Silver carp fish farming is very common in countries and regions where it is available. It is a very fast growing freshwater fish species and very suitable for commercial production. Actually, the silver carp fish farming business is very popular in the South Asian countries.
Silver carp is actually a freshwater cyprinid fish species. It is an Asian carp variety and native to China and eastern Siberia. By weight more silver carp fish are produced worldwide in aquaculture than any other species of fish, except the grass carp fish.
Silver carp fish generally live in temperature range between 6°C and 28°C. And they generally require static or slow-flowing water. Although they can survive in climates of most of the South Asian countries.
Silver carp fish farming is generally done in polyculture with other Asian carp fish species, or sometimes with Rui, Catla, Mrigal or other freshwater carp fish species. Today, the silver carp fish is available in most of the countries around the world. Although, in some areas it is considered as an invasive fish species.
The silver carp fish was imported to the North America in the 1970s for controlling algae growth in aquaculture and municipal wastewater treatment facilities. But soon after their importation, they escaped from captivity.
However, commercial silver carp fish farming is very profitable, and these fish grow faster than other carp fish species. Generally, the silver carp fish reaches an average length of 0.6 to 1 meter with a maximum length of 1.4 meter. And the fish can reach a maximum body weight of around 50 kg.
Advantages of Silver Carp Fish Farming
There are some advantages of starting silver carp fish farming business. Most notable advantages of starting commercial silver carp fish farming business are mentioned below.
- The silver carp fish is herbivorous and low in the food chain. It feeds and fertilizers are therefore easily available at very low cost.
- The seeds are readily available from artificial breeding without reliance on natural resources.
- Production management is simpler and the farming period is shorter than for other carp fish species.
- The silver carp fish can be polycultured with some other carp fish species, mainly due to it’s specific habitat.
- The fish grows faster and reach marketing weight earlier than most other fish species.
How to Start Silver Carp Fish Farming Business
Starting commercial silver carp fish farming business is very easy. You can start raising this fish commercially without prior experience. Survivability rate is much higher and these fishes can be fed on very low quality feeds. And they grow faster than many other carp fish species. However, here we are trying to describe more information about starting and operating a commercial silver carp fish farming business.
First of all, you have to select a very good site for starting silver carp fish farming business. The selected site has to be free from all types of noises and pollution. And it will be very good if the selected site is far from the residential areas. Because land prices are much higher in the residential areas. Although you can start commercial silver carp fish farming business if you already have ponds. Also consider the availability of full sun while selecting the site.
Pond Construction & Size
You have to build a pond after selecting a good site. Earthen or natural ponds are considered good for starting silver carp fish farming business. Concrete, plastic or other types of artificial ponds are not good for raising this fish. So, we recommend constructing earthen pond.
And it will be better for commercial silver carp fish farming business if the pond size is at least one acre. Although you can raise the fish in your existing ponds.
You have to prepare the pond before filling it with water and stocking fish into it. You have to apply both organic and inorganic fertilizers into the pond for stimulating natural food production. And apply lime for sterilizing the pond.
The application doases of lime, organic and inorganic fertilizers depends on the farming intensity and inherent productivity. Please contact with of your nearest aquaculture specialist or any fisheries institute for more information regarding this.
The silver carp fish seeds are readily available from artificial breeding, without reliance on natural resources. And there are many hatcheries available in the areas where silver carp fish culture is common. So, you can easily collect fingerlings from any of your nearest hatcheries.
Rearing the Fingerlings
The culture of fingerlings requires special care, because the fingerlings are small and delicate. Their feeding ability is weak and they do not adapt well to changes in external environment. And they are not expert in avoiding predators.
So, well-controlled intensive systems are necessary for maximizing survival rate and for raising healthy fingerlings. You have to raise the fingerlings in the nursery pond for 20 to 30 days. And then stock into the main pond when they reach around 8 to 12 cm body length.
Stocking in the Main Pond
You can stock the fingerlings into the main pond/s when they reach between 8 and 12 cm body length. Silver carp fish is generally stocked with other carp fish species. And a total stocking density along with other fish species can be 25,000 to 30,000 fish per acre. Please consult with an aquaculture specialist in your area for having better recommendation.
Generally the silver carp fish are phytoplankton feeders, consuming diatoms, dinoflagellates, golden brown algae, green algae, yellow green algae and blue green algae. In addition, detritus, rotifers, conglomerations of bacteria and small crustaceans are major components of their natural diet. And there are no need to provide formulated feed in silver carp fish farming business. Although you will need to supply supplementary fish feeds if you want faster growth of the fish and stock fish in higher densities.
The silver carp is a very fast growing fish species and they reach harvesting size pretty earlier. You can expect good growth and harvestable size within one year. Although, you can start harvesting when the fish reaches your desired size.
You can harvest the fish from the pond by using fishing nets. Actually you should harvest the fish based on the size and also depending on the market demand and price.
The silver carp fish are generally bought live and fresh in the market. So it is essential to keep them alive from harvesting to marketing. So trucks, boats or other vehicles containing water are basically used as transportation tools in most areas. So, try to send the fish in the market as early as possible after harvesting.
The production costs for silver carp fish farming business vary from place to place depending on many factors such as labor costs, farming facilities, water, seed, feed, power and transport. But on average, commercial silver carp fish farming business is highly profitable and you will be able to make good profit within a very short period of time. The ROI (return on investment) ratio is also very high. Good luck & may God bless you!