Urea as a Nitrogen Source in a Black Tiger Shrimp (Penaeus monodon) Closed Culture System
Keywords:Urea, nitrogen sources, Penaeus monodon, shrimp, phytoplankton, growth
Urea [(NH2)2CO] is an organic compound that serves an important role in the metabolism of nitrogen-containing compound by animals. Urea is widely used in aquaculture systems. This study investigated the effects of urea on growth of Penaeus monodon. Shrimp were reared in 500 l fiber tanks. There was no exchange of water throughout the experiment. Shrimp with an average body weight of 10.99 ± 0.19 g were stocked at a density of 32 shrimp/m2 in 20 ppt diluted seawater and fed with 38 % protein diet for 9 weeks. Urea was added into the culture tanks at a concentration of 1.25 ppm once a week. The results show that urea slightly affects growth and survival of shrimp. Shrimp reared in the culture pond with added urea had a marginal better growth rate (p > 0.05) while the survival rate was significantly higher than the control group (p < 0.05). The urea in the closed culture tanks was shown to reduce the toxicity of ammonia in soil and promoted growth of plankton communities. Adding urea has no effect on water quality. This study concluded that urea is a potential nitrogen source in closed culture systems when the nitrogen input through the feeding regime is limited. It suggests that urea should be added at a concentration of 1.25 ppm once a week into culture systems with limiting nitrogen sources.
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