CATEGORY: SHRIMP SEED The shrimp seed quality is very significant for any sustainable level of aquaculture operations.


Following standards are recommended for the shrimp seed;


Virus: Seeds should be free from any known virus tested by the available specific detection kits, using PCR techniques


Other standards

    Vibrio harveii Nil
    Zoothamnium Nil
    Stress test (by formalin) 100 ppm formalin- 95% survival in 60 minutes
    Stress test (Salinity) Salinity drop from 30 ppt to 15 ppt – No mortality for 2 hours.

Facility for testing the seed:


The hatcheries should have the facilities for conducting the above mentioned tests and if required, counter check, can be done at the recognized laboratories


CATEGORY: SHRIMP FEED The quality of feed plays an important role in waste output in shrimp culture, and there is scope to improve pond environment by good feed management. Nutrients and organic loads are higher in ponds where shrimps are fed with trash fish and fresh diets than where pelletised, moist or dry feeds are used. Fresh diets, infrequent feeding and high stocking densities increase nitrogen loads in the waste water from the shrimp farms. A considerable amount of detritus and wastes often accumulate on the pond bottom, in areas where water circulation is slow, leading to increased BOD and release of harmful gases, which could cause stress on bottom living shrimps. On the contrary, regular feeding with pelletised diets is known to maximize the growth of shrimps and minimize the nutrient enrichment of the waste water. The feed waste plays an important role in the total waste loadings in the environment. This is because, feed settles directly on the pond bottom and the feed wastage can have a significant effect on sediment quality and ultimately the health of the shrimp which normally live at the bottom. Hence the use of wet diets such as fresh fish and invertebrates has to be reduced and preferably avoided in shrimp aquaculture systems. Feed Conversion Ratio (FCR) should also be optimised. Monitoring of feed input is required to keep feed wastage to the minimum. Similarly, careful monitoring of standing stock in the ponds will also help to ensure that correct feeding levels are observed



      Starter Grower Finisher
    Crude protein (%) 40-45 30-35 30-35
    Non protein nitrogen (%) <0.2 <0.2 <0.2
    Lipids (%) 6-8 6-8 6-8
    Crude Fibre (%) 3-4 3-5 3-5
    Digestible Energy (Kilocalory/kg of feed) 3200-3600 3200-3600 3200-3600
    Fatty acids
Linoleic acid +
Linolenic acid (%)



    Eicosapentenoic acid (EPA) and Decosahexaenoic acid (DHA) (%)


    Phospholipids (lecithin) (%) 1 0.4 0.4
    Cholesterol (%) 0.5 0.2 0.2
    Astaxanthine (ppm) - - 200
    Essential amino acids
Arginine (%)



    Isoleucine (%) 1.225-1.4 1.05-1.225 1.05-1.225
    Methionine(%) 0.84-0.96 0.72-0.84 0.72-0.84
    Phenylalanine + Tyrosine (%) 1.89-2.16 1.62-1.89 1.62-1.89
    Phenylalanine (%) 1.4-1.6 1.2-1.4 1.2-1.4
    Tryptophan (%) 0.28-0.32 0.24-0.28 0.24-0.28
    Histidine (%) 0.735-0.84 0.63-0.735 0.63-0.735
    Lysine (%) 1.855-2.12 1.59-1.855 1.59-1.855
    Threonine (%) 1.26-1.44 1.08-1.26 1.08-1.26
    Valine (%) 1.4-1.6 1.2-1.4 1.2-1.4








Vitamin A (iu)






Vitamin D3 (iu)






Vitamin E (iu)






Vitamin K (mg)






Water soluble vitamin
Vitamin C (In the form of Ascorbyl Polyphosphate) (mg/kg of feed)

Not less than 300

Not less than 300

Not less than 300



Cyanacobalamin B12 (mg/kg of feed)



    Biotin (mg/kg of feed) >1 >1 >1
    Choline (As choline chloride) (mg/kg of feed)


    Folic acid (mg/kg of feed) >5 >5 >5
    Inositol (mg/kg of feed) >200 >200 >200
    Niacin (mg/kg of feed) >100 >100 >100
    Pantothenic acid (mg/kg of feed) >70 >70 >70
    Pyridoxine (mg/kg of feed) >30 >30 >30
    Riboflavin (mg/kg of feed) >30 >30 >30
    Thiamin (mg/kg of feed) >50 >50 >50
    Minerals & Trace elements
Calcium (%)



    Phosphorus (as available phosphorus) (%)


