Fish ponds are artificial water bodies constructed for the purpose of fish farming. They provide a controlled environment for fish to grow, breed and reproduce. Fish farming is a lucrative business and fish ponds have become increasingly popular due to their profitability and sustainability. In this blog post, we will discuss the types of fishpond management, how to construct a fish pond, the benefits of a fishpond, and the different types of fish that can be reared in a fish pond.
Types of Fish Pond Management:
There are two main types of fishpond management: extensive and intensive. Extensive management involves low stocking densities and minimal input, relying mainly on natural food production in the pond. Intensive management involves high stocking densities, regular feeding, and often the use of supplemental aeration and filtration systems. The choice of management type depends on factors such as pond size, water quality, and the type of fish being reared.
How to Construct a Fish Pond:
Constructing a fish pond requires careful planning and attention to detail. The following are the basic steps to construct a fish pond:
- Site Selection: Select a suitable site for the pond that is not prone to flooding and has good soil quality.
- Pond Design: Determine the size and shape of the pond. It is recommended to have a minimum depth of 1.5 meters to ensure adequate water volume and temperature stability.
- Excavation: Excavate the pond using machineries such as excavators or bulldozers.
- Pond Lining: Line the pond with a suitable material such as clay or a synthetic liner to prevent seepage and water loss.
- Inlet and Outlet: Install an inlet and outlet structure to regulate water flow in and out of the pond.
- Water Supply: Establish a reliable water supply source for the pond.
- Fish Stocking: Select and stock the pond with the desired fish species.
Benefits of a Fish Pond:
There are numerous benefits of having a fish pond, including:
- Increased Food Production: Fish ponds provide a reliable source of protein-rich food.
- Income Generation: Fish farming is a profitable business that can provide a source of income for farmers.
- Environmental Sustainability: Fish ponds provide an alternative to the overfishing of wild fish populations.
- Recreational Purposes: Fish ponds can be used for recreational purposes such as fishing and boating.
Fishes That Can Be Reared in a Fish Pond:
A wide variety of fish can be reared in a fish pond, including:
- Tilapia: A fast-growing and hardy fish that is suitable for intensive culture.
- Catfish: A popular fish for aquaculture due to its high market demand.
- Carp: A common fish species that are well-suited to extensive culture systems.
- Trout: A cold-water fish that requires high-quality water and is suitable for cooler regions.
Conclusion: Fish ponds offer a sustainable and profitable alternative to traditional fishing methods. Constructing a fish pond requires careful planning and attention to detail, and the choice of management type depends on various factors. Fish ponds provide numerous benefits, including increased food production, income generation, and environmental sustainability. A wide variety of fish species can be reared in a fish pond, depending on the local climate and market demand.
ESTABLISHMENT/CONSTRUCTION OF A FISHPOND
a fish pond is generally established to keep or house fish. fishponds can artificial or natural.
a fishpond can be built in-house or around riverine areas. in whichever type is to be constructed will be determined by the types of fish to be reared
The following operations are normally carried out when establishing a fish pond:
Site selection of fish pond
Site selection involves the choice of the best size based on necessary conditions like a piece of land through which a perennial stream flows. The site should be on fertile and clay soil to prevent water seepage. It should have a valley with a narrow neck and a fairly open area.
Reconnaissance or general survey of fish pond
A detailed survey of the chosen site should be carried out, especially by extension workers. Such workers help to determine the height of the pond, the volume of earth to be used for dyke, total water
surface area, the volume of water in the pond or embracement.
Clearing and stumping of the site of the fishpond
: This involves the removal of thrash, cutting of trees and removal of stumps.
Construction of fishpond
Construction of core trench
This involves the removal of the soil or excavation. It is positioned at a right angle to the dam. Such dams should be made with consolidated stones or cement walls.
Construction of spillway of fish pond
Spillway is positioned at one end of the dam. Wood and the wire-mesh screen should be used to construct the spillway.
Impoundment of fish pond
: This involves the filling of the pond with water by opening the monk board of the reservoir. This leads to the release of water and flows to fill the pond
Liming of fish pond
: This involves the addition of limestone or calcium carbonate powder to the sides and bottom of the pond to seal pores and prevent water loss. Liming also reduces the acidity of the pond water and encourages the growth of plankton (fish food). However, liming is done before filling the pond with water. The lime materials should be left for four weeks in their dry state.
Pond fertilization of fish pond
Fertilizer encourages the growth of plankton (fish food). Pond fertilizer is done by pouring organic fertilizers such as poultry droppings, and cow dung or the use of inorganic ones like N.P.K or superphosphate. Pond fertilization should be carried out 15 days before stocking the pond with water.
This is the introduction of proper plankton species into the pond. This is done by obtaining some water from a plankton-rich pond and pours into a newly fertilized pond. When the pond water begins to turn green, this green water indicates the abundance of plankton (the natural food of fish). To keep the water green, fertilizer is added to the pond every week.
Stocking of pond
: This is the introduction of the proper baby fish called fingerlings or fries into the pond. The pond is stocked at the rate of two fingerlings per square metre. The fingerlings should not be poured into the pond. Rather, the container should be placed gently into the water and the fingerlings allowed to swim into the water pond themselves.
1CONDITIONS OR FACTORS NECESSARY FOR SITING A FISHPOND
The factors or conditions necessary for siting a fishpond include:
(1) Adequate water supply
(2) Soil in the area
(3) Vegetation of the area
(4) Topography of the area
(5) Availability of fast-growing fishes.
