How to Start Commercial Fish Rearing Guide in India
In India, Fish farming is a popular form of agriculture. A great profit can be obtained from a well-maintained fish farm. Learn how to start a fish farming business and set up fish rearing ponds. Fish farming is the practice of commercial fish rearing in enclosed tanks and is also known as ‘Pisciculture’. It is an important sector contributing to agricultural exports and food security in India in a major way.
It has resulted in over fishing worldwide causing a depletion in the population since the demand for fish as a food is increasing. This has led to the establishment of Pisciculture or aquaculture wherein fish has grown artificially in man-made ponds or tanks. In 2016, Aquaculture has become so popular that more than 50% of the total fish population in the world came from aquaculture alone. 62% of the total fish supply comes from China globally.
Advantages of Fish Farming in India
- Indians consume fish at least 60% as a part of their regular meals.
- In the market, the demand for fish is high, and its price is also very high ensuring good income.
- The tropical and subtropical climate of India is ideal for growth and production of fish.
- It is not very difficult to procure fish and grow them in the farm since there are abundant water sources in India like lakes, ponds, rivers, streams, etc.
- growing fish in a pond is not a laborious process.
- It is easy to handle along with regular work since fish farming is not as laborious as other types of farming. Other family members of the house like kids and women can also easily manage it.
- Additionally, fish farming can be integrated with other types of farming like animals, poultry, vegetables, etc.
- Integrated aquaculture is very popular among farmers.
Setting up a Fish Farming Pond
Fish rearing in a pond has some specific requirements. It is necessary to choose the right type of site before constructing a pond. Hence the first step in fish farming is selecting the right site.
Site Selection for Fish Farming
The success of a fish farm depends on the selection of the right type of site. The site chosen must have a good water supply throughout the year and the water retention capacity of the soil must be good. Site selection factors can be divided into 3 categories as follows:
1. Biological Factors
Biological factors are concerned with fish species that are chosen for culture purposes. Consider seed source, variety, culture type, species, etc. at the time of establishing a fish farm.
2. Ecological Factors
Consider primary factors like climate, soil, water, and topography when constructing fish farming ponds. These can be enumerated as follows:
- Primarily the soil must have good water retention capacity. That the soil must be able to hold water in a pond.
- Take a handful of soil in a wet hand and then squeeze it. If the soil retains the shape of the palm after opening the palm, then the soil is suitable for establishing a pond.
- Avoid rocky, limestone, sandy soil since they cannot retain water.
- Silt, loamy soil, clayey soil etc. are best for pond construction.
- Not more than 10% of gravel must be present.
- Water must have a neutral pH. Suitable corrections must follow in the case of alkaline or acidic water.
- The pond must be constructed near natural water bodies like rivers or ponds. However, it should be away from flooding area.
- Water salinity is another factor that must be considered because not all fish can tolerate water which is saline.
- For engineering the pond construction, land topography is very much essential.
- Avoid Flood-prone areas, areas like industrial zone, areas with poor rainfall, electricity poles, and densely rooted vegetation.
3. Social Factors
While starting a fish farm, considering social factors may sound paradoxical. This is however important since the culture and tradition of the place must be taken into account. This ensures the acceptance of the farm by the locales and no legal issues. Other factors include infrastructural facilities, market aspects, transportation, accessibility, etc.
Pond Construction for Fish Farming in India
Pond construction at the chosen site involves a series of steps such as cleaning the site, constructing the bank or dike, digging the pond, constructing the inlets and outlets, covering the dike and last but the least- fencing the pond. Furthermore, check below to know more in this Commercial Fish Rearing Guide.
Clearing the Site
The site must be cleared of tree stumps, bushes, and other such debris. Within 10 meters of the pond area, the trees and other vegetation must be cleared away. In addition, to about 30 cm of surface soil must be cleared and since they are likely to contain roots and many other organic debris that interfere with the pond development.
Digging and Constructing Dike
An ideal dike must contain 15-30% silt, 30-35% clay, and 45-55% sand. After digging the dike the ridge must be in proportion with the slope. Deposit a mixture of clay and sand in 2:1 proportion to form a 15 cm thick layer in order to elevate the dike. You have to do at the center of the pond. Generally, dig in plain areas while you can follow embankment in hilly areas. Erect the dikes on the sides as per need. However, you cannot follow the embankment method for fish culture since it is difficult to get the standard depth and size as per specifications.