    Magnesium (%) <0.06 <0.06 <0.06
    Copper (mg/kg of feed) <25 <25 <25
    Manganese (mg/kg of feed) <20 <20 <20
    Zinc (mg/kg of feed) <50 <50 <50
    Iron (mg/kg of feed) <10 <10 <10
    Cobalt (mg/kg of feed) <10 <10 <10
    Selenium (mg/kg of feed) <1 <1 <1
    Iodine (mg/kg of feed) <5 <5 <5
    Sodium (%) 0.6 0.6 0.6
    Potassium (%) 0.9 0.9 0.9
    Sulfur (mg/kg of feed) <200 <200 <200
Aldrin & Dialdrin (µg/kg of feed)
<0.003 <0.003 <0.003
    BHC (µg/kg of feed) <0.4 <0.4 <0.4
    DDT (µg/kg of feed) <0.001 <0.001 <0.001
    Antinutrient Factor
(Aflatoxin) (ppb)
<20 <20 <20

Facility for testing quality: CMFRI Kochi, CIFT Kochi, CIBA Chennai, National Institute of Animal Nutrition & Physiology at Bangalore etc. can check the feed quality.  CIFT can check pesticides.  Antibiotics can be checked by CDRL, Lucknow and CFTRI, Mysore.  The labs of MPEDA/ EIA/CIBA etc. can also be used soon as they are equipped with the equipments for the same


 Zeolite:  Zeolite are generally used to remove the toxic gases like Hydrogen sulphide, Ammonia etc. from the pond bottom.  There are about 50 types of zeolite available.  Pore size and crystal structure of the zeolite plays the role of ionic exchange to absorb the toxic gases.  Therefore, the usage of zeolite and its efficacy in salt water environment is questionable. Percentage composition of the zeolite.


CaO (15-18%);            Al2O3(18-22%);             SiO2(60-65%)


Oxidants:  This is used in pond preparation initially, to reduce the organic load.  The following standards are recommendable  for various oxidants now under use in shrimp farming.

    i. Calcium Hypochlorite: Should contain 30% of available chlorine
    ii.  Hydrogen Peroxide: Strength should not be less than 35% of H2O2
    iii. Potassium Permanganate (KMnO4): Should be of IP (Indian Pharmacopoeia) Grade.

Liming materials: Compounds used as liming materials in general contain either calcium or calcium and magnesium associated with an anion that will neutralize acidity.  Most commonly used liming materials are (1) CaCO3 (Calcite – agricultural limestone), (2) CaO (Quick lime) (3) Ca (OH)2 (Calcium hydroxide – slaked lime) (4) CaMg(CO3)2 (dolomite).  All should be of agricultural grade

    i. Lime stone:  Should contain not less than 60% CaCO3
    ii. Hydrated Lime:  Should contain not less than 75% Ca(OH)2,
    iii. Quick Lime:  Should contain not less than 65% CaO
    iv. Dolomite:  Should contain Ca, Mg, CO3 at the ratio of 1:1:1 and the particle size should be smaller than 60 µm in all cases.

NOTE: Regarding the particle size, limestone powder passing through the 60-mesh sieve (0.25 mm in size) are rated 100% efficient, those passing through the 20-mesh sieve (0.855 mm) and retained on the 60 mesh sieve are rated 60% efficient.  Those passing through the 8 mesh sieve (2.36mm) are rated 0% efficient.


Facility for testing: CIFT can test the contents of the above items.




Different brands of antibiotics are available in India.  Although the specific dose against each micro organism is not available, farmers are using broad spectrum antibiotic and mixtures as per the dose indicated by the manufacturers.  It is  felt that antibiotics should not be used, and if at all used as a therapeutic agent, with specific dosage, the products should conform to Indian IP Standards and a withdrawal period should be allowed before the harvest.


Facility for testing: CDRI, Lucknow and CFTRI, Mysore.  Labs of MPEDA/EIA/CIBA etc. can also be used once they equip with the instruments for testing.




Different varieties are available in the market.  The committee recommended the following disinfectants for use in aquaculture

    i.  Iodine: IP grade
    ii. Benzalkonium Chloride (BKC): LR grade
    iii. Formaldehyde (Containing 40% formalin): LR Grade
    iv. Chloramine T: LR Grade

Facility for testing: CIFT Kochi




 Copper sulphate may be used as Algicide.  Both Copper Sulphate and Chelating agent (like EDTA) should be of IP grade.




