Perhaps, you have been looking for how to go about earthen fish pond treatment or rather the construction. We have that covered in this post.
In this article, you will learn not just how to construct an earthen fish pond but also the treatment aspect.
Understand that fish farming is a source of both food and income for many living in developing countries, especially in Africa.
In Africa, as much as 5 percent of the population (about 40 million people) depends wholly or partly on fisheries for their livelihood.
In Nigeria, both old and young are now showing interest in fish farming so as to cash in on the opportunity arising from the poor availability of fish in the country compared with the demand.
This article is put together not just to enlighten you about how to construct an earthen fish pond but to enlighten you on the untapped potential for wealth in agriculture.
Earthen ponds are used as alternatives to both concrete, tarpaulin, and tank ponds. Each of them is good for fish farming.
Fish farming is one opportunity amongst many opportunities to render service to humanity by making food available to curb the current food crisis in Africa, especially in Nigeria. Unlike fish farming in concrete pond, the construction of an earthen pond is cost-effective.
I understand that not everyone has huge capital to run a flow-through system so if you are in that category this article is for you.
Earthen Fish Pond Construction and Treatment
The first point to earthen pond design is to check the level of clay in the soil where you want to site your farm. There has to be a good amount of clay in the soil so as to retain water in the pond.
To test for clay, dig at least 3ft by 4ft where you intend to set up your fish farm to see if you could get sufficient clay. If you find little or no clay at 4ft it all means the soil is not good for the business. What to do next is to move to another area. See the illustration below;
- The depth of the pond should be at least 3ft and a maximum of 5ft.
- The base should slant to one end. This will allow easy draining of water from the pond when necessary.
- Get an experienced plumber to construct the drainage pipe and overflow pipe
The next step after the above is the earthen fish pond treatment. That is you treat the pond before you stock. It is advisable to lime the surface of the pond before use. Get a bag of lime (depending on the pond size), mix with water, and spread in the pond.
Why use lime?
- It corrects the PH of the water
- Kills predictors such as frogs, tad pods, etc
- Reduces the acidity level of the soil
- It purifies the water and forces nutrients out of the soil.
In a situation where there is no water in the pond at all, spread the lime powder in and out of the pond without mixing it with water.
Pomp in water into the pond and allow for a minimum of two days before the fertilization. This is done with either organic or inorganic manure. For the purpose of this tutorial, we are going to go with organic manure.
To use organic manure, get at least a bag of chicken droppings. Sock in water then spread on the surface of the pond filled with water. Once the chicken manure is introduced, allow it to settle in for about 7 days before you proceed to stock.
Now that this phase is concluded your earthen fish pond is ready for stocking. How many catfish can be in an earthen pond? My guide on how to go about stocking catfish in the pond will give you all the details you need.
Understand that eighty percent of what you will be doing after stocking your pond is feeding. This is to enhance the growth of the fish.
To maximize profit in your farming business, learn how to produce your own local feed rich in protein to enhance the growth of the fish.
Meanwhile, how to make catfish feed is an article put together to help farmers cut down on the cost of feeding their catfish.
Before you go let’s see in summary the general activities involved in earthen pond construction
Activities Involved in Earthen Pond Construction
When you understand how to construct an earthen fish pond it can be a rewarding project. In order to get started on the project, here are the activities involved in earthen pond construction;
- Clearing: clear the pond area of all debris, trees, grass, stones, and stumps
- Pegging: This is done on all the construction sites. You first mark the area for excavation with stakes indicating the depth
- Of cut from the ground surface to the pond bottom
- Demarcation: This should be done by pegging within the first marked areas and then the outer area depending on the size of the site and the pond you want to construct
- Determine the gradient and mark out the water inlet and outlet
- Remove the topsoil and set them aside
- Digg the outlet inside the inner marked stakes
- Build walls using loam or silt clay soil
- Installation of drains, core trench, spillway, inlet pipes, freeboard
- Compact walls at every 15-20cm layer to strengthen the embankment to avoid collapse when impounded with water
- The pond bottom should slope towards the outlet/drain
- Both inlets and outlets should be properly screened
- Plant grasses on the dam to protect the pond from erosion
- Provide a diversion ditch to protect the pond from flood
Just like the concrete pond, the earthen pond should be under maintenance so as to reduce the fish mortality rate. Below are different maintenance methods to employ:
- Always Flush the pond to reduce turbidity
- Liming is a must so as to regulate water pH. This process control predators, reduce silt and clay particles
- Fertilize with chicken manure to increase natural fish food
- Repair of leakages to reduce water seepage
- Cleaning pond debris to reduce siltation/enhance the easy movement of fish/ enhance harvesting of fish
- Weeding should be done always to reduce predators
Fish farming is ideal for anyone who wishes to have a steady or another source of income. How to construct earthen fish pond has been an issue for fish farmers due to the requisite knowledge on how to manage it.
The construction of earthen fish pond is cost-effective as not everyone has the huge capital to run a flow-through system.
The most important thing in an earthen pond is the level of clay in the soil. Sufficient clay is vital as it retains water in the pond.