Catfish farming: Types of Catfish ponds
As the header suggests, this post is dedicated to you if you’re considering choosing or building a pond for your catfishes in Nigeria.
Catfish farming in Nigeria
Nigeria is one of the Largest producers of Catfish in Africa and still, there’s a very high demand for more. However, the interesting and profitable business is facing various challenges in many areas of this Country. One of these challenges is Flooding, which is peculiar to catfish farmers who are making use natural ponds, also known as earthen ponds. These are the kinds of ponds that are constructed by digging into the earth’s surface.Reports have it that in Asaba Delta state in the past few years, there have been an estimated total of 600 fish farmers, with about 200 of them leaving the business very recently due to losses caused by excessive flooding, especially during the rainy season.They also recorded losses worth an estimated amount of over #200,000,000 (Two hundred million Naira) due to flooding. It has been a very worrisome situation in some States where most fish farmers are practicing farming using the natural pond setting, especially in the rainy seasons when water level increases. This situation causes farmers to lose money, time, efforts and everything else they have put into the business. Let’s not forget that they lose a lot of fishes too.It should be noted that Natural pond is of various benefits in catfish business, but there other types of ponds that can be used in Nigeria, especially in areas prone to flooding, in order to minimize or completely prevent losses.Let’s take a quick look at the various kinds of ponds fish farmers can make use of.
Type of ponds
There are 4 main different types of ponds that are very suitable for use in Nigeria, depending on your location and some other factors such as finance, security, climatic factors and many others.
1. Earthen Ponds
These are artificial reservoirs or any natural collection of water in form of a lake. They are either occurring naturally, or are created by manual or mechanical means for the purpose of housing fishes. Earthen ponds usually bear the resemblance of the natural habitat for fishes.Earthen ponds can be constructed manually by digging the earth’s surface, or mechanically through the use of a machine known as an excavator.It is always advisable that earthen ponds should be constructed at waterlogged areas and sites with high water retaining capacity. Also to be put into consideration is the soil texture and soil type, as some soils like Sandy soils are not really ideal for the construction of earthen ponds.
- Cheaper to maintain
- Water management is easy since you don’t have to change water frequently like other ponds
- Allows quick growth of fishes
- Resembles the natural habitat of fishes
- Difficulty in records keeping
- Sorting or counting can be difficult
- Harvesting is difficult since there will be lots of mud in the pond to tackle while trying to pack your fishes
- Flooding affects earthen ponds in many cases
- It is also difficult to keep predators away from earthen ponds
2. Concrete Ponds
These kinds of ponds are usually constructed with blocks and concrete. The construction of these ponds are mostly handled by skilled builders or engineers because there’s a need for it to be constructed as solid as possible so as to avoid problems.
- Managing your fishes and keeping records is really easy
- Sorting your fishes is easy as well
- It is not affected by flooding
- Diseases are easily prevented, detected and controlled
- Easy to keep predators away
- Without proper treatment the cement and walls of the pond can harm the fishes
- If the walls and bottom of the concrete ponds are not smooth enough, through the swimming and feeding activities of fishes they can easily sustain injuries and bruises which may lead to death
- There is a risk of collapse
3. Plastic ponds
These are ponds created plastic tanks and containers that have been modified to be able to house and cater for fishes.
- They can be used anywhere
- They can be transported and moved around from one place to another
- They are very suitable for raising young fishes
- They are usually cheap
- Easy to maintain
- Without proper care they can easily get broken and damaged
- Depending on the size of the tank and the sizes of fishes in it, it can be easy for the fishes to jump out of it, and die due to injuries or lack of water
4. Tarpaulin ponds
These ponds are similar to plastic ponds above, except that they’re made out tarpaulin or synthetic leather materials.
- They are safe to use
- Easy to maintain
- Can be used to raise both young and adult fishes (not at the same time in the same pond)
- The body might get torn and this will lead to loss of fishes
- Cost of securing them might be expensive
What to consider
…………when choosing the best type of pond for your catfishes.
The choice of pond should just be based on various factors which will at the end justify it’s essence. So let us highlight some important factors to be considered when choosing a Pond.
1. Decide the type of pond to go for by considering the type of Aquatic life you are going to raise with it.
2. Consider the size. A projected number should influence the size and type of the pond you want.
3. Consider the location/site of your pond. Is it secured? Is it prone to flooding?
4. How much money do you have? How much is your capital?
This page is dedicated to you fish farmer, and other agriculturists. We are here to continue to educate you on some of the best agricultural practices there is, in order to help you make it through in agriculture, while ensuring optimum yield for all your efforts.
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