Ultimate Guide to Successful Catfish Farming in Concrete Pond(s)
Catfish farming in Nigeria has proven to be a lucrative business. This is due to the high demand for fresh fish as it is popularly called and the shortage of such in our rivers. In this post, you will learn how to do catfish farming in concrete pond.
Understand that there are other ways to go about catfish farming but we dedicated this post just for concrete ponds.
Statistics show that Nigeria is the largest African aquaculture producer with a production output of over 15,000 tons per annum.
There exists a large unmet demand for catfish and the market price is on the increase. However, individuals resorted to catfish farming in concrete ponds or ponds due to market demand and its shortage.
There are different methods of rearing catfish, either by using a concrete pond, earthen pond, tarpaulin pond, or tank pond. For this article, I will focus on a concrete pond.
This write-up aims to guide you in initiating catfish farming by utilizing concrete ponds and covering the preparation, and treatment processes This is an A to Z of catfish farming.
A to Z Catfish Farming in Concrete Pond
There are two methods of growing catfish in concrete ponds;
1. Flow-through system
2. Water recirculation system
Now, let me explain them
1. Flow-through System: A flow-through system is a method used to manage water in fish ponds. It involves constantly circulating fresh water into the ponds while simultaneously removing the old or used water. This system helps maintain high water quality for the catfish. Operating a flow-through system requires constant release of water from the pond for its maintenance and to increase the oxygen level in the water for the fish.
2. Water Recirculation System: This method is used to conserve water by recycling it within the fish farming setup. Instead of constantly replacing water, this system reuses and purifies the existing water, creating a more sustainable and controlled environment for the catfish.
Channel your discharge properly without making a mess of the environment thereby coursing environmental pollution. The source of your water should be a borehole or stream nearby.
This is the first stage after you have secured the right site for your farm. Employ the services of an experienced bricklayer for the construction of the pond(s), preferably one who has done a similar job before.
Here is my recommendation for molding your blocks:
- For 6 inches: 40 blocks to a bag of cement
- For 9 inches: 30 blocks to a bag of cement
- Plastering: 1-inch thickness. The plastering should be double and be done by an experienced hand.
- For solidity: do not use 5inches blocks or ones with holes in the middle. The base of the pond should slant to one end
- Construct a discharge pipe at the base and above the pond. The work of the discharge pipe is to remove polluted water, dirt, and excess feed in the pond while the other pipe checks the level of water to avoid overflow
Concrete Pond Treatment for Optimal Farming
Once the pond is fully completed, it is best to leave it for at least two weeks before giving it any kind of treatment. The first stage of concrete pond treatment is to fill with water and then pour in dry chicken manure (chicken droppings).
You may ask, what is the quantity of manure to add when treating your concrete pond? This depends on the size of the pond in question. For a pond size of 10ft by 20ft, pour in 25kg of the chicken dropping and allow for 7 days before flushing.
Clean the surface with soft foam and water after you have drained the pond. Please, never wash the surface of the pond with a hard sponge and soap.
Why you must treat your concrete pond before stocking is to kill the acidity of the cement used during plastering. The organic manure used for the treatment sends nutrients to the pond. When you get this stage right you will have no worries over the survival of your fingerlings.
Stocking the Pond(s)
Now that you have learned how to go about with the treatment of concrete pond (s), it is essential to choose the source of your fingerlings or juveniles wisely. First, decide on what type of catfish to grow. There are four species grown in Nigeria for commercial purposes. They are
a) Clarias Gariepinus
b) Heterobranchus Bidorsalis
c) Claria X Heterobranchus (Hybrid), and
d) Claria Nigro-digitatus.
See my article on fast-growing catfish species to better understand the difference between Clarias, Heterobranchus, Claria X Heterobranchus (Hybrid), and Claria Nigro-digitatus. Kindly study the differences before you decide on the particular species to go for.
Pay Attention Here!
The source of your fingerlings matters. Buy from a reputable fish farmer or consult an expert to guide you.
Are you a student, graduate, employed, unemployed, businessman or woman, or a retiree? Understand that catfish farming is not only done in a concrete pond, you can start with any other pond you feel is suitable for you. This sector of agribusiness has continued to exceed expectations as the demand for fish far exceeds the supply.
Catfish rearing in Nigeria has no doubt proven to be more lucrative now than ever as the country is the largest aquaculture producer in Africa with a production output of over 15,000 tons per annum.
As you plan to go into catfish farming first consider using a concrete pond as it is easy to run and maintain. Also, do not forget to seek the services of an experienced bricklayer for the pond construction.
Remember, organic manure sends nutrients and kills the acidity of the raw cement used during construction. Before you stock your fish, ensure to follow my guide on concrete pond treatment above.
Kindly share this article to help others who may wish to venture into or are already into fish farming. This will serve as a guide or A to Z of catfish farming in concrete ponds.