Biofilm versus biofloc: Are artificial substrates for biofilm production necessary in the BFT system?

Lise M.H. Ferreira, Gabriele Lara, Wilson Wasielesky, Paulo Cesar Abreu

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39 Scopus citations


The aim of this study was to evaluate the addition of artificial substrates in biofloc technology systems that are used for the intensive production of Litopenaeus vannamei. The experiment lasted 35 days. Tanks each with a useful volume of 800 L were filled with water containing bioflocs (25 % of the total volume) and filtered seawater. Three treatments with three replicates each were compared: (1) Ctrl (control), i.e., without the addition of artificial substrate, (2) 200 and (3) 400, with added artificial substrate equivalent to 200 and 400 % of the lateral area of the tanks, respectively. The shrimp with initial weight of 0.40 ± 0.15 g were stocked at a density of 300 shrimp/m2. Feed (Guabi/38 Active, Brazil) was supplied two times per day. The water quality parameters were suitable for the production of L. vannamei. The settleable solids (SS) were higher in the Ctrl treatment (82.1 ± 19 mL L−1) and differed statistically from the 200 and 400 treatments that presented average SS values below 10 mL L−1. The reuse of water with bioflocs accelerated nitrification in the tanks, and no significant differences were shown between tanks. The presence of biofilm did not interfere with ammonium or nitrite levels, but it did serve as a food source that optimized shrimp performance, as shown by higher final weights. More studies are needed to evaluate the circulation and mixing intensity effects of the substrates on water throughout the production cycle.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)921-930
Number of pages10
JournalAquaculture International
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Biofilm
  • Biofloc
  • Food sources
  • Litopenaeus vannamei
  • Suspended solid


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