Fish Farming

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					              Make a Living through
                 Fish Farming




                         FEMI OGUNYEMI
                        PRINCE YEMI KASALI




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             CONTENT

             INTRODUCTION TO FISH FARMING                 3

             WHY FARM FISH?                               4

             TYPES OF FISH FARMING SYSTEM                 5

             FISH POND ENGINEERING AND CONSTRUCTION       6

             TYPES OF PONDS                               7

             DISEASES AND CONTROL                         9

             FISH FARM MANAGEMENT                         15

             STOCKING                                     20

             FEEDING                                      21

             CROPPING (OR HARVESTING) THE POND            22

             RECORD KEEPING                               22

             WATER QUALITY MANAGEMENT IN FISH POND        23

             TURBIDITY/SUSPENDED SOLIDS/TRANSPARENCY      24

             REQUIREMENTS                                 28

             RECORD KEEPING                               33

             FERTILIZATION                                36




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             Introduc on to Fish Farming
             Fish are popular sources of protein and white-meat in Nigeria.

             Global demand for fish products keep rising day-by-day. Today more than 40 percent
             of the world’s seafood comes not from wild catches but from land-based and off-
             shores farms. In fact as far as 1980, Nigeria was impor ng an average of 220, 000
             metric tones cos ng about N4, 440m.

             However, the gap between supply and demand for fish is widening, daily. Almost all
             natural fish stocks in the country, as elsewhere in the world have been over-exploited
             yet human popula ons and hence demand, con nue to increase.

             The best op on for producing more fish in Nigeria is fish farming. This explains how
             you can make a living from fish farming, focusing on rearing lapia/Ca ish.

             Fish can be rear in seas, lakes, rivers, oceans, ponds, tanks, and cages depending on
             suitability of site, availability of management and skilled labour and availability of
             construc on materials etc.




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             Why farm fish?
             • Fish grow quickly and you get a return on your investment fast: a ny fingerling is
             ready to eat in as li le as six to eight months when it can fetch around 5 - 25 mes
             more than the cost price.

             • You do not have to be next to a lake, river or stream to farm fish although a constant
             source of clean fresh water is essen al for lapia farming.

             • There is a ready market both locally and interna onally.

             • You can meet demand in a mely and efficient manner, harves ng only what you
             can sell to avoid wastage.

             • It can be easily reared easily reared either in earthen ponds, concrete tanks or in
             plas c tanks, etc.

             • There is always a ready market for ca ish and it is not linked to any fes val period
             unlike poultry.

             • Fish rarely suffer from diseases unlike other types of livestock.

             • Land unsuited to other produc ve uses – even small plots – can be used for fish
             farming.

             • Once established, fish farms are easy to maintain leaving you with more me for
             other tasks.

             • Fish is very nutri ous, providing a good source of high-quality protein and other
             essen al nutrients, which are especially important for mothers and growing children.

             • Fish farming is not as capital intensive as livestock rearing, especially a er the fix
             capital.

             • Fish farming do not take much of your me or much of labour. It is easy to manager
             despite having a regular job.




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             Types of Fish Farming System


             Breed of Ca ish
             There are basically two breeds of ca ish in Nigeria, these are – Clarias Gariepinus
             and Heterobranchs App, but more recently imported breeds that are fast growing are
             coming into the country.



             Clarias Gariepinus
             They are generally smaller compared to the Heterobranchus. They do not grow as fast
             as the Heterbranchus but are more disease resistant than the Heterobranchus. Claries
             mature earlier than the Heterobranchus Spp. The main iden fying features is that it
             possess an uninterrupted dorsal fins up to the tail.



             Heterobranchus Spp.
             They grow faster and are generally bigger at maturity than Clarias. The dis nguishing
             feature is that it has an interrupted dorsal fin that ends in car lage (thick skin). The
             skin is much more prone to diseases than that of the Clarias. For this reason, some
             breeders cross breeds Clarias and Heterobranchus thus producing heterclarias.

             The ability to shoot and grow faster is male depending. Therefore a male
             Heterobranchus is crossed with a female Clarias to produce Heteroclarias. Thus, the
             features of each are blended together.



             OUTCH OR HOLLANDS BREEDS
             These are imported into the country from Denmark and Holland’s. The breeds mature
             and grow at a faster rate than the local breeds. And they are mush more bigger. But
             they are more prone to diseases.




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            FISH POND ENGINEERING AND CONSTRUCTION
            As noted earlier fish farming can be carried out using ponds, tanks, and cages. The
            choice of what to use depends on many factors such as space availability, suitability
            of site, availability of construc on materials etc. we are interested there in rearing
            of fish using ponds.

            Factors to considered, studied, examined and correctly evaluated in order to avoid
            future and costly problems for pond si ng includes:

               a. Topography of the site

               b. Water supply – quan ty and quality (The most important)

               c. Soil proper es

               d. Clima c and Water shed condi ons around the site.

               e. Thye and density of vegeta on etc.




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             TYPES OF PONDS
             There are mainly two types of ponds, Earthen or Dugout pond and Concrete pond.



             Earthen Pond
             This is usually constructed through excava on of earth materials. The earth excavated
             from the pond bo om is used to build dyke. This type of pond is usually constructed
             in waterlogged areas where on excava ng the soil, water rises up and fill up the
             ponds naturally. It is advisable only in places where the soil has a high water reten on
             capacity e.g. clay soil or where water level is low.