(6) Availability of supplementary feedstuff
The adequate water supply of the fish pond
There must be a constant supply of water of good quality and quantity. The water can be from streams, lakes, rivers, irrigation canals and springs. Good quality water is necessary because it will provide oxygen and food to fish, and create a medium for waste discharge and reproduction. The water should not have a bad smell, taste or colour and should not be too muddy and must be free from pollution.
The soil in the area of the fishpond
the soil in the area must be fertile so as to supply nutrients to the fish. It should be clay because of its ability to hold water which is very important in fish pond construction. Soil with too much sand or gravel is not good and would not retain water.
Vegetation of the area of fish pond
Low vegetation, especially grasslands is preferred. Woody sites are not suitable because clearing and stumping will greatly increase the cost of setting up the fish pond.
Topography of fish pond
: The shape of the land should allow for easy draining and filling of ponds with water. The waste must flow from a place that is higher than the pond so that the water can flow into the pond directly. If not, the need for water pumps would arise, increasing the cost of the p rejects. However, the fish pond can be constructed on flat or level ground but lots of soil have to be removed to create the slope.
Availability of fast-growing fish of the fish pond
Fingerlings or baby fish for stocking a fish pond should be the type that can grow fast and mature within a very short time. The use of improved varieties (breeds) in stocking fish ponds makes fish farming more profitable.
Availability of supplementary feedstuff for fish pond
: Supplementary feeding is done to ensure the rapid growth of fish and allow high stocking density. Artificial or compounded feeds in form of pellets are used to supplement the natural feed (plankton). The addition of fertilizers also promotes the rapid growth of plankton (natural fish food) in the pond.
FEATURES OF A STANDARD FISHPOND
The essential features of a standard fish pond include.
(ii) Core trench
(iii) Distribution channel
(iv) Spillway(v) Monk
(viii) Dam slope (inner and outer).
(i) Dam: This is the large area of the pond that holds water. It ensures the availability of water In the pond.
(ii) Core trench: This is the excavated portion of the fishpond. It consolidates the walls with stones and cement.
(iii) Distribution channel: This is the area which helps to introduce water into the pond. Water is distributed to all the sections of the pond until it gets to a particular volume. Fertilizers can equally be mixed up with water and distributed together.
Spillway of fish pond
: This is a passage for water to flow over or around a dam. It is positioned at one end of the dam. It uses a wood or wire-mesh screen.
Monk of fish pond
: The monk regulates the water level automatically in the pond. It helps in the discharge of water from both the surface and bottom. It has vertical low and horizontal culverts or pipes. They are constructed with concrete.
Boards of fish pond
: These are structures which regulate the flow of water. They are made up of desirable wood and also hold water inside the pond. They are fitted at the centre or middle of slabs at the gates.
(vii) Screens: These structures help to prevent the entry of undesirable species of fish into the pond. They also prevent fish movement out of the pond.
(viii) Dam slope (inner and outer): This helps to regulate water movement into and out of the pond. It also ensures the availability of water in the pond. It is usually constructed at the beginning and end of the pond.
MAINTENANCE OF A FISH POND
To ensure the continuous availability of fish in a fishpond or maintain high fish yield, it is necessary to ensure;
Regular feeding of fish pond
: The fish must be fed twice daily from selected point(s). supplementary feed in the form of compound feed should be given in sufficient quantity to ensure rapid growth and early maturity of the fish.
Deweeding of fishpond
: This is the removal of weeds from the pond. It allows the dissolution of oxygen in the water and the penetration of sunlight to the bottom of the pond which will promote the growth of fish food (planktons). It also prevents the build-up of pests and diseases.
Desilting of fishpond
: This is the removal of silt or prevention of silt from entering the pond. Desilting makes the water to be clean, prompts easy movement of fish within the water and also prevents pollution of the water.
Aeration of fishpond
: Aeration enables oxygen to dissolve in water which is required by fish for respiration. Fishes usually come to the surface of water due to a lack of oxygen in the water. Weeds, excessive organic manure, overstocking, etc prevent proper aeration of the pond.
Constant supply of water of fish-pond
: The pond should always be filled with water and any leakages reared.
(6) Control of predators: Predators like birds and snakes should be prevented from entry into the pond because they could eat up the fish in the pond. This can be done by keeping the pond’s surrounding clean (i.e. constant weeding)
Prevention of diseases of fishpond
Diseases should be prevented as this could kill all the fish in the pond. Adequate feeding, stocking, temperature, manuring, weeding, etc help to prevent diseases.
Regular harvesting of fishpond
Regular harvesting of fish is necessary to prevent overpopulation, an outbreak of diseases and cannibalism. Periodic or total harvesting could be done six months after stocking, using the net or by draining of the
Regular application of fertilizer to the fishpond
This should be done once a month to promote the growth of fish food (plankton) in the pond.
WEED AND THEIR BOTANICAL NAMES
1. ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS AFFECTING AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION
3. 52. SOIL MICRO-ORGANISMS
4. ORGANIC MANURING
5. FARM YARD MANURE
6. HUMUGRAZING AND OVER GRAZING
10. IRRIGATION AND DRAINAGES
8. CROP ROTATION
11. IRRIGATION SYSTEMS
12. ORGANIC MANURING
13. FARM YARD MANURE
16. CROP ROTATION