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close this bookBetter Farming Series 27 - FreshWater Fish Farming: How to Begin (FAO, 1979, 43 p.)
close this folderThe pond
View the documentWhere to put your fish pond
View the documentCompost to fertilize your pond
View the documentHow to dig your pond

How to dig your pond

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.

Pond’s dimensions

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 pond’s 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.

Bamboo pipe

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