What is fish farming?
- Fish farming is the raising of fish for personal use or profit. It is sometimes called fish culture.
Why do we raise fish?
- By raising fish we make better use of our land and our water.
- By raising fish your family will have more to eat. The protein in fish will keep your family strong and healthy. Fish are tasty, like chicken, sheep and goat.
- If your family is not too big you will have more fish than you need for food and you can sell them at the market.
- If your family is not too big with more food and more money you and your family can live better.
- But fish farming is not easy. To raise fish is as hard work as to raise anything else, such as maize, rice, cassava or groundnuts.
- You will need to learn to do many things.
What do you need to raise fish?
- You will need a piece of land where you can build a pond,
a supply of water,
baby fish to begin,
food for your fish.
- You will need time to build a pond and to care for it regularly. Fish farming takes a lot of time.
How do we begin?
- If there is a fish culture station near where you live you may be able to get help from an extension agent.
- If there is no extension agent you will need to learn many things by yourself.
- You will need to know the type of soil best for your pond, how to dig your pond,
how to fill it with water,
how to fertilize it.
- You will need to know what kind of fish to raise.
Local name: Three-spotted bream
how to put the baby fish into your pond,
what to feed your fish, how to feed them.
- You will need to know how to take care of the pond,
how to drain it,
how to harvest the fish,
how to use your own baby fish to start again.
- This book will help you to begin good fish farming.
Where to put your fish pond
- You must choose a good place to put your pond.
- Remember that a pond for fish is only one use for your land. Be careful not to build a pond on land that could be better used for something else.
- It is best to choose a piece of land that has a gentle slope.
- Do not build your pond on a steep hill or where it can be flooded in the rainy season.
- Choose a sunny place for your pond, close to your home so people will not come and take your fish away.
Near your home it is also easier to take care of the fish.
- The pond should be near water such as a stream or a spring, or in marshy ground where the water in the soil will fill up your pond.
- The soil in the place you choose must be good for a fish pond.
- To test if you have good soil, take a handful of soil from the surface and squeeze it into a ball.
- Throw the ball of soil into the air and catch it.
- If it sticks together it is good soil and will hold water well.
- Bad soil with sand or gravel in it will not stick together and will not hold water.
- Your pond must be near a good supply of water such as a spring, stream, lake or reservoir with plenty of water all year round.
- You must be sure that you have enough water to fill your pond when it is time to fill it and to add more water when you need it.
- Do not depend on rain-water to fill your pond. When it does not rain, there may not be enough water to keep your pond full and the fish may die.
- Your water must come from a place that is higher than the pond so that the water will flow into the pond by itself.
The water should not have a bad smell, taste or colour. It should not be too muddy.
- The water should not have wild fish in it. You do not want wild fish in your pond because they may eat your fish or keep them from growing.
- Water from a natural spring close to the pond site is usually good and there will not be wild fish in it.
- Water from a stream or from a lake or reservoir is usually good but it may have wild fish in it. You will have to be careful that the wild fish do not swim into your pond.
- It is best to put a pond in a place with a slope or on a hillside because you will not have to dig as much soil to build it. A pond built on a slope is also easier to drain.
- Do not build your pond in a place that is so low that it is flooded during the rainy season.
- The soil where you build your pond should not be too sandy. Soil with too much sand or gravel in it will not hold water.
- In sandy soil the water will sink into the ground and there will not be enough water for your fish.
- If the banks of your pond are built of sandy soil, they will not be strong enough to keep the water from flowing away.
- The soil where you build your pond should have enough clay in it. Clay soil holds water very well.
- In clay soil, very little water will sink into the ground, and banks of clay will be strong enough to hold the water in the pond.
- You should test the soil to see if it is good for building a pond.
- The first test is easy. Take a handful of soil from the surface and squeeze it into a ball.
- Throw the ball of soil into the air and catch it.
- Bad soil with too much sand or gravel in it will not stick together and the ball will fall apart.
