|English: Fishes ກະຊັງລ້ຽງປາ (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
One of the most important cultured fish in the country is the freshwater tilapia. It grows in the inlands. This fish can be sold readily in the local market and has a good chance for the foreign market. It gives ready supply for both the rural and urban families.
There are many ways to raise the tilapia. It can be through the earthen pond culture, cage culture, in barricades, fish pens, tanks, an hapas. But the most commonly used culture is the earthen pond culture.
The success of your tilapia business lies on the quality of your stock, how the market market demands for your fish, and management. A huge determinant of whether it will succeed or not, is on how you managed.
Everybody wants his tilapia business to succeed; therefore, you must choose quality stock. Below are hatchery methods.
Open Pond method:
a. Fingerling collection method - pond serves as spawning and rearing ground. The breeders are left in the pond so they can spawn naturally. The fingerlings are collected on the 30th day after stocking up to the 45th day.
b. Fry collection method - this uses shallower pond. Collection starts after the 10th day of stocking up to the 21st day. Collected fry are stocked in a pond where they are taken care off until they become fingerlings. Put 1-6 breeder /sq meter at 3:1 to 5:1 female to male ratio.
This is the most commonly used method for fry or fingerling production. It is usually done in ponds, lakes, or along riverbanks with slow moving water. Put 4-5 breeders per sq m and sex ratio at 3:1 to 7:1. Breeders are fed with commercial or formulated diet at 3-5% of their total body weight. Start fry collection after 2 weeks of stocking. They will be later put into tanks or hapas until they become fingerlings.
Tilapia are spawned in tanks. But, you should provide dissolved oxygen (agitators, blower and a compressor), and maintain clean water. Put in 7-14 breeders/sq m from 3:1 to 7:1 sex ratio of female to male. Water should be 50cm to 70cm deep. Collection of fry and the fingerlings is the same the Hapa method's.
Tilapia can be raised in ponds, or in cages:
Types of cages:
1. Floating type - is made up of synthetic nets. It has a framework to hold the cage in place and it is also where the farmer walks through when feeding. Put floats to keep the cage in the surface.
2. Submerge type - the cage is in the water and is held by poles. Its top is covered by nets to prevent fishes from jumping out.
3. Fixed type - this cage stays in place, that looks like an inverted mosquito net with all sides tied to the water bottom.
1. Drain the pond totally. This is to remove old stock and other unwanted organisms.
2. Apply pesticides or poison the pond. This is to totally kill unwanted species. Spray poison or pesticide with water that is 0.5 to 1 foot deep. Don't spray on the soil without water because the poison might stick to the soil.
3. Wash the pond by letting water flow in and out. This will wash away the poison and pecticides.
4. Level the bottom of the pond. Level the pond to remove excess mud and dirt.
5. Sun-dry the bottom and allow it to crack.
6. Apply lime if the pond becomes acidic. The recommended rate is 100g/sq m.
7. Put screen in the water inlets and outlets to avoid unwanted species to enter the pond.
8. Fill-in water to the pond up to 1-2 meters after all in and outlets have been screened. Your water sources can be the irrigation water, deep-well, rain water/run-off, springs, rivers, or reservoirs.
9. Basal fertilization. To have a ready food for your tilapia after stocking, grow lab-lab, or natural plankton in the pond through basal fertilization, and chicken manure.
1. Maintain richness of the pond by applying chicken manure weekly at 500 kg/week. This will help produce natural food, like planktons, and lumot, for the fishes.
2. Give food supplements to the fishes for a faster growth.
3. Pull out weeds from the pond. Weeds hampers production and harvesting.
4. Maintain a good water quality. Feeding and applying fertilizer may later affect the water quality. Also, be on the look out for the following:
a. maintain water level at 1-2 meters.
the fishes need dissolved oxygen to live, just like any other living things.
maintain a normal pH (acidity) level.
b. the good temperature for tilapia growth is between 25C-38C.
c. the natural food (planktons), and the fish wastes can make the water murky. Although the fish benefit from the plankton, they may die if the water turns murky because of the wastes materials from the fishes.
d. water current help in making dissolved oxygen available.
5. Keep a record of the activities in the pond so you can track down reasons of success, or failure your tilapia business.
Harvesting is usually done after 3-4 months. However, some postpone their harvesting when prices in the market are low.
a. Selective harvesting.This way, you do not drain your pond. What you do is use nets to harvest the fish you desire t market. The holes of the net are big enough so smaller fishes which should stay longer in the pond stays behind.
b. Total harvesting.You drain your pond totally, and harvest all the fishes using a catch basin where the fishes are caught by a seine net. You can pick up by hand fishes that are left in some parts of the pond.