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Warm Fresh Water Fish (Tilapia, African Catfish, Channel Catfish, Pangasius, Carp)

What’s important for warm water fresh fish?  

  • High water quality 
  • Appropriate location and stocking densities
  • Optimal dissolved oxygen levels
  • Sourcing strong fingerlings
  • Stable environmental conditions  
  • Correct water temperature and salinity levels
  • Optimal light levels (if farming tilapia)

Common challenges 

 For tilapia: 

  • Sustainable farming methods: As one of the top-produced species in aquaculture, which is quickly increasing in production, this fish must be farmed sustainably and protected from disease.
  • Streptococcus disease: The most important bacteria affecting warm water fish like tilapia. Poor water conditions can unbalance water temperatures and lead to streptococcal outbreaks.  
  • Other bacterial diseases: Common culprits are Columnaris and Aeromonas. Negative effects of bacteria are amplified by overcrowding and poor nutrition. Some of the signs include external lesions on the gills or damage to the gills. Less recognizable are bacterial infections that can potentially reach the blood system.    

For catfish: 

  • Low productivity: Often due to environmental factors like oxygen levels, nutrient intake and ammonia. 
  • Low uniformity: Size variations often occur when stocked in higher densities.
  • Cannibalism: Often occurs among the group and can be common in high densities.  

For pangasius: 

  • Fingerling nutrition: This can be due to a lack of natural feed and the size of the larvae's mouth being smaller than available natural feed in the pond. 
  • Fingerling diseases: Commonly caused by bacteria, such as Edwardsiellla ictaluri, Aeromonas hydrophila and F. columnare.
  • Mortality rate in the first month after stocking: Caused by a change in environment from fingerling farm to a commercial farm, transportation-related stress and disease. 
  • Edwardsiellla ictaluri bacteria: Often related to the density of alluvium in water, which can lead to septicemia and fatalities.

For carp:

  • Maintaining water quality: Optimal water quality is required for health and performance. Accumulation of silt and organic material can be high and must be managed correctly.
  • Disease control: Production of carp is often in natural habitats, which can lead to challenges with temperature fluctuations. In high stocking densities, disease can spread faster. A severe influx of pathogens can lead to high mortality rates.

Tips for maximizing health and performance 

  • Optimize feed and water quality 
  • Reduce stocking density (to prevent cannibalism and stress) 
  • Minimize stress during transportation 
  • Improve gut health 
  • Formulate stress-resistant nutrients in feed to help enhance immunity 
  • Utilize correct aerations technology to aid and improve the dissolving of oxygen in the water
  • Apply correct feeding levels (just below satiation)