             ADVANTAGE
             It is cheaper to be constructed.

             Maintenance cost especially on water changing in minimal

             The earthen pond has higher capacity to accommodate fish and feed wastes and so
             the water is not easily affected compared to concrete ponds.

             Natural food such as zooplanktons etc. are much more available in earthen ponds.



             DISADVANTAGES
             Water quality is not easy to mange

             Fish culture opera on such as sor ng, test cropping, cropping etc. cannot be easily
             done.

             The fish are mush more prone to the predators such as snakes, birds etc

             If the ponds are closed to a source of water there is likelihood of over flooding and
             subsequent escape of the enclosed reared cultured fishes.




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            During dry season, the water level in the pond may fall too low for the reared fishes




            CONCREETE POND
            This could be made of blocks with a good plastering to prevent leakage. Cast concrete
            is preferable.



            ADVANTAGE OF CONCRETE PONDS
            Water management is much easier than in that of earthen pond.

            Sor ng, test cropping and other fish culture opera on is much easier to handle.

            Incidence of predators is reduced to the barest minimum

            It is easier to administer drugs or quaran ne any disease or distressed fish(es).

            There is no likely hood of over flooding of the ponds unless if it is situated along a
            water path i.e. streams or rivers.




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            DISEASES AND CONTROL
            Fish diseases can be broadly classified under two main headings: Infec ous diseases
            and Non-infec ous diseases



            INFECTIOUS DISEASES
            These are caused by pathogenic organisms, which are in the environment or
            introduced from other fishes. They are transmi ed from fish to fish.

               ü Bacterial: Aeromonas Hydrofilas, Flexibacter columnaria etc

               ü Fungal: Ichlhyopthirius mul fi, Trichodina



            Consequence of Infec ous Diseases
               Ø Fish dies

               Ø Expensive treatment may be need to save fish

               Ø Feeds efficiency is probably decreased during recovery period

               Ø Fishes emaciated i.e. loss weight



            CHEMICALS USED TO TREAT INFECTIONS DISEASES
               ü Formaline (200 – 250 ppm)

               ü Malachite green (0.2 – 5 ppm)

               ü Acriflanin (10 ppm)

               ü Methylene Blue (2 ppm)




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               ü Po asium permanganate KmNO4 (8 – 10 ppm)

               ü Copper Sulphate CuSO4 (15 – 25 ppm)

               ü Salt (7000 ppm)

            Use of chemicals to treat infec ous should be referred to specialists or agricultural
            extension workers and it should be used with cau on. Not too much and not far
            below.



            PREVENTION OF INFECTIOUS DISEASES
               ü Exercise high level of hygienic condi on on the fish farm.

               ü Purchase fingerlings or juveniles to be stocked from reliable hatcheries

               ü Avoid as much as possible any factors that may induce distress in the fish e.g.
                 changing of pond water during hot me of the day, improper feeding ming
                 etc.

               ü Balanced diet feeding



            NON – INFECTIOUS DISEASES
            What is a non-infec ous disease?

             Non-infec ous disease is caused by something which affects all the fishes in pond
            such as nutri onal problems, water quality problems etc. it cannot be transmi ed
            from fish to fish. And bacteria or virus does not cause it.



            CONSEQUENCES
               ü Fish may die

               ü Fish may be stressed (weakened) and suscep ble to disease (bacteria in the
                 environment).




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             CAUSES OF NON-INFECTIOUS DISEASES
             Oxygen Deple on, Ammonia (NHƒ ), Nitrate, Nutri onal Diseases




             OXYGEN DEPLETION
             This is a common cause of death to all fish in the pond. Oxygen starva on almost
             always occurs very early in the morning.



             SIGNS OF OXYGEN DEPLETION
                ü Respiratory distress

                ü Increase gill beats

                ü Gasping or piping

                ü Hanging

                ü Reduced appe te

                ü Fish congregate at the inlet of the pond



             PREVENTION
             Monitor dissolved oxygen. There is need for aera on when dissolved oxygen (DO)
             gets down to 2 ppm. A rough may of detec ng low DO is by spi ng saliva on the pond
             water and wai ng for 5 minutes. If spit dissolves there is enough DO.

                ü Avoid overstocking

                ü Avoid overfeeding

                ü Prevent temperature increase




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            AMMONIA (NHƒ )
            This is the waste product from protein, Fish gills also excrete it.



            CAUSES OF HIGH AMMONIA CONTENT
               ü Overfeeding

               ü Inac vated biological compound

               ü Overcrowding

               ü Excessive Nitrogenous decay



            SIGNS OF AMMONIA IN FISH
               ü Respiratory distress

               ü Gasping

               ü Mucus hyper secre on causing white clouding of skin and gills

               ü Unusual behaviours

               ü Hyper ability

               ü Erra c swimming



            PREVENTION
               ü Removal of fish to ammonia free water

               ü Frequent par al water change

               ü It is also advisable to monitor for secondary infec on caused by
                 immunosuppression




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             NITRATE
             This is the final product of Nitrogen cycle, which converts NHƒ to Nitrite and finally
             Nitrate.



