Low oxygen levels are a major risk in all intensive aquaculture systems worldwide. Some aquaculture experts rate it even higher than the risk of bacterial infections. Low oxygen levels reduce growth performance in fish and shrimp, consequently also reducing farm profits. Oxygen supply is also a matter of animal welfare and sustainable aquaculture practice: hypoxia, for instance, is an indicator of welfare issues in fish. And if the FCR declines due to chronic low oxygen levels, this is a waste of valuable resources. Periods of low water oxygen tax the animals’ antioxidant system. Since this is closely linked with inflammatory pathways and the immune system, we can expect numerous detrimental secondary effects on fish health.
Biology and literature show that some fish species have higher oxygen requirements than others. So, in intensive aquaculture systems, we should not content ourselves with minimum thresholds. In order to utilise the full growth potential of modern fish and shrimp breeds, we should ensure a constant supply of highly oxygenated water at all times.
A hot climate and intense sunshine are the greatest enemies of water oxygen: the warmer the water, the less oxygen it can retain. Shallow, still ponds are the most vulnerable, because their water can heat up within hours. Aquaculture farms typically prevent this by using aerators. But even well-equipped aquaculture farms experience incidents of low oxygen. Aerators could be inadequate or break down suddenly. In the course of heavy rainfall (the wet monsoon), the oxygen content first rises then drops due to convection and turbulence at the bottom of the pond.
Wouldn’t it be great if we could create an additional safety net with a feed additive? Indeed we can. As a recent study proves, Anta®Ox Aqua combats low-oxygen stress in crustaceans: animals are stronger, healthier and more resilient, and ultimately generate more profit for producers.
Scientific details of the study
Prior research has already shown that Anta®Ox reduces oxidative stress and inflammatory biomarkers in various scenarios. Now we wanted to find out whether this holds true for low-oxygen stress in shrimp too. A scientific study conducted at a specialised shrimp aquaculture laboratory (IMAQUA 2019, Dr Joao Lima, Ghent, Belgium), simulated a drop in oxygen in a tank environment and recorded shrimp survival over time. In the weeks preceding the trial, the feed pellets of one group of shrimp were supplemented with Anta®Ox Aqua. The result was that shrimp fed Anta®Ox Aqua survived longer in the low-oxygen stress test.
Fig 1: Shrimp survival in low-oxygen stress test
Would you like to learn more about the benefits of Anta®Ox Aqua for your shrimp or fish feed? Get in touch with our team. We are here for you—wherever you are!