Earthen Fish Pond Construction & Treatment: The Ultimate Guide
Are you considering venturing into catfish farming? Or perhaps you are already a farmer looking to expand your knowledge and improve your practices. In either case, we have that covered because in this post 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 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 need to suitable habitat for your fish that will ensure their health and well-being and also promote optimal growth and productivity.
In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the ins and outs of earthen fish pond construction and treatment, providing you with valuable insights and practical tips.
What is Earth Fish Pond
An earthen fish pond is a human-made pool dug into the ground for raising fish. Typically built with soil or clay, these ponds serve as a natural environment for fish to thrive. Earthen ponds are used as alternatives to both concrete ponds, tarpaulin ponds, and tank ponds. Each of them is good for fish farming.
Steps on Earthen Fish Pond Construction
The first point of 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 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 can 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. Other things to consider are as follows:
- Site Location: The location of your fish pond plays a vital role in the overall success of the business. When we talk about location, other things come to mind such as logistics, distance from the major market, and road accessibility.
- Access to Water: A reliable source of water is essential for maintaining optimal pond levels and conducting necessary water exchanges. Ensure that your chosen location has easy access to a clean and abundant water supply.
- Sunlight Exposure: It is important to choose an area that receives an adequate amount of sunlight. Sunlight promotes the growth of phytoplankton, which serves as a vital food source for your fish.
- Soil Quality: The soil composition of the selected site is critical for pond construction. Ideally, opt for loamy soil that can retain water without excessive seepage.
- Topography: Select a location with a relatively flat terrain to facilitate the construction process and avoid unnecessary expenses related to land leveling. Avoid low-lying areas prone to flooding.
1. The depth of the pond should be at least 3ft and a maximum of 5ft.
2. The base should slant to one end. This will allow easy draining of water from the pond when necessary.
3. Get an experienced plumber to construct the drainage pipe, inlet, outlet, and overflow pipes.
Steps on Earthen Fish Pond Treatment
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 it with water, and spread it in the pond.
After liming the pond, the next stage is to fertilize it for optimal production. We are going to discuss how to fertilize the pond later.
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. This video on how to use lime for your pond will be of help to you
How do You Fertilize an Earthen Pond?
The stage comes after you must have limed the pond to kill any unwanted predators within and outside the pond area. Pomp in water into the pond and allow for a minimum of two days before fertilization.
This is done with either organic or inorganic manure. For 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 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 (80%) 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 local feed rich in protein to enhance the growth of the fish. Meanwhile, how to make catfish feed at home is an article put together to help farmers cut down on the cost of feeding their catfish.
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 using concrete ponds, 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, consider making use of an earthen pond for your fish farming provided you get the construction and treatment right.
Before you go let’s see the general activities involved in earthen pond construction.
Good luck and kindly share the post for others to learn.