Considerations for Litopenaeus vannamei Reared in Inland Low Salinity Waters
Shrimp culture in inland low-salinity well water is a growing industry in many regions of
the world, including the southern United States of America. Although shrimp culture
techniques in waters of marine origin are well established, they are not necessarily
applicable to shrimp culture in low salinity well water. Inland well waters tend to vary
among each other in salinity and ion profiles. If shrimp culture using inland well water is
to develop further, we must systematically deal with production problems which include 1)
identification of suitable water sources 2) development of acclimation and stocking
procedures 3) identify specific nutritional requirements for low salinity environments. This
paper summarizes work that we have done to a) assist in the development of acclimation
procedures for Litopenaeus vannamei postlarvae (PL), b) evaluate a variety of well water
sources for their culture potential and identify mineral imbalances that may be correlated to
poor survival and growth c) provide baseline data for the identification of nutritional
manipulations that may mitigate the variable survival that has plagued low salinity
production systems. Results suggest that PL survival in native seawater is affected by an
interaction between PL age and water salinity. In native seawater, ten day old PL exhibited
greater survival at salinities greater than 4 ppt than at salinities of 2 ppt and lower. Fifteen
and twenty-day old PL survived in salinities as low as 1 ppt. Survival of PL in well water
varied among water sources, and was affected by the concentration of various ions such as
potassium (K+), magnesium (Mg2+), and sulphate (SO4
2-), as well as PL age. Based on
current data, the supplementation of potassium to well water sources “low” in potassium
will result in increased growth and survival. Based on our limited knowledge of the
interaction of salinity and nutritional requirements the supplementation of potassium,
magnesium and sodium chloride as well as selected amino acids and potentially lipids
could mediate some of the problems encountered when rearing marine shrimp in low
salinity production situations. Current data suggests that nutritional and/or environmental
manipulations are technically feasible and probably are the most economically viable
solutions to facilitate better production in many of the low salinity farms.
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