Cultivation Tips

Is Visual Observation an Accurate Measurement for Pond Water Quality?

10 December 2023
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Shrimp cultivation is closely related to pond water quality, as water serves as the primary medium for shrimp growth. Quality water helps shrimp to survive and grow optimally, ensuring farmers that production targets are achieved. Poor shrimp pond water quality can lead to various issues for shrimp, from stress to diseases. Therefore, farmers need to regularly monitor water quality.

To monitor water quality, various parameters should be considered, including physical, chemical, and biological parameters. However, many farmers still opt for visual monitoring alone, deeming it sufficient to reflect water quality. While visual monitoring is inadequate and cannot provide complete information about water quality, there are some 'signals' that farmers can detect through visual observation.

Checking water quality from observing pond water color

Parameters that can be monitored visually include color and turbidity. Below are common pond water colors in shrimp farms and what they indicate.

1. Light brown

A light brown color in shrimp ponds is a sign of good water conditions. This color is formed due to the presence of planktons, which are beneficial for shrimp growth.

2. Dark brown

Is your pond dark brown? This color indicates a lack of phytoplanktons. While this kind of water condition is still considered good, you can dilute the water by siphoning the pond bottom and replacing it with fresh water.

Read more: Water Source Quality Standard for Shrimp Cultivation

3. Bluish brown

Bluish brown ponds may have a high population of harmful phytoplanktons for shrimp, such as Chaetoceros sp., Milosira sp., dan Skeletonema sp. Change your water immediately.

4. Reddish brown

Water with a reddish-brown color is also unfavorable and even dangerous for shrimp as it contains toxic phytoplankton. Replace the water and add lime and urea fertilizer to neutralize the water condition.

5. Greenish brown

A greenish brown color indicates good water conditions due to the presence of beneficial planktons for shrimp cultivation. Still, it needs to be further diluted to reduce turbidity.

6. Clear blackish brown

This color is commonly found in new shrimp ponds. It signifies water containing organic acids, which are harmful to shrimp. Land reclamation is necessary to tackle this issue.

7. Light green

A light green color in shrimp ponds is the best because it indicates the presence of beneficial Chorella sp. planktons for shrimp cultivation.

8. Dark green

Dark green color is caused by toxic phytoplankton. Additionally, the water will appear slimy due to shrimp catching diseases. Replace the water and provide dolomite lime treatment for neutralization.

9. Yellowish green

Water with a greenish-yellow color lacks phytoplankton. Provide fertilizer to support the growth of beneficial phytoplanktons for shrimp cultivation.

10. Bluish green

This color indicates the presence of blooming blue-green algae (BGA) in high levels. Blooming BGA is caused by an excess of nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus in the pond, posing risks by reducing water transparency and dissolved oxygen, as well as producing toxins. Reduce and manipulate nutrient inputs into the pond and stir pond water.

Apart from color, you can also monitor the presence of foam on the pond surface. Foam appearance may indicate the discharge of dead phytoplankton or microbial activities recycling nitrogen in the pond. While not overly harmful, ensure to remove the foam to prevent its further accumulation and shrimp poisoning.

Visual checking of water quality is not enough. Do regular monitoring with the right water quality measurement device

Although farmers can obtain some information from visual monitoring, various other parameters determine the overall pond water condition, including physical, chemical, and biological parameters. Physical parameters include temperature, color, and turbidity. Chemical parameters include dissolved oxygen, pH, and salinity, while biological parameters include the presence of planktons and bacteria in water. Water quality monitoring is conducted to record and evaluate water quality as a reference for taking the most appropriate steps in the pond. Measuring water quality variables is crucial as part of water quality management and decision-making.

Read more: Various Methods to Measure Water Quality in Shrimp Ponds

The right measurement device can help farmers know and record water quality more accurately and conveniently. JALA Baruno is #HeretoHelp farmers as a solution to measure four water quality parameters, namely temperature, pH, DO, and salinity. These four parameters are the most important to observe for shrimp growth. The measured data is also stored in the JALA cloud, accessible anytime, anywhere through JALA App. With just one device, farmers can measure up to 30 shrimp ponds.

Data and information about water quality conditions in shrimp ponds can be obtained through regular monitoring to determine whether the water is suitable for shrimp farms. Without water quality monitoring, farmers cannot understand cultivation conditions and anticipate problems such as the threat of shrimp diseases.

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