Date of Award

5-2007

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Biological Sciences

Advisor

Klaine, Stephen J.

Committee Member

Klaine, Stephen

Committee Member

Browdy, Craig

Committee Member

Hains, John

Abstract

he Pacific white shrimp, Litopenaeus vannamei, is a euryhaline and eurythermal shrimp species. The robust nature of this species makes it a popular selection among shrimp aquaculturists. The high cost of coastal property as well as strict environmental regulations in developed countries has caused many shrimp farmers to move their operations further inland. Therefore, many inland farmers must bring in seawater, use brackish well water, or create their own environments using artificial sea salts. The purpose of this research was to determine if a sea salt mixture, ACS, composed of less expensive salts (NaCl, MgSO4, MgCl2, KCl, CaCl2 and NaHCO3), can produce acceptable survival and growth in a large-scale aquaculture system compared to dilute seawater or mixtures of dilute seawater and the less expensive salts. The first trial consisted of 36 tanks with various 5 g/L and 15 g/L total dissolved solids treatments. There was no significant difference in survival or feed conversion ratio during the first trial. There was a significant decrease in final individual weight, and total harvest with increasing ACS salts. Extremely high nitrite levels, 16.2 ± 3.80 mg/L (mean ± SD), may have caused the decreases in these parameters. Trial 2 consisted of 18 tanks with various 15 g/L TDS treatments. There was no significant difference in survival, final individual weight, feed conversion ratio, or total harvest. A cost analysis was conducted and showed that ACS salts may significantly decrease the cost of shrimp culture when partially or completely substituted for artificial sea salts that many inland farmers are forced to use. It may be possible for inland farmers to use the ACS salt mixture but precautions must be taken to ensure that nitrite levels do not become limiting.

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