Publication Date




Embargo Period


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Marine Affairs and Policy (Marine)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Daniel Benetti

Second Committee Member

Maria Estevanez

Third Committee Member

Jorge Arturo-Suarez


The purpose of this study was twofold: 1) to identify commercially available feeds that could serve as suitable replacements for newly hatched Artemia in the diets of L. vannamei from Z3/M1 to PL10 without significantly affecting survival, final length and weight, and quality of the larvae and 2) to identify an ideal substitution rate between live Artemia and a replacement feed that maximizes feed and labor costs savings, survival, and PL quality. In Experiment 1, two commercially available Artemia replacement feeds, Zeigler EZ Artemia and Bernaqua Vitellus, were administered according to manufacturer’s guidelines in order to identify which feed served as a more suitable replacement diet. In Experiment 2, the more successful feed from Experiment 1 was administered in three different co-feeding strategies, in which the inert feed replaced a certain percentage of live Artemia. Mean percent survival was not significantly different between the Control, EZ Artemia, and Vitellus treatment groups in Experiment 1 (P<0.05). Both the EZ Artemia and Vitellus treatments yielded significantly different final mean lengths (mm) and weights (mg) from the Control group. The Vitellus feed results for all performance factors (mean percent survival, final length (mm), final weight (mg), and percent stress test mortality) were not significantly different than those of the EZ Artemia treatment, despite receiving no Artemia during the culture period, while the EZ Artemia treatment received 75% Artemia from PL5-PL10. For these reasons, the Vitellus feed was selected as the more successful feed in Experiment 1. In Experiment 2, there was no significant difference between the four treatment groups (Control, V50, V100/50, and V100/75) for mean percent survival and percent stress test mortality (P<0.05). The V100/50 and V100/75 treatments’ mean final lengths (mm) and weights (mg) were significantly different than those of the Control treatment. There were no significant differences between the V50, V100/50, and V100/75 treatments for any of the observed performance factors. These results indicate that the maximum substitution rate of Vitellus for Artemia in this experiment (the V100/75 treatment) was successful in replacing 84.33% of newly hatched Artemia in the larval culture of L. vannamei from Z3/M1-PL10 without resulting in significantly different survival and stress test mortalities compared to the Control group. Feeding schedules such as V100/75 treatment help streamline production efforts in commercial operations and result in increased production cost savings when compared to other replacement feeding schedules that begin in the early mysis stages. The V100/75 feeding schedule influences variable feed and labor costs the greatest because farmers are able to delay the culturing of Artemia an additional 7 days (until PL5) from what is typically performed in larviculture facilities.


Litopenaeus vannamei; artemia replacement; aquaculture; economics; feed cost; post larvae