Water quality of shrimp ponds

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Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Maintaining good water quality in shrimp ponds is essential in providing a low-stress environment in shrimp farming. Typically, pool quality management is done by changing the water to expel plankton and extra nutrients from the pools.

The effect of waste matters can be seen well in breeding ponds. Soluble nutrients and organic solids stimulate the growth of bacteria, phytoplankton, zooplankton as well as benthos. Phytoplankton dynamics also affect the quality of wastewater. Nutrient overload occurs after phytoplankton blooms failure. This kind of planktonic efflorescence is a common problem in shrimp farms, especially during sudden changes in the climate.

Pool water quality can be a direct result of water source, soil type, and chemical properties of soil. The amount of clay in the soil is important for storing water in the pool. However, the number of minerals can affect the PH, hardness, and alkalinity of the water, which in turn affects the phytoplankton’s output. High levels of organic matter in the soil increase the oxygen demand of bacteria as they decompose into simpler substances.

Important notes about water quality of shrimp ponds

  1. The quality of pool water depends directly on the water source of the supplier.
  2. The organic load of the water source affects the bacterial population and the amount of oxygen required.
  3. Nutrient-rich water sources depend on the amount of nitrogen, phosphorus and ammonia concentration in the pool water.
  4. Filtration reduces the number of predators.
  5. Breeding ponds should be established above the tidal zone.
  6. Breeding ponds shouldn’t contact with animal and human waste.

The key parameters of water quality are soluble oxygen, PH, salinity, nitrate, nitrite, ammonia, BOD and hydrogen sulfide. The quality of water parameters should be monitored to be used as a guide for pool management to avoid conditions that may have detrimental effects on shrimp growth. In cases where problems are encountered, these parameters can help in the diagnosis so that a suitable solution can be adopted to solve it.

Replacing the water is the best way to overcome shrimp water problems

Most water quality problems can be solved by changing the water. Therefore, if a large amount of suitable water is available, water quality monitoring is not very necessary and therefore the maximum product will be obtained. If resources are limited, the risk of water quality problems and disease increases, which is more pronounced for high-density breeding.

When storage density increases, the first important thing is access to sufficient reliable water and good water quality. So far, in addition to aeration, water changing is still the most effective way to maintain good water quality along with water quality enhancers such as zeolite. Water exchange is commonly used to regulate salinity, remove excess metabolites, maintain healthy algae, produce plenty of oxygen, and regulate water temperature. Constant water change should be accompanied by water circulation by paddling aerators to mix the pool water thoroughly. Otherwise, it will cause a big difference in the water quality inside the pool and will lead to a heterogeneous distribution of farming organisms in the pool floor.

How to replace the pond water

First lowering the water level and then adding fresh water is not recommended, especially during summer days. Because hig temperature, while lowering the water level, can reduce the ability of water to retain oxygen and increase the decay of the pool bed, which leads to oxygen depletion. It is better to add fresh water first according to the volume of water predicted for replacement and homogenize it with the flow of aerators and then drain the water. Water quality in a layer of the bed surface is usually worse than in a layer near the surface. Surface water should be drained when the surface water has accumulated with foam, shrimp feces and dead plankton. During water change, parameters such as PH, salinity, temperature, turbidity and other parameters related to determining the quality of good environmental conditions of pools should be considered. The need for water change usually depends on the shrimp germ, nutrition, phytoplankton density and microbial load, and the presence or absence of aeration in the pool.

Important factors when reviewing the water quality


Although Vannamei shrimp can tolerate a wide range of salinity, in order to store baby shrimp, the salinity of the storage pool water should not be very different from that of the breeding hatchery. Therefore, breeders should measure the salinity of the pool after dewatering and inform the breeding center from which the baby shrimp is prepared to make as little difference as possible. This difference should be considered less than 5ppt. Salinity has important effects on the growth rate as well as the living environment of shrimp, and sudden changes in salinity can cause sudden changes in planktonic communities, reduced oxygen solubility and stress in shrimp.


Water quality index depends on its PH. Properly managed in the preparation of pools, the PH changes are usually in the desired range of 8 / 8.5 in early breeding period, which is the natural range for shrimp growth and survival.


The temperature should be measured in the morning and evening for several days to ensure its stability.

The degree of transparency

This index, which indicates the density of phytoplankton (fertility index) in the breeding pond, is of particular importance in the early stages of storage 30-40 cm, which should be corrected if it is low by changing the water, and high by adding fertilizer.

Deep water intake

The optimal height of the pool water for storage is 70-80 cm and if necessary 80-100 cm.

Dissolved oxygen

Oxygen is one of the vital factors in shrimp farming. Soluble oxygen is responsible for controlling oxidation reactions and preservation aerobic conditions in the pool water. Water-soluble oxygen during storage should not be less than 4 ppm.

It is recommended that water parameters such as salinity, temperature, oxygen, PH, ammonium and nitrite be measured regularly. In case of lack of oxygen, by changing the water or aerator help supply oxygen, help remove toxins and excretion of shrimp from the ponds. On the other hand, phytoplankton sampling to adjust the algal biomass (transparency) should also be on the agenda.

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