NACA Technical Manual 7

of the

Bangkok, Thailand


Prepared by the
Asian-Pacific Regional Research and Training Center
in Integrated Fish Farming, Wuxi, China

Published by the
Bangkok, Thailand


NACA. 1989. Integrated Fish Farming in China. NACA Technical Manual 7. A World Food Day Publication of the Network of Aquaculture Centres in Asia and the Pacific, Bangkok, Thailand. 278 pp.

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List of Tables

List of Figures





1. The Biology of Major Freshwater-Cultivated Fishes in China by Shen Peirong

Biology of major cultivated fishes
Biology of artificial propagation

2. Artificial Propagation of Black Carp, Grass Carp, Silver Carp and Bighead Carp by Yu Shigang

Rearing of broodfish
Induced spawning

3. Pond Fertilization and Fish Feeds by Yu Shigang

Pond fertilization
Fish feeds

4. Rearing of Fry and Fingerlings by Zhu Lingen

Biology of fry and fingerlings
Choice of ponds and pond clearing
Rearing of fry
Rearing of fingerlings

5. Pond Culture of Food Fish by Fei Yingwu

Requirements and renovations of ponds
Stocking and polyculture of fingerlings
Management of rearing food fish

6. Main Fish Disease and their Control by Li Shaoqi

Significance and principles of disease control in China
Major types of fish diseases
General knowledge of disease control
Disease control

7. Introduction of Chinese Integrated Fish Farming and Some Other Models by Yang Huazhu & Mr Hu Baotong

Introduction of integrated fish farming
Integrated management of fish and crop farming
Integrated management of fish-livestock-poultry farming
Models of fish-livestock-crop integration
Web of integrated management

8. Planning Management on an Integrated Fish Farm by Yang Huazhu

Necessity, objectives and system of planning management
Planning models
Appraisal of economic returns

9. Animal Raising and Plant Cultivation on an Integrated Fish Farm by Chen Yaowang

Animal raising
Plant cultivation

10. Design and Construction of an Integrated Fish Farm by Jiang Guizhen

Site selection and preparation
Overall layout of the farm
Fish pond design
Leakage control and soil improvement
Fieldwork guides


Suggested Readings


1.1 Ages/years at which the primary cultured fish in China experience maximum growth

1.2 Sex composition of silver carp and grass carp spawning schools in three spawning grounds

1.3 Absolute and relative fecundity and maturity rate of silver carp, bighead, grass carp and black carp in the Changjiang River

1.4 Maturity age (years) of silver carp, bighead, grass carp and black carp reared in ponds

1.5 Absolute and relative fecundity and maturity rate of silver carp, big-head, grass carp, black carp and mud carp

1.6 Egg production of carps under artificial propagation

1.7 Relationship between feed composition and the fecundity of grass carp

1.8 Effect of water temperature on maturity age and accumulated temperature

1.9 Effect of running water on spawning and egg fertilization

2.1 Secondary sex characteristics of male and female Chinese carp

2.2 Relationship between hatching time and water temperature of silver carp

3.1 Nutritional elements in pig manure

3.2 Nutritional elements in cattle manure

3.3 Nutritional elements in poultry manure

3.4 Nutritional elements in human excreta

3.5 Nutritional excretion of waste by an adult human

3.6 Nutritional elements in green manure (% wet weight)

3.7 Utilization rate of protein of several fodder (grasses) by grass carp fingerlings

3.8 Food conversion ratio (FCRs) of several common feeds for various species of fish

3.9 Nutritional elements of various plant feeds

3.10 Composition of some green fodders

3.11 Composition of common animal feeds

4.1 Growth of silver carp and bighead fry

4.2 Growth of silver carp, bighead and grass carp fingerlings

4.3 Stocking densities, polyculture ratios of summerling and targeted size of fingerling

4.4 Stocking models for fingerling rearing of grass carp, silver carp and bighead carp in monoculture

4.5 Feeding schedule for grass carp yearling

4.6 Feeding schedule for black carp yearling

4.7 Yield and survival of fingerlings nurtured in the ponds with pre-planted barnyard grass and manure

4.8 Stocking and harvesting model of a 2-year old black carp fingerling pond

4.9 Stocking and harvesting model of a 2-year old black carp fingerling pond

5.1 Standard body weight vs. body length of yearlings

5.2 The DOC requirement (mg/l) of the major cultured fish in China

5.3 The effects of DOC on the growth and food conversion rate (FCR)

5.4 Stocking model using aquatic macrophytes as the main fish feeds

5.5 Stocking model using terrestrial grasses as major fish feeds

5.6 Stocking models using organic manure

5.7 Stocking model using aquatic and terrestrial grasses as the main fish feeds

5.8 Stocking model using terrestrial grasses as the main feeds, with grass carp as the major species and a target net yield of 500 kg/mu

