Managing feeding practices in Fish farming -Find out how to spend less…
Feeds contribute the largest share of waste in and around fish farms. When using trash fish or low-quality pellets, a great deal of feeds will be ignored by the fish. These will sink to the bottom, causing the water quality to deteriorate. When released, these effluents also degrade the water quality of the surrounding area.
Similarly, when using low-grade feed pellets with excessively high protein content, high levels of unused nutrients end up in the faeces of the fish, which pollutes the water they live in. It is thus recommended to use only high-quality pellets specifically designed for your chosen fish species. Besides creating less pollution, high-quality food results in better growth rates and improved health, again increasing farm performance. Remember that when it comes to fish feeding, trash in means trash out.
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According to Hoevenaars, a lot of small-scale farmers in Africa and Asia still use single ingredients such as rice bran or even kitchen waste to feed their fish. Fortunately, in Zambia, there are efforts to distribute quality pellet feeds to these farmers, and the governments of countries in Southeast Asia are providing training in good aquaculture practices to encourage the use of quality pellet feeds in the sector.
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Feeding practices play an equally crucial role in reducing pollution. Farmers often overfeed their stock to try to ensure they grow well, but usually only end up wasting money and polluting culture water.
All this weakens the immune systems of farmed fish, increasing mortalities or reducing growth rates. By sticking with good feeding practices, excessive waste can be avoided, while water quality plus the health of farmed fish can be optimised.