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Summer Tips for Boosting Fish Farming Productivity Shared by Dr. Meera D. Ansal, Dean, College of Fisheries, GADVASU

Boost fish farming productivity with smart management strategies recommended by experts, ensuring optimal water quality, oxygen levels, and disease prevention for sustainable income growth.

KJ Staff
Summer Tips for Boosting Fish Farming Productivity Shared by Dr. Meera D. Ansal, Dean, College of Fisheries, GADVASU
Summer Tips for Boosting Fish Farming Productivity Shared by Dr. Meera D. Ansal, Dean, College of Fisheries, GADVASU

In the northern regions of India, particularly during the summer months spanning from March/April to October/November, fish farming presents a profitable opportunity for farmers to enhance their income. However, maximizing productivity in fish farming requires strategic management techniques to address various challenges unique to the region's climate and conditions. The Dean of the College of Fisheries at Guru Angad Dev Veterinary & Animal Sciences University, Dr. Meera D. Ansal, highlights the significance of implementing smart strategies in place to maximize output and protect fish stocks in the hot summer months.

One of the primary concerns during the summer season is maintaining suitable water temperatures for fish growth. Dr. Ansal recommends maintaining a water depth of 5-6 feet to ensure that fish have ample space below the surface layer, which can become excessively hot, especially when temperatures exceed 35°C. This depth provides a comfortable environment for fish to thrive without being adversely affected by extreme temperatures.

Monitoring oxygen levels in the pond is another critical aspect of summer fish farming. Enhanced biological activity in the pond, particularly during dawn, can lead to a decrease in oxygen levels, posing a threat to fish health. To mitigate this risk, farmers are advised to aerate the ponds during the early hours of the day, before sunrise, either by adding fresh water or using aerators. This proactive measure helps maintain optimal oxygen levels and prevents fish from gasping for air at the water surface.

In addition to oxygen management, maintaining water quality is essential for maximizing fish growth and productivity. Dr. Ansal suggests periodic water exchange as a means to enhance nutrient levels in the pond, which can promote plankton production, a vital food source for fish. Nutrient-rich Pond water can also be utilized for irrigating agricultural fields, thereby improving water quality and reducing the need for external fertilizers.

Feeding plays a crucial role in fish farming, and adhering to recommended feeding routines can significantly impact production targets. Dr. Ansal advocates for the use of farm-made pellet feeds to minimize feed wastage and improve feed conversion efficiency. However, farmers must remain vigilant for signs of water discoloration or algal blooms, as these indicate potential disruptions to water quality and may necessitate temporary suspension of feeding and manuring activities until conditions improve.

Maintaining optimal pH levels in the pond is essential for fish health and growth. Dr. Ansal advises farmers to monitor pH levels regularly, as they can fluctuate significantly during peak day and night hours. Lime or alum/gypsum application, guided by expert advice, can help maintain the pH within the ideal range of 7.5-8.5, thereby preventing stress and disease outbreaks among fish.

To prevent disease outbreaks, Dr. Ansal highlights the importance of proactive measures and biosecurity protocols. Preventive strategies such as disinfection with lime, potassium permanganate, or 'CIFAX,' along with stringent biosecurity measures, can help minimize the risk of pathogen entry and disease transmission within fish populations. In cases of disease outbreaks, prompt consultation with experts is recommended for accurate diagnosis and treatment, as individual treatment of underwater fish poses significant challenges.

Farmers in North India may ensure a sustainable source of income and increase the productivity of their fish farming operations by putting sensible management strategies into practice and following professional advice. Prioritizing water quality, oxygen management, feeding regimes, and disease prevention measures are key to achieving optimal results in fish farming operations.

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