HCNSO Student Theses and Dissertations

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Defense Date


Document Type

Thesis - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

M.S. Marine Biology

Second Degree Name

M.S. Coastal Zone Management


Oceanographic Center

First Advisor

Charles G. Messing

Second Advisor

Andrew Rogerson

Third Advisor

Curtis M. Burney


The penaeid shrimp, Litopenaeus vannamei, is the most important species in the shrimp aquaculture industry in the Western Hemisphere, and its cultivation in fresh and low-salinity well waters is one of the most exciting new areas of shrimp culture research. However, no research has been carried out using South Florida aquifers. The range of salinity this species encounters in nature makes it attractive for culture in inland, low-salinity growout conditions.

This study investigated the feasibility of culturing L. vannamei in low salinity and fresh well waters of South Florida. Two sets of experiments were carried out, an acclimation study and a cultivation study.

In the acclimation study, a total of 150 5-day-old postlarval shrimp (PL 5) were acclimated to five water types over a 6-day period: Shallow Broward Well water (SBW), Deep Broward Well water (DBW), Shallow Broward Well water treated with agricultural Salt (SBWS), Deep Broward Well water with Salt (DBWS) and Diluted SeaWater (DSW). Each water type had three one-liter replicates stocked with 30 PL 5’s. After a two-day acclimation period, test organisms demonstrated marked differences in survival rates. Deep Broward well water was the most successful (79% survival), followed by Shallow Broward well water (68%), and diluted seawater (44%); all waters treated with agricultural salt had low survival rates. An ANOVA on the DBW and SBW data shows that survival results do not differ statistically between the two treatments.

In the cultivation study, the growth of L. vannamei was monitored over a 35-day period in Shallow Broward Well water (SBW) and Deep Broward Well water (DBW). Three hundred test organisms were monitored in separate recirculating systems for each water type. Growth was measured in weight (in gm), total body length, width of head, and width of body (all in cm). Nitrite, nitrate, ammonia, dissolved oxygen and temperature were also monitored. Statistically significant growth occurred in both water types in all categories measured. Growth rates were significantly higher in DBW than in SBW in all categories measured over the 35-day study.

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