 The following standards for the eradicators can be used in aquaculture

    i. Tea Seed Cake: Should contain 7-10(%) Saponin
    ii. Mahua Oil Cake: Should contain 5-7% Saponin
    iii. Derris Root powder: Should contain 8-10% Rotenone

Testing facility: CIFT, CIBA may test the contents.

Use of Chemicals, Fertilizers, Piscicides, Antibiotics, etc.
Use of chemicals

Chemicals should be avoided in shrimp culture ponds for prevention or treatment of disease, as feed additives, disinfectants. for removal of other fish or for treatment of soil or water. However, chemicals may be required in hatcheries. Entry of such chemicals into the natural waters from the hatcheries should be carefully monitored and steps should be taken to remove such materials from the waste waters.

Use of fertilizers

Both organic and inorganic fertilizers are used widely in semi-intensive culture systems for promoting the growth of fish food organisms, particularly for the early post larval stages. This may contribute to the nutrient load in receiving water. Therefore, as far as possible only organic manure/fertilizers and other plant products should be used for such purposes

Use of piscicides

Similarly, piscicides and molluscicides are widely used for removing predators and competitors from shrimp ponds. It would be advisable for aquaculturists to use only the bio-degradable organic plant extracts for this purpose as they are less harmful than the chemical agents. Use of chemical piscicides in culture systems should be avoided.

Use of chemo-therapeutants

Some of the chemo-therapeutants such as formalin and malachite green which are commonly used as disinfectants are known to be toxic and may affect adversely the pond ecosystem, the external waters, etc. and hence their usage in culture system should be completely avoided.


Aquaculture is emerging as the main source of aquatic food supply for domestic consumption and exports to provide for human dietary standards. It is contributing to the generation of job opportunities and also raising living standards of lakhs of people, utilizing vast untapped areas of land and other resources. Aquaculture has become an important commercial venture and economic activity during the past decade in India. The development is manifold in quality and quantity in augmenting seafood production and exports.


Along with the development/growth of aquaculture, diseases caused by various etiological agents followed by mortality of cultured stock have become limiting factors in production. Hence, the farmers and the hatchery operators have resorted to the use of various remedial measures, including use of antimicrobials and drugs for controlling the disease. The frequency of utilizing these antibiotics and other chemicals is more in hatcheries and scientific farms than in traditional and improved traditional types of aqua farming.


Antibiotics are chemical substances produced by the metabolic process of micro-organisms that inhibit other micro-organisms in the same habit that compete for nutrients and space. Hence, antibiotics are used to kill micro-organisms that come in the way of growth and production of the desired animal. The antibiotics root out the entire population of micro fauna including the beneficial microbes. Also, some times, toughest germs will survive an antibiotic assault, quickly passing hardy genes to their offspring. The more the antibiotics are used, they gain more resistance and the purpose of using antibiotics for treatment will not be served. In hatcheries, it is the common practice to use antibiotics as a prophylactic/therapeutic, measure especially when larval development is hampered. This is also meant to treat the microbial infections in stored water in hatchery tanks, while larval and post larval development continues. The practice can be replaced by using probiotics (helpful microbes). Enrichment of live larval feeds with antibiotics to enhance quality (bio-encapsulation) can also lead to ill effects of antibiotics use. All these measures will leave antibiotic residue in the cultured stock.


The antibiotics used in aquaculture, either for prophylactic or therapeutic purposes often accumulate in the tissue of aquatic animals. Presence of anti-microbial drug residues in the edible tissues can cause allergies, toxic effects, changes in the intestinal microbial fauna and acquisition of drug-resistance. Residue of chloramphenicol in food consumed by humans can even result in aplastic anaemia, which leads to very serious bone marrow diseases. Nitrofuran antibiotics are known to cause cancer and so many other diseases. It is for this reason, that most of the importing countries have completely banned the use of certain antibiotics. Accordingly India also has banned their use .


In view of the risks associated with marketing of shrimp/fish with tissues containing residual antibiotics for export purposes, it is prudent for aquaculturists, hatchery operators, drug companies and others concerned to refrain from using/supplying any antibiotic to the extent possible. The following follow-up actions with the whole-hearted co-operation of each and every body, can ensure this:
1. Adopt Better Management Practices(BMPs) and disease prevention measures
2. To strictly adhere to technical programme avoiding use of antibiotics and instead use probiotics as required
3. To strictly comply with the regulations and guidelines on the use of antibiotics in culture/hatchery operations, caring for environmental problems that might have caused by them.
4. To be conscious and cautious of health of the consumers.
5. To have awareness on maximum permissible limits and withdrawal periods of permitted antibiotics in aquaculture.