- If the ball sticks together well, the soil may be good but you cannot be sure. Now you should make a second test to be sure that the soil is good.
- Dig a hole as deep as your waist.
Early in the morning fill it with water. Fill it to the top.
How large should your pond be?
- It is good to start with a pond big enough to feed your family.
- For example, if you build a pond 20 by 25 metres, the pond will measure about 500 square metres.
20m × 25m = 500m2
- A square or rectangular pond is easier to build.
but your pond can have a different shape to fit the size and shape of your land.
How to build a pond
- There is much more work to do when you build a big pond than when you build a small pond.
- First mark out a big rectangle on the site you have chosen, about 26 by 31 metres. Mark the corners with pegs and run a string between the pegs to show you where the outside of the banks will be.
- Clear the big rectangle of all trees, bushes and grass and take away all the big roots you can.
- Take away about 20 centimetres of topsoil from all over the square. Put the topsoil aside. Later you will put it back on the top and outer sides of the banks.
- Then mark out a small rectangle inside the big rectangle about 20 by 25 metres. Mark the corners with pegs and run a string between the pegs to show you where the inside of the banks will be.
- The bottom of the bank in the shallow part of your pond and along the sides should be about 1 metre from the upper end and sides of the small rectangle
- The bottom of the bank in the deepest part of your pond should be about 2 metres from the lower end of the small rectangle
- Now mark out a third smaller area in the centre of your pond, about 18 by 22 metres. We will call this the central area. Mark the corners with pegs and run a string between the pegs to show where the bottom of the banks will be.
- Be sure that all the pegs and strings 26×31 metre rectangle 20×25 metre rectangle and the central area are set up in the way shown in the drawings.
- Now you are ready to begin digging out soil from inside the central area to build the banks of your pond.
- Ask your neighbours to help you to dig your big pond. Then you can help them in turn to dig their ponds.
- Shared work is lighter work. When we work together with our neighbours, the work is easier and better.
- Begin digging at the 1-metre string marking the central area at the upper end of your pond. Dig about 20 centimetres deep. As you dig toward the lower end, dig a little deeper. When you get to the deepest part, at the 2-metre string marking the central area, you should be digging about 30 centimetres deep.
- As you dig out the soil, put it between the 20 by 25 metre rectangle and the 26 by 31 metre rectangle where the banks will be. Put it nearest to where you are digging. This way, the banks will be higher and wider as you move toward the lower end.
- When you come to roots, take away as much of them as you can.
- Whenever the loose soil you put on the banks reaches half as high as your knees, pack it down tightly. You can do this by beating the soil with a heavy plank, a length of tree trunk or an earth tamper.
- When you are digging, keep the slope of the pond bottom as regular as you can. It should slope gently down from the upper end to the deepest part. The bottom of the pond should have slopes like those in the drawings.
- Begin again to dig soil out of the central area. Dig 20 more centimetres from the upper end and 30 more centimetres from the deepest part. Put the soil on the banks and pack it down tightly as before.
- Now begin again, for the third and last time, to dig soil out of the central area. Dig 20 more centimetres from the upper end and 30 more centimetres from the deepest part. Put the soil on the banks and pack it down tightly.
- When you have finished digging out the central area and you have put on the banks all the soil that you have taken out, you will have a hole 18 by 22 metres with straight sides. Now it is time to shape the banks.
- Dig the soil away from the edges of the central area to form the slope of the banks. Put this soil on top of the banks and pack it down tightly.
- The inside of the banks should slope less steeply than the outside. The drawing shows you what the banks should look like when they are finished.
- The top of the banks should be about 1.5 metres wide and should be straight and flat all the way around the pond.
- Put the 20 centimetres of topsoil you took away when you began digging on the top and outer sides of the banks. Plant grass on the banks. Banks covered with grass last longer.
- The bottom of your pond should be about 1.10 metres from the top of the banks at the shallow upper end and about 1.40 metres from the top of the banks at the deepest part.
