Friday, April 19, 2024
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Fish Farming Dos And Don’ts

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Godfrey Kityo, a research technician at Kajjansi Aquaculture Research and Development Centre, says depending on each system the farmer is willing to practise, he or she should seek guidelines from either the centre or from district fisheries officers.

Pond farming

Pond sizes differ from one farmer to another. However, what should not change are the factors of location and depth.

Kityo says the soil should have some form of clay because clay holds water more than any other form of soil.

Kityo emphasises that the topography should allow the gravitation flow of water into and out of the pond. The pond should have a depth of one metre towards the inlet and 1.2 metres towards the outlet.


Most farmers fail to select the right density or the amount of fish to be stocked in a pond.

“Many think they can get a lot of fish by stocking heavily, not knowing that each pond has a maximum carrying capacity. Once the pond is overstocked, the fish will experience stunted growth,” he says.

Farmers are advised to stock within 10 days of filling the pond with water. Fingerlings weigh between seven and 10gms. Two kilogrammes per square metre for catfish is recommended, while 1kg is recommended for tilapia.

Feeding fish

Effective feeding of fish is the key to a profitable fish enterprise. The feed should be able to provide the nutrients required for the growth and survival of the fish. The amount of feeds a fish consumes each day is determined by its body weight. Normally, it is 5% of its body weight for newly stocked fingerlings.

Feed percentages drop as the fish mature to at least 1% as they near full maturity. For instance, if fingerlings weigh on average 45gms after four to five weeks in the pond, the total percentage of feed is 3.8%x45gms, which makes 1.7gm. Well-fed fish will have gained at least 122gms by the ninth week. By this time, they should be feeding around 3% of their body weight, which is around 3.7gms.

You then multiply feeds per fish by the number of fish in the pond to get the total amount of feeds that should be dropped in the pond.

Feeds must be dry and not mouldy before they are dropped into the water.

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