In today’s post, we will be looking into the advantages and disadvantages of a concrete fish pond. Catfish farming as we have tried to establish with this blog is one of the most lucrative agricultural businesses anyone could venture into. Whether as a part-time or full-time business, fish farming is good for you.
This post is put together to help you and new catfish farmers to understand the merits and demerits of operating concrete ponds. Based on the regular email enquires we have been receiving overtime, we will be giving attention to the following questions;
- What is concrete pond?
- Features of a concrete pond
- Classes of concrete pond
- Advantages of concrete pond
- What are the disadvantages of a concrete pond?
- Advantages of concrete pond over earthen pond
Attention! Do not skip any part of this post as you read because it will help you understand the kind of pond you are making use of.
What is Concrete Pond?
Just as the name implies, a concrete pond is a type of fish pond constructed using cement, concrete, blocks, stones, rods, and sand. The main reason for using concrete ponds in catfish farming is their capacity and durability.
A concrete pond is usually constructed using cement, sand, blocks and aggregate of appropriate ratio. A well-built pond should be between 4-6 inches thick so as to retain water. However, before stocking the concrete pond, it is advisable to treat it first.
The need for the treatment is to kill or eliminate the acidity of the cement used during construction and plastering and also to send nutrients to the walls of the pond. See our guide on catfish farming in concrete pond. As a matter of fact, continuous treatment of the pond is necessary anytime there is maintenance of the pond that involves cement.
Features of Concrete Pond
A good concrete pond is expected to have the following internal and external features;
- Well-designed inlet and for water supply.
- Good outlet pipe for easy drainage of water and waste.
- The pond based should be slightly sloped towards the direction of the outlet.
- The plastering should be up to 4 inches in thickness to be able to retain water every time
Classes of Concrete Pond
The concrete pond can be classified into three:
- Stagnant concrete pond
- Free-flow concrete pond and
- Water re-circulatory concrete pond
We are not going to start explaining any of this in this post so as not to shift our focus on the main goal. Now let’s look at the advantages and disadvantages associated with catfish farming in a concrete pond.
Advantages of Concrete Pond
What are the advantages of concrete ponds? If you fall into the category of individuals who have asked or are asking this question, the below points are what we feel you need to know.
- Is Good for Fingerlings Production/ Hatchery
Concrete fish pond(s) is one of the best for hatching and fingerlings production. I mean one of the best, not the only option. Plastic tanks and tarpaulin ponds are also used for the same purpose. Though some farmers make use of earthen ponds but concrete pond is far better and more preferably better. The activities of the fingerlings and their growth can be easily be monitored and farmers can observe their behaviours par time.
- Less risk in terms of flooding
It is obvious that one operating with a concrete pond can sleep well at night during the rainy season without the fear that your pond or ponds will be submerged. Flooding is not a factor to consider when considering concrete ponds because there is a lesser risk for water to grow and cover the pond unlike in an earthen pond.
It is much easier to harvest your fish in concrete ponds than in any other form of pond. The reason is that concrete ponds are not usually as big like that as tarpaulin and earthen ponds to avoid cracks and collapse. This makes it easier for one to easily go into the pond to harvest at once and in a considerable time frame.
One of the advantages of a concrete pond is that it does not give room for left over after harvest. The leftover fish found after harvesting is usually a case experienced in earthen ponds.
- Location Factor
Concrete ponds do not select location or site because they can be constructed anywhere provided the location is not waterlogged. Whether in the backyard, at the front of the house, even on the fence, anywhere, you can construct your pond with ease. As a matter of fact, if you are a tenant, the best for you should be a tarpaulin pond which you can collapse at any time.
- Management /Control
It is very easy to control or manage concrete tanks. For example, if there is any issue in terms of repairs or breakage it will be handled without much stress. You can just stretch your hand inside the pond and fix whatever you want to fix in a matter of minutes. The summary of it all is that it is easy to control any problem in a concrete pond than in an earthen pond or tarpaulin pond.
There is a limit you can feed your fish in a concrete pond and this makes it easier to save feed or avoid wastage in the concrete pond. In a bid to avoid water pollution, feeding is monitored. This is important to the farmer as the cost of feeding catfish has become another issue these days.
