Probiotics in Shrimp Farming


Shrimp Farming has witnessed tremendous growth in recent years, becoming a vital sector in the global seafood industry. As the demand for high-quality shrimp continues to rise, farmers are faced with challenges such as disease outbreaks, water quality issues, and the need for sustainable practices. One promising solution gaining attention is the use of probiotics in shrimp farming.

Challenges in Shrimp farming

Shrimp farming presents numerous challenges due to constant exposure to pathogen pressures, environmental fluctuations (such as temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen, etc.), and various production stressors (including stocking density and handling). However, the most formidable obstacle for producers is disease, which can result in unpredictable harvests with mortality rates ranging from 30% to 80%. This unpredictability significantly heightens the risk of shrimp farming and incurs substantial financial costs, estimated to cost the shrimp industry billions of US dollars annually. Despite extensive research, finding a singular solution to address these intricate challenges remains elusive and unrealistic. Therefore, a comprehensive, multifactorial approach is imperative throughout the value and production chain, necessitating collaboration among various stakeholders.

Understanding Probiotics

Probiotics, often referred to as “good bacteria,” are living microorganisms that confer health benefits to their host organisms when administered in adequate amounts. In shrimp aquaculture, the most commonly used probiotics include bacteria, yeast, and other microorganisms that positively influence the gut microbiota of shrimp.

The Gut Microbiota and Shrimp Health

The gastrointestinal tract of shrimp plays a crucial role in digestion, nutrient absorption, and overall health. Disruptions in the balance of the gut microbiota can lead to various issues, including disease susceptibility and poor growth rates. Probiotics work by enhancing the beneficial bacteria in the shrimp gut, thereby promoting a healthier microbial community.

Benefits of Probiotics in Shrimp Aquaculture

Disease Prevention: Probiotics have shown remarkable potential in preventing and controlling diseases in shrimp. They compete with harmful pathogens for resources, produce antimicrobial compounds, and stimulate the shrimp’s immune system.

Improved Nutrient Digestion: Certain probiotic strains assist in the breakdown of complex nutrients, making them more accessible to the shrimp. This results in improved feed utilization and better growth rates.

Water Quality Management: Probiotics contribute to the maintenance of water quality by breaking down organic matter and reducing the accumulation of harmful compounds such as ammonia and nitrites. This is particularly crucial in densely populated shrimp ponds.

Stress Reduction: Shrimp often face stressors such as changes in environmental conditions or handling during farming operations. Probiotics help in mitigating stress by promoting a balanced gut microbiota, which in turn supports the shrimp’s resilience.

Application of Probiotics in Shrimp Farming

Probiotics can be administered to shrimp through various methods:

Direct Addition to Feed: Probiotics can be incorporated into shrimp feed, ensuring a consistent and controlled dosage. This method is convenient for large-scale farming operations.

Water Probiotics: Some farmers prefer adding probiotics directly to the pond water. This allows for a more widespread distribution and can positively impact the entire pond ecosystem.

Post-Larval Treatment: Treating shrimp post-larvae with probiotics during the early stages of development establishes a beneficial microbial community in the gut, laying the foundation for a healthy life cycle.

Challenges and Considerations

While the use of probiotics in shrimp aquaculture holds tremendous potential, it is essential to address challenges such as:

Selection of Strains: Identifying the most effective probiotic strains for a specific shrimp species and environmental conditions is crucial.

Dosage and Timing: Determining the optimal dosage and timing of probiotic administration requires careful consideration to achieve maximum benefits.

Environmental Factors: Factors like water temperature, pH, and salinity can influence the effectiveness of probiotics, making it necessary to tailor applications to specific conditions.

Probiotic solution for shrimp farming from Sanzyme Biologics

Sanzyme Biologics has positioned itself at the forefront of innovation by offering a specialized probiotic solution for aquaculture designed to tackle the unique challenges faced by shrimp farmers. Their approach is holistic, targeting the host, pathogen, and environment to fortify shrimp health and resilience.