             PROBLEMS CAUSED BY NITRATES
                • Fish are stressed

                • Respiratory distress

                • Reproduc ve failure

                • Emacia ons



             REMOVAL OF NITRATE
                • Gaseous water exchange

                • Use of nitrate removaing ion exchange resins

                • Denitrifica on carried out by faculta ve anaerobacteria in oxygen-depleted
                  condi ons.



             NUTRITIONAL DISEASES
             This occurs as a result of long-term incorrect diets. It may take weeks or months to
             manifest by which me permanent damages have occurred.



             SIGNS
             It is variable depending on the exact nature of the underlying problems




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             Vitamin A Deficiency

                v Eye disorder

                v Fin/Skin haemorrhage

             Vitamin C Deficiency

                     v Cracking of the skull bone

                     v Skeletal deformity




             PREVENTION AND CONTROL
                v Avoid very cheap brand of fish food, as some may not produce balanced diet

                v Dry food should be stored in dry, cool place to prevent vitamin degrada on

                v Always purchase small amount of dry food at a me to prevent food from been
                  infected by aflatoxins (Fungi). These are toxic and poten ally lethal substances.

                v A short course of vitamin supplements administered orally may be beneficial in
                  suspected cases of vitamins deficiency.




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            FISH FARM MANAGEMENT
            Fish farm management covers all the opera ons which are required to keep pond
            opera ng at maximum efficiency, the engineering required to keep the pond banks
            and installa ons in good condi ons; the maintenance of hygienic condi ons: the
            control of water quality; the control of parasites and disease; the maintenance of
            produc vity and the control of unwanted growth of vegeta on.

            There are two broad aspects of fish farm management, namely:-

               a. Fish culture opera on and

               b. Water quality management



            FISH CULTURE OPERATION
            These opera ons include:
               i.      Liming

               ii.     Filling the pond with water

               iii.    Fer lizer applica on

               iv.     Pond management

               v.      Stocking

               vi.     Feeding

               vii.    Fish health and sanita on

               viii.   Cropping (or harvest) the pond

               ix.     Marke ng

               x.      Record keeping




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            Ponds can be managed either on
            i.       Daily management

            ii.      Rou ne/monthly management




            Daily management
            The pond and the fish must be taken care of everyday. It is good to have a checklist
            that might look like this:

                  a. Check the pond for leaks, Dissolved oxygen (DO), PH and temperature

                  b. Recheck fillers – i.e. undersirable aqua c needs must be removed

                  c. Watch fish behavior near the feeding area

                  d. Add fer lizer if necessary

                  e. Watch out for predators

                  f. Feeding fish

                  g. Check water colum, turbidity using secchi disc

            Note: Early morning is the best me because O levels in the water are lowest when,
            and the fish are more likely to have trouble at that me of the day if they are going
            to have trouble at all.




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            MONTHLY MANAGEMENT
            LIMING
            Lime is used to improve the pond bo om and to kill parasites or undesirable
            organisms in the pond. It also reduces turbidity of water as well as preven ng water
            from becoming too acidic. Materials need for liming is:

                        a. Quick lime-calcium oxide

                        b. Hydrated/Slake lime-Calcium hydroxide

                        c. Agricultural lime-Calcium carbonate



            Why should we lime?
               v Lime helps to maintain proper pH

               v It incresses the effec veness of fer lizers

               v It increases alkalinity of H‚ O, which in turn make available CO‚ for
                 photosynthesis



               v When does a pond need lime?

               v When the pH of the pond is acidic.

               v When the alkalinity is too low.

               v When proper phytoplankton bloom cannot be developed a er fer lizer with
                 proper fer lizers

               v When there is a threat of or contagious diseases are no ced



            Recommenda on: Agric lime is preferred because of its effec veness safety and
            costless.




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            USAGE OF AGRIC LIME
            Highly acidic (pH 1 – 4)               50kg/200m² (2500kg/ka)

            Mildly acidic (pH 4.5 – 6)             25kg/200m² (1250kg/ka)



            METHOD OF LIME APPLICATION:
            i.    Lime material should be finely grounded and spread over the en re dry pond
            bo om. It can be applied when there is fish in the pond. This is only for H‚ O quality
            control and only agric lime can be used.

            ii.   Fer lizer Applica on: There are basically two main types of fer lizers namely,
            Organic Fer lizers and Inorganic Fer lizers

            Organic Fer lizer are wates of plants and animal origin e.g. ca le/cow dung, pig dung,
            poultry manure, compost, sewage, brewery waste, e.t.c



                                  Rate of applica on of organic manure
                    Compost:                1500 – 2500kg/ha/mth

                    Caw dung:               500 – 1000kg/ha/mth

                    Poultry manure:         500 – 1999kg/ha/mth

            METHOD OF APPLICATION
            Organic fer lizers are the best applied by filling a jute bag with cow-dung or poultry
            manure and then hang at various point in the water.




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            NORGANIC FERTILIZERS
            Inorganic fer lizers are chemicals which when added to water hasten the growth of
            natural food organisms in water.

            Types of inorganic fer lizers and rate of applica on:-
               - NPK (15 – 15 – 15)               2000 – 3000 kg/ha/yr

               - Single Super Phosphate           1000 – 2000 kg/ha/yr

               - Double Super Phosphate           300 – 1500 kg/ha/yr

               - Triple Super Phosphate           200 – 1000 kg/ha/yr

               - Ammonium Sulphate                40 – 60 kg/ha

               - Urea e.t.c

            Note: the above rate is not fixed. The farmer can compute this own rate based on
            his experience.

