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Jhingran and Khan (1979) stated that carp farming requires preparation of ponds (breeding, nursing, rearing and stocking) by draining, liming and manuring before they are stocked with fry, fingerlings or brooders. Method of manure application has been discussed on page 10 (Jhingran and Khan, 1979).

Stocking material, (eggs, larvae, fingerlings) required for cultural operations is collected either from the natural breeding grounds and rivers or it is produced at hatcheries by breeding fish in bundh type tanks and or through hypophysation.

Various types of dried and powdered oil cakes mixed with rice-bran are the customary feeds which are given to fish larvae, fry, fingerlings and even brooders. Tables 27 and 28 show the feeding schedule for 15 days rearing of carp larvae.

Table 27 : Rates of feeding during 15 days in nursery ponds

First 5 days after stockingDaily, double the weight of fry at the time of stocking
6th to 10th day after stockingDaily, triple the weight of fry at the time of stocking
11th to the 15th day after stockingDaily, four times the weight of fry at the time of stocking

Source: Alikunhi, 1957

Table 28 : Volume of artificial feeds to be given to fry for 15 days in nursery ponds

DaysVolume of fry (ml)Quantity of daily feed “bati”*
Mustard oilcakeGroundnut oilcakeCoconut oilcakeRice bran
2nd to 5th day130–1501.
6th to 10th day"1.52.503.04.0
11th to 15th day"2.03.754.56.0

* Bati - a small cup-like measure usually of 130–150 ml capacity.

Source: Alikunhi, 1957.

Extensive feeding experiments conducted at the Central Inland Fisheries Research Institute Barrackpore, India, showed that a finely powdered and sieved mixture of aquatic insects (notonectides) small prawns, shrimps and cheap pulses (carporea) in the ratio of 5:3:2 has given the best results in enhancing the survival and growth of larvae of major carps and silver carp. Experiments show that zooplankton is also a best food for hatchlings of major carps.

Jhingran and Khan (1979) reported that mrigal seedlings utilize artificial feed better than those of rohu and catla. Catla perhaps require artificial feed towards the later phase of rearing and rohu and mrigal hatchlings may be fed with artificial feed from the beginning.

In experiments conducted at Biometery Research Institute of Indian Statistical Institute, the addition of cobalt chloride at the rate of 0.01 mg/day/fish to the diet enhanced the survival and growth of rohu hatchlings and fry.

Ajmal Khan (Pres. Comm-Fish Seed Hatchery Faisalabad, Pakistan) observed best survival of carp hatchlings (about 50%) by feeding 75% tilapia fish meal and 25% complan. Hatchery ponds are manured with cowdung at the rate of 6,380 kg/acre/year along with the nitrophos + ADP (1:1) or along with the potassium sulphate + Ammonium phosphate (1:1) at the rate of 296 kg/acre/year before they are stocked with fry, fingerlings or even brooders.

Feeding schedule for 15 days rearing of carp larvae is shown in Table 29.

Table 29: Rates of feeding during 15 days in nursery ponds

Second to 5th daysDaily, 2% of body weight of larvae (after every two hours)
Sixth to 8th daysDaily, 3% of body weight (after every four hours).
Ninth to 15th daysDaily, 4% of body weight (two times daily)

* two days old larvae are stocked

Source: Ajmal Khan (Fish Seed Hatchery Faisalabad-Pakistan).

Supplementary feed formula used at hatchery for fry rearing is given below:

Oil cakes10%
Maize powder35%
Fish meal10%
Rice powder35%

A finely powdered mixture of these ingredients is fed to the fish fry at the rate of one percent of body weight per day. It has given best survival and growth of carp fry.

Natarajan and Varghese (1980) from India, reported the effect of poultry manure, digested sewage sludge cake and cowdung on the growth rate of Catla catla and Cyprinus carpio. Experimental results showed that the total fish production (Catla plus common carp) was highest in the poultry manure treatment followed by the sludge cake and cowdung treatments. The average total fish production was estimated as 2, 728; 2,156 and 1,811 kg/ha/year. in the poultry manure, sludge cake and cowdung treatments respectively. On an average, catla contributed about 60% to total fish production. Saha et al. (1968) stated that both nitrogen and phosphorus were limiting factors controlling the production of Indian major carp fry in nursery ponds. The chemical composition of the manures used in this experiment in Table 30. showed that poultry manure was rich in both phosphorus and nitrogen. Sludge cake had the highest concentration of nitrogen, however, its phosphorus contents were much lower than that of poultry manure although slightly higher than in cowdung. Cowdung was poor in both nitrogen and phosphorus.

Table 30 : Composition of the organic manures used in the experiment

ParameterPoultry manureDigested sewage sludge cakeCow-dung
Moisture (%)19.2714.916.797.7176.7762.75
Total ash (%)*39.2938.7835.7730.4319.5834.78
Acid insoluble ash (sand)* (%)9.8110.9517.7814.9010.6624.54
Loss on ignition (organic      
matter (%)*60.7161.2264.2369.5780.4265.22
Total nitrogen (%)*3.553.334.154.701.931.63
Total P2O5 (%) *5.645.511.671.961.211.23
Specific conductivity after      
24 h (mhos centimetre      
-1×10-6 at 25°C)1388.801430.89698.61707.03652.32593.40

* Values on a moisture-free basis.
I = First application,
II = second application
Source: Natrajan and Varghese, 1980.

The poultry manure treatment yielded 50.6% more fish than the cowdung treatment while the sludge cake treatment produced 19.0% more. Natarajan and Varghese (1980) concluded that the poultry manure was better fertilizer for increasing the productivity of fish ponds than digested sewage sludge cake or cowdung.

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