Host Support: Sanzyme’s probiotics are formulated to enhance the shrimp’s immune system and digestive processes. By fostering a balanced gut microbiota, these probiotics contribute to improved nutrient absorption and overall health for shrimps.

Pathogen Control: The probiotic solution from Sanzyme Biologics includes strains that compete with and inhibit the growth of harmful pathogens. This proactive approach helps prevent disease outbreaks and reduces mortality rates.

Environmental Management: Recognizing the impact of environmental factors, Sanzyme’s probiotics for aquaculture aid in maintaining optimal conditions within shrimp ponds. This includes mitigating the effects of fluctuating temperatures, salinity levels, and other stressors.

While the financial toll of high mortality rates in shrimp farming is difficult to quantify precisely, Sanzyme Biologics’ probiotic solution aims to significantly reduce these losses. By offering a more predictable and consistent harvest, shrimp farmers can experience increased profitability and sustainability, reinforcing the economic viability of the entire industry.

About Sanzyme Biologics

Sanzyme Biologics is a pioneer in fermentation technology with 50 years of legacy in the area of probiotics.  Founded as Uni-Sankyo in the year 1969, it was the first company to manufacture and sell probiotics & enzymes in India and is today a market leader with presence in over 40 countries across the globe, including key markets such as US, Europe, Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, China and Taiwan.

Sanzyme Biologics manufactures proprietary probiotic strains, probiotic blends, enzymes and nutritional ingredients for humans, pets and farm animals in its state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Hyderabad, India with over fermentation capacity of 350,000 L (one of the highest in the world). Sanzyme Biologics is certified FAMI-QS, NON-GMO, NSF, HALAL, KOSHER & ISO   Producing a wide range of spore forming, shelf and process stable probiotic strains. In Animal Health -Sanzyme Biologics  exports AMR Gene Free Probiotic strains of Bacillus subtilis (SAN 144BS), Bacillus coagulans (SAN 135BC), Bacillus licheniformis (SAN 136BL) & Saccharomyces boulardii (SAN 158SB). SANZYME BIOLOGICS also export other Probiotic Animal Health Formulations for Poultry, Aqua, Swine, Dairy, Sheep, Companion Animals & Others

Applications of Bacillus strains in shrimp aquaculture

World aquaculture production has increased significantly in the last decade. Among them, shrimp farming is one of the fastest growing aquaculture sectors in many tropical countries; however, this development has been accompanied by adverse impacts due to intensification – Problems related to diseases and deterioration of environmental conditions. The occurrence of infectious diseases in shrimp aquaculture is a serious problem due to the overuse or misuse of antibiotics and antibiotic resistant genes among opportunistic pathogens such as Vibrio species. In addition, the invertebrate immune system is highly dependent on the innate mechanisms and in theory, is incapable of responding to specific vaccines. Therefore, other alternatives such as probiotic bacteria have been examined in order to control the infectious diseases not only in shrimp aquaculture but also in other farmed aquatic species. Bacillus spp are used in Vannamei Shrimp farming, which has an advantage over other probiotic bacterial species. In addition it is well documented that Bacillus species are able to produce a wide range of extra-cellular substances and antimicrobial peptides against variety of microorganisms. Bacillus subtilis is one amongst them. Application of Bacillus subtilis as a probiotic has brought very promising results for shrimp aquaculture. This bacterium is Non-Pathogenic Gram positive Spore-forming which has been used to improve the growth, performance and also shrimp health and disease management.

