microns) after filtering the water samples.

Results and discussion

The water quality parameters behaved as expected within the pre-established values, showing tolerable levels for white shrimp production. Regarding  the evolution of nitrogenous compounds,  as expected in a culture with a mature biofloc, it assimilated the ammonium, nitrite, and nitrate resulting from shrimp production, and the levels remained below 0.09, 0.06, and 170 mg/L, respectively.

In terms of  growth performance, the evolution of weight based on protein content or feeding rate showed similar results, finding significant differences mainly at the end of the trial (Figure 1).

A s is expected  feeds with  a higher protein content (46, 42 and 38%) achieved the highest final weights ( 5.5 ± 0.3, 4. 4 ± 0.6, and 4.7± 0.2 ;  Table 1) , in a greement with Correira (2014), with higher growth in diets containing 40% protein. In addition, no distinctions  were related to growth according to feeding rate , which may be explained by the consume of  natural microbiomase present at Biofloc.  In contrast, Kureshy and Davis (2002) ,  obtained better growth with higher feeding rates; and determined that due to a restriction of feed intake and consequently protein intake,  diets with  low protein content did not support maximum weight gain. N o  significant  differences were  observed in relation to survival between experimental groups (64%). 

 In conclusion,  up to 5g in super-intensive production a reduction of 70% is possible, what is translate not only into better productivity but also water quality management.


 Correia, E. S., Wilkenfeld, J. S., Morris, T. C., Wei, L., Prangnell , D. I., & Samocha , T. M. 2014. Intensive nursery production of the Pacific white shrimp Litopenaeus vannamei using two commercial feeds with high and low protein content in a biofloc-dominated system. Aquacultural Engineering, 59, 48-54.

Kuhn, D. D., Boardman, G. D., Lawrence, A. L., Marsh, L., Flick Jr, G. J. 2009 . Microbial floc meal as a replacement ingredient for fish meal and soybean protein in shrimp feed. Aquaculture. 296(1-2): 51-57.

Kureshy, N., & Davis, D. A. 2002. Protein requirement for maintenance and maximum weight gain for the Pacific white shrimp, Litopenaeus vannamei. Aquaculture, 204(1-2), 125-143.

Panigrahi , A., Sundaram, M., Saranya, C., Swain, S., Dash, R. R., Dayal, J. S. 2019. Carbohydrate sources deferentially influence growth performances, microbial dynamics and immunomodulation in Pacific white shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei ) under biofloc system. Fish & shellfish immunology, 86, 1207-1216.

Strickland, J. D. H., Parsons, T. R. 1972. A practical handbook of seawater analysis.  Fisheries Research Board of Canada . 167(2).


These results are part of the I+D+i Research Project:  “Optimizing shrimp feeding and nutrition in biofloc system (BioFlango )” (PID2020-114574RB-C21) , and the Research Personnel Training Grant (PRE2021-098367) ; supported by MCIN/ AEI/10.13039/501100011033/.