Advantages and Disadvantages of Concrete Pond: Unveiling the Paradox
Catfish farming as we have tried to establish with this blog is one of the most lucrative agricultural businesses anyone can venture into. Whether as a part-time or full-time business, fish farming is good for you. In today’s post, we will be looking into the advantages and disadvantages of concrete fish pond.
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 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, concrete fish ponds are types of fish ponds constructed using cement, concrete, blocks, stones, rods, and sand. The main reason for making use of a concrete pond in catfish farming is because of its capacity and durability.
A concrete pond is usually constructed using cement, sand, blocks, and aggregate of an appropriate ratio. A well-built pond should be between 4-6 inches thick 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 ponds. Continuous treatment of the pond is necessary anytime there is maintenance of the pond that involves cement.
Feature of a 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 base should be slightly sloped towards the direction of the outlet.
- The plastering should be up to 4 inches thick 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 to the main goal. Now let’s look at the advantages and disadvantages associated with catfish farming using a concrete pond.
Advantages of Concrete Pond
What are the advantages of concrete pond? If you fall into the category of individuals who have asked or are asking this question, below is what we feel you need to know.
Is Good for Fingerlings Production/ Hatchery
A concrete fish pond 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, however, concrete ponds are far better and more preferably better.
The activities of the fingerlings and their growth can easily be monitored and farmers can observe their behaviours per time.
Less Risk in Terms of Flooding
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 less risk for water to grow and cover the pond unlike in earthen ponds.
It is much easier to harvest your fish in a concrete pond than any other form of pond. The reason is that concrete ponds are not usually as big as earthen ponds to avoid cracks and collapse. This makes it easier for one to easily go into the pond to harvest at once and at a considerable time frame.
One of the advantages of a concrete pond is that it does not give room for leftovers after harvest. The leftover fish found after harvesting is usually a case experienced in earthen ponds.
Concrete pond does not select location or site because it can be constructed anywhere provided the location is not waterlogged. Whether at the backyard, at the front of the house, or even on the fence, you can construct your pond with ease. If you are a tenant, the best for you should be a tarpaulin pond which you can collapse at any time.
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 easier to control any problem in a concrete pond than an earthen pond or tarpaulin pond.
There is a limit you can feed your fish in the concrete pond and this makes it easier to save feed and avoid wastage. In the bid to avoid water pollution, feeding is monitored. This is important to farmers as the cost of feeding catfish has become another issue these days.
When we talk about general management, we mean how easy it is to handle counting, sorting, sales, and other management practices. In a concrete pond, selling the catfish is easy. All you need to do is to 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 the running and management of concrete fish ponds. A person, probably the farm owner can do a lot by himself. Changing the water, pumping in the water, feeding the catfish, etc. can be done by one or two persons.
Predators are Easily Controlled in Concrete Ponds
One of the benefits or rather advantages of the concrete pond 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 earthen ponds. Because concrete ponds are cemented right around and covered with nets, it becomes hard for predators to either come in from underground or the sky.
Meanwhile, these predators are among the causes of catfish mortality we experience on our farms.
Fish Growth can be Monitored
Due to the size of concrete ponds, farmers can easily access, sort, count, and always observe how well the catfish are doing in the pond. By observation, farmers 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.
Disadvantage 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 ponds? Let’s find out.
Maintenance Cost is High
The maintenance of concrete ponds 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, aerators, tanks or, reservoirs, etc. It costs 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 has become impossible to construct concrete ponds 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 a concrete pond unlike in an earthen pond. In an earthen pond, the fish have enough space to grow and the pond gives 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 a 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 includes the separation of newly hatched fish and dealing with spoiled eggs. Another aspect involves the constant change of water and the efforts to protect the fish from predators. Additionally, managing factors such as preventing sunlight from entering the pond and ensuring proper feeding adds to the overall challenges.
What that means 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 survived 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 disadvantage of a concrete fish pond is that fish waste and the presence of algae can make the pond slippery. This slipperiness poses a risk of bodily harm to the farmer.
Though harvesting of fish is faster in the concrete pond than in earthen ponds, one must be extremely careful not to be injured.
Water Pollution Occurs Faster in Concrete Pond
There is no way one would discuss the disadvantages of a concrete pond 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. Whenever you think of concrete pond, first consider both the advantages and disadvantages before the selection. 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 both the advantages and disadvantages of using a concrete pond. However, whatever type of pond you choose, remember that it has its merits and demerits.
Feel free to add your opinion in the comment box if you think there are points we didn’t include in this post.