Probiotic Bacillus subtilis when administered in to the pond environment challenges the growth and proliferation of pathogenic Vibrio spp. like Vibrio harveyi and Vibrio parahaemolyticus. Bacillus subtilis breaks down the compounded minerals available in the pond environment to simpler forms which are readily consumed by the shrimps (minerals are required for shrimp growth since the exoskeleton of shrimps are made of minerals). Bacillus megaterium and Bacillus licheniformis are also useful Probiotic Bacillus spp which are involved in pond water bioremediation and disease producing micro organisms control ( Vibrio spp.) Bacillus licheniforms are capable of producting enzymes like keratinases which help in digestion & recycle of shrimps molted shells, they are capable of producing anti bacterial subtances Bacitracin which helps in the reduction of Vibrio sp in the pond enviroment. Bacillus megaterium are well known phosphate solubilisers which majorily play in the regulation of Phytoplanktons in the pond water. Kenko is the Aqua Division of SANZYME BIOLOGICS – providing Probiotic solutions for problems related to Aquaculture. SANZYME BIOLOGICS Aqua products are result of intense Research and Development which includes Strain Development, Efficacy Testing and Performance for various parameters like withstanding to extreme enviromental conditions. Bacillus strains can be used in pond water management and can be utilized in feed also which enhances the digestion – in turn improving the pond water paramters and contributing to disease management.

Application and uses of Sanzyme’s Uni Max in Shrimp Aquaculture

Shrimp feed is complex mixture of nutrients which help in shrimp growth. Shrimp feed is highly proteinaceous in nature and the materials added are either from plant source or from animal source. Since shrimps are premitive organisms which do not have well developed digestive system, it is difficult for them to digest the feed. The digestive cycle of shrimps are only 20 min and in that 20 min the feed has to be digested and the nutrients should be absorbed which will help the shrimp in digestion, survival and beat external factors which affects the ecology.

Shrimp digestive systems main organ of digestion is hepatopancreas. The functions of hepatopancreas are synthesizes and secrets digestive enzymes for food digestion & absorbs digested material. Hepatopancreas transports the stored nutrients to the muscle, gonads and other tissues during the growth and reproductive stages. Hepatopancreas helps in the metabolism of lipids and carbohydrates.Hepatopancreas is the storehouse of large amounts of energy (lipids) for supplying energy during molting, starvation or reproduction. Hepatopancreas is an important site for the synthesis of vitellogenin and sex steroid hormones for some biosynthetic steps in these pathways.  Hepatopancreas plays important roles during growth and reproduction process in shrimp. Hepatopancreas  act as a site for reserves of mineral and organic products.

Pathogenic Vibrios entering shirmps through oral route target hepatopancreas and restrict the vital body functions, by which the growth of shrimps get affected and leading to monetary losses. By providing potent beneficial microbes and the damaged or infected hepatopancreas can be restored.

Vitamins are necessary for the assimilation and growth of shrimps. Vitamin deficiency leads to poor appetite, slow growth and poorer feed conversion. Vitamin C is a multidimensional  which can reduce stress, improve non specific immune system of host, takes part in collagen synthesis.

Vitamin B1 aids growth, digestion, fertility, nervous system, carbohydrate metabolism and oxidation of glucose. Vitamin B6 vision, enzyme functioning ,energy metabolism, respiration of poorly vascularised tissues, metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and proteins.

When the hepatopancreas is infected / damaged the essential digestive enzymes are not available for carrying out digestion of feed. Uni Max is unique combination of Probiotics, vitamins and enzymes which help in the digestion and rejuvenation of damaged hepatopancreas, increase in average body weight and increasing the Feed conversion ratio.

Application and uses of Sanzyme’s Uni Ecosense in Shrimp Aquaculture

Aquaculture is an industrial process of raising aquatic organisms upto final commercial production within properly partitioned aquatic areas. Aquaculture is a promising source of food in the future, with incidences of high antibiotics residues and hormonal residues; the live stock protein source may not be suitable for consumption whereas the aquatic protein source is highly rich in Poly unsaturated fatty acids and protein present are highly nutricious when compared to other animal food sources.

