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ANNEX X - Breeding of Common Carp

1. What is Common Carp?

The Common Carp - Cyprinus carpio is a fresh water fish and it belongs to the Carp group. It is a Cyprinid fish. Its original home is China. In China, this fish has been cultured in ponds since many centuries. Today the Common Carp has been distributed not only in the countries of Asia but throughout the world. The Common Carp is the most domesticated fish. In AJK, the fish has been introduced few years back and it is called as Gulfam.

2. Description of Common Carp.

The fish - Gulfam has laterally compressed body. The middle part of the body adjacent to dorsal fin is the widest portion than any other parts. The anterior portion of the body gradually slopes down and ends to a small head. The anterior most part of the head has a mouth. The mouth is protractible and is used to suck the food from the bottom of the pond. On the both sides of the mouth the fish has a pair of small barbell. Behind the mouth the fish has a pair of nostril pores and a pair of big eyes. At the posterior portion of the head a big bone - Operculum lies which covers and protects the delicate respiratory organ - the Gills. The fish has dorsal pectoral pelvic, anal and caudal fins. Just in front of the anal fin, the anal and genital pore forms a depression. On the basis of its scale's distribution, the fish has been categorised into three different varieties e.g. the fish having fully covered with big scales are called Scaly Common Carp, the other variety having a single row of big shining scales from the posterior portion of operculum to caudal fin along the dorsal fin and rest of the body remains scale less such Common Carp is called Mirror Carp and the other variety of Common Carp which do not have a single scale on body and such Common Carp variety is called Leather Carp. This fish is one of the hardest fish and it is easy to transport from one place to other place. The fish feeds on any thing available in the pond, therefore, it is called Omnivorous fish. It grows very fast and it taste very good.

3. The Brood Fish

The sexually matured grown up fish which is raised with special care for breeding purpose is called Brood Fish. The Common Carp sexually matures within a year in warmer climatic condition and easy to breed in stagnant water when the water temperature exceed over 20 °C. However, under good management and under controlled condition, a fish of one year is not bred as they are small in size and such fish produces less number of eggs. Therefore, a fish of three to five years old and big sized fish is selected and specially raised as brood fish, The selected and specially raised fish of big size is only used for breeding purposes. Such big fish produces large number of eggs, fries and fingerlings. For breeding purpose the male and female fish are selected in 2: 1 ratio respectively.

Generally, the brood fish - male as well as female arc selected strictly on the basis of following characters;

a) the body is proportionate,
b) no part of body is deformed or abnormal,
c) the scales are uniformly distributed throughout the body,
d) lateral lines remains single and continuous line along the body.
e) the fish which grows fast and
f) the fish is free from parasite and disease.

4. Segregation

The Common Carp not only sexually matures but also breed in stagnant water when the water temperature exceeds over 20" C. Therefore, attention need to he given in breeding of Common Carp, otherwise, they bred wildly and thus the stock or strain get rapidly degenerated in its size and weight. Therefore, under good management, the male and female fish having good characters are selected one or two months before the breeding season and are segregated into two separate male and female ponds. They are raised with special attention. During the segregation the male and female fish are identified very strictly and accurately because one simple mistake in identification of either a male or female spoils the whole segregated stock of brood fish. Therefore, one needs to be accurate and strict in identification of the male and female. No fish is selected as brood fish without its conformation. Moreover, the segregated male and female brood stock is repeatedly checked at certain intervals just to avoid the mistake in judging the sex of the fish.

The identification of the male and female of Common Carp is not difficult, if it is practiced. Generally at the early stage of its maturation the fish show orange coloration on the lower portion of caudal fin and anal fin. The coloration turns deep and deeper as it proceeds to maturation. The male of Common Carp is generally identified with its elongated body as compared to the female. The male is further confirmed by its genital opening in concave form. As the development of gonad advances, so the other character become more and more distinct and identification become more easy. Therefore, in its early stage of gonadal development, the segregated male and female brood fish are checked repeatedly. With the development, the male fish's operculum and the pectoral fin's upper surface develop some tubercles and turns rough in compare to the female. Moreover, the mature male oozes out white milt from its genital opening on even slight pressure on abdomen. Similarly, the female possess genital opening with convex surface. As its matures, the female become more easy in identification with its swollen belly. At this stage, its genital opening bulges out and forms distinct convex surface. It even protrudes bunch of eggs even on slight pressure on belly. The brood fishes are generally raised in a pond which is specially made deeper than any other pond and is called Brood Fish Pond. The ideal size of the brood fish pond ranges from three to four kanals or even more. In case of less number of brood fish requirement, the cultivable fish are also raised in one or two kanal pond. General Generally the brood fish pond is rectangular in size and made deeper than other ponds. While raising the brood fish, the water of brood fish pond is often changed with fresh water to stimulate the brood fish.

