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Aquaculture is the rearing and harvesting of fish, shellfish, algae, and other species in all types of aquatic ecosystems. Aquaculture activities started about 50 years ago and it’s focused majorly on the production of fish species such as the catfish family and tilapia. These fishes are cultured using ponds of various types.
Fish Pond is a protected pond, artificial lake, or reservoir, which is stocked with fish and is used for fish breeding or used for recreational or ornamental fishing purposes. Most of the earthen ponds are used for carp, tilapia, catfish, and sea bass. Since the fish pond is a very important parameter in rearing these organisms, it should, therefore, be taken into great consideration.
This article is based mainly on the various types of the pond used for these cultures, as well as the materials needed in constructing these structures.
Below are the basic types of a fish pond;
- Earthen ponds
- Concrete ponds
- Tarpaulin /synthetic leather ponds
- Rubber /plastics tanks
Earthen ponds are the commonest type of fish pond, they can either be constructed manually or mechanically; manually making use of digger and shovel to dig out the pond and mechanically using excavators, mechanical use is more efficient and time-saving but it is costlier compared to the manual method. The advantages of earthen ponds over other ponds are its similarity to a natural habitat, its low cost of production, and the ability for fishes to grow bigger and faster.
Concrete ponds as the name implies are ponds constructed making use of concretes, bricks, and reinforcement, they mostly have done by highly trained civil engineering professionals. Concrete ponds are often used to culture fingerlings and juveniles extensively. They are easy to maintain compared to earthen ponds and has greater advantages over earthen ponds in most cases. They cannot be flooded, the growth of fishes can easily be monitored and diseases are easily detected and managed.
TARPAULIN / SYNTHETIC LEATHER PONDS
They are dug like an earthen bath, but the walls are filled with a rubber/leather rug to keep water from percolating. Such types of ponds are good for raising juveniles and breeding stock. They are usually built with a flow-through system. They easily set up and maintained, they also reduce water pollution.
RUBBER/ PLASTIC TANKS
They are of different sizes specifically produced for the breeding of catfish. Some of these containers are designed to accommodate as much as one ton of table-sized fish. Various materials are used to make a water tank. They include; plastics (polyethylene, polypropylene), fiberglass, concrete, stone, steel (welded or bolted, carbon, or stainless steel). Rubber/plastics tanks are mostly used in culturing fingerlings; they are mobile, cheap, and less expensive to manage. Using rubber tanks makes it possible to culture fishes indoor.
In selecting pond type which will be suitable for your culture, it is important to evaluate the various advantages and disadvantages attached to the pond type of your choice, and most especially, which is most conducive for the size of fish to start culturing