The quality of the water in your pond impacts greatly on the growth and performance of your catfish stock.
Without adequate management of you water resources you fish are prone to slow growth, diseases and even death.
Water quality is paramount to success and impacts on your growth time and profitability. The water chemistry dictates the survival rate, efficiency and growth rate.
Focus on water quality is important because fish lives feed, defecates and dies in the same pond. Without controlling the environment opportunistic bacteria or fungal infections are possible.
Although catfish can breathe atmospheric air for short periods, water is their natural element. Ammonia content in pond water is a very serious challenge because it emanates from fish defecation and uneaten food.
Water quality management consists of three parameters PH level, dissolved oxygen in water and water temperature. In our earlier articles you have seen how changes in water temperature stimulate spawning.
The water temperature has many positive and negative effects on the catfish mood and development. Let’s see how these water management solutions affect your fish
Monitoring the PH level reduces the possibility of death of fish due to very low PH levels. Acceptable PH levels range between 6.5 to 7.5 if it gets to 3.9 the fish dies.
Ph level has to do with the hydrogen ions present in water, levels between 4 to 6 affects the performance of fish. They can survive in this environment but would become sluggish have poor FCR and slow growth rate.
Iodized Ammonia becomes more toxic to the fish at high PH levels, but catfish can endure the condition in low PH level.
Temperature greatly affects the dynamics of your pond especially in cold climates. In the tropics catfish are best suited for temperatures ranging between 27 degrees to 32 degrees.
Lower levels affects the catfish feeding habit, metabolism, mobility and growth rate negatively. Low levels of15 degrees can result in poor food conversion ratio including illness and death.
A higher temperature of above 32 degrees has negative effects like slower conversion of waste and poor oxygen levels. Monitoring the temperature of the water allows the farmer achieve healthier fish and better growth.
Catfish are easily stressed in water that has high temperature and oxygen is poorly dissolved in such temperatures.
Oxygen is very important to the growth and performance of the fish. A saturation level of 3.7mg per liter is preferable to over saturation which is bad for the fish.
Levels of dissolved oxygen between 1.7mg to 4.9mg are okay but might affect the feeding habit. Lower levels of dissolved oxygen in the water constitute stress, poor feeding and slow growth.
Oxygen in the pond helps the fish attain fast growth, better metabolism and fights opportunistic diseases.