Cultivation Tips

Types of Plankton in Shrimp Ponds: These are Their Benefits for Cultivation!

Wildan Gayuh Zulfikar
Wildan Gayuh Zulfikar
25 March 2024
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Plankton in shrimp ponds are microscopic aquatic organisms that are easily carried away by water currents. In the early stages of shrimp growth, from the larvae to post-larvae stages, plankton plays a crucial role as it is the shrimp’s natural feed source.

Based on their function, plankton in shrimp ponds are categorized into phytoplankton or microalgae and zooplankton. Phytoplankton are autotrophic organisms that are able to produce their own food and dissolved oxygen (DO). Meanwhile, zooplankton are very small aquatic animals.

What types of plankton in shrimp ponds are beneficial and which ones need to be avoided? Read further in the discussion below.

Types of Beneficial Plankton in Shrimp Ponds

Some plankton in shrimp ponds have benefits for shrimp growth. The following are the types of those plankton:

1. Green Algae

Green algae is a type of phytoplankton that contains chlorophyll and has the ability to photosynthesize. This type of algae contains quite high levels of nutrients, including protein, carbohydrates, fats, minerals, vitamins and amino acids. Shrimp need these nutrients for proper growth and development.

2. Diatom

In aquatic ecosystems, diatoms play an important role in biogeochemical cycles. This plankton is also known as golden brown algae because of its golden brown color. Due to their role, diatoms contribute to total primary production. Diatoms are also a water quality indicator of shrimp ponds.

Types of Plankton to Avoid in Shrimp Ponds

Not all plankton in shrimp ponds is beneficial. Some of them, if they appear excessive, must be avoided as they negatively impact the shrimp. The following is the types of plankton to avoid in shrimp ponds:

1. Blue Green Algae

Blue Green Algae (BGA) or cyanophyta is a type of phytoplankton that can float. This ability is a response to light intensity and has the potential to cause domination of plankton in ponds, leading to blooming algae. Certain types of BGA can also emit toxins and damage shrimp hepatopancreatic tissue.

2. Dinoflagellates

Dinoflagellates are a type of phytoplankton that can generate bioluminescence. Some genus of dinoflagellates can trigger dangerous plankton population explosions. In addition, a high dinoflagellate population in a pond indicates that the pond is in an unstable condition and is dangerous for shrimp.

3. Protozoa

Protozoa are ectoparasites which are often found attached to shrimp body parts. Two examples of this type of plankton are Zoothamnium sp. which can penetrate the shrimp carapace and cause damage to the inside of the skin and Epistylis sp. which grows in ponds with a high concentration of organic matter.

Why is Plankton Important for Shrimp Farming?

Plankton is important for shrimp farming, particularly as a source of nutrition and a water quality indicator. Learn more about the importance of plankton by reading the following explanation.

Natural feed for shrimp

In traditional ponds, plankton has a very important role as a natural feed source for shrimp. Plankton helps shrimp get the nutrients they need to grow. As natural feed, plankton also has the benefit of being more environmentally friendly.

Phytoplankton and zooplankton populations in ponds can be maintained through a basic fertilization process during the preparation of traditional shrimp ponds. According to Utojo (2015), you can apply:

  • 400-1,000 kg/ha of organic fertilizer
  • 200-400 kg/ha of urea
  • 100-200 kg/ha of SP-36

However, it is important to note that the use of fertilizers, particularly organic fertilizers, must prioritize the sterility of the ingredients to avoid causing disease to shrimp.

Water quality indicator

Plankton is one of the water quality indicators in shrimp ponds. Its existence can serve as a sign of a pond's fertility characteristics. From the plankton population in the pond, you can observe the condition of the water quality and its adequacy to support shrimp growth.

Shrimp pond water quality is crucial as it affects shrimp appetite, molting process, and immunity to disease. Plankton will respond when ponds have excessive nutrients, become acidic, polluted, and attacked by predators.

The Relation between Plankton with Eutrophication and Blooming Algae

Jenis Plankton Tambak Udang Water quality can be monitored by identifying the types of phytoplankton that are sensitive to eutrophication, such as Skeletonema sp. and Chroococcus sp. When these types of plankton are absent or appear in small amounts, the pond water may be in eutrophication (a condition where the water is enriched in nutrients in the form of nitrogen and phosphorus).

Eutrophication may lead to blooming algae, which pose a threat to shrimp survival. Therefore, you need to make sure that the pond has an adequate and optimal amount of plankton for the growth of shrimp. Try implementing cultivation with a plankton system and adjust it with your farm’s profile.

Conclusion

Plankton are microorganisms that have an important role in the pond ecosystem. It can be a natural feed source for shrimp and serves as an indicator of pond water quality.

Types of plankton that are beneficial for shrimp ponds are

  • Green Algae
  • Diatom

However, not all plankton in shrimp ponds are beneficial. There are certain types of plankton that must be avoided, especially if they are excessive, namely

  • Blue Green Algae (BGA)
  • Dinoflagellata
  • Protozoa

Meanwhile, when Skeletonema sp. and Chroococcus sp. are absent, the pond water could be experiencing eutrophication. This eutrophication can lead to blooming algae that endanger shrimp ponds.

To make it easier for you to monitor the plankton population in your shrimp ponds, you can use JALA App. This cultivation management app is #HeretoHelp with features to record more than 40 cultivation parameters, visual charts, and many more.

Let’s cultivate more productively and efficiently with JALA App! Access via the web version of JALA App or download the app on Google Play Store or App Store.

References

Utojo, U. (2015). Keragaman Plankton dan Kondisi Perairan Tambak Intensif dan Tradisional di Probolinggo Jawa Timur. Biosfera, 32(2), 83-97.

Widiani, J. Ambarwati, R. (2018). Identifikasi Jenis Protozoa Ektoparasit pada Udang Vaname (Penaeus vannamei) di Lahan Pertambakan Tradisional Daerah Bangil dan Glagah. LenteraBio, 7(2), 181-187.

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