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July 26, 2014

Guidelines For Safe Handling, Movement And Transportation Of Fish

• Stop feeding your fish one to two days prior to moving them.
• Handle fish only during the cool parts of the day, preferably early in the morning.
• Use seines and dipnets manufactured from the softest netting material possible to minimize abrasion to your fish.
• Periodically inspect your tubs, dipnets, buckets, and other fish handling equipment to be sure there are no sharp edges or corners that can injure the fish.
• Keep fish in water during all stages of moving from one place to another.
• Do not crowd the fish too closely in seines, dip nets, tubs, or transport tanks.
• Move fish to their next location as quickly as possible; do not leave tubs or buckets of fish out on the pond bank for a long time,especially on hot days.
• When putting the fish into a pond, take some time to equalize the water temperature in the transfer container (plastic bag, bucket, tub, etc.) with that of the pond water. This can be done by floating the transfer container in the pond water for approximately 15 minutes prior to releasing the fish.
• You can also gradually mix the pond water into the transfer container; this has the advantage of equalizing not only the water temperatures but also other water chemistry differences that may exist.
• Whenever possible, provide a spray or gentle flow of clean, fresh water to fish that are crowded together during handling.
• Clean all of your fish handling equipment thoroughly after each use. This can be done by thoroughly rinsing it in clean water, picking all debris, fish, or other materials out of it, and drying it briefly in the sun. This helps preserve your equipment and minimize the spread of fish diseases.

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The Four Fixes OF Fish Feeding

• Fixed feed quality: Feed should be fresh and palatable with a high nutritive value. Spoiled food should be thrown out to prevent disease.
• Fixed feed quantity: Fish should be provided with a fixed amount of feed every day. Uneven feeding causes poor digestion, poor absorption, and slow growth..
• Fixed feeding time: Feeding should be around 10:00 am and 4:00 pm.
• Fixed feeding location: Feed should be given at the same place at each feeding, e.g., on a feeding platform.

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Fish Feeding Pattern: How To Feed Your Fish

Some of the ways fish feed can be offered to fish include:
• Broadcast the feed into the water as you walk along the pond bank.
• Place the feed on a feeding platform or table under the water.
• Use a demand feeder, which releases fish food when the fish bump a lever.
• Use an automatic feeder, which releases or broadcasts feed at predetermined times.
• Neither the demand feeder nor the automatic feeder requires that an attendant be present at feeding time, but both need to be refilled regularly and periodically checked to be sure they are operating properly. A benefit of feeding by hand is that the feeder has the opportunity to observe how well the fish are feeding, as well as how fast they are growing. Healthy fish usually eat enthusiastically, and any deviation from enthusiastic eating suggests a problem may be developing.

The following are some reasons why fish such as Catfish may not feed as well as expected.
• The water is too cold.
• The dissolved oxygen level is too low.
• The fish may have died.
• The fish are ill.
• The feed is very heavy and sinks so fast you do not see the fish eating it.

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When To Feed Your Fish: Time Patterns

Keep the following points in mind while deciding when to feed your fish each day:
• Fish like Tilapias have small stomachs and often browse all day long.
• The best time to provide supplementary feed is between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when the water temperature and dissolved oxygen are reasonably high.
• It is advisable to feed from the same position and time each day for each pond. The fish soon learn when and where they can expect a good meal.
• The feeder must be a reliable and dedicated person.

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How Much Feed Do I Give My Fish?

You must know how many fish you have in your pond to properly calculate how much feed to give them. You will have a good idea of the number of fish present if you properly prepare the pond for stocking, know how many fish were stocked, and make frequent observations of the pond to know whether or not fish have died.
• The daily feed amounts can be fed all at once or divided into two equal portions given in the morning and in the evening.
• For better feeding efficiency, weigh a representative sample of your fish every second week, using their actual weight to determine the amount to feed rather than an assumed weight.
In the beginning throw out small amounts of feed at a specific time of the day and observe the response. After the fish have accepted the prepared feed and learned when and where they will receive it they should become very enthusiastic feeders. Normally fish take about 15 minutes to consume the food.
You should be prepared to reduce the amount fed per day when one or more of the following occur:
• Fish are clearly not consuming their normal amounts of feed
• Water temperatures are noticeably higher than normal for the time of year
• Dissolved oxygen levels are low 
All of the above may occur simultaneously when you are nearing the end of a production cycle, especially if the planned harvest time is during the hot months.

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