Increase your profit margins by following the 6 best ways to reduce mortality in your catfish farm today.
Mortality in catfish farming can be a huge detriment to your profit estimates as a catfish farmer. Knowing how you can reduce the mortality in your catfish farm could greatly increase your profit margins in the catfish farming business and is very crucial to your success as a farmer.
There are many great success stories of people who made it big in the catfish business, however, stories of losses remain rampant across the globe. At the core of these sad failures, stories are excessive mortality rates experienced by these farmers.
Indeed when you use our catfish farming profitability calculator, you soon discover that when mortality rates rise above 20%, you are most likely to run into losses.
For you to become successful in your catfish farming business, you need to ensure that your mortality rates are below 10%.
From experience, we know for a fact that even when you experience mortality among your catfish, you may not see them all to record. You may be thinking you have 10,000 fish however, catfish being omnivorous in nature, may have killed their weaker ones and performed deep sea burial.
At harvest time, many farmers who do not take these steps to reduce mortality in their catfish farming business, end up thinking someone else had come to steal all their fish, we have witnessed mortality rates above 50% in some farms.
It is therefore very crucial you take steps to reduce the mortality rates as much as possible. Below are a few tried and tested steps you can rely on to reduce mortality in your catfish farming business, and also improve your profit margins.
6 Best Ways to Reduce Mortality in Your Catfish Farm
- Over Crowding
- Sort out regularly.
- Water Quality
Avoid Over Crowding
The volume of water available in your pond is actually the space available for your catfish to develop. Ensuring you have the right number of fish for the volume of water available is crucial. Catfish are omnivorous in nature, they would kill each other to create enough space for themselves.
A catfish pond is like a jungle, it is purely an issue of survival of the strongest. As a farmer, you want to create as much space as you can for your fish to freely move around, escape the predatory behavior of aggressive ones, and reduce mortality.
Overcrowding can be avoided by stocking the right quantity of fish as per your pond requirements, you can use our catfish stock density calculator to accurately determine what number of fish to stock.
Sort Out Regularly
Using our Catfish stock density calculator would help you determine the accurate number of fish you need to stock, if you have overstocked your pond, it is time to sort out to provide optimum conditions of growth and to reduce the mortality of your catfish.
Sorting is the act of separating your fish into sizes, indeed even if you have not overstocked, it is crucial to have similarly weighted fish in the same pond. A pond where some fishes are far bigger than the rest gives the bigger fishes an unfair advantage over the smaller ones.
If you leave them unsorted, the bigger ones would attack the smaller ones and destroy them, that aside, the bigger ones end up eating the majority of the fish feed you provide, starving the smaller ones in the process.
Sorting out our catfish every 2 months has greatly reduced mortality to less than 3% on our catfish farm.
When your fish are hungry, they would find something to eat, and that often means a battle for survival, they would eat themselves and increase your mortality rate, greatly decreasing your profit margins.
Feeding regularly and on time has proven to help in reducing mortality in catfish ponds.
However, feeding regularly alone doesn’t do the magic as much as having a feed in the ponds at all times, however, having pelletized feed in the pond 24/7 would end up polluting the pond and creating even bigger problems.
Remember, Catfish are omnivorous in nature, they eat both animals and plants, one major plants that catfish feed on are Azolla and duckweed.
Because these are living plants, introducing them into your pond does not contribute to pollution of the pond, in fact, duckweeds would feed on excess waste in your pond, thereby cleaning the pond, what’s more? should any of your catfish feel the need to feed, there is always delicious duckweed available for it to feed on, instead of attacking the weaker ones in the pond.
The home of your fish is the water, ensuring the right water conditions for your catfish is crucial to preventing mortality.
Catfish require the following conditions for adequate growth;
- pH: 6.5 – 7.5
- Dissolved Oxygen: 4mg/liter
- Temperature: 26ºC to 32ºC
We recommend daily monitoring of these values with a TDS monitor, a pH monitor, and a thermometer to ensure your pond is in optimal condition for the growth of your catfish.
Catfish are hardened fish, however, getting any of these conditions wrong could result in the gradual death of your catfish.
Catfish are predatory in nature, and are able to fend off attacks at certain levels of their growth, however, a single frog in your pond while the catfish are at their fingerlings stage of growth could lead to massive losses. Catfish can attack these frogs, kill them and eat them, but only if they are bigger not when they are at the fingerlings stage.
To reduce the mortality of your catfish fingerlings, ensure that your pond is free of frogs, snakes, tortoises, etc.
Tortoises for one has a hard outer layer and can co-exist in the pond with your catfish till the very end, occasionally killing some of them.
Then there is the issue of birds, who fly down, grab some fingerlings and fly away.
These problems are predominant in earthen ponds, but the solution is simple; cover the sides and top of your pond with the requisite tools. It might not seem much at first, but frogs infestation of your pond at the fingerlings stage can cause you to lose over 1000 of them! Leave no room for errors.
Your Catfish are living organisms, and an outbreak of the disease in your pond can contribute to the massive death of your fish. You can prevent some of these diseases by ensuring your feed source is protected from infection, limiting the number of people who are exposed to the feed source and the fish.
Your goal is to prevent the outbreak of the disease in the first place, should there be any mortality, properly examine to know the cause of death.
Once every 2 weeks, we recommend taking a fish out and examine to see if it is healthy.
However, should all these fail, and you find your fish infected, treat immediately with the right medications to reduce the mortality of your catfish.