Grass carp farming is very easy and profitable. The Grass Carp also referred to as the Khangbaek in Korean and Baishou in Japanese, has been introduced into North America for use as an ornamental and game fish.
A person needs to prepare the farm and seed it with grass carp. The grass carp is a species of freshwater fish native to China, Japan and Korea, and Asia. Once the carp are matured, they need to be removed from the pond and sold to a fish farmer for fattening.
After the fish are fattened, they can be taken back for market sale or kept in ponds all year round and harvested when required. A system of pond cultivation will be specially designed for grass carp farming. The pond should be fenced with good quality nipa fence to protect them from predators.
How to identify grass carp?
Some grass carp have a dark body color with a brown stripe down the side and others have a lighter color body with clear fins. Here are some simple ways to identify them:
- Look at the shape of their mouth. Grass carp have a long, rather slim body and head with a broad, rounded snout.
- Compare their scales. Grass carp have large scales which are shaped like diamonds in comparison to the scales of silver and big-scale carp, which are shaped like rhomboids.
- Look at their eyes. Grass carp have relatively small eyes when compared to silver and big-scale carp, both of which have relatively large eyes.
Best 10 benefits of grass carp farming
2. Low investment,
3. Low pollution,
4. High nutrition,
5. Easy to breed,
6. Wide range of breeding and feeding grounds,
7. High living standards for fish and farmers alike,
8. Rich in micronutrients and health-enhancing ingredients such as omega-3 fatty acids; proteins; minerals; vitamins etc.
9. Low feed cost.
10. High profit.
Grass carp farming in Kerala
Grass carp is one of the exotic species cultured in India. This giant fish is sold in the market under different names such as silverfish, white amur, black amur, white grass carp, and so on. As per the information collected through the district fishery management committee network, this exotic species is commonly found in the Wayanad and Kozhikode districts of Kerala.
This fish species was introduced in Kerala during the early 1980s by the Government of Kerala. At present, it is cultivated in about 25 private ponds in these two districts.
How to Start Grass Carp Fish Farming?
Here are some basic steps to help you get started:
Grass carp, among the most adaptable of carp, thrive in warmer climates and can live in fresh or brackish water. Because they can tolerate a wide range of water conditions, they are an ideal choice for both freshwater and saltwater systems.
Pond preparation & Size
The size of your pond should not be larger than 20 ft. x 20ft. x 10ft. The capacity may be increased by water lilies or floating plants to improve the aesthetics of your pond.
A good concrete fence must be installed to prevent the escape of grass carp into other ponds and ranches, or they may cheat on your property and get out into neighboring farms where they can damage livestock.
Water plantings are very important because grass carp like to graze on aquatic plants throughout the day. To ensure productivity, the pond should be in a relatively high basin.
Seed Collection & Breeding Season
Grass carp are easy to breed, however, for successful breeding, the eggs must be raised till they hatch. The eggs are enclosed within the female immediately after fertilization; the female then ejects them into the water where they remain until hatching.
The breeding season of grass carp fish is from March to September, but the best time is from the middle of May to June and October, breeding at last when the water temperature is about 25-30 ℃. Because grass carp is a tropical fish and has a high-temperature requirement, it is difficult to breed in winter under natural conditions in Korea.
The pond should be provided with three to five different kinds of aquatic plants such as water Lilly, water lotus, water caltrops, lehenga, and any soft grass. These grass carp fish commonly used food is grass and algae. The fish can live in either a marine or freshwater environment.
Grass carp can be fed live fish and crumbles of wetted rice. The fish can be fed in the morning, afternoon, and evening. Live fish should be provided daily for three to five days. The live fish should be increased gradually as needed.
Harvesting time is important for grass carp because the fish are usually harvested and processed in the winter. Some farmers have been successful at taking their grass carp to market as early as late September and early October. Selecting harvesting is generally conducted in the early morning and marketed immediately.
You can market the grass carp directly from your ranch within the same area. At times, grass carp farmers may line up at a fish market, and other times they might be able to have their market. In any case, you must maintain excellent relations with the dealer and receive top prices for your fish.
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