- Be sure that the bottom of the pond is fairly smooth and regular.
- Now dig a ditch in the bottom of the pond from the centre to the lower end. The ditch should be about 50 centimetres wide and about 20 centimetres deep. This ditch will help to drain out all the water when you empty your pond.
- When the ditch is finished, remove all loose soil and other trash from the bottom of the pond.
- Now you are ready to install your inlet, outlet and overflow.
- You will need an inlet to let water into your pond when you want to fill it.
- You should place the inlet at the point nearest to the water supply. Most often this will be at or near the upper end of your pond.
- Your inlet can be made from a piece of heavy bamboo or a pipe of plastic or metal. The inlet pipe should be about 10 centimetres in diameter.
- The inlet pipe should be long enough to reach through the top of the bank from one side to the other. You will need a pipe about 3 metres long to reach through the bank at the upper end of your pond.
- Now dig a gap in the bank where you want the inlet to be. It should be a little above the water-level on the inside of your pond and a little below the level of the water which flows from the source on the outside of your pond.
- Put the inlet pipe in the gap in the bank and rebuild the bank over it.
- You can also make an inlet by cutting a shallow trench through the bank to let the water into the pond.
- If you use a shallow trench to get water into your pond, you can improve it and keep it from washing away by using a trough of roofing metal to line the bottom of the trench.
- You will need an outlet to let water out of your pond when you want to empty it.
- You should place the outlet at the bottom of the bank at the lower end of your pond at the deepest part.
- The outlet can be made from a piece of heavy bamboo or a pipe of plastic or metal. The outlet pipe should be about 10 centimeters in diameter. The bank of your pond is much wider at the lower end than at the upper end, so the outlet pipe will have to be longer than the inlet pipe.
- The outlet pipe should be long enough to reach through the bottom of the bank from one side to the other. You will need a pipe about 6.5 metres long to reach through the bank at the lower end of your pond.
- If you cannot get a pipe that is long enough to go through the bank, you can join shorter pieces of pipe together using straight pieces of pipe like the ones in the drawing.
- If you are using bamboo, you can join short pieces of bamboo together with pieces of smaller bamboo in the centre, but the smaller pieces should be at least 8 to 9 centimetres in diameter. Wrap the bamboo joints with rope and close them with tar to keep water from seeping out.
- Now dig a gap in the bank where you want the outlet to be. It should reach from the deepest part on the inside of the pond through the bank to the outside of the pond.
- If the outlet pipe is below ground level on the outside of the pond, you will have to dig a ditch to take the water away from the outlet.
- Put the outlet pipe in the gap in the bank and rebuild the bank over it.
- If you use an outlet of about 10 centimetres in diameter, it will take about half a day to empty your pond.
- It is easier to place the outlet where you want it to be before you dig out the centre of the pond and build the banks. When you build another pond, you will understand this and you will be able to do it when you are building the banks. But now, when you are building your first pond, you should place the outlet in the way you have just learned in this booklet because it is easier to understand.
A better outlet
- If you use a plastic or metal pipe for the outlet of your pond, you can make it better by putting an upright length of pipe on the end of the outlet using an L or a T piece like the ones in the drawing. Close the T piece with a plug as shown.
- Put the L or T piece and the upright pipe on the end of the outlet outside the pond, but protect it so that it cannot be reached by animals or other people.
- The top of the upright pipe should reach about 3 to 5 centimetres above the water-level of your pond. If the water rises above this level, it will overflow from the upright pipe.
- Tie the upright pipe to a pole which has been pounded into the ground so that it will not slip down and let the water out of the pond before you want it to.
- When you want to let out the water, untie the upright pipe and push it down. The water will then flow out of the pond.
- There is still another way to let water out of your pond, using a siphon. You will learn how to use a siphon in Items 118–128
- If there is too much water in your pond, some of the water may flow over the banks. This may wash the banks away and some of your fish may get out.
- You can use an overflow to keep the water in your pond from rising over the banks.
