Fish Farming: Building Hatching Trays & Rearing Ponds

Do It Yourself Fish Farming - Building Your Own Hatching Trays & Rearing Ponds
By Vin Hayes

As you would suspect, fish eggs are delicate and vulnerable, they require to be kept secure. Left to natures whims, the majority of fertilized ova don't survive. But you can assure that plenty of yours will make it.

At this point, you have gotten your do-it-yourself fish farming pond all set up, and you have gotten the vegetation planted. You have an adequate natural food source for the fish and you're ready to begin farming some fish. This is a crucial stage in the process. It is essential that you set up rearing ponds, boxes and hatching trays before you introduce fish or fish eggs.

Hatching trays can be constructed of perforated zinc fairly easily. Make them 1½ inches deep, and the ova will hatch out well in them. The size of hatching tray you'll require will depend on the size box you will suspend them in.

A great box for securing your hatching trays can be constructed with perforated zinc sides. The rest of the box is constructed of hardwood. These are placed in the pond and the bottom is filled with a thick layer of gravel.

When in operation in the water, the trays are loaded with ova and suspended in the boxes. They have to be positioned so that a nice current of water can move through them. Before you put ova into these boxes, you should allow them to sit in the pond. This will ensure that nothing contaminates the area when the eggs are introduced.

Young fish and eggs need to be protected from the sun and predatory animals. That's why you'll need to keep your rearing ponds near willows and other shady trees. It's also quite important to have as much tall grass and weeds as possible growing around the banks.

Netting can be put over rearing ponds to keep hungry birds out. But you'll have to keep a look out over your brood. Birds are smart and even when you thought that you've made things secure, they might still get in.

There are also some water weeds that will provide shade and protection. They can easily be grown in most any size rearing pond. A small number of water-cress, water-lobelia, or water-milfoil will go quite a long way in a small pond.

For the do-it-yourself fish farmer, it's all about protecting and nurturing those tiny fish to adulthood. Taking the time to outfit yourself with hatching trays, rearing boxes, and ponds is well worth it.

In the next report of this series, you'll learn about the early stages of the fishes life cycle. We'll cover lots of ground, from collecting the ova & fertilizing it to caring for and feeding new hatchlings.

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