            A standard rate of applica on is to use 40 – 60 kg/ha of ammonium Sulphate and 40 –
            60 kg/ha of single phosphate bi-weekly.



            METHOD OF APPLICATION
               v Dissolve fer lizer in water in plas c buckets and sprinkle over the en re
                 surfaces or

               v Build a plat form under the water and place heaps of fer lizer on it.

               v Fill a jute bag with inorganic fer lizer and submerge it under water



               v As a rule, inorganic fer lizers are applied 2 weeks a er liming and when pond
                 has been filled with water. Also inorganic fer lizers are best applied at intervals
                 of 2 – 4 weeks than one single applica on for a very long le. It is advisable that
                 manuring/fer liza on be carried out during the early hours of the day.




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            STOCKING
            Is used to describe that cat of placing the fish (stock) into the pond?
            Stocking density: Refers to the total number of fish, which can be put in a pond.



            Rate of Stocking
            The stocking density of the pond depends on:

            i.      The type of fish culture system

            ii.     Age or size of the fish and

            i.      The species cultured

            Generally speaking rates vary from 1 – 3/m² (or 10, 000 – 30, 000 per hectare).

            This can be higher with improved technology.



            METHOD OF STOCKING
            On ge ng to your fish farm from the point of purchase of your fingerlings, the
            fingerlings are transferred into plas c basin containing the same water as the one
            used for transporta on. Water is then collected from the fish pond and mixed with
            the one in the plas c basin. This is to avoid thermal shock due to temperature
            difference. The basin is then lowered into the pond and the fingerlings allowed to
            swim out into the pond. Stocking should be done before sunrise or late in evening.




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             FEEDING
             To make fish grow faster, supplementary or ar ficial diet must be given to the fish.
             Generally fish are fed once or thrice daily or even more daily. But any par cular
             regime of feeding must be religiously followed. The ming of feeding is very
             important as well as the quality of feed. Fish are fed at 3.5% of their total body
             weight; five to seven mes a week.
             Formula on of fish feeds, of prepara on and applica on will be discussed separately



             FISH HEALTH AND SANITATION
             The health of the fish is the pond is very important. Proper and good management
             will prevent out break of diseases. This can be done by:-

             i.      Proper screening of water inlet structure to prevent entry of wild fish

             ii.     Disinfec ng the pond bo om by liming

             iii.    Avoid the use of moulding or decaying feeds to feed fish

             i.      Ensuring good water quality

             v.      Collec ng your fish fingerlings from reliable hatcheries




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            CROPPING (OR HARVESTING) THE POND
            Cropping is undertaken when the fish stock or part of it has a ained market siz.
            Feeding of the fish is stopped 1 -3 days before cropping

            Implements used for cropping include:

               - Sieve or drag nets

               - Cast nets

               - Traps

               - Hook and line




            MARKETING OF FISH
            Prior to harves ng, the farmer any inform marketed women, hotels, and restaurants
            e.t.c. That are interested in bulk purchase and a par cular day fixed for the sales.
            Presently about 3 – 5 days before harvest. It can also be taken to the market. Fish can
            be marketed live, smoked, or caned.



            RECORD KEEPING
            It is important for the farmer or farm manager to keep accurate records of all fish
            farming ac vi es in a notebook. Such records may include Labour cost, number, and
            cost of farming implements e.t.c. See Appendix

            Keeping accurate records of fish farming ac vi es aid in evalua on of the economic
            viability of the project.




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            WATER QUALITY MANAGEMENT IN FISH POND
            Good water quality is one of the most significant factors to be considered for fish
            culture. Water quality refers to certain proper es of the water, which must be
            adequate for op mum performance of a par cular fish species in culture. These
            proper es are included in the following groups:

            A. Physical Proper es: Temperatur, colour, odour, and turbidity/transparency

            B. Chemical Proper es - pH, dissolved oxygen, alkality, salinity, nutrients, pollutants

            C. Biological Proper es – Plankton (density & quality)



            pH
            pH can be measured using pH indicator paper or pH meter. The best pH range is
            6.5 – 9.0

            Low pH (acidic) can be treated with Agric lime, while high pH (alkaline) can betreated
            with Alum at rates between 10 – 20mg/litre:

            i.      Fer liza on should be stopped

            ii.     Decrease rate of feeding

            iii.    Replenish or deplete by adding new fresh water

            iv.     In the absence of water renewal, aerators should be used

            i.      Reduc on in pond water

            ii.     Use of KMnO„ at rate of 50mg/L is effec ve in reducing organic ma er in
                    ponds.




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            TURBIDITY/SUSPENDED SOLIDS/TRANSPARENCY
            The term turbidity gives the measure of the amount of light penetra on in a pond.



            EFFECTS
            Turbidity adversely affects fish popula on by:

               1. Restric ng light penetra on and thus limit photosynthesis

               2. Mechanical ac on of suspended solids can lead to clogging of the gills or the
                  irrita on of gill filaments

               3. Suspended par cles absorb various chemicals, such as phosphorus, thus
                  making fer liza on to be less effec ve in turbid water.

               4. Reduces growth of fish culture



            Removal of suspended solids
            2 simple ways

               1. Spreading of chopped hay over the ponds surface. As the hay se les it will
                  cause the par cles to FLOCCULATE out of suspension.

