Fish and fishing

Rice Fish Farming Complete Guide

Rice fish Farming refers to raising fish in the paddy (rice) crop. In addition to paddy, fish are also reared with cattle, ducks, chickens, and many other types of animals in small cages in irrigation canals; However, fish farming with paddy is the most popular, prevalent, and well developed as compared to the rest.

As we know that rice crop requires a lot of water and several inches of water are standing all the time in the rice field during the initial months, so naturally fish breeding in rice crop is very suitable. Many people have seen and caught fish in the rice crop, but some people have taken this fact into account and promoted the regular breeding or rearing of fish in it, and today in many countries of the world, fish are successfully bred with paddy.

is going on and thus the farmers are getting additional income from the co-cultivation of rice and fish. Therefore, it is important to promote rice-fish culture in Pakistan so that the farmers can get additional income from the same piece of land with little extra labor and bring some change in their life.

In rice fish Farming, the same land and water are used for both purposes, thus raising fish in paddy not only provides additional fish production but can also increase rice production by 10 to 15 percent. Because fish waste acts as a natural fertilizer for the paddy crop and the fish feed on many of the crop’s harmful insects, snails, and weeds, an increase in yield is a natural phenomenon. 

If the water on your land is seasonal, then the double benefit of raising fish with paddy can be that you can store the water in the channel by making the channel a little deeper and wider for the fish, so that in other seasons it can be used for your vegetables or something else. Can be a source of water supply for crops.

There are a few important things to keep in mind for rice-fish farming which are as follows.

Selection of suitable land:

Land which has the following characteristics is suitable for rice fish farming. 

Water Retention Capacity:

Land which can retain water for several months is suitable for rice-fish farming. Generally, every land in which paddy crop is sown has this potential.

Adequate water supply:

Fish are highly affected by pesticides and other types of agricultural drugs and chemicals, so water for rice-fish farming must be free from toxic impurities. As pesticide use is common in agricultural lands, it must be ensured that it will not affect the fish.

Wild fish or non-essential fish:

If you want your pet fish to grow properly during the short period of the paddy crop, it is important that wild fish or unwanted outside wild fish cannot enter your crop. For this, it is necessary to install a suitable mesh on the inlet and outlet of water. Drainage without pumping: This land is ideal if your farm is a place where water can be drained when needed without pumping.

Flood Hazard:

If your land is prone to flood then it is an alarm bell for your fish and in such a case it is not impossible for your fish to be washed away by the flood. So much land is not suitable for rice-fish culture.

Form Size: 

Smaller farm sizes such as half an acre or less are recommended for better management, although larger farms can be built. Small size farms are relatively easy to maintain and can be easily dealt with in case of problems. Whereas the problems in the maintenance of large size farms are more.

Construction of drains:

The purpose of constructing drains in the paddy field is to provide shelter or ponds for the fish so that the fish have adequate space to hide from enemies and escape from cold or heat. Also, if the paddy crop is ever sprayed to treat sudden diseases, the fish can be confined in the canals to protect them from the effects of the medicine. The canals are built on approximately 20% of the farm and their purpose is to provide adequate habitat for the fish.

To facilitate the extraction of fish and to maintain the quality of the fish, a small pit should be made in the deepest part of the channel so that when all the water is drained, the fish can collect there. Thus it can be removed without any extra effort and without harming the fish. If a wooden box (about one cubic meter) is installed in place of the pond, it will be the best option to maintain the quality of the fish.

Note: There is no need to create a drain if you already have a paddy field with your rice crop. You can use this pond for fish, just make the necessary changes and give the fish away to the paddy field. The additional benefit of

fish The double benefit of raising fish with paddy is that you can make the fish channel a little more. You can also store water in the drain by making it deep and wide, which can be a source of water supply for your vegetable or any other crop in the dry season.

Types of drains:

Different types of furrows are practiced in paddy cultivation and it depends on the height or depth of the land as well as your preference and convenience. The grooves can be made in any shape, as shown in the figure. The purpose is only to provide a pond for fish. Drains are usually built on the sloping side of the land so that when the water is drained, all the water and the fish are collected on the sloping side without much arrangement.

 Groove along the edge. middle channel A pit in the middle of a pond

along the edge of the

ditch A ditch along the edge of the pond is usually made around the crop and the paddy crop is sown in the middle. But some people make grooves only on one or two sides instead of making grooves all around. One advantage of a side drain is that it can also be used for growing vegetables.