- General Management
When we talk about general management we mean how easy it is to handle the counting, sorting, sales and other management practices. In a concrete pond, sales of the fish are easy. All you need to do is just drain the water and bring out the quantity of fish you need and that’s all.
It is easy to count to know the quantity or the number of fish remaining in the pond. This is what ordinarily would be hard to do in an earthen pond. What that means is that record keeping is easy with concrete pond.
- Usage Requires Less Manpower
Less human resource is required in both running and management of concrete fish pond. A person, probably the farm owner can do a lot by himself. Changing the water, pumping in the water, feeding the catfish, etc. can actually be done by one or two persons.
- Predators are easily controlled in concrete pond
One of the benefits or rather advantages of concrete ponds is that they can be netted in such a way that predators such as lizards, frogs, birds and other forms of predators can be controlled. It is easier to control these fish-eating animals in concrete tanks than in an earthen pond. Because concrete ponds are cemented right round and covered with nets, it becomes hard for predators to either come in from underground or from the sky. Meanwhile, these predators are among the causes of catfish mortality we experience on our farms.
- Growth of can be Monitored Per Time
Due to the size of concrete ponds, the farmer can easily access, sort, count, and always observe how well the catfish are doing in the pond. By observation, the farmer will know the ones that have challenges, stunted growth, or are sick and take adequate actions. Generally, the fish performance in the pond can be monitored at will.
Disadvantages of Concrete Pond
For everything that has advantages, there must be disadvantages associated with it. That is to say that nothing is 100% perfect in its entirety. The big question is what are the disadvantages of concrete pond? Let’s find out.
- Maintenance Cost is High
The maintenance of the concrete pond though not done regularly is on the high side. The maintenance ranges from frequent water renewal to the cost of buying diesel or fuel for the pumping of water, aerator, tanks or reservoir, etc. It cost something to maintain the pond if you want your catfish to grow faster and bigger.
- Concrete Pond Construction is Not Cost-Effective
It costs a lot to construct concrete ponds nowadays due to the hike in the price of cement, stones, sand and blocks. Following the recent inflation, it becomes impossible to construct a concrete pond at a cheaper rate.
- Fish Growth is not Fully Maximized
The meaning of that is that the best catfish size is hard to obtain in the concrete pond. This is different in an earthen pond. In an earthen pond, the fish have enough space to grow and the pond give them that natural feel that they are in their natural habitat.
It is not that catfish cannot grow bigger in a concrete pond but most of the time is hard to compare the yield from a concrete pond to an earthen pond.
- Hatching of Catfish is Stressful
I know you would expect me to say that hatching is very easy. Remember that we said earlier that concrete pond is good in terms of hatching. It is better because to can see the activities and growth process of your newly hatched fish.
The stress associated with concrete ponds during and after the process ranges from the separation of the newly hatched fish and the spoilt eggs that couldn’t hatch, constant change of water, feeding, protection from predators, and avoiding direct sunlight from entering the pond. What these mean is that you will be present at all times till the newly hatched fish grow to post fingerlings or jumbo. But in an earthen pond, you spread the eggs and go your way and the ones that survive and the ones that did not survive do not affect you.
- Concrete ponds are always slippery
More caution needs to be applied when harvesting or anytime you want to go into the concrete pond. One of the disadvantages of concrete fish ponds is that fish waste and the presence of algae cause the pond to be slippery which could cause physical or bodily harm to the farmer. Though harvesting fish is faster in the concrete pond than in an earthen pond. However, one must be extremely careful not to be injured.
- Water Pollution Occur Faster in Concrete Pond
There is no way one would discuss about the disadvantages of concrete tanks or ponds without mentioning water pollution. Water pollution is mostly caused by leftover feed and fish waste (feces). When this is not properly handled it will lead to fish diseases, mortality, and stunted growth. To void this it is advisable to frequently renew the water at least twice a week.
Catfish farming is good and lucrative. Whether you use the concrete pond, earthen pond, tarpaulin pond, or any other type of post. The end goal is to maximize profit and be successful in the business. We have taken our time to list the number of factors we consider as the advantages and disadvantages of concrete pond. However, whatever type of pond you choose remember that it has its merits and demerits.
If there are points we didn’t add or mention in this post, feel free to remind us. Add your opinion in the comment box