               2. Applica on of gypsum at about 200kg/100m³ of pond water. This may be a
                  repeated 7 to 10 days interval as per required.




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            NUTRITION AND FEEDING
            All fish require certain components in their diets. These are proteins, fats,
            carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals.



            FISH NUTRIENTS REQUIRMENT
            i.      PROTEINS

            Proteins consist of large molecules of compounds formed from different amino
            acids, which are the building components of the fish body, enzymes, gonads, and
            an bio cs.

            ii.     CARBOHYDRATE

            Carbohydrates are cheapest source of energy in fish diets. Although fish also derive
            their dietary energy from proteins and fats. Fish for maintenance requires energy.

            iii.    FAT

            Metabolic energy is obtained from fats by fish in most carnivorous species; the lipids
            (fats) are main energy sources.

            iv.     VITAMINS

            Vitamins are required by fish for the metabolism of ssue nutrients, growth and
            disease resistance. The vitamins include Thiamin, Riboflavin, Pyridoxin, Panthothenic
            acid, Niacin, Folic acid, Ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) Vitamin B12, Vitamin A, D, E, and K

            v.      MINERALS

            They are essen al for ssue metabolism and maintenance of salt and water balance
            in the ssues. They help in strong bone forma on and proper brain development.




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            FISH FEED FORMULATION
            The objec ve of feed formula on is to provide the required nutrients for op mal fish
            product. The following are factors usually considered when formula ng fish diets:

               - The species of fish: some are mainly carnivorous while, while some are
                 herbivorous and may also be omnivorous

               - The age of the Fish: Fry and fingerling regime higher protein than juveniles
                 and the grow-out

               - The Acceptance by the FISH

               - The Cost of Available Ingredients



                    NUTRIENTS           SOURCES
               a. Protein               Fish-meal, groundnut cake (GNC), soya bean, ex-blood

               b. Carbohydrate          Corn-meal, mullet, wheat, rice-bran, and cassava

               c. Lipids (fat)          Fish oil, palm oil, coconut oil, palm kernel oil

               d. Vitamins              Vitamins premix

               e. Minerals              Mineral premix, fish meal, bone meal, common salt

                    The higher the protein in a diet, the higher its quality.




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            Case One: A farmer desire to formulate fish-meal to give 30% protein level using
            groundnut cake and wheat bran. How can he go about it?
            Wheat bran (WB) is 15.1% protein while Groundnut cake (GCN) is 48.9% protein.

            Let the required protein % be at the middle of the suare and the two ingredients
            at the le hand side



            The percentage crude protein of each ingredient is subtracted from that of crude
            protein desired (ignoring nega ve signs); and the result are recorded on the opposite
            corners of the square diagonally.

            The values obtained are summed up, i.e. 18.9 + 15 = 33.9

            Therefore the percentage of each required obtained by dividing each values by the
            total

            WB      =   18.9 x       100   =      55.92%

                        33.9




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            Requirements
            To establish and run a small fish farm you will need: labour, land, machetes (pangas),
            hoes, shovels, pickaxes, wheelbarrows, measuring tapes, wooden pegs, string, lime,
            fingerlings, fer lizer, weighing scale and scoop nets.

            Tilapias do best when the water temperature is between 25 and 28°C.



            Step 1: Pond site selec on
            • Select gently sloping land, large enough to allow construc on of the pond.

            • The pond should be in full sun and not surrounded by trees as this invites predators,
            such as fish-ea ng birds.

            • The soil should not allow water to seep away (check this by digging a test hole,
            filling it with water and checking the next day to see whether the water has seeped
            away).

            • A reliable and convenient source of clean, unpolluted water is essen al as water
            should con nuously flow through the pond. Sources of water include underground
            springs, streams and river diversions (make sure you have permission from your local
            authority).

            Use of borehole and piped water is unlikely to be cost-effec ve. Chlorinated water
            is poisonous to fish.

            Step 2: Pond construc on
            • Clear the site of vegeta on.

            • Measure the pond size and mark it out with s cks and string so you can see how big
            it will be before you start construc on.

            • Ponds should be rectangular or square (not circular) with a minimum size of 10
            metres by 10 metres. Bigger ponds, up to 50 metres by 100 metres, are easier to
            manage. The sides should slope outwards.




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            • The pond should be 0.5 metres deep at the shallow (water inlet) end and 1.5 metres
            at the deep (water outlet) end and have a sloping floor.

            • Dig out the pond using hoes, spades and shovels and pile the soil around the pond
            to form a dyke.



            Tips
            • Rectangular ponds are easier to build and the fish are easier to catch compared

            to round ponds.

            • Do not dig ponds in the path of a river to avoid flooding and washing away of
            the fish

            • Apply a thin layer of agricultural lime to the bo om of the pond. This will help to
            eliminate pests like leeches.

            • Fill the pond with water so that the shallow end is 0.5 metres deep and the deep
            end is 1.5 metres deep.



            Step 3: Pond fer liza on
            Pond fer liza on encourages the growth of ny plants called algae and ny animals
            that provide food for your fish. Algae turn the water green, which makes it harder for
            predators, such as birds and snakes, to see and catch your fish.

            To fer lize your pond you may use animal manures or chemical fer lizers.