- The better outlet you learned about in Items 101–105 will act as an overflow.
- If you use a straight pipe outlet or a siphon to let water out of your pond, you will need another kind of overflow.
- This kind of overflow can be made from a piece of bamboo or a pipe of plastic or metal. The overflow pipe should be about 6 centimetres in diameter.
- The overflow pipe should be long enough to reach through the top of the bank from the inside of the pond to a place far enough on the outside to keep overflow water from washing away the bank. You will need a pipe about 4.5 metres long to do this.
- If you cannot get a pipe that is long enough, join short pieces of pipe or bamboo together. (see Items 94 and 95).
- It is best to place your overflow in the bank at the lower end of your pond right above the outlet so that the water that overflows can run off in the outlet ditch.
- If you are going to put the overflow over the outlet, you can put it in the same gap that you dug for the outlet in Item 96 The water-line should be about 50 centimetres below the top of the bank, so put your overflow there as you rebuild the bank.
- If you are going to put the overflow in another place, you will have to dig another gap in the bank about 50 centimetres deep.
- When the pond is full, the overflow will keep the water about 60 centimetres deep at the shallow upper end and about 90 centimetres deep at the deepest part.
- You can also use a siphon to empty your pond. If you use a siphon, you will not need an outlet but you will need an overflow like the one described in Items 107–117
- A siphon is a simple tube that runs from the inside of the pond over the bank and lies on the ground outside the pond.
- A siphon can be made of plastic or rubber tubing at least 3 centimetres in diameter.
- The siphon must be long enough to reach from the deepest part of the pond, run over the top of the bank and down the outside of the bank. You will need a siphon about 8 metres long to reach over the top of the bank from the deep part to the outside.
- When you are ready to empty your pond, put all of the siphon into the pond. It will fill with water. Be sure the tube is full of water from one end to the other. If the siphon is not full of water, it will not work.
- While the siphon is still in the water, close one end of the tube with a plug and leave the other end open.
- Leave the open end of the siphon below the surface of the water. You can use stones to hold the siphon under the water, but be sure that they are not so heavy that the water will be shut off.
- Take the other end of the siphon, which is closed with the plug, over the top of the bank and put it on the ground outside the pond.
If the ground on the outside of the pond is higher than the pond bottom at the deepest part, you will have to dig a ditch so that the end of the siphon on the outside of the pond will be lower than the end of the siphon in the pond.
The ditch will also take the water away when you empty your pond.
- Now, take the plug out of the siphon. If the end on the outside is lower than the end in the pond and if the end in the pond is under water, water will start to flow through the tube and out of your pond.
- If the end of the siphon in the pond comes to the surface, the water may stop flowing. If this happens, put the siphon into the pond to fill it with water and begin again.
- It will take a lot more time to empty a pond with a siphon than with an outlet. If you use a siphon of about 3 centimetres in diameter, it will take about three days to empty your pond.
- Your inlet should have a screen to keep out wild fish, dirt and trash when you fill the pond.
- If you fill your pond with an inlet trench, it should have a screen, too.
- A siphon, which is very small, usually does not have a screen.
- Your outlet should have a screen to keep your fish from getting away when you empty your pond.
- Your overflow should have a screen to keep your fish from getting away when the pond is too full and the water begins to overflow.
- You can easily make screens for your inlet, outlet and overflow from fine-mesh plastic or metal or from a tin with holes in the end.
- Screens should be placed outside the pond on the inlet pipe and inside the pond on the outlet and overflow pipes.
- This will keep the pipes from filling with trash which could stop the flow of water.
- Lash the screens tightly in place on the pipes, using heavy cord or light wire.
- If you fill your pond by cutting a trench through the bank, you can screen the opening using a fish trap, split and woven bamboo, a clay pot with holes in the bottom or a piece of metal roofing with holes.
- When you are filling or emptying your pond, clean the screens often. If you do not do this, dirt and leaves will cover them up and the water will not flow.
