Fish farming in Kenya is hit by a shortage of fingerlings. This means that there is an excess demand for fingerlings. To concentrate on producing fingerlings, a fish farm has to constantly maintain a stock of mature fish that can spawn. The fish farmer has to have conducive areas for where fish to spawn, incubate eggs, and rear fry. The additional space and equipment required for such an operation is collectively referred to as a fish farm hatchery. Here are a few tips you need to know about hatcheries:
- Water Supply
The most important consideration when designing a fish farm hatchery is to ensure that there is a constant supply of clean water. To enhance the quality of the water, put in place a filtration system. This should help to prevent unwanted elements like insect larvae and water pollution.
Putting up a hatchery on a sloping land will ensure help the fish farmer take advantage of gravity to ensure constant flow of water into the hatchery. Besides the gentle slope, have soil analyzed at a lab for suitability.
- Soil Suitability
Always construct earthen ponds on soil that has higher clay content. Such soil is impervious. Avoid soil that has too much sand or gravel because it lets water seep through.
- Equipment for the Hatchery
The most crucial pieces of equipment are the containers to be used aquaculture. These containers can be buckets, troughs, aquaria, fish tanks which can be circular or oval, and long trays. They can be made out of wood, glass or plastic.
There are other crucial items including weighing scales for weighing fish, netting materials for collecting fish, rulers for measurement, a sharp knife a pair of scissors, thermometers for monitoring the temperature of water, mortar, basins of different sizes (plastic or glass), and brushes.
- Rearing facilities
For rearing, use small tanks for the fry. Fingerlings can be reared in medium sized tanks, while older fish can be reared in outdoor rearing ponds. When putting up rearing units, always ensure that they can be drained.
- Quality of Brood Stock
Always select the best stock you can get for better production. The stock has to be pure and must never be crossbred with any other strain. All workers in the fish farm have to be sensitized on the significance of keeping the gene pool from contamination.
Brood stock can come from among wild fish in lakes and rivers, from the farmers own ponds, or from other reliable farmers.
The fish used for brooding should be mature enough to be strong but never too old. Catfish and tilapia for example have to be a year old at least. Once they are three years old however, they are now too old for brooding. Put in place a system for eliminating any stock that are not strong and healthy.
Each breeding cycle has to end with a close examination of the breeding stock with a view of getting rid of all fish that are undesirable.
Other Article of Interest
- Tilapia Farming in Africa
- Making Money in Fish Farming in Africa
- Fish Farm Design
- Fish Farming in Ponds
- Fish Farm Equipment
- Fish Farm Hatcheries
- Fish Farm Feed
- Fish Care, Management, and Disease Prevention