Everyone engages in one form of business or the other principally to make profits even NGO’s with free funds from donor agencies have specific areas towards which this funds are applied and targets (which forms the profit for this types of organisations) are set to be achieved.
The same goes for the aquaculture fish farming business. The common targets for an aquaculture based business could be “achieving the highest (numerical and weight) crop yield (fish) per unity area of pond”. It is the total number and total weight of fish harvested that determines the profit margin of the business.
It must however be said that certain simple management regimes must be put in place to ensure that these targets are achieved.
I will attempt to explain this in this discussion as usual comments from operators are welcomed.
TIP 1 STOCKING:
Quality of Fingerlings/Juveniles
It is important to know that the quality of the juvenile (young fish) stocked has direct effect on the quality of fish to be harvested.
Therefore any good farmer will ensure that he buys or produces the best quality fingerlings/juveniles for stoking production ponds. Unfortunately mere looking at fingerlings/juveniles will not tell you if it will perform (translate food to flesh) in the pond during the production process.
A farmer wanting to procure fingerlings/juveniles should ensure that the pedigree of the producer is fully ascertained.
Quantity of fingerlings/juveniles
Ponds have carrying capacities or stocking density that is the number of fish/unit area of pond. This also depends on the type of system employed.
EATHEN PONDS: 10 and 40 fingerlings/juveniles per unit area.
FLOW THROUGH SYSTEM: 100 fingerlings/juveniles per unit area
RE-CIRCULATORY SYSTEM: 350 fingerlings/juveniles per unit area
An attempt to hold beyond this may result in overcrowding which will result in competition and it’s attendant adverse effects.
Tip 2 JUVENILE ACLAMATISATION
Before stocking fish, water temperature in the fingerlings tank must be the same as the pond water. This can be done by placing juveniles and transportation media (containers) into the production ponds. This allows temperature of pond water that of water in the transportation media to become same the young fish is allowed to swim out into the pond. Sharp temperature variation can lead to thermal shock, which is lethal to catfish
TIP 3 SORTING:
Catfish grow differentially as a result of varied genetic quality of the fish species. Fish start to have their varied genetic quality from egg stage (From different egg sizes) through hatching stage till maturity into adult hood. Therefore, the differential growth pattern becomes evident once fish is stocked. These phenomenon, which cause the emergence of oversized fish (shooters) among their peers predispose fish stock to cannibalism.
The situation can thus, be well managed through sorting (every fortnight) for the first two months.
Shooters are separated from the stock.
Look out for concluding part.
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