Before I proceed with the document, would like to Thank Ulli Bauer for all the help, clarifications, knowledge she has shared. Without her assistance it wouldn’t have been complete. So Thank you Ulli for being so nice.
Trace element, also called micronutrient, in biology, any chemical element required by living organisms in very small amounts (that is less than 0.1 percent by volume [1,000 parts per million]), usually as part of a vital enzyme.
The general function of minerals and trace elements can be summarized as follows:
- Minerals play a key role in the maintenance of osmotic pressure, and thus regulate the exchange of water and solutes within the animal body.
- Minerals serve as structural constituents of soft tissues.
- Minerals are essential for the transmission of nerve impulses and muscle contraction.
- Minerals play a vital role in the acid-base equilibrium of the body, and thus regulate the pH of the hemolymph and other body fluids.
- Minerals serve as essential components of many enzymes, vitamins, hormones, and respiratory pigments, or as cofactors in metabolism, catalysts and enzyme activators.
Biological function: The principal biological functions of calcium may be summarized as
- Calcium is an essential component of crustacean exoskeleton.
- Calcium is essential for the normal clotting of hemolymph, by stimulating the release of thromboplastin from the hemolymph.
- Calcium is an activator for several key enzymes, including pancreatic lipase, acid phosphatase, cholinesterase, ATPases, and succinic dehydrogenase.
- Through its role in enzyme activation, calcium stimulates muscle contraction.
- Calcium, in conjunction with phospholipids, plays a key role in the regulation of the permeability of cell membranes and consequently over the uptake of nutrients by the cell.
Calcium is readily absorbed through the skin and gills of crustacea.
Biological function: The principal biological functions of phosphorus may be summarized as follows –
- Phosphorus is an essential component for the crustacean exoskeleton.
- Phosphorus is an essential component of phospholipids, nucleic acids, phosphoproteins (casein), high energy phosphate esters (ATP), hexose phosphates, creatine phosphate, and several key enzymes.
- As a component of these important biological substances, phosphorus plays a central role in energy and cell metabolism.
- Inorganic phosphates serve as important buffers to regulate the normal acidbase balance (ie. pH) of animal body fluids.
- They need calcium for the hemolymph to coagulate
Although soluble phosphorus salts can be absorbed through the skin, and gills of shrimp, the concentration of phosphorus in fresh and sea water is low, and consequently body phosphorus requirements are usually met from dietary sources. The thing should be kept in mind that intake of the phosphorus should be more soluble so that the shrimps can absorb it easily.
Biological function: The principal biological functions of magnesium may be summarized as follows –
- Magnesium is an essential component of crustacean exoskeleton.
- Magnesium is an activator of several key enzyme systems, including kinases, (ie. enzymes that catalyse the transfer of the terminal phosphate of ATP to sugar or other acceptors), mutases (transphosphorylation reactions), muscle ATPases, and the enzymes cholinesterase, alkaline phosphatase, enolase, isocitric dehydrogenase, arginase (magnesium is a component of the arginase molecule), deoxyribonuclease, and glutaminase.
- Through its role in enzyme activation, magnesium (like calcium) stimulates muscle and nerve irritability (contraction), is involved in the regulation of intracellular acid-base balance, and plays an important role in carbohydrate, protein and lipid metabolism.
Magnesium is readily absorbed through the gills, skin of shrimp. As with calcium and phosphorus, a proportion of the magnesium contained in plant based foodstuffs may be present in the form of phytin (Ca or Mg salt of phytic acid).
Biological function: Potassium, occur almost entirely in the fluids and soft tissues of the body, and occurring mainly in the cells. They serve a vital function in controlling osmotic pressures and acid-base equilibrium. They also play important roles in water metabolism. Phosphorus, contained in plant based foodstuffs may be present in the form of phytin (Ca or Mg salt of phytic acid).
Potassium is a major player of intracellular fluid, and regulates intracellular osmotic pressure and acid-base balance. Potassium has a stimulating effect on muscle irritability. Potassium is also required for glycogen synthesis, and the metabolic breakdown of glucose.