  • This channel is made in the middle of the paddy crop.
  • This drain covers less ground than the surrounding drain. But it has a disadvantage that you cannot grow any vegetables etc. on this drain.
  • A pond is built in the middle of the depression between the pond or pond 
  • farm. The size of this pond should be one-fifth of the total size of the farm.

Depth and width of

the grooves: The depth of the grooves depends on the type of fish you want to keep and for how long. Usually, the depth is kept at one meter or more. But if you want to keep fish for a longer period or use the canal as a water reservoir for another crop or vegetables after the paddy crop, the depth and width can be increased. The width of the channel is usually kept at 2 to 5 meters.

Height of weirs :

The height of weirs should be kept about one to two feet above the paddy water level but may be lower or higher depending on the slope of the land.

Number and type of fish( Fish Species for Rice fish culture)

The number of baby fish: The number and size of baby fish depend on three factors.

  1. First: How long will water be available on your farm?
  2. Second: How big do you want the fish to grow?
  3. 3rd swim: can you give him artificial food or not? 

Also, if you want to increase the size of the fish, add fewer numbers but add more seeds. The size of this seed is 5 to 6 inches or more, it is better and its number can be 500 per acre. In this, you can add morakhi or gulfam (Common Carp fish) with rho or tilapia and any one of Catla fish or silver carp (a total of three types of fish).

Another option is to have more fish ponds and breed them in this rice fish farm and grow them in other ponds or sell them to other fish farmers. In this case, you can add very small seeds in large quantities. The size of this seed is half an inch to one inch and the number can be 10000 to 15000 per acre. If you want to limit your rice fish farm to seeds, it is best to choose only one type of seed. And for that, we would recommend one of Morakhi, Gulfam, Raho, or Tilapia.

Note: Never add plant-eating fish species such as grass carp to rice-fish farming. Apart from this, you should also avoid adding carnivorous fish. Others should include varieties that can tolerate shallow water and changing conditions such as high temperatures or lack of oxygen and that are fast growing. Tilapia is an excellent fish in this regard.


Proper netting should be installed at the inlets and outlets of the water so that your fish are protected inside the farm and no harmful fishes and other aquatic organisms from outside can enter the farm. 

Control of harmful pests and diseases of paddy:

In rice-fish farming, fishes are exposed to many harmful insects such as grasshoppers, stem borers, and lice; They feed on snails and herbivores, so increasing yields is a natural phenomenon. However, Carbofuran (Furadan) granules are used to prevent diseases. It is applied at the rate of three grams per square meter 5 to 7 days after sowing paddy and 5 to 7 days before transplantation.

Since rice fish farming involves fish in water along with paddy, it should be tried as much as possible not to use other pesticides. Generally, in rice-fish farming, rice varieties are used which are less susceptible to diseases.

Application of Manure or Fertilizer:

Since in rice-fish farming fish are also present in the water along with paddy, the need for fertilizer is reduced. , should be applied before paddy transplantation. In this way, suitable natural food will be produced for fish and it will also provide fertilizer for paddy.

Water Supply:

The minimum required quantity of water for paddy in rice-fish farming should be maintained at all times. If 6 to 8 inches of water can be retained, better. However, due to the constant presence of water in the rice-fish farming field, the dams may become weak, so their maintenance and necessary repairs should be kept in mind at all times.

Supply of food for fish:

In rice-fish farming, the fish find their food from the crop, but at the same time artificial food should also be given to the fish, thus the fish will grow quickly. However, if you can’t feed it, the fish will still survive on natural food (but its growth rate will be slower), but it is necessary to feed it for a few weeks before the rice crop is harvested until the fish are taken out. Fish are usually fed 2 to 5 percent of their total body weight and should be divided into two portions, morning and evening.


Harvesting the paddy and harvesting the fish together or separately depends on your convenience and preference. If you harvest the paddy first and the fish later, this will give the fish more time to gain weight, but ensure that adequate water is available for the fish during the rest of the time.

Few Implications of Rice Fish Farming:

Overall, regardless of the problems, rice and fish in rice-fish farming are mutually beneficial and as a result economically beneficial for the farmer. But as there are some problems and difficulties in starting any new business, in rice-fish farming there may also be some

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