Cultivation Tips

Minerals for Vannamei Shrimp: Benefits and Tips for Treatment

26 October 2023
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Minerals are inorganic substances essential for shrimp growth. Minerals for vannamei shrimp play a vital role in various physiological processes, so shrimp farmers should pay extra attention to their sufficiency in their ponds.

Throughout their growth, shrimp absorb minerals from both their feed and the aquatic environment. The minerals include calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, iron, and copper.

Among the various minerals required by shrimp, calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), sodium (Na), and potassium (K) are two of the essential ones for shrimp. Check out the importance of minerals for vannamei shrimp and how to ensure their sufficiency in your cultivation!

What are the Benefits of Minerals for Vannamei Shrimp?

Importance minerals for vannamei shrimp Minerals serve various functions to maintain the metabolism of vannamei shrimp, aid in the formation of the exoskeleton, and regulate acid-base balance and osmotic pressure. More benefits of minerals for vannamei shrimp include:

  1. As a structural component for shrimp shell
  2. Helps the formation of new shell
  3. Activate metabolism and immune system
  4. Regulate osmotic balance
  5. Activate various enzymes

Adverse Effects of Mineral Deficiency for Vannamei Shrimp

Minerals can be found in abundance in seawater. However, the mineral content in shrimp pond water may decrease due to soil adsorption, assimilation by the shrimp, and water replacement.

Aside from affecting metabolism, the lack of minerals also disrupts phytoplankton balance, which impacts the whole farm ecosystem. This may lead to stress in shrimp, which causes softer shells and may lead to mortality.

Hence, it is crucial to evaluate mineral concentrations in pond waters regularly and to give the proper treatment in case of any deficiency.

Examples of Minerals for Vannamei Shrimp

Vannamei shrimp require various minerals. Here are examples of some essential minerals for shrimp:

1. Calcium

Calcium (Ca) is one of the minerals that play a crucial role in the formation of shrimp carapace during molting. The faster the exoskeleton forms, the lower the risk of cannibalistic behavior in shrimp, thus increasing the survival rate (SR). Shrimp will also become more active in finding food after molting.

Additionally, calcium can minimize increases in pH that may occur during high photosynthesis rates, thus stabilizing the pH.

2. Magnesium

Magnesium (Mg) has a similar role to calcium for shrimp, namely for carapace formation after molting. Furthermore, magnesium plays an important role in various metabolic processes such as enzymatic activity, protein synthesis, and energy production.

Magnesium also helps with pH regulation and maintaining osmotic balance in shrimp cells.

3. Sodium

The next important mineral for vannamei shrimp is Sodium (Na), which is one of the elements found in salt. Sodium helps with the regulation of internal osmotic pressure in shrimp.

Not only that, sodium also aids in carbohydrate absorption. Sodium deficiency may cause stress as shrimp is unable to regulate its internal environment.

4. Potassium

Shrimp also requires sufficient potassium (K) for growth. Aside from helping with osmoregulation together with sodium, potassium also plays a role in cell division and supporting the development of normal tissues and organs. Potassium aids in muscle development, enabling shrimp to grow healthy and well.

How to Give Mineral Treatment for Vannamei Shrimp?

Minerals can be absorbed by shrimp through both feed and pond water. The mineral requirement for vannamei shrimp is only around 2-5% of the total feed. However, water treatment is more recommended as it is more effective than feed modification strategies. The solubility of minerals in feed into water poses a challenge in the feed-based approach.

Water treatments to enhance mineral availability for vannamei shrimp can commence around mid-cultivation or DOC 30-60. Treatment options include:

1. Limestone (CaCO₃)

CaCO₃, calcium carbonate, or limestone is administered in water to increase pH, hardness, and alkalinity. Limestone is made up of calcium that can bind to H ions in water to increase pH and stabilize it.

2. Dolomite (CaMg(CO₃)₂)

Dolomite contains high levels of calcium and magnesium. Regular treatments with dolomite every 4-7 days with a dosage of 1-2 ppm can boost plankton growth and maintain pond water stability.

3. Quicklime (CaO)

Quicklime or CaO has been widely used to adjust pH, supply beneficial minerals for shrimp, and support the molting process. However, due to its relatively extreme effect on pH, the dosage should be carefully considered to avoid any negative effects on shrimp.


Minerals are important elements for vannamei shrimp growth, especially for the formation of carapace and osmoregulation. Make sure to administer the above treatments only after evaluating the current pond conditions by monitoring water hardness and molting frequency. The dosage given should also be adjusted according to the total pond water volume to prevent adverse effects on shrimp.

At the same time, farmers should ensure that the feed given to their shrimp also contains various minerals required for their growth and health and a balanced nutritional profile. Moreover, implementing good environmental management practices by adhering to biosecurity principles can also help maintain mineral balance in shrimp farms.

Good quality water, proper waste treatment and disposal, and appropriate salinity regulation will maintain water quality and mineral availability for more productive and sustainable cultivation.

To stay informed about your pond condition and get accurate water quality parameter measurements, use JALA Baruno. Baruno helps you monitor 5 water quality parameters at once, namely temperature, pH, DO, salinity, and ORP to take the best step and keep farm conditions ideal for shrimp growth. Visit the Baruno page to learn more about our offer!

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