Problems & diseases arise in aquaculture due to the bad management of water quality and poor management of the pond environment which can be rectified by following Best Management Practices. Best Management Practices includes maintaining the water parameters like pH, alkalinity, noxious gases, DO and plankton density, feed management and biosecurity measures. Water quality can be maintained by application of good probiotics, one of the good probiotics is Uni Ecosense.

Uni Ecosense is a unique blend of proprietary strains of Bacillus species which are capable of maintaining the water quality parameters and can control pathogenic Vibrios. Uni Ecosense strains are micro aerophillic which can perform in low DO. Uni Ecosense carries out enzyme aided decomposition of organic load thereby deodorization of shrimps. Uni Ecosense performs dual function of degradation & regulation of organic carbon in pond for increase in number of beneficial planktons and reduction of pathogenic phytoplanktons.

Uni Ecosense strains are capable of eliminating the pathogens present in the environment by producing antibacterial substances. Uni Ecosense stabilizes physiochemical parameters of pond water by synthesis of osmolytes which creates a conducive environment. Uni Ecosense performs the chemo-organotrophic oxidation of organic compounds thereby reduction of black soil & initiates the Bio-conversion of anaerobic habitat to aerobic through competitive mechanism.
Uni Ecosense strains are capable of performing in wide range of salinity and pH which makes the product to perform in high salinities.

Salinities higher than 35 PPT have risks associated with feed conversion, high amounts of pathogenic Vibrio’s and harmful phytoplankton which hinders the growth of cultured species. To cater the problems associated with high salinity the probiotics used for treatment should be tolerant to grow in high salinities not all probiotics are salt tolerant or halophillic but strains present in Uni Ecosense are salt tolerant and can proliferate and perform enzymatic activities in high salinities also.

Use of probiotics to mitigate problems associated with L. Vannamei aquaculture in high salinity conditions in India

L. vannamei is native of pacific coast of Mexico and Central and South America as far south as Peru. It is mainly found on mud bottoms, down to a depth of 75 m. It is commonly known as white legged shrimp or Mexican white shrimp. It is greyish-white in color. The maximum weight of the females in the wild is about 120 g. The males are smaller at 60-80g. It lives in the column and prefers clayey loam soil. For L. vannamei the growth at 30°C is much higher than at 25°C. The optimal range of temperature for the species is between 30 and 34°C. At 20°C growth virtually stops. It can tolerate salinity levels of 0 to 50 ppt. Growth is uniform within 10-40 ppt. They can grow in freshwater also but the growth is slower below 10 ppt. pH range of 7 to 9 is tolerated with optimal growth at pH 8.0. Dissolved oxygen levels above 4.5 ppm are required for optimal growth. Turbid water with flocculated particles of more than 0.5 micron resulted in better growth than clean water mainly because of the presence of algae and bacteria. Total Ammonia -N and Nitrite – N levels should be less than 1 ppm and 0.1 ppm respectively.

Due to high temperatures and water scarcity the salinity levels in the pond water increases to more than 40  ppt. In Vannamei cultures the normal pathogenic species found are Vibrio species, Vibrio species are halophillic in nature and can proliferate in faster rates in high salinities. Commercial and commonly used probiotics are not halophillic in nature, so application of probiotics has lesser effects in the reduction of Vibrio species.

In higher salinities the metabolic rate and feed conversion ratio are less when compared with normal saline conditions. In higher salinities the pathogenic phytoplanktons (Blue green algae) numbers increase which inturn causes the fluctuation in pH, DO saturation etc. In higher salinities calcium levels would be higher which leads to hard shell and creates hinderance in osmoregulation. The fluctuations in salinities can cause irregular molting cycles, stress to the shrimps because of molting and abnormal shell formations, muscle cramps etc.

Sanero Ecosense Halo are special probiotics which are halophillic in nature and can survive and proliferate in higher salinities and can withstand in fluctuating salinities. The strains are capable of producing effective exoenzymes which helps in the conversion of complex organic matter into simpler forms. The strains effectively eliminate the pathogenic Vibrios by producting antibacterial substances.