reduce cannibalism in catfish.
A serious problem in catfish production is cannibalism. This involves the fish attacking and eating each other. Cannibalism could lead to huge loss of stock which impacts negativity on profit.
To stop this dangerous precedence a farmer needs to understand the underlining reasons this bad behaviour persist.
I currently have about 250 juvenile catfish in a pond. For the first 3 weeks there was minimum incident of cannibalism, however fast forward another month and I started to experience one cannibalized fish daily. To reduce cannibalism in catfish l had to follow certain measures with moderate success. First you need to know why they eat themselves and solve the problem. Predation on each other is natural to the fish however proper preventive measures will reduce losses.
What causes cannibalism in catfish
There are many causes of cannibalism in the fish like genetic pointers or predatory habit. Others are illness, competition, space requirements and hunger. Sometimes the cause is one of these factors, however it might involve a combination of two or three factors.
Causes of cannibalism in catfish
- Genetic pointers
- Predatory habit
- Space requirements
Hunger in the fish is the primary cause of fish predatory habit. Inappropriately fed fish will attack each other for food.
To reduce hunger feed them well once a day, preferably in the morning. Don’t pour the food into the pond instead point feed them until they start to disperse.
Competition is another factor that plays into cannibalism. The fish compete with each other for best locations in the pond. Best spot’s in the pond are those with shadded areas.
To reduce cannibalism in catfish provide a canopy cover to shade the pond from direct sunlight. This will reduce activity and slow incident of competition.
3. Stocking density and space
Fish farmers should offer good consideration to space. Stocking density is a real issue in catfish farming. A densely stoked pond will encourage competition and predatory habit.
Make sure the pond is large enough to accommodate the number of fish you want to farm. If the pond is crowded remove some fish and transfer to another pond. Another simple solution is to fill the pond to the top.
An I’ll fish behaves in a particular way. This behavior triggers aggressive behavior in the other fish. They will attack the fish out of self preservation, opportunistic behavior and predation. Blood from an injured fish an cause aggressive behavior in the fish.
The solution is to quickly remove sick or injured fish from the pond. Put the fish in a holding tank until it fully recovers. To re-introduce the fish after it heals fist drain the primary pond completely then add the healed fish.
There are genetic pointers that trigger predating in catfish. This starts from when they were fingerlings. The larger fish eat the smaller ones and see them as food.
The larger fish in your pond is usually the culprit of predation. This large fish can injure smaller ones or even swallow them whole. The solution is to remove the cannibal into a holding pond. Keep the fish separate for 2-3 weeks and feed sparsely. Your intent is to weaken the fish and reduce the aggression. Once it is introduced back into population other fish are stronger and bigger.
Simple steps to reduce cannibalism in catfish
The fist step is to empty the pond
Remove the dead and eaten fish
Fill the pond with water to the brim
Feed them twice a day in the morning and evening for three days, then revert to regular feeding.