Many catfish farmers are not always careful enough to interpret signs and activities of their stock. Every sign shown by your catfish has a unique meaning. An observant farmer will know what to do next through intelligent analysis of his stock activities.
Some activities of your fish could indicate satisfaction, while other activities might indicate the need to take an urgent action on their environment, feed, etc. However some signs must not be neglected because neglecting them could make you fail as a farmer in your chosen business. For instance, a sluggish movement in small fishes is abnormal and calls for urgent action to avoid unthinkable mortality rate. Many stocks of catfish, with great potential to grow very fast, have been underfed by farmers who will not observe the need to increase the daily supply of feed to their stock. To cut the long story short, there are five signs you, as a farmer, must not neglect in your catfish stock. Attending to them at the right time will save you a lot of stress and increase returns on your investment in catfish farming business. Below are five signs calling for an urgent attention in your catfish farm:
1. Catfishes Staying at feeding Spot all Day Long is an indication that your fishes are yet to be fed or they were certainly underfed. For farmers who depend on others to help them supervise their farm in their absence, feed intake records must be checked as soon as they return. This will help them see the need to increase feed supply to their stock to optimize the growth potential of their fishes. A well-fed catfish stock will spread out of their feeding spot as soon as they’ve had enough feed, indicating satisfaction. Therefore, it is not normal for your fish stock to remain at their feeding spot all day long; they are simply communicating to farmers who care to listen to feed them more.
2. Sluggish Movement in your old and new catfish stocks indicates all is not well with your fishes. At the beginning, an observant catfish farmer, who goes round her pond daily, may notice two or more fishes swimming slowly. If prompt action is not taken the whole stock may be affected by symptoms noticed earlier in few others. Fishes that move sluggishly on the surface of the water or that are resting at the bank of a pond are only informing the farmer of their sickness and need to be treated. For various kinds of treatments recommended for infected fishes, read more in my article on remedy to catfish mortality.
3. Surface Breathing in your catfishes indicates low level of oxygen in your pond water. This could be the result of overstocking and pollution leading to exhaustion of dissolved oxygen in the pond. It has been discovered that mature catfish can breathe in water as well as making use of atmospheric oxygen through a well developed respiratory system to meet oxygen needs for metabolic activities in its body. The respiratory system is not fully developed in small fishes and they may not be able to survive depleted water oxygen that can result in high mortality rate. Try as much as possible to restore the freshness of your pond water as soon as you notice surface breathing in your catfishes.
4. Restlessness in Catfish is a signal that something is wrong with your pond water, intrusion of certain internal and external predators, legal or illegal man interference, or early signs of infections. If you notice any form of restlessness in your ponds, you need to take steps as recommended in my article on restlessness in catfishes.
5. Reduction in Feed Consumptions is not in any way a plus to catfish farmers who care to maximize profit. Some farmers may not be bothered when there is a drastic reduction in the rate of their stock feed consumption. From experience, I have discovered factors that can lead to downward change in feed intake of your stock. Some of which are;
- Change in feed taste
- Change in water conditions
- Diseases and infections
- Change in prevailing weather condition
- And change in feeding time and pattern
There is a need to take a step if any of the ‘’change’’ mentioned above has caused drastic change in your catfish feed consumption rate. Change due to maturity may not really need a better action than sales. In the case of change in taste, it will be a matter of time before they adjust to their new feed. If fishes still do not respond well after some days, farmers may need to restore the old delicious taste they enjoy so much. Read more in my article on overfeeding and underfeeding.