Replacement of Artemia spp. with zooplankton in Penaeus vannamei larviculture
Paz, Patricio E.
López-Cabús, Alberto J.
Cárdenas-Nieto, Lino X.
Supplying healthy and cost-effective postlarvae is critical to the success of the shrimp industry. Given the cost of Artemia in larvae culture, there is considerable interest in using alternative live feeds such as copepods. This study's objective was to evaluate five diets with different proportions of Artemia and copepods offered to Penaeus vannamei larvae. Biological factors such as growth, survival to postlarvae, and final weights were evaluated in conjunction with economic factors. The diets offered were: 1) 100% Artemia 2) 75% Artemia and 25% copepods 3) 50% Artemia and 50% copepods 4) 25% Artemia and 75% copepods and 5) 100% copepods. Concerning the biological response, there were no significant differences observed between the five treatments. The economic evaluation was based on a partial budget. It was concluded that there were no significant differences in survival or yields. However, the data collected in this experiment concluded that the treatment with 100% Artemia had higher annual net benefits due to the combined effect of survival rates and cost. These net benefits can vary in other repetitions, so it is recommended to experiment more times to observe differences in profits among diets.