5. Rate of Stocking

After the segregation the male and female fish, they are raised separately into two brood fish ponds with special attention at the stocking rate of 240 - 280 Kgs. of brood fish per 4 kanals of brood fish pond (1200 - 1400 Kgs./hectare of water body), with proper fertilisation and feeding so that they get plenty of natural as well as supplementary teed and yet well nourished. The healthy brood fish gives good quality of eggs which produces healthy fries. Such healthy fries have higher survival rate too.

6. Fertilisation of Brood Fish Pond

The natural food produced in the pond by means of manure is considered as best food for the brood fish. Therefore, to enhance the growth of natural fish food in the fish pond the manure or fertiliser is applied regularly, so that the pond water colour is maintained as green or brownish. Such colour indicates the richness of phytoplankton and zooplankton in the water The brood fish which are well feed with natural food do not give only higher number of eggs hut they also give good quality of eggs which produces healthy fries too. Therefore, the brood fish pond is fertilised at the rate of 100 -200 Kgs. of decomposed dung or 50 - 100 Kgs. of chicken litters depending on the coloration of the pond water.

7. Feeding of Brood Fish i With the segregation, the male and female brood fish are raised in brood fish ponds with special care. To supplement the natural food, the brood fish are led with protein rich supplementary feed at the rate of 2 - 4 percent of the body weight. The supplementary feed may be of some commercial brand or domestically prepared. Generally, the brood fish feed contains higher percentage of protein to accelerate the gonadal development of the brood fish. It is recommended to feed the brood fish with more than 20 percent of protein. The supplementary feed is prepared by mixing the different food grains, its by-products, fish meal, vitamins and minerals as follows;

Wheat bran


Rice polish


Maize Gluten Meal


50 % Fish Meal


Oil Cake








In selecting the ingredients of the supplementary feed due attention is given to the locally available items, so that difficulty is not faced in procuring the ingredients. Attempt is also made to develop good quantity of supplementary feed at low cost so that food coefficient rate remains low and the cost of production remains within the range of common people.

8. Preparation of Breeding Pond

As the water temperature exceeds 20 ° C, preparation of breeding pond is carried out. The breeding pond is left dry before the breeding season. During this lime the repair of the pond's dike, inlet and outlet are undertaken. About 10 Kgs. lime is broadcasted throughout the pond.

At the same time a thin stripes of bamboo are prepared and good quantity of terrestrial grass or fibre of Coconut or synthetic fibre are collected. The thin stripes of bamboo are interwoven in such a way that a 4' × 6' sized mat is made. On such mat long green grasses or fibre of Coconut or synthetic fibre are placed to form a mattress and on lop of such grasses or fibre another bamboo mat is placed and tied. The mattress of green grasses or fibre is called kakabon. A number of such kakaboons are prepared and stored under shade until the breeding season starts.

With the rise of water temperature, the breeding pond is filled up with fresh water after screening at morning time. A number of kakaboons are fixed horizontally on the vertical bamboo pegs around the shore of the breeding pond. Generally, the kakaboons are fixed at or around 3' 6" - 4" high from the bottom of breeding pond and 4" -6" below the surface of the water. After filling the water, the breeding pond is left for whole day, so that the sill settles down and the water remains clear and warmer too.

9. Breeding

With all the above preparations, the breeding pond is ready to receive specially raised male and female brood fish. First, the female pond is netted and well developed females are selected on the basis of bulged stomach due to eggs, soft belly and reddish and swollen vent. Two females of about 3-5 kg. body weight are selected for a breeding pond of 1 - 2 kanal. Similarly, the male pond is netted and four males are selected. The selected males ooze out white milt even with a gentle pressure on belly. The selected males and females are released in well prepared breeding ponds at evening.

The fresh water, higher water temperature and kakaboons stimulate the long segregated males and females of Common Carp for breeding. The male starts escorting the female fish within a couple of hours of release in the breeding pond. By next morning, the male starts chasing the female and mating process starts with flashing of water and the male starts rubbing its body with female. The male fish starts driving the female towards the kakaboon where the female starts laying out the eggs and simultaneously the male oozes out the milt containing spermatozoa which fertilises the released eggs. The fertilisation lakes place outside the body. The eggs in which the spermatozoa gets in are fertilised, where as others remain unfertilised and they get spoiled. The Common Carp's eggs are sticky in nature, so the eggs slick to the grasses or fibres of kakaboons.

The mating process of Common Carp continue for hours until the female is not exhausted with eggs. After few hours of mating process, the pond turns out calm and quite. At this stage the exhausted male and female need be provided with supplementary food at one end of the pond, otherwise, the exhausted and hungry brood fish may start eating their own eggs. Therefore, the exhausted brood fish are either netted out gently from the breeding pond or they are led with supplementary feed.

With the fertilisation of the egg, the egg starts swelling and embryo starts developing In due course of time the developing embryo attains eyed stage. By this stage the brood fish need to

* be netted out from breeding pond, if nursing of the fries is aimed to be carried out in the same pond. But if the hatching and nursing of the fries is aimed to be carried out in other pond theft the kakaboons with eyed egg embryo are transferred either early in the morning or late evening to specially prepared nursing pond, where the egg hatches out to hatchlings and the hatchlings grow to fries and fingerlings.

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