Do you have Interest to go into a fish farming business, it is not right to stock your fish pond without a proper preparation and treatment of the pond and water. The pre stocking management is very important that it affects the success of any fish farming business.
A fish pond, or fishpond, is a controlled pond, artificial lake, or reservoir that is stocked with fish and is used in aquaculture for fish farming, or is used for recreational fishing or for ornamental purposes. In the medieval European era it was typical for monasteries and castles to have a fish pond.
Fish Pond Preparation And Treatment Overview
However, the type of fish pond preparation depends on the types of fish in use. Example; the fish pond curing is specially applicable to only concrete ponds. You can check How to construct different types of Pond.
Fish pond proper management is important because it contributes to the well-being and growth potentials of your fish and other aqua planktons. Therefore, learning how to effectively manage and treat your pond before stocking your fish is one of the Secrets of a successful fish farming.
Again, The principles of fish pond management procedures are basically the same for old and new ponds. Though there are minor contingent differences in pond preparation which generally involves lime and fertilizer treatment of the pond bottom and water management processes.
Fish pond liming and fertilization
The liming of the fish pond is very important as it helps to balance the pH of the water, reduce water from seeping out of the pond and helps in the fertility of the pond to phytoplankton’s.
The acidity or alkalinity of your pond depends on the interaction between the mineral content of the water and the soil beneath the floor. In our post on Pond construction steps , it was mentioned that the ideal soil for fish pond construction is the clay soil. However, It will interest you to know that clay soils are usually acidic. The reason for clay soil’s acidity is their ability to hold free hydrogen ions regarded as high cation exchange capacity (CEC).1
Therefore, liming is a very critical factor in farm business especially the earthen pond or ponds with run offs.
What is pond liming?
Pond liming is a procedure of neutralizing the acidic content of a pond by adding bicarbonates or carbonates of Calcium and magnesium compounds. Most times, the challenging factor of pond liming is knowing when the pond liming will be beneficial or not. Before liming a pond, it is better to collect random water samples from the pond and test the pH with an indicator. If the total alkalinity of the water sample is less than 20 mg/L, then you will have to lime your pond.
Benefits of pond liming
The primary aim of pond liming is to manage the pH of your pond. However, there are other relationships between pond liming and other pond characteristics;
- Liming acts to improve the fertilization of a fish pond.
- It helps prevent wide swings in pH that usually affects the survival of your fishes.
- The liming process introduces calcium and magnesium to the pond which serves as nutrients for growth and development of the fishes.
- The mineral composition of the water prevents seeping of the pond water.
- Liming helps to regulate the hardness of pond water, the ideal hardness range is 75 to 250mg/L. At this concentration, the calcium contents of the water helps the fishes with bone and scale formation which is essential for osmoregulation and biological functions.
- Hydrated limes can be used to sterilize the pond against disease causing organisms as a pre stocking management procedure of the pond.
How to lime a pond
There are plenty of liming materials in the market including agricultural limestone, basic slag, slaked lime, quick lime and liquid lime. When considering the best liming material for your pond liming, the effectiveness and the cost of the material is necessary.
Quick lime (CaO) or slaked lime (Ca(OH)2) is not always a good choice for use because of two reasons. First, it is expensive. Secondly, they can make the pH of the water fluctuate and therefore, can stress the aquatic life. But, with experience many farmers have been using slaked and quick lime successfully.
The Basic slag and the liquid lime have satisfactory results when used to treat the pond but they have some characteristics that disqualifies them as the substance off choice for liming.
Consequently, the best material for liming for a beginner is the agricultural limestone. The agricultural limestone can either be CaCO3 (calcitic) or CaMg(CO3)2 (dolomitic) limestone.
The advantages of using agricultural limestone includes;
- It is cheap and readily available
- The liming process does not require any special skill. In other words, it can be applied without any special training.
- Agricultural limestone can significantly improve the alkalinity and hardness of the pond water.
- Limestone acts as buffers, they salt out of solution if the alkalinity of the water rises above normal.
- They are effective in controlling the seeping of the pond by interacting with the mineral substances at the bottom of the pond.
How to apply the Agricultural limestone
If the limestone is too coarse. It is important to reduce the particle size to finely crushed materials because of the following reasons; To improve its surface area, to improve its neutralizing capability and to prevent it from causing physical harm to the fishes.
Next is to broadcast 50 – 200 gm/ square meters over the entire dried pond bottom and left to dry on the soil for 14 days. The pond is then flooded up to 60 cm (above the knees).
Though liming improves the fertilization of a pond. There is still need to fertilize the pond as a way of pre stocking management or preparation of a pond. It can be said that the most common reason to lime ponds is to improve the response to fertilization.
However, further ferritization of the pond introduces Nitrogen, Potassium and Phosphorus (NPK) to the pond. These elements are beneficial the growth of phytoplankton’s and also a source of nutrients to the fish and other zooplanktons. Hence, Fertilization as a method of pond preparation is necessary as it helps provide natural food for the fishes.