            Type of fer lizer
            How much to use for every 100 square metres of pond area

               • Natural Cow, goat or sheep dung 6 kg

               • Chicken, duck or goose droppings 2.5 kg

               • Chemical Urea 1 kg




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               • DAP (diammonium phosphate) 1 kg

               • TSP (triple superphosphate) 1 kg



            Step 4: Seed selec on
            • A fingerling seed is a ny, newly hatched fish weighing between 20 and 80 grammes.

            • Purchase lapia fingerlings from an established fish farm within your area.

            • Place fingerlings in a bucket of fresh water.

            • Move the fingerlings to your fish pond as soon as possible (within 6 hours).



            Step 5: Pond stocking
            • Add three lapia fingerlings for each square metre of pond area. A pond 10 metres
            by 10 metres has an area of 100 square metres and so would need 300 fingerlings.

            • To stock the pond with fingerlings, gently lower the bucket containing the
            fingerlings into the shallow end of the pond.

            • Gradually p the bucket to allow the fingerlings to swim into the pond.
            Tip:

            If ngerlings are not introduced into the pond gently they may die from shock.




            Step 6: Supplementary feeding
            • For the first month, the young fingerlings will eat the natural food in the pond.

            • A er the first month, feed the fingerlings twice daily.

            • Suitable foods include rice, maize or wheat bran (a quarter of a kilogramme fed
            twice daily). Other foods include:

            • Sliced kale (sukuma wiki) or chopped sweet potato vines




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            • Termites and ants

            • Small lake shrimps

            • Small le -over fish caught by fishermen

            • Local fishmeal (omena/dagaa/mukene dust)



            Step 7: Fish sampling
            • Check on your fish regularly and weigh them monthly to see how they are growing.
            Catch some fish using a scoop net by placing some feed inside the bowl por on of the
            scoop net to act as bait. The fingerlings should have increased in weight by at least
            10 grammes in the first month.

            • The fish should con nue to grow steadily each month.



            Step 8: Pond maintenance
            • Keep area around pond clear of weeds.

            • Fence the pond to keep out children and animals.

            • Keep water levels between 0.5 and 1.5 metres deep



            Step 9: Fish harves ng, storage and preserva on
            Harves ng
            Fish can be harvested par ally (leaving at least ten fish in the pond to breed) or totally
            (harves ng all fish and cleaning the pond) six months a er stocking.

            • Lower the fishing net into the pond at the deep end. Ideally, have two people on
            either side of the pond holding the net.




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            Press the net to the bo om of the pond to ensure you catch all the fish. This can best
            be done by having three people in the pond.

            • Gradually pull the net towards the shallow end.

            • Gather the net to one corner, making sure you retain all fish captured.

            • Pull out the net.

            • Place the fish in a container of clean water.

            • Sort the fish. Return any underweight fish to the pond.

            • Depending on demand, market all fish or return some to the pond.



            Fish storage and preserva on
            • Immediately cut the fish open along the underside and pull out the guts. The guts
            can be dried, mixed with bran and fed to livestock, including chickens.

            • Wash the fish with clean water and place in cooler boxes.

            • Sell or cook and eat fresh fish as soon as possible, otherwise preserve fish by sal ng,
            smoking or sun drying.




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            Record Keeping
            Record keeping helps the fish farmer to track the major ac vi es undertaken from the
            start of the fish-farming business. Keeping simple records of costs and income from
            sales will allow you to work out whether your fish-farming business is profitable.



                      What can go wrong        Contaminated water
                      Cause                    Pollution at water source
                      What to do               Ensure water is clean and safe before building pond
                                               Contact your local water authorities

                      What can go wrong        Stunted growth of sh
                      Cause                    Underfeeding
                      What to do               Feed regular with recommended feeds

                      What can go wrong        Fish poisoned
                      Cause                    Tephrosia bark
                      What to do               Clear Tephrosia trees from area around pond.
                                               Add more water to dilute poison as soon as possible

                      What can go wrong        Loss of sh to: snakes and monitor lizards, sh-eating
                                               birds (kingsher, herons) or theft.
                      Cause                    Bushy pond site
                                               Water too clear
                                               Unprotected ponds
                      What to do               Clear the pond site
                                               Fertilize the pond to make water green
                                               Fence the pond

                      What can go wrong        Fish deaths
                      Cause                    Leeches
                                               Fishes washed away by oods
                                               Long, dry spells - shortage of water supply
                      What to do               Apply lime at the pond bottom before stocking
                                               Ensure that maximum water level in the pond does not
                                               exceed 1.5 metres
                                               Harvest the sh and sell before drought




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            “Managing Pond Fisheries in Oklahoma” booklet ($3 by mail or picked up from ODWC
            field offices).

            However, a much simpler avenue for feeding your farm pond fish and making a

            significant impact to their growth and health relies on your third, “bonus”

            species, which are your channel ca ish.

            Okay, so what do you feed your channel cats? In the past, people have fed ca ish a
            li le bit of everything including dog food, grain, ca le cubes, bread, etc.

            Nowadays, there is no reason not to feed your fish a good quality food. Almost all
            farm supply stores carry some kind of commercial ca ish food. Your fish should grow
            faster and be healthier when provided a quality feed specially formulated for fish.
            Ca ish can be easily trained to respond to a floa ng food. Bluegill will also use
            the feed but bass may not respond in significant numbers. Floa ng feeds are best,
            because they allow the pond owner to monitor the feeding ac vity.

