11. Taking care of your fish

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Feeding your growing fish
Providing good water for your fish

280 Take very good care of your fish. Keep the water green and feed the fish regularly. While feeding, watch them carefully to see that they are healthy and swimming strongly.

Feeding your growing fish

281 You have already learned that the big fish in your pond will get much of their food from small plants and animals that grow in the green water.

282 To keep the water green, fertilize your pond each week. If you are using plant compost or plant material, keep the crib filled to the water line. If you are using animal compost or manure, see items 216 to 219.

283 To make your fish grow more quickly you must also feed them other kinds of food. You can feed them

284 You should feed your fish at least once a day. But your fish will grow better if you feed them more often.

285 Always try to feed your fish at the same time every day, preferably early in the morning and late in the afternoon, when it is cooler.

Figure 153

Figure 154

286 The bigger your fish grow, the more food they will need.

287 It is not easy to know exactly how much food to feed your fish. You must watch them when they eat to learn how much food they need.

288 Feed your fish in the shallow part of the pond so that you can see them eat.

289 If you see that the fish do not eat all of their food, give them a little less the next day.

290 If you see that the fish eat all of their food quickly, give them a little more the next day.

291 If you feed your fish at the same place every day, you will see whether the fish are eating well. If you give them too much, the food that is not eaten will stay on the bottom.

292 Too much uneaten food on the bottom of the pond will make the water become bad. Do not overfeed your fish.

293 For example, if you grow tilapia and feed them with rice or wheat bran, give the following quantity daily for each 100 square metres of pond:

294 Measure first how much bran a given container such as a milk powder tin can hold, for example 240 grams. From this, determine how many containers of food should be distributed daily in each pond.

295 To make it easier to see if your fish are eating well, mark several places in your pond to feed them.

296 Mark each place by making a square or a ring of light wood or bamboo. Drive a pole into the pond bottom and attach the square or ring, as shown in the drawing.

297 When you feed the fish, put the food inside the square or ring. You may be able to see any uneaten food on the bottom under the square or ring. If you cannot see the bottom, feel with your hands to find any uneaten food that may be there.

Figure 155

Figure 156

Providing good water for your fish

298 If you find any dead fish floating in your pond, take them out right away. Change some of the water in your pond.

299 To change some of the water in the pond, open the inlet and let in some new clean water. The old water will drain out of the pond at the overflow. Do this for 2 or 3 hours each day for several days until you see that your fish are well.

300 If the weather is too hot, if you feed your fish too much or if you use too much fertilizer, there may be too little oxygen in the water for your fish to breathe.

301 If you see your fish coming to the surface gasping for air, give them less food and do not use any fertilizer for several weeks.

Figure 157

Figure 158

302 Put more oxygen into the water of your pond by changing some of the water for several days, as you did in item 299.

303 When you let new water into the pond, let it in quickly so that it will come with a splash and bring more air into the water.

304 If you see any other things wrong with your fish that you do not understand, stop feeding them and stop using fertilizer. Then change some of the water in your pond every day for several days, as you did in item 299.

305 After several days if your fish are still not well, if they are not eating well, are gasping for air or are not swimming strongly, ask your extension agent or your fish culture station for help.

Figure 159


Fertilize the water once a week to keep it green:

Feed your fish once a day with local by-products and wastes:

Check that your fish keep healthy:

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