The fish pond is a crucial part of any fish farming operation and much planning has to go into the construction and use of a fishpond. Fish ponds are cheap to construct and farmers in many African countries do fish farming in ponds. In Uganda, there are thousands of fishponds dug by farmers all over the country, where aquaculture first became popular in the 1950s. Here are some of the important things you need to know about farming using fish ponds.
- A fish pond has to be constructed on a gentle slope. Take care to get rid of any trees and bushes around the pond to reduce the incidence of predator birds around your pond.
- Construction of the fish pond should not start before testing the soil to make sure that it can hold water. Dig a hole and fill it up with water. Inspect the hole after one day and if there is still water inside the hole, then you can take that as a green light. It means the soil is suitable for fish farming in ponds.
- There has to be a reliable source of water. This water has to be clean and free of contamination. Ideally, water should flow continuously through the pond. Water can come from an underground spring, a river diversion, or a spring. Just don’t use a river diversion without official authorization. A borehole may be too expensive and chlorinated water is out of the question as it may poison fish.
- Determine out the area that the pond will occupy, and use sticks to mark out the site. You can join up the sticks using string. Always measure out a rectangle because a rectangular pond is more convenient to build and fishing is easier too.
- The size has to be at least 10 by 10 meters and can go to 50 by 100 meters.
- The depth of the pond should be half a meter at the shallow end and one and a half meters deep at the deep end. The floor should be sloping.
- Simple tools can be used for digging: hoes, spades and shovels. The soil removed can be made into a dyke around the pond.
- Never dig along the way of a river because when the river floods it could wash away the fish.
- After digging the pond, spread some lime at the bottom of the pond to keep leeches and other pests away.
- The pond should be filled with water to the depth of half a meter deep at its shallowest end and one and a half meters at the deepest end.
- The pond needs to be fertilized to encourage algae to grow and become food for the fish. Algae is also great because it makes the water green and keeps birds and snakes from seeing your fish and catching them. Normal manure can do the job, but you can also use chemical fertilizers. Manure can be cow, goat or sheep dung, chicken, duck or goose droppings, chemical urea, DAP, or TSP.
- The pond is now ready for stocking. 300 fingerlings are ideal for every 100 square meters. Put the fingerlings into a bucket, and slowly and gently drop the bucket into the shallow end. The bucket should be tipped gradually so that the fingerlings swim and enter the pond. If their entry into the pond is abrupt instead of gentle, the fingerlings can die out of shock. The pond requires maintenance in form of weeding, fencing to keep animals – and even children – away, and making sure that the water does not go below or above the initial levels. Run strings across the fish pond to discourage birds from preying.
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
- kapenta fish farming in ponds
- what pond do uganda get there water