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Influence of biofilm on the production of Farfantepenaeus paulensis in pens in the Patos Lagoon estuary

Ballester, EduardoLuis Cupertino, Dutra, FabrícioMartins, Pisseti, TitoLuís, Cavalli, RonaldoOlivera, Abreu, PauloCésar, Wasielesky, Wilson, Jr
Aquaculture international 2018 v.26 no.3 pp. 713-726
Farfantepenaeus paulensis, Nematoda, Rotifera, Tintinnida, biofilm, biomass, chlorophyll, estuaries, juveniles, microalgae, microorganisms, polyethylene, rearing, shrimp
The objective of the present work was to determine the influence of artificial substrates that increase the area for biofilm development on the production performance of Farfantepenaeus paulensis juveniles in pens. Shrimp were stocked at a density of 20/m² in pen structures (bottom area = 50 m²) that were installed in the Patos Lagoon estuary. Two treatments with three repetitions were analyzed, where artificial substrates (polyethylene nets—1-mm mesh size) were added to increase the area for biofilm development by 100%, and where no substrates were added. During the experimental period, the biomass and the composition of the biofilm were assessed. After 86 days of rearing, no significant differences were found in shrimp performance between the treatments (p > 0.05). However, the examination of the chlorophyll a, dry weight, and composition of the biofilm indicated that the shrimp were actively consuming the biofilm attached to the artificial substrates. Significant decreases in the abundances of nematodes > 500 μm after the 56th day and of tintinnids and rotifers between day 28 and day 42, indicated that the shrimp were selectively predating on these organisms. Moreover, a decrease in the chlorophyll a concentration in the biofilm suggests that the shrimp were consuming the microalgae. Although the increase in the area for biofilm development did not improve shrimp performance, the shrimp presented the highest growth rates when they consumed most of the biofilm microorganisms.