Constructing the Inlet and Outlet
You must fill with a sufficient quantity of water for which you have to construct feeder canals alongside. With the help of inlet and outlets, you can maintain the flow of water. At the top of the pond, one has to construct the inlets while outlets are at the bottom of the pond. One has to keep in mind that the design of the inlet pipes have to be in such a way that they do not take more than 2 days to fill. When dewatering of the pond to harvest the fish becomes necessary, use the outlets. Outlets are also helpful to drain out the stale water while replacing it with fresh water so as to maintain the water quality.
Different Types of Fish Farming Pond
Now you are going to know about types of fish in this Commercial Fish Rearing Guide. Based on the growth stage of the fish, there are different types of ponds such as:
- Nursery Pond
- Rearing Pond
- Stocking Pond
- Bio Pond
1. Nursery Pond
3-day old spawns are reared in such kind of ponds until they attain a length of 2-3 cm. This takes about 30 days.
2. Rearing Tank
Tiny, newly-hatched fish grow and start feeding themselves. However, they are not fully grown adult fish. Such fish which are called ‘fry’ are reared in the rearing ponds till they attain a size of 12-15 cm. These fish are fingerlings.
3. Stocking Pond
The fingerlings are grown in such ponds and reared into marketable-sized fish. The duration varies between 8- 10 months. Although there is no or any specified rule about the pond size in India, the area of the pond ranges should be in between 1-2 hectares.
4. Bio Pond
This kind of ponds is settling tanks, which are also famous as stocking ponds. The water meant for the pond is biologically purified in this pond.
Fish Breed selection
After pond construction, the next step that one has to follow is to choose the right type of fish breed for rearing. The first point to consider here is the type of fish to rear – whether ornamental, freshwater or brackish water fish. Choosing the right type and the breed depends on the resource availability, the type of water in the pond, the climate conditions, and the market demand. For example, carp varieties of fish like catfish, rohu, grass carp, catla, etc. is for the Indian ponds. For better utilization of resources, some farmers grow two or more different breeds of fish in the same pond. In the case of ornamental fish, some of the commercially important species are loaches, barbs, freshwater sharks, danio, goldfish, etc.
Feeding in Commercial Fish Rearing Guide:
The next thing in this Commercial Fish Rearing Guide is Feeding. While rearing fish in ponds, you have to provide to ensure that the fish attain maximum weight as per market standards within the shortest possible time. However, you need to take care while feeding and rearing to maintain the water pH between 7 and 8 for optimal growth. The feed must provide with essential nutrients for the growth, reproduction and maintenance. The feed must contain all the essential nutrients like proteins, vitamins, carbohydrates, and fats in addition to some other minerals in sufficient quantities or amount. It is easier to maintain natural foods in the fish pond like phytoplankton, zooplankton, insect larvae, etc.
This way you can maintain the natural habitat necessary for the growth of the fish to some extent. You can add various wastes from organic-farming to the pond to increase the growth of phytoplankton. While you can use poultry droppings from poultry-farming, organic-compost, etc. You can also add a supplementary feed in the moist or dry form. For fish that feed on top layers, you can give floating pellets while for those feeding on the bottom, you can give sinking pellets.
Maintenance of Fish Farm
Maintaining the water pH is the first precaution in fish farm maintenance. It is must to maintain the pH at neutral for optimal growth of the fish. In addition, treat it with salt, potassium permanganate, etc. to prevent the growth of pathogens. Occasional water treatment can also ensures the prevention of viral attacks. Fish farming in India is a profitable business. One can also start a stand-alone in fish farm or integrate it with the other farming to minimize or decrease the risk and maximize or increase the profit.
This is all from this Commercial Fish Rearing Guide. We hope that this Commercial Fish Rearing Guide is helpful to you. In case if you have any doubts in this Commercial Fish Rearing Guide, you can contact us via the comment section. We will help regarding this Commercial Fish Rearing Guide.