Chitala Fish Farming: Best 5+ Farming Method

Chitala fish farming is a method of aquaculture that is a major source of income for many families in rural India and Bangladesh. In these countries, chital fish farming has been practiced since the early 1900s and is passed on from one generation to the next. It is important to note that chital fish farming is not limited to those two countries and is widely practiced by the people in these countries across India, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Afghanistan.

Chitala Fish
Chitala Fish

How to start Chitala fish farming?

Chitala fish farming is a lucrative business for anyone with the know-how. With only minimal investment and a medium size pond, you can make a decent amount of money to support yourself. Fishing and chital farming could be a great combo.

Chitala likes to live in large spaces, that’s why the minimum size of water required for them is at least one acre. Taking care of Chitralas is not that hard. The most important thing when starting is the right information! If you do not know about fish farming, then it will be difficult to know what is required and what isn’t.

Pond preparation

Chitala is bred in squares of about one hectare (2.5 acres) in size. To prepare ponds for breeding, the shallow, clear water of an existing pond is filled to a depth of about 20 cm (8 in) with surface mud and stones. The shallow area is then filled with untreated rice straw, sand and the underlying stone layer is covered with fine-grained topsoil that has been allowed to dry out.

Classification of Chital Fish

The scientific name and classification of chital fish are described below.

Breed NameChitala
Scientific NameChitala chitala
KingdomAnimalia
PhylumChordata
ClassActinopterygii
Order Osteoglossiformes
FamilyNotopteridae
GenusChitala
SpeciesC. Chitala

Physical Characteristics

  • The body of this fish is very long and thin.
  • The Chitala fish is a carnivore and will prey on insects, worms, and crustaceans. They are known to eat almost any type of meat.
  • Tail fins are orange/red with blue spots.
  • The body and caudal fin (tail fin) is silver in color and dotted with black spots. The dorsal fin is very small, but visible. There are some small black spots on it as well.
  • The fins of the Chitala fish are orange/red with blue spots. The caudal fin (tail fin) is silver in color and dotted with black spots.
  • The body of this fish is very long and thin.
  • The body and caudal fin (tail fin) is silver in color and dotted with black spots. The dorsal fin is very small, but visible.
  • The fins of the Chitala fish are red, with a narrow blue stripe running along each side.
  • The dorsal fin is very small, but visible. The caudal fin (tail fin) is silver in color and dotted with black spots.
  • There are some small black spots on it as well.
  • The mouth and the eyes have an orange color.
  • Chitala fish usually live up to 5–6 years in captivity, but some have been known to reach 12 years old.

Feed

Chitala fish farming is quite easy, as the fish mainly feed on silt, small insects, and organic matter in the water. Various types of small fish, shrimp, snail, and aquatic insects are the favorite feed of this freshwater fish.

So easily supply their food per Chitala will throw 6/7 tilapia fish. They are lay eggs and supply huge small fish. Chitala fish eat the small fish.  It is also appreciated for eating mosquito larvae and for its ability to survive in poor-quality water.

Breeding

In Chitala fish farming, the breeding season varies slightly with climate and geography. Their breeding period is April to July. They lay an egg at the new moon and the full moon night. Most species of Chitala breed in the monsoon season and produce nearly 300,000 eggs per kg body weight.

Spawn from females generates more profit than that from males. After laying the egg collection and put on the shower or running water in a small pond. However, it is difficult to collect them because they are often buried in nests or consumed by other fish. Therefore, artificial incubation is preferred by farmers.

In summary

In Chitala fish farming, the fish spend most of their time in the bottom of the pond. In Bangladesh, India, and other countries, many people sell the fish at local markets and earn a profit. Chitala fish farming is also practiced in other countries. For example, in Bangladesh, Chitala fish farming is done in many parts of the country.

It is one of the major sources of income for poor families that live there. In Nepal and India, Chitala is also used as food fish and is distributed to poor families who cannot afford to buy other fish. Research is underway to use selective breeding to improve the quality of Chitala in terms of growth rate and disease resistance.

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