Flylab and Kasetsart University joined forces to explore the potential of using FLMeal (black soldier fly larvae meal) as a substitute for the expensive and limited fish meal in diets for Pacific White Shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei). This shrimp species is the most important farmed penaeid and is widely farmed in Asia, making the results from this study particularly pertinent. By replacing fish meal with FLMeal, the research sought to find out how dietary protein levels would be affected by the substitution. Could FLMeal be a viable and accessible alternative to fish meal? Find out the results of this fascinating trial!
Get ready to dive into this exciting experiment conducted by Dr. Orapint Jintasataporn that took place in 15 aquariums. In these 240-liter aquariums, brimming with 180 liters of 15 parts per thousand saline water, a bustling community of juvenile white shrimp, weighs around 1-2 grams.
The Density of Shrimp
Each aquarium welcomed 15 shrimps, creating a lively environment for them.
Aeration for Vitality
In order to keep the shrimp healthy, aeration systems were utilized that kept the dissolved oxygen level at more than 5 milligrams per liter in a semi-enclosed system.
Nourishment for Growth
The shrimps are fed with a carefully crafted diet, with FLMeal mixed into their feed. This nutrient-rich blend was administered three times a day, at a dose of 5-8% of their body weight, for a period of three weeks under normal conditions.
The feed provided to the shrimps contained 36-38% CP (protein) and 6.5-7% fat, offering a balanced and nutritious meal plan.
To maintain a pristine environment, the water culture underwent a 30% change every three days, ensuring the shrimp’s habitat remained clean and inviting.
This experiment unfolded over the course of eight weeks, allowing generous time to observe the growth and development of the Pacific White Shrimps.
The experiment consists of five treatment groups, each with a different composition of feed:
T1 – Control FM 15%
This group serves as the control, using a basal feed formula with a 15% fish meal content. It represents the standard diet commonly used for Pacific White Shrimp.
T2 – BSF-10% of FM (Replace fish meal 10% by FLMeal 1.5%)
In this group, 10% of the fish meal in the control feed is replaced with FL Meal, specifically at a concentration of 1.5%. Black Soldier Fly (BSF) larvae-derived meal is used as an alternative source of protein and nutrients.
T3 – BSF-25% of FM (Replace fish meal 25% by FLMeal 3.75%)
This group involves a higher replacement level, where 25% of the fish meal is substituted with FL Meal at a concentration of 3.75%.
T4 – BSF-50% of FM (Replace fish meal 50% by FLMeal 7.5%)
In this treatment group, half of the fish meal (50%) in the control feed is replaced with FL Meal, at a concentration of 7.5%.
T5 – BSF-60% of FM (Replace fish meal 60% by FLMeal 9%)
The final treatment group incorporates a significant replacement level, with 60% of the fish meal being substituted by FL Meal at a concentration of 9%.
By varying the amount of fish meal replaced with FLMeal in each treatment group, the study aims to evaluate the effects of these alternative feed formulations on the growth performance of Pacific White Shrimp. Comparing the results across the treatment groups will provide insights into the potential of FLMeal as a sustainable and cost-effective alternative to fish meal in shrimp feed production.
The Shrimp Growth Performance and Weight Gain
The chart exhibits the average weight gain in Pacific White Shrimp under various treatment conditions. The Control group, serving as the baseline, yields an average weight gain of 1.26 grams after 2 weeks and 6.55 grams after 8 weeks. Treatment groups incorporating fish meal replacement demonstrate higher weight gains, with values ranging from 1.33 to 1.57 grams at 2 weeks and 6.96 to 7.98 grams at 8 weeks, corresponding to increasing levels of fish meal substitution. These findings suggest a potential influence of alternative feed formulations on shrimp growth performance.
The Shrimp Survival Rate
The chart displays the survival rates of Pacific White Shrimp across different treatment groups. After 2 weeks, all groups, including the Control, exhibit a consistent survival rate of 97.78%. At 8 weeks, the groups with fish meal substitution demonstrate enhanced survival rates. Notably, the Replace FM 60% group attains the highest rate of 91.11%. These findings highlight the potential of alternative feed formulations in supporting shrimp sustainability.
Feed Conversion Ration at 8 Weeks
The chart showcases the feed conversion ratio (FCR) for different treatment groups in Pacific White Shrimp. FCR is a measure of the efficiency with which the feed is converted into shrimp biomass. The Control group, representing the standard diet, exhibits an FCR of 1.67, indicating that it takes 1.67 units of feed to produce one unit of shrimp biomass. As the fish meal is gradually replaced with alternative feed (FL Meal) in the treatment groups, the FCR improves. The Replace FM 60% group achieves the lowest FCR of 1.12, suggesting a more efficient conversion of feed into shrimp biomass. These results demonstrate the potential benefits of incorporating FL Meal as a substitute for fish meal in terms of improved feed conversion efficiency in shrimp production.
Cooked Shrimp Color Determination
The colors of cooked shrimp fed different proportions of fish meal and Oil-Extracted Black Soldier Fly Meal (BEF) in the diets for 8 weeks were determined. This is important as the color of cooked shrimp can be indicative of shrimp health, due to its ability to control stress and free radicals, and can influence customers’ buying decisions. The results of the experiment, shown in the chart, demonstrate that the different proportions of fish meal and BEF resulted in varying colors for the cooked shrimp.
In conclusion, Pacific White Shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei) can benefit from diets composed of FLMeal, defatted black soldier fly larvae meal, substituting for 0-60% fish meal (0-9% FL meal). These diets can promote growth performance and feed utilization, including an increased red color of cooked shrimp. The greatest performance improvements (p<0.05) were seen at a minimum of 10% FLMeal substitution, and the highest performance was achieved when the fishmeal content was reduced and the fish oil content increased.
The study demonstrates that FLMeal can be used as an effective and sustainable replacement for fish meal in the diets of Pacific White Shrimp. Not only does this alternative provide better growth performance, higher survival rates, and improved feed conversion efficiency, but it also has the potential to provide cost savings in shrimp feed production. Thus, this experiment offers valuable insights into the potential of FLMeal as an alternative to fish meal in the aquaculture industry.