Farfantepenaeus paulensis postlarvae were reared at different stocking densities during the nursery phase in a biofloc technology (BFT) culture system without water exchange. An experimental system comprising a 70-m3 macrocosm tank containing shrimp cultured in the BFT system at 300 shrimp/m2, with a productivity of 2.7 kg/m2 was used, which supplied twelve 0.5-m2 tanks at densities of 500, 1,000, 1,500, and 2,000 shrimp/m2 through pumping. The experiment lasted for 30 days. The water was recirculated 48 times a day from the macrocosm to the microcosm tanks. The growth rate, final weight, survival, and productivity of the shrimp were analyzed. There were no significant differences in the water quality parameters among treatments because the water input and output from the macrocosm tank to the experimental units was constant. There were also no significant differences (P > 0.05) in survival. However, the final weight and productivity were significantly different (P < 0.05) among treatments. The treatments with the lowest stocking densities were associated with the highest weights, whereas the treatments with the highest stocking densities presented the highest productivities. The study demonstrates that the use of a BFT culture system may enable the culture of this species at high stocking densities in nurseries. The results also demonstrate the possibility of using a high stocking density for commercial culture and restocking programs.
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Vol. 30 • No. 2