            The next ques on is probably the hardest to answer. “How much do I feed them?”
            There is no simple answer to this ques on. It depends on several factors, such as the
             me of year, water quality, size and number of fish, and if pond aera on is available.

            Typically, start out feeding one-half to one pound of feed per surface acre of water.

            Another “rule of thumb” is to feed only what the fish will eat in 5-10 minutes. As the
            water temperatures start dropping in the fall, the fish will eat less and will eventually
            stop altogether.

            When they stop ea ng, stop feeding.

            Next spring when the water begins to warm up, gradually start feeding again.




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            Farm Fish Pond Management
            The fish produc vity of any farm pond begins with the base of the food chain,
            the phytoplankton popula on. Phytoplanktons are microscopic plants that o en give
            the pond’s water a green or olive color. Microscopic animals, which feed on the
            phytoplankton, form the next rung of the food chain and are known as zooplankton.
            A “plankton bloom” is the term used for the color change produced when these
            microscopic plants and animals are in sufficient abundance.

            Because plankton are the base of the food chain, there is a close rela onship
            between plankton abundance and fish produc on.

            1). The plankton are the food source for aqua c insects and other aqua c
            invertebrates. Fry and fingerling largemouth bass and bream, in turn, feed on these
            organisms. The pond’s ul mate predator, the adult largemouth bass, feeds on and
            controls the large popula on of smaller bream.

            Nutrients are the vital first step in the pond’s food cycle, since they are used by
            phytoplankton in the produc on of food. The use of inorganic fer lizers containing
            the nutrients, nitrogen-phosphate-potassium (N-P-K), is necessary to sustain large
            popula ons of harvestable size bass and bream. Ponds in South Carolina that are
            properly stocked, fer lized and managed can support the harvest of 25-30 lbs of bass,
            and 80-120 lbs of bream per acre per year.




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             Fer liza on
             Fer liza on of a pond s mulates and expands the plankton popula on. The “bloom”
             produced is usually in the upper three feet of the pond and if maintained during the
             spring, summer and early fall will effec vely shade out and prevent the establishment
             of rooted aqua c weeds. Fer liza on will not eliminate aqua c weeds that are
             already established or prevent the growth of such weeds in ponds that have shallow
             shoreline edges or control floa ng plants such as duckweed and watermeal. Aqua c
             weeds that are already present, must first be eliminated (usually through the use
             of an approved aqua c herbicide or with biological control), before a fer liza on
             program should be implemented.

             In general, there are three fer lizer formula ons that may be used effec vely in
             South Carolina. Granular fish pond fer lizer (20-20-5 formula on) is the most widely
             used and has been found to be effec ve in producing moderate to heavy blooms
             in most ponds. It is moderately expensive ($6-$9/40 lb), and a fer lizer pla orm
             is recommended for applica on. Liquid ammo-nium polyphosphate (10-34-4 or
             a similar formula on) has gained in popularity among pond managers and it is
             comparable to granular formula ons in price ($4-$6/gal). It is generally sold in 5 gal
             cans. It is also fairly easy to apply.

             Some other ponds may require only super (0-18-0) or triple superphosphate (0-44-0)
             to produce a good bloom. Since it is usually applied in smaller amounts, it is cheaper
             (varies around $7/bag) than the 20-20-5. It is applied in the same manner as other
             granular types.

             Recent research at Auburn University has led to the development of a slow release
             fer lizer that shows great promise.

             The slow release formula on would eliminate or greatly reduce repeated fer lizer
             applica ons during the growing season. This formula on should be available through
             farm supply companies soon.




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             GRANULAR FERTILIZERS
             Granular fer lizers may be applied several ways. The material may be broadcast over
             shallow areas of the pond, but this method is not recommended by Department
             biologists because much of the mineral content is wasted as it is ed up in bo om
             sediments. The most efficient way is to use an underwater pla orm similar to the
             one shown in Figure 2. It need not be elaborate, and the design is limited only by
             individual imagina on.

             The pla orm should be about 5' x 5' square and 1'-2' below the surface of the water.

             One pla orm is sufficient for five acres of pond.

             This method will keep fer lizer nutrients from being ed up and wasted by bo om
             muds, and can reduce fer lizer costs by 25%. Simply pour the fer lizer on the
             pla orm and water currents will distribute the nutrients as they dissolve. If a pla orm
             is not available, concrete blocks may be situated approximately 1' below the water’s
             surface and the opened fer lizer bag placed on this structure. A second less effec ve
             way is to slit the fer lizer bag widely using a “X” cut on one side and place it in
             shallow (1'-2°’ deep) water with the slit side up so that the fer lizer can dissolve. This
             method will not disperse the nutrients as well as a pla orm.



             Methods of applying inorganic pond fer lizer.
             The use of a submerged pla orm is the most effec ve and economical means of
             fer liza on. One 5’x5’ pla orm is adequate for 5 acres of pone. It is important that
             the pla orm be submerged 1’-2’ under the water’s surface. Pla orm should be 8-15’
             from shoreline edge.

             Bags should lay on block and be opened wide on top and placed in water 1.5-2.0’
             deep.