5.9 Stocking model using green manure, animal manure and domestic sewage

5.10 Stocking in a grow-out pond (grade I)

5.11 Stocking density and carrying capacities of various species in a multiple-grade conveyor culture system

5.12 Multiple-grade conveyor culture system for grass carp

5.13 Multiple-grade conveyor for grass carp

5.14 Multiple-grade conveyor for grass carp

5.15 The desired sizes (g/individual) of various species at different times

5.16 Feeding and manuring amounts in a pond with a net fish yield of 350–400 kg/mu

5.17 Stocking and harvesting in pond A

5.18 Stocking and harvesting in ponds B and C

5.19 Feeding and manuring (kg/mu) in pond A

5.20 Feeding and manuring (kg/mu) in ponds B and C

5.21 Feeds and manure demand in grow-out ponds in Jiangsu province

6.1 Dosage of chemicals in each fine-cloth bag

6.2 Some solutions for fingerling disinfection

6.3 Heat resistance of reovirus

7.1 Nutritive content of various silts

7.2 Equivalent weight of fertilizers to pond silt

7.3 Main terrestrial fodder crops and green manure

7.4 Monthly production (kg/μm) of sudan grass and rye grass

7.5 Nutritive contents of three aquatic plants

7.6 Daily amounts (g) of duck excreta and split feed input into fish ponds

7.7 Composition of duck raising in fish ponds and in duck pens

7.8 The proportion of polycultured species (% of total output) at Hanghu and Linghu fish farms

7.9 Composition of cow and pig excreta

7.10 Quantity of natural food organisms in cow-manured and fertile high-yield ponds

7.11 Yield of fish in pond receiving cow manure and in pond without manure

7.12 Oxygen demand of different animal manures

8.1 Target yields, harvest sizes and survival rates of grass carp and silver carp

8.2 Stocking data for grass carp and silver carp

9.1 Nutritive composition of silkworm dregs and pupae

9.2 Nutritional standards for broiler chicken feeds

9.3 Feeding standard for broiler chickens

9.4 Component formulae (%) and analysis of the broiler chicken feeds produced by the Wuxi Feedstuffs Company, Wuxi, PROC

9.5 Composition (%) of chicken manure from different chicken raising methods

9.6 Feed composition for the breeder goose

9.7 Component formulae (%), additives, analyses and daily feeding amounts of artificial feeds for various sizes of pigs

9.8 Feeding standard for milk cows (daily): oat unit standard

9.9 Feeding standard for milk cows (daily): milk net energy unit standard (NND)

9.10 Rearing standard (daily nutritional requirements for the production of 1 kg of milk)

9.11 Utilization by fish of sudan grass at different developmental stages

9.12 Nutritional analysis of dry and fresh bunch grass

10.1 Measurement record forms

10.2 Elevation measurement with levelling instrument


1.1 Silver carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix)

1.2 Bighead (Aristichthys nobilis)

1.3 Grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idellus)

1.4 Black carp (Mylopharyngodon piceus)

1.5 Common carp (Cyprinus carpio)

1.6 Crucian carp (Carassius auratus)

1.7 Chinese bream or Wuchang fish (Megalobrama amblycephala)

1.8 Mud carp (Cirrhina molitorella)

1.9 Oreochromis mossambica

1.10 Oreochromis nilotica

1.11A Male genital organs (tilapia)

1.11B Female genital organs (tilapia)

