Aquaculture and Aquaponics are two widely adopted methods for sustainable fish farming around the world.
Aquaculture involves cultivating fish in natural habitats like ponds and paddy fields, while Aquaponics utilizes artificial man-made ponds, such as concrete ponds, fibre tanks, IBC tanks, and liner ponds. Below, we’ll delve into the two categories of cultivated fish: air-breathing and water-breathing.
Types of Fish Used in Aquaculture and Aquaponics
- Anabas: Also known as Climbing Perch, Anabas is a carnivorous fish that can reach lengths of 15 to 30 cm in the wild. The cultivation period typically ranges from 6 months to 1 year. Anabas exhibits the remarkable ability to survive without water for up to 6 to 8 hours. These fish are found abundantly in both brackish and fresh waters, primarily in South and East Asia.
- Pangasius: Pangasius, also known as Shark Catfish, can grow to sizes of 20 to 30 cm or more in freshwater. The cultivation period spans from 6 months to 1 year, with Pangasius being predominantly found in South and Southeast Asia.
- Gourami: Climbing Gouramies, or Gourami, are known for their soft and friendly demeanour. They typically reach lengths of 20 to 30 cm or more in freshwater. These fish can be harvested in 1 to 2 years and are commonly found in regions ranging from India to Korea.
- Tilapia: Also known as Cichlid fish, Tilapia encompasses four species commonly found in Aquaculture: Nile tilapia, Red tilapia, Gift tilapia, and Mono-sex tilapia. Gift tilapia is especially high-yielding (Gift stands for Genetically Improved Farmed Tilapia). Tilapia can easily grow to lengths of 15 to 30 cm in freshwater, and they are also found, though less commonly, in brackish waters in India. The cultivation period typically ranges from 6 months to 1 year, and they are predominantly found in the Asian region.
- Red-bellied Natter: The Red-bellied Natter, also referred to as the Red-bellied Piranha, is a carnivorous fish that can grow to lengths of 15 to 30 cm in freshwater. The typical cultivation duration ranges from 6 months to 1 year, and these fish are usually found in South America.
- RohuCommonly known as Rui, Rohu belongs to the carp family and is primarily found in South Asia. These fish can grow to lengths of 15 to 70 cm or more in the wild, with a cultivation duration of 1 to 2 years. They are mostly found in India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Myanmar, and other neighbouring regions.
- MrigalMrigal, also known as White Carp, can grow to lengths of 20 to 90 cm or more in freshwater in the wild. The cultivation period typically ranges from 1 to 2 years or more, and Mrigal fishes are found and cultivated in India.
- CatlaCatla, commonly referred to as Major Carp, can reach impressive lengths of 100 to 180 cm or more in freshwater in the wild. The cultivation duration typically spans 1 to 2 years or more. These fish are widely distributed in regions including India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Myanmar, and others.
Farmers often prefer to cultivate all three species (Rohu, Catla, and Mrigal) in one pond to optimize food utilization. Rohu feeds from the surface, Catla from the centre, and Mrigal from the bottom layers of the water.
Both aquaculture and aquaponics methods enable farmers to market their products as chemical-free and safe to eat, thereby contributing to the production of protein and nutrient-rich fish food throughout the year.
For further information on best practices in fish handling through aquaculture, please feel free to contact us.