Aerators in Shrimp Farms

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Shrimp farming is a valuable and economically profitable industry. However, to achieve a high-quality and healthy product, it is necessary to have sufficient knowledge and experience in the field. Proper and principled water management is one of the most important pillars of successful farming. Shrimp are farmed in the ponds and a healthy aquatic environment is considered very important.

As you know, the water in a farm pond has several parameters that must be carefully managed and controlled. Salinity, pH, temperature, and oxygen are some of these parameters. Each shrimp species requires different levels of these parameters for growth and survival. An increase or decrease in these parameters can jeopardize the health of the shrimp. Dissolved oxygen is one of the most important parameters in breeding pond water.

Dissolved oxygen in the water is essential for shrimp farming. Shrimp use oxygen to breathe and for energy. Shrimp cannot breathe well and will not grow if the oxygen level in the water is low. Shrimp mortality can also result from low oxygen levels in the water. Therefore, it should be closely monitored throughout the breeding season.

Oxygen in shrimp ponds can be supplied in several ways. Photosynthesis, wind, water exchange, atmosphere, and aerators are all sources of oxygen.

Shrimp are not the only consumers of dissolved oxygen in pond water. The black soil and phytoplankton also consume much of the oxygen. Dissolved oxygen is high during the day and begins to decrease after sunset. The lowest amount of oxygen is in the hours before sunrise. The decrease in dissolved oxygen in the water can occur for several reasons. In addition to normal fluctuations in oxygen levels throughout the day, these include indiscriminate feeding, increased temperature, increased salinity, plankton mortality, and prolonged cloudy weather. What happens when the dissolved oxygen in the pond water decreases?

Shrimp can tolerate reduced oxygen for short periods. However, prolonged and repeated exposure to low oxygen levels will have an impact on shrimp performance and health. Oxygen depletion can result in the release of toxic gases, reduced shrimp appetite, reduced shrimp immune system function, pathogens, and death. Therefore, one of the most important issues in aquaculture is to measure and monitor the amount of dissolved oxygen. Special devices called oxygen meters are used to measure the amount of oxygen in the ponds.

Aerators, an Important Source of Oxygen Supply

As mentioned above, dissolved oxygen in water is supplied in several ways. During the night and at times when oxygen levels drop significantly, it is necessary to compensate for this decrease in oxygen with an effective solution. The oxygen compensation solution on farms depends on the farming system. In traditional and extensive systems, tidal water exchange is used to compensate for oxygen depletion in the ponds. In semi-intensive systems, water exchange is also considered a source of oxygen supply during periods of oxygen depletion, except that in semi-intensive systems, water exchange is accomplished by water pumping. In intensive and super-intensive systems, special aeration devices are used to provide oxygen. Aerators are mechanical devices that are widely used in aquaculture. Aerators increase oxygen levels by mixing pond water with air and creating currents and waves.

Different types of aerators are selected based on the shape of the pond, depth of the pond, area of the pond, material of the pond bed, and power consumption. Vertical pump aerators, paddle-wheel aerators, diffusion aerators, propeller pump aerators, and spray aerators are among the aeration devices used in aquaculture. Paddle-wheel aerators are one of the most commonly used types of aerators in shrimp culture.

Proper placement of pond aerators

The placement of aerators in a pond depends on their purpose. If the purpose of using aerators is to increase oxygen and direct pond sediment to the center of the pond, then the aerators are placed so that the water flow is directed to the center of the pond. Sediment accumulation in the center of the pond causes problems. In recent years, farmers have used several small aerators on the surface of the pond. The aerators are placed so that the sediments are evenly distributed over the entire surface of the pond.

Advantages of using aerators

The use of aerators during periods of oxygen depletion is very important because the reduction of dissolved oxygen in the pond water causes damage to shrimp. The correct and appropriate use of aerators will result in better shrimp growth, help distribute nutrients and uniform nutrition in the pond, reduce the possibility of disease, increase production, maintain water quality, and greatly reduce the cost of energy consumption on the farm.

Of course, it should be noted that improper and inappropriate use of aerators can cause damage such as waste suspension, increased water turbidity, loss of pond walls, and wasted energy.

To improve the performance of aerators and get the most out of these devices, farmers and agricultural professionals need to learn and obtain sufficient knowledge and information about the types of aerators, how they work, the proper placement and number of aerators according to the purpose and structure of the ponds.

References:

https://scj.areeo.ac.ir/article_123992_1b9531fc6c56976ee6094d9d93dfcb8a.pdf

http://www.ifsri.ir/news/view-52619.aspx

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