Simulation of inorganic nitrogen dynamics and shrimp survival in an intensive shrimp culture system Academic Article uri icon


  • Nitrogenous wastes are major concerns in shrimp production and as a component of total farm wastes that impact the aquatic environment. This study describes a simulation model of the role of heterotrophic and nitrifying bacteria on nitrogen dynamics in intensive Litopenaeus vannamei (Boone) culture systems using different feeds and feeding strategies. The model represents: (i) use and remineralization by heterotrophic bacteria of nitrogen wastes and ammonia excreted by shrimp; and (ii) nitrification. The model was quantified using published and unpublished information. The model is multivariate, deterministic and uses a compartment model structure based on difference equations. Evaluation of the model consisted of simulating two indoor and one outdoor experiment that examined the effects of different feeds and feeding levels on nitrogen dynamics. In summary, the model is capable of qualitatively following inorganic nitrogen dynamics. Simulations investigating the effect of heterotrophic remineralization on total inorganic nitrogen suggested that this process may contribute up to 97% of the inorganic nitrogen in the system. This indicates that strategies to increase production, such as increases in feed protein levels or feeding rates, should be carefully evaluated before they are implemented. Future studies need to address bacterial community role in these systems and inorganic nitrogen toxicity mechanisms.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Montoya, R. A., Lawrence, A. L., Grant, W. E., & Velasco, M.

citation count

  • 15

publication date

  • February 2002