|Better Farming Series 27 - FreshWater Fish Farming: How to Begin (FAO, 1979, 43 p.)|
16. You must choose a good place to put your pond.
17. Remember that a pond for fish is only one use for your land. Be careful not to build a pond on land that could be better used for something else.
18. It is best to choose a piece of land that has a gentle slope.
19. Do not build your pond on a steep hill or where it can be flooded in the rainy season.
20. Choose a sunny place for your pond, close to your home so people will not come and take your fish away.
The place for the pond
Near your home it is also easier to take care of the fish.
21. The pond should be near water such as a stream or a spring, or in marshy ground where the water in the soil will fill up your pond.
The water must fill up the pond
22. The soil in the place you choose must be good for a fish pond.
23. To test if you have good soil, take a handful of soil from the surface and squeeze it into a ball.
24. Throw the ball of soil into the air and catch it.
Testing the soil
25. If it sticks together it is good soil and will held water well.
26. Bad soil with sand or gravel in it will not stick together and will not held water.
27. Now dig a hole as deep as your waist and test the soil from the bottom of the hole in the same way as before.
Testing the soil
28. If the soil from the surface is good, and the soil from the bottom is good, this is a good place to dig your pond.
29. You will need compost to fertilize your pond. To make a good compost pile will take one month, so you should start making it before you dig your pond. Later this book will tell you how to make compost.
30. Mark out the size of the pond on the ground you have chosen. Each side should be about 14 metres long, 10 metres for the pond and 2 metres for each bank of the pond.
Mark the size of the pond
31. Clear this area of all trees, bushes and grass and take away all the roots.
32. Take away 20 centimetres of topsoil from all the cleared area and put it aside.
33. Now you can dig your pond.
34. The bottom of the pond should be even and sloped toward the deep end.
35. In the shallow end, the water in the pond will have to be about knee- deep.
36. In the deep end, it will have to be waist- deep.
The deep end
37. As you dig the soil out, put it on the 2- metre strips to be the banks of the pond.
38. Do not make the sides too steep, but slope them to make them stronger.
Make the ponds sides stronger
39. Compact the soil as you take it out, to make banks strong enough to stop the water from pushing them out. The banks must be watertight.
40. You will need to make an inlet at the shallow end above the water level to fill your pond.
Fill the pond
41. At the deep end you will need to make an outlet to keep the banks from overflowing if there is too much water in the pond.
42. The inlet and outlet for your pond can be very simple. Large bamboo pipes will work very well.
43. When you have finished digging your pond, put the topsoil you have set aside on the banks. Then plant grass on the banks to stop the soil from being washed away by the rain.
Plant grass on the banks
44. If you need more land for growing crops, instead of planting grass on the banks you may grow food crops such as rice, sweet potatoes or groundnuts.
Growing food crops
45. It is good if other farmers build ponds beside yours. It is easier if others help you in fish farming, and one bank can be used between two ponds.
Using a bank between two ponds