1.12 Structure of the gill rake of silver carp

1.13 Gill rakers (broad and narrow)

1.14 Tissue section of stage I ovary of silver carp

1.15 Tissue section of stage II ovary of silver carp

1.16 Tissue section of stage III ovary of silver carp

1.17 Tissue section of stage IV ovary of silver carp

1.18 Tissue section of stage V ovary of silver carp

1.19 Tissue section of stage VI ovary of silver carp after spawning

1.20 Structure of a sperm

1.21 Annual variation of gonad development index of silver carp cultured in pond

1.22 Annual variation of gonad development index of male silver carp cultured in pond

1.23 Vertical section of a grass carp hypophysis

1.24 Role of the central nervous system in controlling the reproduction of Chinese carp

2.1 Circular spawning pond

2.2 Elliptical spawning pond

2.3 Hatching jar

2.4 A reformed earthenware vat which can be used as hatching instrument for small scale fish hatchery

2.5 Hatching circulator

3.1 Pond material circulation

4.1 Growth curves in 12 days after stocking

4.2 Relationship between stocking density and the target transfer size of fish

5.1 Stable, high-yielding ponds in the suburbs of Wuxi, Jiangsu Province, China

5.2 Increase of standing stock of fish in pond where summerlings are grown into food fishes in the same year

5.3 Impeller aerator

6.1 Hanging bag bleaching powder method for the control of bacterial red skin and gill rot disease of grass carp

6.2 Hanging basket, bleaching powder method for the control of bacterial red skin disease of black carp

6.3 Hanging bag method with copper sulphate and ferrous sulphate to control parasitic gill disease of grass carp

6.4 Grass carp with hemmorhagic septicaemia symptoms

6.5 Black carp infected with erythroderma

6.6 Grass carp infected with enteritis

6.7 Grass carp infected with gill rot disease

6.8 Common carp infected with vertical scale disease

6.9 Bighead infected with saprolegniasis

6.10 Cryptobia branchialis

6.11 Principal structure of a spore of Myxosporidia

6.12 Myxosporidia commonly found on the skin of cultivated fish

6.13 Myxosporidia commonly found on the gills of cultured fish

6.14 Myxosporidia easily found in the intestine of cultured fish

6.15 Myxosbalus lieni parasitising the brain of silver carp

6.16 Ichthyophirius multifilus

6.17 Structure of trichodina showing lateral view, partial cross-section and two segments of the desitivulating ring

6.18 The ventral view of a Dactylogyrus lamellatus Achmerion

6.19 Female Sinergasilus major and Sinergasilus polycolpus

6.20 Gill of a 2-year-old grass carp infected with Sinergasilus major

6.21 Structure of a female Lernaea

6.22 Grass carp fingerling suffering from deformity

6.23 Filamentous green algae which are often dangerous to larvae and young fish

6.24 Harmful aquatic insects

7.1 Recycling of material in a well-managed integrated fish farm

7.2a Increase of income of Helei Fish Farm, Wuxi, from 1977 to 1981

7.2b Average pond values and wages of workers of Helei Fish Farm, Wuxi, from 1977 to 1981