- This book has told you how to build a bigger pond and how to build it better.
- Now that your new pond is built, you will have to learn more. You will need to learn
- how to fill your pond with water
- how to fertilize your pond
- about the fish you will put into your pond
- how to feed your fish every day
- how to care for your fish
- how to harvest your fish
PREPARING YOUR POND
BEFORE FILLING THE POND
- Before you let the water into your new pond, there are a few things that you must do.
- Make sure that the screens on the inlet, outlet and overflow are in place and tight.
- Make sure that the outlet is tightly closed. To do this, wrap a wood plug with old cloth, put it in the outlet pipe on the outside of the pond and tap it lightly with a hammer so that it will stay in the pipe when the pond fills with water.
- If you have built a better outlet with a T or an L piece
turn it to the upright position.
- Put rocks on the bottom of your pond under the inlet where the water will fall when it begins to come into the pond.
- This will keep the bottom from washing away. It will keep the water from getting too muddy. It will make the water splash when it first comes into the pond and bring air for the fish to breathe.
- Now you are ready to fill your pond.
Filling your pond with water
- Dig a small ditch from the water source to the inlet to bring the water to your pond.
- Let the water run into the pond until it reaches the level of the overflow pipe on the inside of the pond.
- If your inlet pipe is about 10 centimetres in diameter, you will need about half a day to fill your pond.
- When the water reaches the level of the overflow pipe it will be about 60 centimetres deep at the shallow upper part of the pond and about 90 centimetres deep at the deepest part.
- Now you are ready to fertilize the water in your pond.
- Build a crib from bamboo or wood to hold the fertilizer as you did with your first small pond. Build it in one corner in the shallow part of the pond. The drawing below will show you how.
Fertilizing the water in your pond
- You can fertilize the water in your new pond with
- You can fertilize your pond with animal or plant compost
- Items 159 to 169 tell you how to make animal compost. If you do not have animal manure, you can fertilize your pond with compost made with plant material.
- To make compost with plant material make a compost pile using layers of grass, chopped leaves or other plant material mixed with a little topsoil and damp it with water to make it rot faster.
- compost made with animal manure
- compost made with plant material
- animal manure
- plant material.
How to make compost
- Make a compost pile near the pond. Put it in a shady place protected from rain.
- Make your pile in layers. Make the first layer of grass or leaves mixed with a spadeful of topsoil, and damp it with water to make it rot faster.
- Then make a second layer of animal manure mixed with a spadeful of topsoil and some water.
- Use animal manure from sheep, goats, cattle, pigs, chickens or ducks.
- In place of animal manure you can also use cotton seed, spoiled fruit, household garbage, ashes from the fireplace or night soil.
- Then make another layer of grass or leaves, and another of manure, until you have a large pile.
- Keep your compost pile damp by watering it every few days.
- Let the compost pile rot for about a month.
- Take compost from the bottom of the pile, or the old part of the pile, where it is most rotten, to put in your pond.
- Add new layers to your pile every week so that you will always have compost.
- If you have too much compost you can use some to fertilize your land.
Putting fertilizer into the crib
- When you first put fertilizer into your crib, pack it down well and fill the crib to the water line. This will be about 60 centimetres deep in the shallow part of the pond.
- If you are going to use compost, you will need enough to fill your crib at the beginning and later you will need enough compost to add about a bucket each week.
- If you are going to use animal manure, you will need about two buckets to put in your crib at the beginning. Mix the two buckets of animal manure with enough fresh plant material to fill your crib to the water line. Later, you will need enough animal manure to add about a bucket each week.
- If you are going to use plant material or compost made with plant material, you will need enough to fill your crib at the beginning and later you will need enough to keep the crib full to the water line.
When is your pond ready?
- If you fertilize your pond with animal compost or animal manure, the water will start to turn green in two or three days. If you fertilize your pond with plant compost or plant material, it will take one week or longer.
