28 Aug 2019
Hydrogen Peroxide on the Shrimp Farm
Written by Zach Stein

Canister of Hydrogen Peroxide on a shrimp farm in Ecuador.

For farms that do not have aerators, often those in Latin America, and are stocking at semi-extensive levels, we have seen widespread use of hydrogen peroxide. Sometimes entire warehouses, just filled with it. In this post we’ll explore why farmers are using hydrogen peroxide on shrimp farms and the potential risks of overdoing it.

Why do farmers use hydrogen peroxide?

The main reason farmers are using hydrogen peroxide on shrimp farms is as an emergency temporary dissolved oxygen boost. This is most common at night or early in the morning when oxygen has dropped after photosynthesis stopped after the sun went down. For up to four hours with an application of 2-4 liters per hectare, it can boost dissolved oxygen levels by a much needed 1.0 mg/L to get through the night. 

What are the benefits of hydrogen peroxide?

The main benefit of hydrogen peroxide is that it enables farms to raise shrimp in a semi-intensive manner without having to go through the expense of installing aerators on their ponds. Instead, farmers closely monitor their dissolved oxygen levels each night on every pond and selectively dose hydrogen peroxide to those ponds that need it. This overall can be a more cost-effective system, but it limits how densely farms can stock their ponds. 

What are the risks of using hydrogen peroxide?

The main risks of using hydrogen peroxide is in overdoing it. Hydrogen peroxide is a disinfectant and overusing it can harm a pond’s natural and beneficial microbiology. In very high levels it can even harm the animals themselves, although this needs to be studied more

Conclusion

So long as you are not overusing hydrogen peroxide on your shrimp farm, you should expect no negative impacts on the health of your animals, but it will hold back your ability to increase stocking density in your shrimp ponds.