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September 14, 2014

How To Select Male And Female Catfish For Hatching


1. Choose only female fishes that weigh above 1kg.
2. Female fish should have a Well-rounded and soft abdomen.
3. Eggs, showing clearly the nucleus in the centre.
4. Genital opening is swollen and     sometimes reddish or rose in colour.
5. When pressing out the female eggs for “inspecting” choose only the female fish that have eggs that separate from each other and are golden in colour
6. Make sure that the outlet where the egg of the female fish will come out is slightly dark in colour.
7. Make sure that the tummy of the female fish slightly protrudes out, when placed flat-faced down


1. Choose only male fishes that weigh above 1kg.
2. No clear external symptoms to indicate the maturity
3. Elongated and slender in body shape
4. Swollen urogenital papilla
5. Make sure the male organ “crosses” and its pink at the dot end.

Criteria For Choosing Male And Female Fish Brood Stock For Spawning
It is not every female fish with bulging stomach that has ripe egg for hatchery. The best way to know is through the genital papilla. The genital papilla will be swollen, pinkish or brown in colour. With this, you will know it has mature eggs. Female catfish genital papilla is shorter than that of the male. Choose only male and female fishes that weigh above 1kg so that the fries will also grow very fast. Some fish hatchers use broodstock of less than 1kg which is not good because the fries may not to grow well. You may come across green eggs during stripping. They are also good but the golden/light brown eggs are better. Even better than the pure black ones. Milt size is not weight-dependent in males. Tiny milt has been seen in males above 4kg, so you should understand that it's not by size.

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Water Temperature and PH for Hatching Catfish In Nigeria

Optimal Temperature and pH For Fish Spawning

The optimum temperature recommended for rearing and conditioning brood fish for artificial propagation in Nigeria is 25°C. The eggs of a “ripe” female make up 15-20% of the body weight (i.e. a “ripe” female of 1 kg has about 150-200 g of “ripe” eggs). The Testis of a male catfish is fully developed at an age of 8 to 12 months once they reach a weight of approximately 200g. Sperm could be obtained the whole year round and no effect of temperature on the availability of sperm has been recorded.

The ideal P.H of any water for spawning should be 6.5 to 7.  I will advise that you check the P.H of your water using a testing kit to ascertain the P.H level.

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September 13, 2014

Problems Of Fraudulent Fish Buyers

Beware of some fish buyer's tricks to rip you off you hard earned money and profit. There was this friend of mine who wanted to sell his grow-out fishes and some people from Ibadan came to Lagos to buy. They were using their sack to pack the fishes and weighing it in plastic container. In a very big pond, they claimed to have just weighed 305kg. My friend was very furious that he stocked more than 1000 fishes and most of them are between 0.6kg to 1kg. Something must have gone wrong. When I got there, I offered to bring another scale so that we can weigh it again and clear the air. To my greatest surprise, before I return from where I went to bring the scale, they had gone with their bus, only for us to later realize that they have gone with some fishes as a result of the misunderstanding that ensued later.

After we re-weighed the remaining fishes, we got 511kg. Mind you, there were 2 people monitoring the scale initially and it is only weighed fishes that is taken to their bus. If they had no skeleton in their cupboard, they should have waited for us to re-weigh since they came from a long distance. Fellow farmers, we should be very careful with this buyers, they can also be diabolic sometimes and tricky.

* Do not allow anyone to harvest your fish with their sack
* Have good idea of what you have in your pond before you start selling
* Use a container that you have good idea of what the quantity and weight should be
* Be prayerful, careful, watchful and smart.
* Do not allow any buyer/anyone use powder or do unwarranted makeup or do anything funny in your farm
* Ensure that you have enough people on farm if you are selling large quantity
* Attend to 1 buyer at a time
* Don't let the buyers rush you or put you under pressure


Do you have any problem with fish buyers recently? Share.

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September 12, 2014

Common Signs Of Fish Diseases Defined

Flashing - Scratching on decorations, plants, or substrate, usually at the gill area.

Gasping - Excessively deep inhalations. Gill plates may be flared, and/or gill rakers may appear pink, violet, or red. Often fish are seen gasping air at the surface of the water when there is a problem.

Head and Lateral Line Erosion - Lesions which appear on and around the head and lateral line of the fish.

Lethargy - Loss of energy. Lethargic fish may often be seen literally lying on the bottom of the tank, or floating listlessly at the surface. Any sensory stimulus provokes little response.

- Rather self-explanatory. Fish seem jittery. They dart often. They may swim non-stop around the tank. They may jump frantically at the surface of the tank. Normally sedate or gentle fish may suddenly become aggressive towards neighbors.

Shimmy - Basically a repeated horizontal wiggle (from side-to-side). Usually accompanied by clamped fins.

Septicemia - Bleeding on the skin or fins caused by small but profuse vascular eruptions(broken veins). Usually appears as red streaks, or pink/red patches.

Spinning - Fish swimming in circles with their bodies curled. They seem confused, and often swim directly into objects. This kind of swimming if often a sign of brain trauma.

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Why Your Fish Need Quality Feed and Supplement

Quality foods and supplements can make a difference in the quality of their lives. No single food can provide all of the nutrients your fish need - protein, lipids, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals - in the forms each species prefer. Thus, the key to good feeding is variety. Use of a staple diet, a supplemental diet, and vitamin and nutritional supplements as needed will ensure your fish receives all the nutrients necessary for good health. Also, because fish enjoy a spectrum of tastes and textures, variety enhances the quality of their lives.

When are vitamin and mineral supplements needed?
One of the key benefits of vitamins and minerals is that they are stress fighters. Whenever you suspect your fish might be stressed, it is a good idea to use them. For example, if you are about to add new fish, do an pond renovation, or move, the use of supplements will help your fish better weather the stress.

Why do I need to use supplemental diet?
Two reasons:
1. Nutrition - Good commercial fish diets are the most complete foods available, and the easiest to use, but they are not perfect. They may not offer the nutrients found in live or frozen foods. A balanced diet should include staple processed food, as well as freeze-dried, live, and/or frozen foods.

2. Variety - In the wild, fish eat a variety of foods to get all of the nutrients they require. In your pond, your goal should be to replicate this experience. Providing a range of staple, fresh, and supplemental foods improves fish nutrition, and the quality of their lives. AquaPro and Livestovit are common examples of vitamin and mineral supplements available in Nigeria.

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