Friday, May 31, 2013

Reap maximum benefit from fish farming in the summer season

Ludhiana-31-May, 2013

Proper care and right knowledge is the key to reap maximum benefit from fish farming in the summer season. The views were expressed by Dr. Meera D. Ansal, college of fisheries of Guru Angad Dev Veterinary & Animal Sciences University, Ludhiana. She emphasized that provide sufficient comfortable zone to your fish below the surface layer, which gets heated up far beyond optimum temperature range (28-320C). Maintain six feet water depth and to mitigate heating up of water; partial shading of pond with trees is also recommended.

Further, take care of the water quality. 'Oxygen' is the most important issue to be addressed, which may fall to lethal levels, especially during dawn, due to enhanced biological activity in the pond. Hence, aerate the ponds during early hours of the day before sunrise, either by adding fresh water or by aerators. High oxygen content will keep the fish healthy and increase its food converting efficiency. If the fish come on the surface to gasp atmospheric air, provide aeration and also suspend manuring and feeding of fish. Partial water exchange improves water quality. Nutrient rich pond water can be used to irrigate the agricultural fields and fresh water can be added in the fish ponds. It will improve water quality in the pond and reduce fertilizer requirement for the crop.

Farmers also need to check diurnal variation in water pH, which may cross 9.5 during peak day hours and fall below 7.5 during night hours, due to excessive growth of algal blooms in the pond. Algae also grow very fast during summers and nutrient enrichment leads to formation of algal blooms. Manuring/fertilization of pond shall be suspended in case water turns dark green, dark brown or greenish brown in colour and a green, brown or sometimes red coloured algal mat appears on the water surface. Regular bottom racking with the help of barbed wire is recommended to prevent accumulation of toxic gases like Ammonia and Carbon dioxide. Toxicity of Ammonia in fish ponds increases with increase in temperature and pH, which can be reduced by keeping the ponds well aerated and adding a dose of gypsum/alum as per expert advice. Increased input in terms of seed, feed and fertilizer is a strict 'NO'. It not only enhances input costs but also elevates the risk of failure.

It is also very important to sustain regular plankton (natural fish food) production in the pond and provide a nutritionally balanced supplementary diet. Keep the pond rich in plankton through mixed utilization of organic manures and inorganic fertilizers. Suspend feeding in case fish come to the surface for gasping atmospheric air or some kind of disease is observed in the fish.

Dr. Meera said that for disease management the golden rule is 'Prevention is better than Cure'. Follow recommended prophylactic measures with either lime, Potassium Permanganate or CIFAX. In case of disease occurrence, consult an expert for diagnosis and treatment.

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