- When the water begins to turn green, you will know that natural food is growing in your pond. It will take about a week to become green enough.
- You can make a simple test to be sure that the water is green enough. Put your arm in the water up to your elbow. If you are just able to see the ends of your fingers, the water is green enough.
TAKING CARE OF YOUR POND
- You must take care of your pond every day when you take food to your fish.
- Be sure the pond is full of water.
- Be sure the screens are in place so that your fish cannot get away.
- Do not let weeds cover more than one quarter of the surface. If there are too many pull them up.
- Cut the weeds and grass on the banks of the pond.
- Be sure the water is not leaking through the banks. If you find leaks stop them up right away with good soil.
- Get rid of birds, frogs, turtles, rats and snakes. They can hurt your fish.
- Here are some more ways to take care of your pond.
- Do not let large animals such as cows, buffalo, horses or donkeys graze on the banks of your pond. They are too heavy and may break the banks down.
- You may let small animals such as goats and sheep graze on the banks.
- Do not use your pond, your pond water source or your water supply ditch for bathing, or washing clothes, dishes or cooking pots.
- Do not plant big trees near your pond. If there are already big trees there, cut any branches that hang over the pond. The water in your pond may not turn green enough if your pond is in the shade.
PUTTING THE FISH INTO YOUR POND
- The first time you stock your pond you will need to find some baby fish.
- You can get them from a fish-culture station
or from another fish farmer.
- If you use Three-spotted bream you will need 25 baby fish for every 10 square metres
- Be careful not to put too many fish in your pond. Stocking a fish pond is like planting a field. If plants are too close together they grow badly. If there there are too many fish in your pond they will grow badly, too, and they will stay small.
- If you want to use a different fish, ask your extension agent for help.
- Before you put the baby fish in the pond, be sure that the water where they are is not hotter or colder than the water in the pond.
- You can find this out by putting one of your hands in the water with the fish and the other in the pond.
- If one is hotter or colder slowly put water from the pond in the water with the fish until they are both the same.
- If you do not do this the fish may die when you put them in the pond.
- Do not pour the fish into the pond. Gently put the container into the water, tip it a little, and let the fish swim out by themselves.
- When you grow fish in your first pond you may get the baby fish from a fish culture station or from another fish farmer.
- If you improve your fish farm and it is bigger than it was before, you will need more baby fish than you did before.
- If you are using Three-spotted bream as you did with your first pond, you will need 25 baby fish for every 10 square metres of pond.
- If your pond is 20 by 25 metres or 500 square metres, you will need 1250 baby fish.
20 × 25 = 500
500 m2 area has 50 × 10m2
50 × 25 = 1250
- Three-spotted bream
- To make sure that you have enough baby fish you must grow your own.
Growing your own baby fish
- Since you will need more baby fish it is easier to grow your own baby fish.
It is easier and cheaper than getting them from a fish culture station or another fish farmer.
- Also, if you are going to improve your fish farm even more by building more ponds it is better to have your own supply of baby fish.
- When you grow your own baby fish, you will be sure to always have enough of them when you need them
- To grow your own baby fish, you will need a nursery pond.
- A nursery pond of about 7 by 7 metres, or about 50 square metres, will be large enough to grow the baby fish you will need.
- A nursery pond can be built just like a big pond but since the nursery pond is smaller the banks need not be as high or as wide.
- You can build your nursery pond with an inlet, outlet and overflow like those you used in your big pond.
- You can also use a shallow trench to let water into your nursery pond and use a siphon to drain the water out but you will still need an overflow to control the water level in the nursery pond.
- You will also need a crib to hold the fertilizer in your nursery pond.
- If you build your nursery pond next to your big pond so that they share a bank, you will only need to build three new banks for it.
- If you grow baby fish near your pond, you will not have to carry them far and they will not be hurt when you are carrying them.
- Fill your nursery pond with water and fertilize it with compost, animal manure or plant material as you did with your big pond. Wait for the water to turn green.
