Cultivation Tips

Cannibalism in Shrimp

Wildan Gayuh Zulfikar
Wildan Gayuh Zulfikar
26 October 2023
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Vannamei shrimp which has the Latin name Litopenaeus vannamei has a natural behavior of eating each other, shrimp eating other shrimp. This behavior is often referred to as cannibalism. Cannibalism is a natural trait of vaname shrimp which also occurs in all types of shrimp family.

If it occurs in conditions of cannibalism cultivation, it is certainly very detrimental. Make the survival rate (SR) or shrimp survival rate low. This means that the number of shrimp that live until harvest time can drop dramatically. It reduces the productivity of cultivation. As a natural behavior, cannibalism cannot be treated, but it can be minimized.

Pay attention to feed management

Eating is a necessity, shrimp in nature and in cultivation conditions will both try to meet their food needs. If it is not fulfilled then the natural nature of the shrimp can appear with its aggressiveness and will become cannibals. The main target is shrimp that are weak or smaller in size.

Farmers need to be careful to find out the shrimp's appetite. One of the most common ways is to do an Anco check (Also read the previous article: Anco Check and Sampling ) . It is important to adjust the feeding needs of the shrimp, especially when the appetite is high, the feed provided should be sufficient.

Another solution to deal with cannibalism is the addition of the protein tryptophan in the feed. Tryptophan suppresses cannibalism by reducing shrimp aggressiveness.

Be careful when molting

Molting is a routine phase of changing carapace or skin experienced by shrimp as a sign of growth. Cannibalism is higher during this molting or molting period. Shrimp that are undergoing molting will be weaker and vulnerable to other shrimp prey, especially the larger ones.

In addition, if the shrimp lacks food, the cannibalism behavior can be higher. So that one of the efforts that can be done is to try to get shrimp to molt simultaneously (Also read the previous article: Full Moon and Shrimp Molting ) . In addition, during mass molting, try to have sufficient feed.

Maintain shrimp uniformity

It has previously been mentioned that smaller shrimp tend to be targeted by larger shrimp to become victims of cannibalism. This means that there is a high level of shrimp diversity, the size of the shrimp is uneven. There are large shrimp, but there are shrimp that are still small in size, or in terms of local farmers on the island of Java call it mblantik .

Maintaining the uniformity of shrimp is the next step to minimize the height of cannibalism. Sampling regularly to find out early shrimp growth occurs evenly or not. If there is uneven growth, it can be an indication of EHP disease (Read more: EHP ) or a feed program or an improper way of distributing feed.

Beware cannibalism is the cause of the spread of disease

Sick shrimp are also targets for healthy shrimp that are underfed. Sick shrimp tend to be weak, swim to the edge of the pond, lose the competition for food, or die at the bottom of the pond. If a sick shrimp is caused by an acute disease such as white spot , myo , or even EMS, then it becomes an opportunity to spread to cannibalistic shrimp. Shrimp that eat sick shrimp can become infected and sick.

Cannibalism can be a factor in the spread of disease. So again, it needs thorough attention starting from the right feed program coupled with good water quality management and the application of biosecurity (Also read the previous article: Understanding the Importance of Biosecurity ) will prevent disease.

Lastly, cannibalism can also be detected by siphoning (Also read the previous article: Siphoning Sick Nests ) . If there are dead shrimp with incomplete limb conditions, such as missing walking legs or swimming legs, it can be a sign of cannibalism. So it is necessary to evaluate some of the steps mentioned above.

After various steps have been taken, there is still the possibility of cannibalism occurring. This is because we do not really know the conditions in the pond. Most importantly, minimizing steps have been taken so that the SR will be relatively maintained until the end of cultivation.

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