Also, the presence of the blooming aquatic plants helps to deplete the concentration of nitrogenous waste and other wastes through respiration.
How to fertilize the pond
You can use any of the 2 types of manure to fertilize your pond before stocking your fish. Remember that fertilization precedes liming.
Application of inorganic manure (NPK, SSP, TSP etc.) or preferably animal manures (e.g. Cow, pig, poultry etc.) to already flooded ponds to stimulate natural fish food production.
- For inorganic manure; fill a jute bag with fertilizer and submerge it under water, OR dissolve the fertilizer inside a plastic bucket and sprinkle over the entire surfaces.
- Organic manure: Fill jute with the manure and tie to stake at various points in the water OR collect manure in a large tank then mix with reasonable quantity of water. After mixing use the liquid part of the mixture in the fish pond. For cattle dung (100 g/m2), Chicken (50 g/m2) Urea (2 g/m2), (TSP 5 g/m2) once in 2 weeks.
Fish Pond Curing
In addition to liming and fertilization, concrete fish pond require a special treatment and preparation known as curing. Curing is the process of controlling the rate and extent of moisture loss from concrete during cement hydration.
Here are some methods of curing a fish pond.
- Shading concrete work
- Covering concrete surfaces with hessian or gunny bags
- Sprinkling of water
- Ponding method
- Membrane curing
- Steam curing
Five environmental benefits of a pond
Numerous lake proprietors appreciate the magnificence and intrigue their water garden adds to their home scene—also the unwinding, relieving hints of streams and cascades. In any case, possessing a lake is likewise gainful to the earth. Here’s the secret:
1. Water protection
Yards and soil-based plants require watering. Parts and loads of watering. Truth be told, customary grass watering utilizes 750-1,500 gallons of water each month.(Source: Water Conservation Tips – http://www.monolake.org/about/waterconservation.)
Conversely, lakes can be re-load up with water, basically watering themselves. Additionally, when a lake is at first filled, proprietors need to “top off” the lake just infrequently, or play out an incidental water change. Lakes likewise offer a self-continuing pattern of hydration that keeps plants alive without watering them.
Furthermore, lake water can be utilized to water different plants all through the yard—just plunge a watering can into the lake to think about other soil-based plants around your home.
At last, in the event that you experience a lower-than-ordinary period of precipitation, you can generally situate drainpipes from your housetop to discharge straightforwardly into your lake, so it goes about as a characteristic store.
The entirety of this water preservation eventually offers a side advantage: lower utility expenses, particularly in the months with more sultry than-normal temperatures.
2. Less cutting, less poisons
As per the U.S. Ecological Protection Agency, each end of the week around 54 million Americans cut their yards, utilizing 800 million gallons of gas for every year and creating huge amounts of air contaminations.
A conventional gas-controlled garden trimmer creates as much air contamination as 43 new vehicles, each being traveled 12,000 miles. Nursery gear motors—which likewise emanate significant levels of carbon monoxide, unpredictable natural mixes, and nitrogen oxides—produce up to 5% of the country’s air contamination.
Finally, more than 17 million gallons of gas are spilled every year refueling yard and nursery hardware—that is more oil than the Exxon Valdez spilled in the Gulf of Alaska.
3. Less pesticides and composts
Pesticides and composts for the yard can be destructive, making overflow that winds up in our water flexibly. The U.S. Natural Protection Agency assesses that solitary 35 percent of yard composts applied ever arrive at the grass plant. The rest winds up in our air or saturates groundwater.
During an ordinary year, more than 102 million pounds of harmful pesticides is apply in quest for an ideal yard and nursery.
However, including a lake or water nursery to your patio not exclusively can set aside you cash on manure – the slime gathered by your lake channel (which is loaded up with supplements from fish droppings, overabundance fish food, and rotting leaves) is a characteristic compost that can be utilized to take care of your scene.
4. Supports neighborhood natural life
While lakes have consistently been a shelter for delightful fish, for example, Koi and goldfish, they additionally pull in and give a haven of rearing to indigenous natural life in your neighborhood, similar to dragonflies, frogs, and winged creatures.
Child frogs and amphibians (known as tadpoles) are commonly an alluring lake occupant for their green growth dietary patterns. Grown-up amphibians are additionally helpful to the nursery for their guide in controlling creepy crawlies.
5. Makes natural mindfulness
Getting kids included and pondering nature right off the bat in life urges them to proceed with their enthusiasm for the earth all through adulthood. Arranging, fabricating, and keeping up a lake or water nursery can show youngsters how a total, normal biological system works.
It can likewise assist them with understanding the obligation we as a whole have for thinking about our condition, which can light their enthusiasm for making a superior future for our planet.
In Conclusion, There are pre stocking procedures for the preparation and the treatment of your pond before stocking. These procedures does not only help your fish to thrive but also improve the market value of your fishes.
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