- Now you are ready to put fully grown male and female fish into your nursery pond. A fully grown Three-spotted bream is about 20 centimetres long.
- Be careful to put the right number of male fish and female fish into your nursery pond. The drawing shows you how to see the difference between male fish and female fish.
- If you are using your pond of 10 by 10 metres as a nursery pond and you are using Three-spotted bream you will need to put 20 fully grown male fish and 80 fully grown female fish into the pond.
- If you use a nursery pond of 7 by 7 metres and you are using Three-spotted bream you will need to put 10 fully grown male fish and 40 fully grown female fish into the pond.
Feeding the fish in your nursery pond
- The fully grown fish in your nursery pond will get much of their food from small plants and animals which grow in the green water.
- When the baby fish are born they will be very, very small and at first they will get all of their food from small plants and animals which grow in the green water.
- These plants and animals are so small that they can hardly be seen or they cannot be seen at all. But if the water is green in your nursery pond, you can be sure that they are there.
- So in your nursery pond you must always be very careful that the water stays green so that your baby fish will have enough to eat.
- To keep the water green, do not forget to put a bucket of fertilizer in the crib in your nursery pond each week. If you are using plant compost or plant material, keep the crib filled to the water line.
- To keep the full-grown fish in your nursery pond healthy, you must also feed them other kinds of food.
- When the baby fish begin to grow, they, too, will eat the other kinds of food.
- You can give the fish in your nursery pond many things to eat. But you must be sure that this food is ground or cut very small so that the baby fish can swallow it.
- You can give the fish in your nursery pond termites or finely ground or cut
- The bigger your baby fish grow, the more food they will need. Feed the fish in your nursery pond (7 by 7 metres)
- If you see that the fish do not eat all of their food, give them a little less the next day.
- If you see that the fish eat all of their food very quickly, give them a little more the next day.
- grain mill sweepings
- rice bran
- beer wastes
- cottonseed or groundnut cake.
- 500 grams of food every day during the first month
- 1 000 grams of food every day during the second month
- 1 500 grams of food every day during the next months.
Moving your baby fish
- After about three months, there will be many baby fish of different sizes in your pond. Then you can begin to take baby fish out of your nursery pond to put into your big pond.
- Use baby fish which are 5 centimetres or longer to put into your big pond. If there are many baby fish which are 5 centimetres or longer, choose the biggest ones to put into your big pond.
- The easiest way to take out your baby fish is to use a seine net. If you use a seine net with a mesh size of about 1 centimetre the smaller fish will swim through and you will catch the fish of 5 centimetres or longer. But be sure to put the fully grown fish back in your nursery pond.
- From now on, you can take baby fish out of your nursery pond each month for your own use or to sell.
- Be careful that your nursery pond does not become too full of fish. If there are too many fish, they will not grow well and your baby fish will not be strong and healthy.
- To keep your nursery pond from becoming too full of fish, drain all of the water out of the pond each year and collect all of the fish.
- You can eat the big fish that were in the nursery pond. Item 300 will tell you what to do with the baby fish.
- Wait until the bottom of the nursery pond is dry, then clean and repair the bottom and the banks. Items 311 to 316 will tell you how.
- Now fill the nursery pond with water and fertilize it as you did before. When the water is green, put in the right number of fully grown female fish and male fish. Items 218 to 220 will tell you how many fully grown fish to use.
- In about three months, you will be able to take more baby fish out of your nursery pond.
Carrying your baby fish
- You must be very careful when you carry your baby fish from one place to another. Baby fish can be hurt easily.
- When you take the baby fish out of your nursery pond using a seine net, do not carry them in the seine net. Carry them in a container such as
- When you carry baby fish, you must be careful to
- If you carry your baby fish in plastic bags, carry the bags in a box so that they will not break. Cover the box and the plastic bags with a wet cloth to keep them cool.
- If you see that the baby fish are gasping for air, put some air into the water from time to time by
- a clay pot with a cover
- a bucket with a lid
- a plastic bag.