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            LIQUID FERTILIZERS
            Liquid fer lizers are best applied by mixing one part fer lizer with ten parts water and
            pouring the mixture out behind a boat. Be er dispersal from a boat is achieved if the
            mixture is poured into the propeller agita on of a small outboard motor.

            Organic fer lizers (manure, co onseed meal, etc.) are not recommended for use in
            South Carolina ponds. They are low in nutrients and huge quan es are needed
            to produce the same bloom as chemical fer lizers. They can easily cause oxygen
            deple ons if not used very carefully. In addi on, there may be a link between the use
            of organic fer lizers and increased fish disease.

            Fer liza on programs in South Carolina Figure 2. Methods of applying inorganic

            pond fer lizer.

            The use of a submerged pla orm is the most effec ve and economical means of
            fer liza on. One 5’x5’ pla orm is adequate for 5 acres of pone. It is important that
            the pla orm be submerged 1’-2’ under the water’s surface. Pla orm should be 8-15’
            from shoreline edge.

            Bags should lay on block and be opened wide on top and placed in water 1.5-2.0’
            deep.

            Farm Pond Fer liza on and Liming should begin when pond water temperatures
            reach 65°F. This is usually some me in April. A sample schedule is as follows:

            1. When the water temperature has reached 65°F, apply 40 lbs/acre of 20-20-5 or
            1 gal/acre of liquid polyphosphate. Follow with two addi onal applica ons at two
            week intervals.

            2. Make three more applica ons at three-week intervals.

            3. Con nue applica ons at monthly intervals or whenever the water clears enough
            so that a white object can be seen 18" below the surface. Another quick method to
            determine fer liza on need is to immerse your arm to a depth at your elbow. If you
            can see your finger ps at this depth, it is me for another fer lizer applica on.

            4. Discon nue applica ons at the end of October, or when water temperatures drop
            below 65°F, whichever comes first.




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            Not all ponds can be managed as the above example. More or less fer lizer may
            be required.

            Some ponds may be well served with only an occasional applica on of
            superphosphate. New ponds will usually require heavier rates than old ones. Pasture
            ponds will likely require fewer applica ons than those in wooded areas. Since each
            pond is different, the owner must experiment un l he finds the most economical way
            to produce an adequate bloom. Do not over fer lize.

            Overfer liza on produces undesirable surface scums and can contribute to low
            dissolved oxygen levels and subsequent fish kills.

            There are instances when a pond should not be fer lized:

            1. If the water is frequently muddy, turbid, or very darkly stained with humic acids so
            that a white object cannot be seen at a depth of 18".

            2. If the pond has a heavy growth of aqua c weeds. Those weeds will use the fer lizer
            intended to produce the “bloom.” The weeds will grow well and the pond will remain
            clear.

            3. If the reten on me of the water in the pond is not at least three weeks, then
            the fer lizer will be flushed out before it can do its job. Occasionally a bo om-draw
            design drainpipe can overcome this problem.

            4. If fish in the pond receive their food primarily from ar ficial feeds, and weed
            control is not a problem, as is the case in some ornamental or culture ponds




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            Liming
            Many of South Carolina’s farm ponds annually experience problems in obtaining
            a phytoplankton “bloom” when fer lized at the recommended rates. O en this
            problem can be traced to poor water quality. Pond sites, with acid bo om soils,
            usually have a dras c effect on the impounded pond water. This effect can be seen
            in three important water quality parameters: pH, total water hardness, and total
            alkalinity. All three of these parameters play a very important part in the produc on
            of sport fish in farm ponds.

            Liming of so , acid waters in South Carolina ponds can correct water quality
            deficiencies and improve the pond’s bass-bream produc on. The addi on of lime has
            several beneficial effects:

            1. Increases the pH of bo om mud and, thereby, increases the availability of
            phosphorus nutrients in the fer lizer.

            2. Increases bo om plant-animal produc on in fer lized ponds.

            3. Increases the availability of carbon dioxide for phytoplankton photosynthesis.

            4. Buffers pond water, preven ng extreme fluctua ons of pH levels that can be
            harmful.

            Fisheries biologists with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources can
            check to determine the total hardness and alkalinity of pond water.

            Ponds having an alkalinity and a total water hardness below 20 ppm CaCO3 should
            be limed.

            The amount of lime added will depend on the acidity of the pond mud and the total
            hardness.




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            Applica on of Lime
            The most common liming material in South Carolina is simple, agricultural limestone
            - CaCO3 or CaMg(CO3)2. This is the same form of limestone farmers use on their
            agricultural fields and can be purchased in bulk or bag form. Bulk limestone costs
            approximately $25-$35/ton.

            Lime spreader trucks can be used in new pond sites prior to impoundment, if the
            terrain is suitable. In older pond sites or ponds already impounded, the limestone
            should be spread by boat evenly over the en re pond’s surface. Even distribu on
            is important, since the pond owner is actually trying to lime the bo om mud and
            not the water.

            Effects from the addi on of lime are variable but usually last from 2-3 years
            depending on the amount of water passing through the pond.

            Over 80% of South Carolina’s farm ponds need to be limed for maximum sport fish
            produc on.

            Through the addi on of lime, the pond owner can increase his sport fish produc on
            25% - 50%.

            Addi onal informa on on private pond management may be obtained by contac ng
            the district fisheries office of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources
            in your area.




                        THANKS FOR READING



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