FISH FEED AND NUTRITION MANAGEMENT IN AQUACULTURE
The aquaculture management system depends on production objectives and environmental factors, as well as social and economic considerations in the field of aquaculture. The contribution of natural foods as a source of nutrition is an important factor, as it represents the possibility of producing fish at a lower cost, as the cost of producing natural foods is lower. In addition to natural food, fish farming systems may require more inputs and investments, such as the use of processed foods with high nutritional value to increase production in the unit area.
The use of high quality economical feeds and the management of the nutrition process while preserving the quality of the water and its properties in a form suitable for fish farming are important factors for the success of aquaculture projects in general and fish in particular. As production increases and the number of aquatic organisms grown increases, the need for food increases and the quantities of excreted waste also increases, so it is important to ensure the nutrition process and its control in order to avoid any waste or loss of nutrition, which is reflected in the final growth and productivity of the fish.
The success of the use of industrial feed depends on the aquaculture farm’s nutrition management method, which must therefore be oriented to optimize the use of feed to avoid water pollution from cultivated ponds or areas adjacent to beaches and water bodies.
Feeding strategies in aquaculture ponds
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Fish farming depends mainly on the intensity of the farmed fish and the feeding plans applied. In fish farming (non-intensive), where the density of fish raised and mainly depends on the natural productivity of natural food basins. As fish intensity increases, as in semi-intensive intensive farming, dependence on industrial feed becomes more and more important.
Fish farming in ponds includes the following nutrition plans
A – Production and development of natural foods:
In the early growth stages of low-density cultivated aquatic organisms, the role of natural growth foods in ponds is very important as it is the only source of nutrition. The basis of natural foods in ponds is green algae, green algae, diatoms, rotifers, crustaceans, insects and decomposing materials. For the development of this natural food, organic and mineral fertilizers are used as a source of carbon, nitrogen and mineral salts, in the presence of sunlight, contribute to the growth of plant plankton, thus increasing the natural productivity of the food and fish production. Raising different types of organisms at their nutritional levels, such as algae, snails, fish or mixed fish such as milk fish and tilapia, makes it possible to exploit growing plankton species satisfactorily and achieve higher productivity. In aquaculture systems, production costs are lower than the cost of production in semi-intensive and intensive agricultural systems.
B – The use of complementary foods:
As the number of fish or aquatic organisms increases, the productivity of natural foods cannot meet their nutritional needs for adequate and predictable growth. In this case, the additional or supplementary feeding requirements must be completed. It is common to use rice or toasted rice, bread crumbs, boiled and cooked corn or chicken slaughter residues as a complementary food, for cover the difference between existing natural feeds and the actual needs in terms of number of farmed fish. Feeds or, in other words, the healthiest components of the previous food are not considered complete feed and cannot cover the needs of the fish if used as a single feed. In general, the presence of additional feed increases the number of farmed fish and thus increases productivity per unit area. The best economical way is to develop natural foods in breeding ponds while providing additional nutrients in the event of inadequate natural feeding. Due to the lack and inadequacy of natural food in breeding ponds, it is necessary to improve the quality of complementary feeds to maintain good growth rates of farmed fish.
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