7.3 Xinan Fish Farm, Li Yuan People's Commune

7.4 Fishery Team Number 1, Helei People's Commune

7.5 Wang Chuan People's Commune Fish Farm

7.6 Wuxi Fish Farm, Li Yuan People's Commune

7.7 Annual variation in food intake of fish and daily output of ryegrass and Sudan grass

7.8 Rotational operation of fodder crop plants

7.9 Multi-pond rotation

7.10 Network of dyke-pond system in Pearl River Delta

7.11 Network of dyke-pond system in Taihu Lake Basin

7.12 Nutrient cycle and energy flow in pig-grass-fish integration

7.13 A multi-level integrated fish farming web of chicken-pig-fish

7.14 A web of integrated fish farming of cow-earthworm-duck-fish

7.15 Integrated Fish Farming Network in Xiang Yan Aquaculture Farm, Wuxi

7.16 Integrated Fish Farming Network of Donghu Fish Farm in Xiang Country, Hunan Province

7.17 Integrated Fish Farming Network of Helei Fish Farm, Wuxi

8.1 Design of long-term plan

8.2 Adjustment of long-term plans

8.3 The principal activities of integrated fish farming in the Taihu Lake Basin

8.4 Model block diagram of an integrated fish farming plan

8.5 Appraisal of the economic return of integrated fish farming techniques

9.1 Breeding of a double-hybrid commercial broiler

9.2 Thermo-electric umbrella

9.3 Wooden feeding trough

9.4 Cylindrical feeding trough

9.5 Chain-driven feeding trough

9.6 A big-opening jar on an aluminum plate

9.7 A perforated cardboard box used for chick transportation

9.8 A broiler transportation cage

10.1 Schematic diagram of Xi Nan Fish Farm

10.2 Sketch of pond structure

10.3 Sectional view of flood control dikes

10.4 Sectional view of an inlet lock

10.5 Sectional view of an outlet lock

10.6 Plane figure showing opposite inlet and outlet type ponds

10.7 Use of a Theodolite in ichnographical draining

10.9 Magnetic azimuth

10.10 Area calculation

10.11 Elevation measurement


It is with a very great sense of satisfaction that I introduce this book on Integrated Fish Farming prepared at the Regional Lead Centre of NACA (Network of Aquaculture Centres in Asia) in Wuxi. During my first visit to China in 1978 as the Programme Leader of the UNDP/FAO Aquaculture Development Coordination Programme (ADCP), along with a group of Directors and senior officials of Fisheries Department of Asia and Africa, I recognized that integration of fish culture with crop and livestock farming was one of the main areas of aquaculture development that would be of direct interest to other developing countries, especially in relation to rural development. This conclusion guided the later establishment of the Wuxi Centre devoted to the collection, review and scientific understanding of the age-old Chinese practices of integrated fish farming, and the transfer of the technologies to other parts of the world. Linkage with other centres in the Network in Asia, and other centres of the global network developed by ADCP was intended to serve as the means of adapting the Chinese technologies to suit local conditions in other areas. Research, training and information programmes pursued at the Centre since its establishment in 1981, have made considerable progress and this book reflects the understanding and experience gained by the workers of the Centre, as a result of studies in China and technical cooperation with personnel from other countries. It is an example of the successful application of the original concepts of NACA and of the global network.

Fish-crop-livestock farming is obviously a complex system, integrating different technologies at different levels of intensity. However, the book largely focusses on systems where fish culture is the main constituent and crop and live-stock farming are integrated with it to achieve high levels of production. So the text of the book starts with the Chinese systems of fish farming and follows on with methods of integrating it with crop and livestock farming and management of integrated farms.

I feel sure that this book will make a significant contribution to the practice of integrated fish farming in developing countries all over the world for many years to come. As aquaculture science progresses and capital intensive systems of production begin to be practised in developing countries as well, the technologies may change. Till then, this book will serve as a manual for the introduction of the Chinese system and a guide for adapting it to suit local conditions. The workers of the Wuxi Centre and the Government of the People's Republic of China deserve to be congratulated for this remarkable contribution.

T.V.R. Pillay


“Integrated fish farming is a diversified and coordinated way of farming or producing agricultural items in the fish farms with fish as the main product. The items produced are to be used either as source of feeds and fertilizer, source of additional income or both. The wise integration of these items in a fish farm promotes the full utilization of its land area and recycling of wastes and by-products, minimizes the operation expenses in feeds and fertilizer, improves the living conditions of the workers due to the increases of income and maintains a balanced ecosystem.” This statement appears in the Back-to-Office Report of one of the trainees, Mr. Kapa La'a from Papua New Guinea, who participated in the second training course (1982) on integrated fish farming at the Asian-Pacific Regional Research and Training Centre for Integrated Fish Farming in Wuxi, Jiangsu Province, China. The Centre is one of the regional lead centres of the Network of Aquaculture Centres in Asia and the Pacific (NACA). Under the FAO/UNDP regional project for establishing the Network, the Centre has organized the four-month training course annually since 1981 and trained a total of 208 senior aquaculture technical personnel from 43 countries in the Asia-Pacific region, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America and Europe.

This book is meant to meet the need for an updated textbook on the Chinese systems of carp polyculture and integrated aquaculture-agriculture. It will be used for subsequent training courses on the subject and also as a reference for the past trainees and others interested in integrated fish farming as practiced in China.

China has a long history of integrated fish farming with its own set of technology. Since the 1950s, the government has placed much emphasis on the development of freshwater pond culture and its integration with agriculture and animal husbandry. Various integrated fish farming models have evolved according to different geographical and climatic conditions in the country and to local agricultural characteristics, socio-economic conditions and traditional practices. Hence, most fish farms have established complex integrated farming and management systems.

Materials included in this book have been class-tested, and updated and improved with new research findings over the past 9 years by the previous and present Directors and staff of the Centre. Because the Chinese systems of carp polyculture is the base level from which integration with other crops, plant and livestock has evolved, a good portion of the book begins with the biology of the major carp species and the introductory aspects of pond culture. A trainee from another country who is new to the Chinese practice of integrated farming needs to understand initially the basic biology, reproduction and culture of Chinese carps.

