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Increasing demands on wild fisheries by commercial fishing operations have caused widespread overfishing. Fish farming offers an alternative solution to the increasing market demand for fish and fish protein.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), aquaculture can make an important contribution to poverty alleviation, food security and social well-being, and already does so in many developing countries. In others, however, the potential has not yet been fully realized.

An alternative low-cost approach of fish farming is appropriate for many people, relying on existing water bodies and natural vegetation and household waste, supplement with animal protein in the form of maggots or worms and homemade supplement for the fish feed.

Pond Culture (the soil)

Site selection is an important factor in the success of a fish farm but the ideal site is usually not available to poorer families. Site location will be depended on a number of factors as mentioned below.

The fish species being raised. Soil quality, which affects water quality and productivity. An adequate supply of water. Land ownership. Market place and market conditions. Fish food and other inputs available to the farmer. More than 1 meter water retention capacity for at least 6 month of the year. Pollution free.

Avoid flood plains

When you go to the site, you have to know the history to be sure there is no flooding in the area. You can even study the area during rainy season to be sure that you are not acquiring a flood plain.

Vegetation

The site has to be considered if it is densely vegetated. If the vegetation is much, you will spend much money in cleaning, so a less vegetated area is better.

Water

Water sources like river, creek, lake, pipe borne water/bore-hole/well are very important in the success of fish farming. You cannot apply pipe-borne water directly into your pond because of the chlorine content. You can create a tank into which you can pump pipe borne water, allow it in the tank for 24 hours after which the chlorine will evaporate.

Constructing the Pond

There are two types of pond; earthen pond and concrete tank. Earthen Pond is the land excavation where water can be collected. If you are constructing an earthen pond, you have to consider these points. Water control structures:

The inlets have to be considered. It is from where water comes into the pond and it is always at the top of the pond. Sluice gate is a form of inlet but it is used for big ponds. It is constructed in the shape of a V with the inlet valve at the tip of the V which can be opened or closed when one needs water or otherwise.
Monk is an outlet valve. It is used to drain water and is constructed at lower part of the pond. The outlet generally is constructed at the end. (Please note that the earthen pond should be constructed to be sloppy with about 5% sloppy level.)

If you are going to use pipe for outlet, you have to use concrete to hold the pipe less you have leakage at the sides of the pipe. The concrete wall should be a little bit extended to avoid eventual leakage of water that might end up in loss of fish.

Dike, some books write Dyke. This is the embankment of pond. If it is a primary dike, it is always wider than the secondary or any other type. The primary dike can be 3m wide and the slope should be 2:1. If you do not have any reason of using the dike to transport your thing to other part of your farm, you can make the dike 2m.

Spillway is the water-control system used to control excess water. The volume of water that enters your pond determines the size of the spillway. A pipe can be used for a spillway in a smaller pond and it must be screened so that it will not be an escape way for the fish. On a bigger pond, a concrete structure is used for this. It helps the pond not to overflow.

The monk and spillway are constructed on the dike. It is advised that the construction of the dike be finished and then, the monk and spillway can be constructed.

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