Fish and fishing

Catfish Farming With Forage

Catfish are fishes that hunt and eat other fishes or aquatic organisms, in other words, they are carnivorous fishes. Catfish farming is rare in Pakistan. There are several species of them in Pakistan which are found in rivers and lakes, among which Sanghari, Milli, Khagah, and Sol are famous. Catfish are reared in ponds and cages around the world. People eat them with passion, they are also loved in Pakistan. But catfish farming in Pakistan is negligible. Very few people are breeding them. 

There is still no specific hatchery in Pakistan for their breeding from where catfish fry can be obtained. However, the good thing is that their breeding is being done with great effort in some hatcheries, it is hoped that soon their seeds will be produced on a commercial scale in the country.

But since last year some people have been importing different catfish seeds which are good. Unlike other fish, keeping catfish is one Expensive business, as catfish must be fed feed or other food such as fish. Apart from feed, we are also providing information about catfish farming with fodder fish or forage fish. 

How much catfish should be put?

The answer is simply how much food (forage fish) your pond has or can produce or how much feed you can handle. In other words, you will feed the fish as much as you can. For your convenience, if you want to raise carnivorous fish, initially put between one and two thousand seeds per acre. If you want to add more, don’t add more than 3000 in any case.

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If you have no experience in fish farming, but less than 1000 catfish. As you gain experience in fish farming, you can also increase the number of fish. In other countries, people fish even 20,000 to 25,000 per acre. But for this, along with experience and expertise, resources will also have to be provided, such as installing aerators for feed and oxygen in the pond.

Where to get catfish for catfish farming?

Nowadays some people are importing seeds of different species of catfish. Their information will be available from the Facebook group “Fish Farming Pakistan”. Apart from this, the seed of many species of catfish can also be obtained from natural sources of water like lakes, streams or rivers, etc. for more information visit our Facebook Page Mahigar

If reared on floating feed, the catfish seeds should be of the same sex and should also be of the same size. If the small ones grow and their food in the pond is less, they will eat each other. If you want to raise them on fodder fish, you can add two to three types of catfish and if the size of the seed is less or more, it is not a problem.

Catfish Diet

 Catfish should be fed sparingly and as needed. Before introducing a baby catfish, make sure that the baby fish needs feed or trash fish or that forage fish are abundant in the pond. Because catfish are carnivorous fish, they will eat each other if food is scarce. In most countries, catfish are fed a ready-made commercial diet, which contains essential feed components such as protein, lipid (fats), and carbohydrates, plus vitamins and minerals, and provides complete nutrition. 

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Where commercial feed is not available, they are fed by mixing rice polish and other ingredients with small fish. Even in Pakistan, commercial feed for fish and especially for catfish is not easily available yet, so here we feed small fish which are commonly called trash fish and are commonly found in canals, ponds, and streams.

are suggested as It should be noted that the nutritional value of commercial food and trash fish is different, so the weight of both will be different. Trash fish should be fed three times more than floating feed. The following weight should be given to feed consisting of trash fish and rice polish.

In the first month 

Feed 15% of the baby fish’s weight daily. That is, if the weight of your fish is 10 kg, then 1.5 kg and if the total weight of the fish is 20 kg, then 3 kg of food should be given daily. Mix 95% trash fish and 5% rice polish in it and give it little by little 5 times a day. Also, add vitamin premix to about 1% and 0.1% piperazine medicine. You can get these ingredients from any veterinary medical store.

In the second month

12% of the fish weight should be fed daily. Mix 90% trash fish and 10% rice polish in it and give half twice a day. Also, add vitamin premix and medicine. 

In the third month

10% of the fish’s weight should be fed daily.

From 4th month to sale: 5% of the fish’s weight should be fed daily. Reduce food weight gradually. Mix 80% trash fish and 20% bran in the diet, along with vitamins and medicine. 

Am I feeding as needed? 

This feeding method is provided as a guide, but it would be wise to continue feeding and caring for the fish daily. If the fish eats your feed within about half an hour, increase the amount of feed the next day. But if the food is left after half an hour, then you are giving too much food and reducing the amount.

Method of administration for catfish farming

Place a container such as a clay plate, tub, or board for feeding the talan and pour the food into it. Feed in multiple places and at regular times instead of just one place. If giving trash fish, it is better to mince it or give it in small pieces and add other ingredients like vitamin-mineral mixture and medicine.

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Where to get trash fish in Pakistan?

 Where to get trash fish? You can catch or buy trash fish from a pond, canal, lake, or river. But the best solution is to raise it yourself. It will be double farming of fish in a way. The method is that before farming catfish, you should farm trash which here we will call forage fish or forage fish. You can keep forage fish and catfish in the same pond or separately.

How to raise fodder fish or forage fish

First, add organic fertilizer to the bottom of the pond. Animal dung or chicken droppings are best for organic manure. Apply manure about 15 to 20 tractor trolleys per acre or poultry farm waste or waste about 5 to 10 tractor trolleys per acre. Artificial fertilizers should also be applied for better results.

The color of the water should be dark green; if the color starts to fade, dung or poultry waste and artificial manure should be added. For best results, add organic fertilizers daily after the first application. But keep in mind that if the water is deteriorating, reduce it or stop it for a few days. 

You can use any agricultural fertilizers like DAP, Urea, Ammonium Sulphate, Super Phosphate, and TSP. But in our opinion, if you add the following three fertilizers together, the production of your farm will increase inshallah. DAP 8 kg, Urea 5 kg, and Potash 1.5 kg. This weight of fertilizers is only for one acre. Mix all these fertilizers and dissolve them in water and spread them throughout the pond.

Note: Fertilizers should be applied every 15 days for the first three months in the quantity mentioned above. While after three months add once every month. Do not enter in November, December, and January. Do not plant in cool areas in October and February. 

When to add bait fish to the pond? 

Add the baby forage fish to the pond about 3 to 4 days after adding fertilizer and water and if larger fish are to be added, they can be added after about a week. 

Types and numbers of forage fish: 

  • Forage fish species are reared that are relatively large; Give babies every little while; Eat all kinds of natural food like algae, aquatic insects, etc., and less oxygen; low or high temperature; and can easily survive and thrive in the water of poor quality. Among such fish, different types of tilapia are the best, while other small types of fish like chitti Kingi, popra, glass fish, or any other wild fish can be added. Many types of fish can be put together.
  • If forage fish and catfish are kept in the same pond, 2:1 to 4: should be added in the ratio of 1. That is, 2 to 4 forage fish per catfish; About two to three thousand forage fish per acre, and catfish up to one thousand are suitable. This number can be changed in the light of your knowledge and experience. If you want to keep bait fish and catfish separately, then there is no limit to the number of bait fish, but there is a disadvantage that the bait fish will have to be caught daily and fed to the catfish.
  • Allow forage fish adequate time after stocking as forage fish will need some time to grow or spawn. Therefore, a gap of about two to three months would be appropriate. After that fish should be taken out of it to feed the catfish. Or if you want to breed catfish and forage fish together, then the baby catfish should be put into the pond after this interval.
  • Catfish can be fed any fleshy food other than trash fish or forage fish. For example, the intestines or other waste organs of chickens or large animals, frogs, or other aquatic animals can also be used.
  • For successful farming of catfish or any fish, the health and growth of the fish should be closely monitored. Maintain adequate water depth (at least 5 feet or more). And keep inspecting the pond daily so that any possible malfunction can be prevented in time.

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