Saponins are one of the ingredients that are often used in shrimp farming activities. The saponins used are like brown coarse flour, when ordinary people see this as dry clay.
Saponins are natural compounds that could be obtained from plants in the tropics. In plants, saponins are generally found in the roots, but also in the leaves. For example, papaya leaves, noni leaves or seeds, and Strychnos lucida leaves. Besides could be found in plants, saponins could also be obtained from marine animal extracts such as Stichopus vastus sluiter and several types of bacteria.
The use of saponins is beneficial for shrimp farming. The distribution of saponins during pond preparation could kill pests like wild fish, especially predatory fish in the ponds. If given in the middle of cultivation, saponins could act as antimicrobials, promote growth, and increase immunity against stress due to the very low salinity. The froth or foam produced from saponins is also important for pond water quality.
How do saponins work?
- The first function of saponins is to kill pests in ponds, for example small fish, especially to kill predatory fish. Saponins could interfere with the respiratory system in cold-blooded animals such as fish, and over a period of time could damage the respiratory system so it could cause death.
- Saponins are also known as antimicrobials, by denaturing or damaging proteins and damaging bacterial cell membranes, or in other words disrupting the surface tension of cell walls. The bacterial cell then dies. This function is useful when pathogenic bacteria such as Vibrio are very high.
- Besides to kill pests and antimicrobials, saponins could also be used as immunostimulants. That triggers the immune system in shrimp.
- The distribution of saponins could have an effect on the appearance of froth or foam. Foam has an important role in shrimp farming. The distributed saponins which are side by side with the currents of the wheel movement result would produce foam. The function of foam has some variances, one of which is decreasing the surface tension of the water to ease the diffusion of oxygen between the surface of the water and the air (Read more: Foam in Shrimp Ponds).