The release of this book is indeed timely since it signifies the completion of a decade of research and training by the NACA lead centre. It also marks the transformation of NACA from the status of an FAO/UNDP regional project to an autonomous, intergovernmental organization by the turn of the year, 1990, when the Centre celebrates the Tenth Anniversary of its establishment.

This publication is dedicated to World Food Day 1989 which has “Food and the Environment” as its theme. The integration of fish farming and agriculture, in which the recycling of organic wastes derived from both activities mutually enhances food production without adverse effect on the environment, aptly fits this theme to some extent.

“Integrated Fish Farming in China” is the first effort at compiling and collating the present information available on the Chinese systems of integrated fish farming. It provides an updated reference to both the past graduates who are involved in this area of work in their respective countries, as well as to research and development workers in this field. Although the language and some technical terms translated from Chinese to English could be further improved, the production of the manual as a whole is commendable. The dedicated effort of Mr. Guo Xianzhen, the present Director of the Centre, and the Centre staff as a whole, is very much appreciated and deserves high commendation.

CHEN Foo Yan
Project Coordinator
Network of Aquaculture Centres in Asia and the Pacific


This book represents the collaborative efforts of several individuals and institutions spanning a period of almost ten years. The initial compilation and writing of training materials which were used as lecture and laboratory notes for the first course was done by a team of scientists from Shanghai Fisheries University led by Professor Lu Gui who also served as the first Director of the Asian-Pacific Regional Research and Training Centre for Integrated Fish Farming, a regional lead centre of NACA in Wuxi, China. This body of organized lecture and laboratory notes became the foundation of the instructional materials which the researchers and training staff of the Centre used in subsequent training courses, updated and improved upon.

Updating and re-organizing the materials was gradual and continuous, but the formal and organized effort at developing the material into a training manual was done with the establishment of a technical editorial board headed by Mr. Shan Jian, then Director of the Centre, as editor-in-chief. The body of material was reorganized into specific chapters, with each chapter assigned to the expert or experts on the topic for contents editing. Chapter editors were Mr. Shen Peirong, Mr. Yu Shigang, Mr. Zhu Lingeng, Mr. Fei Yingwu, Ms. Li Shaoqi, Mr. Yang Hua-Zhu, Mr. Hu Bao-tong, Mr. Chen Yaowang, Mr. Tang Song-nan and Ms. Jiang Guizhen. A team of translators headed by Mr. Li Kangmin and including Messrs. Zhou Enhua, Min Kuan-hong, Yang Xianguang and Chen Baohua, worked on the manuscript and translated the Chinese text into English. The final phase of developing the training manual into its present form was done under the current leadership and staff of the Centre.

A special technical editorial assistance was provided by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) of Canada through its expert, Mr. William M. Carman, who provided the initial editing on the English translation of the manuscript.

The final update and technical edit on the contents was made by the Centre, with the NACA Project Coordinating Unit providing the editorial guidance and assistance in the design and production of the book. Mr. Pedro B. Bueno, NACA Information Specialist and Mr. Zhou Xiaowei of the Centre worked in Wuxi and then in Bangkok to finalize the editing and preparation of the book in its present form. Ms. Rebecca Cajilig, NACA information officer, designed the book and prepared the manuscript for the press.

Through all the stages, Mr. Chen Foo Yan, NACA Coordinator, and Dr. F. Brian Davy, Associate Director (Fisheries) of IDRC provided the encouragement and guidance to the work.

Funds for the publication of this book were made available by the FAO/ UNDP Regional Project (RAS/86/047) for the establishment of NACA.

On behalf of the Integrated Fish Farming Centre, I, as its present Director, acknowledge with gratitude the collective effort made by the above mentioned colleagues and institutions, as well as those who have contributed in one form or the other in the preparation and publication of this book. The continued interest and support of FAO, UNDP, IDRC and the Government of the People's Republic of China for the Centre's endeavour in technology transfer within the framework of Technical Cooperation among Developing Countries is also gratefully acknowledged.

Guo Xianzhen
Asian-Pacific Regional Research and Training Centre
for Integrated Fish Farming
Network of Aquaculture Centres in Asia and the Pacific