Welcome back to Marywil tutorial blog. In today’s post, we have decided to look into the advantages and disadvantages of an earthen fish pond. We have established earlier that catfish or rather fish farming is a lucrative business with high returns on investment (ROI).
This post, however, came up as a result of different email inquiries from people requesting to know if an earthen pond is good for fish farming. Understand that this post is not meant to suggest to you the kind of pond to choose, but rather for you to read and make a choice for yourself.
We had earlier talked about the advantages and disadvantages of concrete ponds. So, with this post, you can do the comparison yourself to know the one you prefer to make use of.
What is Earthen Pond?
An earthen pond is an artificial dam, reservoir, or lake constructed manually to house different species of fish in other to retain some features of the natural aquatic environment. This form of pond is constructed manually or mechanically in a carefully selected site with enough clay soil for high water retention.
The explanation above means that earthen pond is mostly constructed where there is adequate clay soil because it retains water better than every other form of oil.
Other factors one must consider before building or constructing an earthen pond include:
- Site location
- Soil texture and
- Water availability in and around the environment especially when you do not have a borehole.
Advantages of Earthen Pond
Below are some of the advantages of operating an earthen pond.
- It is cheaper to maintain
- Fishes grow faster there due to their natural form
- Different kinds of fish can be grown in an earthen pond
- It is good and has the capacity to control pollution both for the water and the environment
- Due to its natural feel, it maintains a good oxygen level required for fish growth
- It allows for easy water management
- Earthen ponds are relatively cheaper to construct and managed
- It has a large stocking capacity
- Fishes do better in earthen ponds because they feel they are in their natural habitat
- Fish growth is always maximized. In this kind of pond, a fish can attain 1kg in about 4month
- Farmers make high-profit margins while making use of earthen ponds. This is because the fishes attain table size in about four months.
- Earthen pond helps farmers minimize the cost of feeding. In situations where there is insufficient feed, the fishes can make do with earthworms, weeds, or other microorganisms that grow or breed inside the pond.
Disadvantages of Earthen Pond
Despite the numerous advantages of fish farming using an earthen pond, there are also demerits associated with it. Below are the major disadvantages:
- Sites for earthen ponds need fencing or security guard. Due to how exposed the ponds are, it is always good to have someone to keep an eye on the environment to avoid people stealing your fish.
- Flooding is another challenge especially when it is the rainy season. Flooding could lead to fish escape and the total collapse of the pond.
- Fish sorting is always very difficult in earthen ponds. When fishes are not properly sorted it will lead to cannibalism.
- Another disadvantage found in the construction of the earthen pond is that it is a longer-term investment and not good to be sited on another man’s property, unlike tarpaulin ponds that can easily be dismantled at any time.
Steps in the Construction
Remember that the best soil for the pond is the soil that contains an aggregate of clay and loamy soil. Clay is to help in retaining water in the pond while loamy soil will help the growth of small plants such as weeds and the breeding of microorganisms.
Now, the steps involved in the construction of the pond are as follows;
- Prepare the site
- Peg out the pond area
- Excavate the ground already pegged
- Install the drainage system and finally
- Install the inlet pipe for taking water into the pond.
An earthen pond is constructed manually in a carefully selected site with enough clay soil for high water retention. Other things to consider before the construction process include the availability of water, soil texture, and site location.
One of the shortcomings of an earthen pond is that when you are to change location, all you have spent on the construction becomes a waste. The idea is to site the pond on your own property or a property that you intend to make use of, for a very long period of time