- use only clean water
- keep the fish out of the sun or cover the container with a wet cloth to keep it cool.
- splashing the water gently with your hand
- forcing air into the water with a bicycle tire pump.
Putting baby fish into your big pond
- When your new big pond is full of water, you have fertilized it and the water has become green enough, you are ready to put in the baby fish.
- You already know that if you use Three-spotted bream in a pond 20 bv 25 metres, you will need 1250 baby fish which are 5 centimetres or longer.
- Put the baby fish gently into your pond.
Feeding your big fish
- You already have learned that the big fish in your pond will get much of their food from small plants and animals which grow in the green water.
- To keep the water green, do not forget to put a bucket of fertilizer in the crib in your pond each week. If you are using plant compost or plant material, keep the crib filled to the water line.
- To make your big fish grow more quickly, you must also feed them other kinds of food. You can feed them
- You can feed your fish once a day. But your fish will eat better and grow faster if you feed them two or three times during the day.
- Prepare all the food for one day’s feeding at the same time and give the fish part of the food at two or three different times during the day.
- Always try to feed your fish at the same times every day.
- The bigger your fish grow, the more food they will need. If your pond has 1250 fish in it, feed them
- It is not easy to know exactly how much food to feed your fish. You must watch them when they eat to learn how much food they need.
- Feed your fish in the shallow part of the pond so that you can see them eat.
- If you see that the fish do not eat all of their food, give them a little less the next day.
- If you see that the fish eat all of their food quickly, give them a little more the next day.
- If you feed your fish at the same place every day, you will see whether the fish are eating well. If you give them too much, the food which is not eaten will stay on the bottom.
- Too much uneaten food on the bottom of the pond will take the air out of the water.
- To make it easier to see if your fish are eating well, mark several places in your pond to feed them.
- Mark each place by making a square or a ring of light wood or bamboo. Drive a pole into the pond bottom and attach the square or ring, as shown in the drawing.
- When you feed the fish, put the food inside the square or ring. You may be able to see any uneaten food on the bottom under the square or ring. If you cannot see the bottom, feel with your hands to find any uneaten food that may be there.
- tender leaves and waste of banana and cassava
- grain mill sweepings
- rice bran
- beer wastes
- cottonseed or groundnut cake
- slaughterhouse wastes
- animal wastes
- kitchen wastes
- spoiled fruit and vegetables
- left-over food
- chopped grass.
- 1250 to 2250 grams of food every day during the first month
- 2250 to 3000 grams of food every day during the second month
- 3000 to 4000 grams of food every day during the third month
- 4000 to 5000 grams of food every day during the fourth month
- 5000 to 6750 grams of food every day during the fifth month
- 6750 to 8750 grams of food every day during the sixth month and until the time that you harvest your fish.
TAKING CARE OF YOUR FISH
- You must take very good care of your fish. Watch them carefully to see that they are healthy and swimming strongly.
- If you find any dead fish floating in your pond, take them out right away and change some of the water in your pond.
- To do this, open the inlet and let in some new clean water. The old water will drain out of the pond at the overflow. Do this for 2 or 3 hours each day for several days until you see that your fish are well.
- If the weather is too hot, if you feed your fish too much, or if you put too much fertilizer into the pond, there may be too little air in the water for your fish to breathe.
- If you see your fish coming to the surface gasping for air, give them less food and do not put any fertilizer into your pond for several weeks.
- Put more air into the water of your pond by changing some of the water for several days, as you did in Item 269.
- When you let new water into the pond, let it in quickly so that it will come with a splash and bring more air into the water. This will help your fish to breathe easily.
- If you see any other things wrong with your fish that you do not understand, stop feeding them and stop putting fertilizer into the pond. Then change some of the water in your pond every day for several days, as you did in Item 269.
- After several days if your fish are still not well, if they are not eating well or gasping for air or are not swimming strongly, ask your extension agent or your fish culture station for help.