Potassium is readily absorbed through the gills and skin of shrimp.
Biological function: The principal biological functions of iron may be summarized as follows;
- Iron is an essential component of the respiratory pigments (copper-based) hemocyanin and myoglobin.
- Iron is an essential component of various enzyme systems including the cytochromes, catalases, peroxidases, and the enzymes xanthine and aldehyde oxidase, and succinic dehydrogenase.
- As a component of the respiratory pigments and enzymes concerned in tissue oxidation, iron is essential for oxygen and electron transport within the body.
Iron is readily absorbed through the gills and skin of shrimp. Dietary iron availability and absorption is usually very much required and should not be missed. In general, inorganic sources of iron are more readily absorbed than organic sources.
Biological function: The principal biological functions of zinc may be summarized as follows;
- Zinc is an essential component of more than 80 metalloenzymes, including carbonic anhydrase (required for the transport of carbon dioxide by the hemolymph and for the secretion of HCI in the stomach), glutamic dehydrogenase, alkaline phosphatase, pyridine nucleotide dehydrogenase, alcohol dehydrogenase, superoxide dismutase, pancreatic carboxypeptidase, and tryptophan desmolase.
- Zinc serves as a cofactor in many enzyme systems, including arginase, enolase, several peptidases, and oxalacetic decarboxylase.
- As an active component or cofactor for many important enzyme systems zinc plays a vital role in lipid, protein, and carbohydrate metabolism; being particularly active in the synthesis and metabolism of nucleic acids (RNA) and proteins.
- Although not proven, it has been suggested that zinc plays a role in the action of hormones such as insulin, glucagon, corticotrophin, FSH and LH.
- Zinc is believed to play a positive role in wound healing.
Zinc is readily absorbed from the gills and skin of crustacea. Dietary zinc availability and absorption is reduced in the presence of phytates, and high dietary intakes of calcium, phosphorus and copper. So please ensure that either the mineral or food your are providing as supplement should contain a percentage of zinc as per the crustacean requirement.
Biological function: The principal biological functions of managanese may be summarized as follows,
- Manganese functions in the body as an enzyme activator for those enzymes that mediate phosphate group transfer (ie. phosphate transferases and phosphate dehydrogenases), particularly those concerned with the citric acid cycle including arginase, alkaline phosphatase and hexokinase.
- Manganese is an essential component of the enzyme pyruvate carboxylase
- As a cofactor or component of several key enzyme systems, manganese is essential for the regeneration of red hemolymph cells, carbohydrate metabolism, and the reproductive cycle.
Manganese is readily absorbed from the gills and skin of crustacea. Dietary manganese availability and absorption is reduced in the presence of phytates, and high dietary intakes of calcium, so please ensure that Manganese intake is present in your shrimp intake. Either by food or by trace elements
Biological function: Iodine is an integral component of the thyroid hormones, thyroxine and tri-iodo-thyronine, and as such is essential for regulating the metabolic rate of all body processes
Biological function: Copper is on the one hand absolutely essential for shrimp as their blood cells are based on copper (hemocyanin has a copper ion in the middle, as opposed to hemoglobin, which has iron) on the other hand.
But too much copper is poisonous as it has been known to affect the gills of aquatic organisms, thus choking them, and it also reduces the osmoregulation in crustaceans.
How to provide trace elements to shrimps ?
Along with ideal water parameters, Trace Elements requirement of shrimps can be provided by two ways –
Food Shrimp dedicated foods contains most of the macro-micro elements. So before buying a shrimp food check which food contains which of the trace elements and it’s always better to have 2-3 varieties of food. Rotate the feeding cycle with different food to ensure that all the required elements are present in their diet.
Nutrient Solution Shrimp dedicated nutrient solution also is one of the best methods to provide the shrimps complex nutrient solutions. I prefer the solution because they can be dosed directly into the tank in liquid form. Along with shrimp dedicated food, having a shrimp dedicated nutrient solution is always a best thing to have.
Food plus Nutrient solution ensures that the shrimps get all of their required minerals both in their food and also in the water column.