The marketability of fish revolves around one crucial factor: freshness. For consumers, the appeal of fish lies in its taste and quality, and that depends on how fresh it is. Fish caught from distant locations and transported to market centers often undergo various preservation methods such as chilling, freezing, and icing. These practices, while necessary for distribution, can hardly be classified as truly “fresh” because they merely suspend the rate of decomposition. Real freshness is found in newly caught fish. It’s no surprise that the demand for fresh fish remains high, and the supply can often fall short. But here’s the good news: you can take matters into your own hands by building a backyard fishpond.
Fresh fish can be made abundantly available in your locality through the construction of a backyard or community fish pond. This venture requires relatively low investment, yet it offers the potential for substantial profits. In this article, we’ll guide you through the essential steps to create your own backyard fishpond, from choosing the right location to selecting fish species and managing your pond for optimum results.
Selecting the Right Location
The first step in building a backyard fishpond is to select the right location. It’s essential to ensure that your chosen area has clean, flowing water to irrigate the pond. Flowing water plays a critical role in preventing the growth of harmful bacteria that can negatively impact the fish. Additionally, it aids in water aeration, which is vital for the health and well-being of the aquatic life in the pond.
If a natural water source is unavailable, you can use a motorized pump to supply water to the pond. In this case, it’s crucial to periodically change the water to maintain its quality.
Types of Fish Pond Construction
There are two main types of fishpond construction, both of which can be used for backyard or community fishponds.
- Dug Out Excavated Type: In this approach, you excavate the soil to a depth of 1 to 1 1/2 meters. Use the soil removed from the excavation to build perimeter dikes around the pond, which should be approximately two meters high. To prevent soil erosion, firm up the inner sides of the pond by pressing them with a board or a heavy log.
- Dug-Out Concrete Type: The initial construction of this type is similar to the dug-out excavated method. However, in this case, the inner sides of the pond are lined with 4″ x 8″ x 16″ hollow blocks and masonry to reinforce the structure.
Creating the Ideal Pond Environment
Once your pond structure is in place, it’s essential to create an environment that supports the growth of aquatic life, especially the fish you plan to raise. Here’s how you can achieve this:
- Fill the pond bottom with gravel. This will create a stable substrate for aquatic plants and other organisms to thrive.
- Plant aquatic vegetation. Consider adding plants like tape grass, water lilies, kangkong, or parrot’s feathers. These plants not only provide natural cover for the fish but also help maintain water quality by absorbing excess nutrients.
- Provide inlet and overflow pipes. Ensure that your pond has two pipes, one serving as the inlet and the other as the overflow. The inlet pipe brings fresh water into the pond, while the overflow pipe prevents water from spilling over. These pipes should be at least three inches in diameter to allow proper water circulation.
- Fertilize the pond with natural nutrients. One of the secrets to successful fish farming is a well-balanced diet. You can start by applying chicken manure to fertilize aquatic plants in the pond. These plants serve as natural food sources for the fish, promoting their growth.
- Supplement feeding: In addition to natural foods like worms and insects, you can supplement the diet of your fish with items like corn grits, sorghum, groundfish, animal meat, kitchen leftovers, rice bran, and cornmeal. A balanced diet contributes to faster and healthier growth of the fish.
Selecting Fish Species
The type of fish you choose to raise in your backyard fishpond is a critical decision. Common fish species suitable for this type of aquaculture include carp, tilapia, and hito (catfish). These fish species are known for their adaptability to various pond conditions and their relatively fast growth rates.
Anticipated Production Yield
The anticipated production yield from your fishpond can be quite promising. In a backyard fishpond, you can expect to produce up to 25 kilograms of fish in six months or 50 kilograms in one year. For a community fishpond with more substantial dimensions, the yields can be significantly higher, reaching up to 250 kilograms in six months or 500 kilograms in one year.
Building a backyard fishpond is a rewarding venture that allows you to enjoy the freshest fish while potentially turning a profit. By carefully selecting your pond’s location, adopting the right construction method, creating an ideal pond environment, and selecting suitable fish species, you can establish a thriving fish farming operation. With dedication and proper management, your backyard fishpond can be a source of fresh, high-quality fish for your community and a valuable addition to your income. So, why wait? Start planning and building your fishpond today, and you’ll be well on your way to reaping the benefits of this fulfilling and profitable endeavor.
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