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close this bookBetter Farming Series 38 - Better Freshwater Fish Farming: Raising Fish in Pens and Cages (FAO, 1990, 83 p.)
close this folderPens
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentBuilding a pen
View the documentCarrying small fish
View the documentPutting baby fish into your pen
View the documentFeeding fish in pens
View the documentTaking care of the fish and pen
View the documentHarvesting fish in pens
View the documentNow you must begin again
View the documentRaising your own baby fish in pens

Feeding fish in pens

73. You have already been told that there may be very little natural food in a pen. So, you must be sure to give your fish very rich foods.

74. Here are some rich foods that fish like to eat. You can give them

· termites
· grain mill sweepings
· rice bran
· beer wastes
· cottonseed or groundnut cake.

Foods for fish

75. Prepare all of the food for one day's feeding at one time. Give the fish part of this food at two or three different times during the day.

76. Always try to feed your fish at the same time each day.

Feed the fish at the same time

77. The bigger your fish grow, the more food they will need.

For each 100 square metres of pen feed them

· 150 to 200 grams of food every day during the first month
· 200 to 275 grams of food every day during the second month
· 275 to 350 grams of food every day during the third and fourth months
· 350 to 450 grams of food every day from the fifth month until the time you are ready to harvest.


100 grams of rice bran is about one handful. Use a small tin to measure this amount.

Measure rice bran

78. It is not easy to know exactly how much to feed your fish. You must watch them carefully to learn how much food they need.

79. Feed your fish in the shallow part of the pen so that you can see them eat.
80. If you see that the fish do not eat all of their food, give them a little less.

81. If you see that the fish eat all of their food quickly, give them a little more.

82. If you feed your fish in the same places each day you will be able to see whether they are eating well. If you give them too much, the food that is not eaten will stay on the bottom.

83. Too much uneaten food on the bottom of the pen will make me water bad for the fish.

84. To make it easier to see if your fish are eating well, choose several places in your pen and always feed them there.

85. Mark each place by making a square or ring of bamboo or light wood. Drive a pole into the pen bottom and attach the square or ring. The drawings at the top of the next page will show you how.

Use bamboo

86. When you feed the fish, put the food inside the square farming. That way you can easily see uneaten food collecting on the bottom and you will know that you are giving your fish too much.

Uneaten food