Feed Duration and Daily Ration Feed Plan for your Cat Fish
The question “How much feed should I give my fish?” is an all important question that directly affects profits for any farmer. If fish are underfed, growth rate is slowed down, and if overfed, it reduces profits since feed is the highest operating expense in any farming business.
Feeding fish correctly means:
1. Giving feed of the correct nutritional quality for the specified age of fish, 2. Feeding the right feed size for easy consumption ( Feed Size), 3. Feeding the correct amounts (Feed Ration), 4. Feeding at the right time(s) each day ( Feeding Frequency).
The amount of feed your fish needs or Feed Rations and the size of feed pellets varies over time throughout the gestation period of the fish and it should be adjusted as the fish grows. Smaller sized fish have higher protein requirement, eat smaller sized feeds and have quicker growth rates, so their rations should be adjusted more frequently (preferably weekly) than the larger sized fish which consume larger pellets and could be adjusted every 2 weeks.
In order to calculate the amount of feed needed for each pond, certain information highlighted below needs to be collected and input into the formula to get the desired result.
The required information are as follows:
The number of fish in the pond;
The average weight of the fish (weight in a sample / no. of fish in sample);
Feed Rate which is a percentage of its body weight (this data could be gotten from a feed chart of a feed production company or study materials)
Feed ration per pond= average fish size (weight) x feed rate (%) x total number of fish in the pond. E.g. If an African catfish of 180 grams requires a ration of 2.5% of its body weight, how much food should it be given per day?
Amount of feed to be fed per day = 180 grams x 2.5/100 = 4.5 grams feed per fish per day. If there are 1000 fish in the pond, then; = 4.5 g x 1000 fish = 4,500 g (4.5 kg) of feed should be weighed out for the day.
It is important to note that fish do not feed at the same intensity every day. The amount of food they take in each day depends on various factors like the water temperature and other stresses (high pH, ammonia, disease etc.) that are available in the environment. Feeding Frequency has a role to play in the utilization of the feeds by the fish. Feeding frequency is the number of times fish in a pond are fed daily. The frequency is important in order to reduce starvation and have a uniform growth rate. Smaller sized fish should be fed more frequently as their stomach is too small to hold food they would require for the whole day, whilst fish from 400 g and above could be fed once a day.
For example, the 1,000 fish above requiring 4.5 kg daily ration should be fed twice daily. This means that the 4.5 kg of feed should be divided into 2.25 kg to be fed in the Morning and Evening.
Also, the Feed Size is important as fish would find it hard to consume larger sized pellets.