Trout Farm and the Potential
Trout is a type of freshwater fish and are closely related to salmon. These fish are used as an important food source that rich protein content. Due to its benefit, these fish is usually cultivated in trout farm. Trout farming creates employment and hence helping people to earn a steady income. In places or areas where employment is rare, trout farming is a great way to earn money.
If you are interested in building a fish farming project, you need to learn everything about the fish you are going to cultivate. Fish farming is not only about fish cultivation, but there are also a lot of processes that you need to go through before leading to cultivation. In this article, we are going to discuss in detail everything you need to know before you start building the trout farm.
Type of Trout Fishes
There is a lot of type of trout available, however, the most common one or the most widely known species are the Brown Trout, Lake Trout. Sea Trout, and Brook Trout. Here are some of the important details of the species mentioned before.
1. Brown Trout
Brown trout originates from Europe and West Asia. This fish can grow up to 100cm and 20 kg, although the normal adult size in the wild is only around 1-2 kg. The maximum age of this fish is 8 years old.
2. Lake Trout
Similar to Brown Trout, Lake Trout also only weight 1-2 kg in the wild but can grow up to 140cm and 50 kg when cultivated in trout fish farm tanks. Its maximum age only reaches 7 years old.
3. Sea Trout
This type of fish can grow up to 140 cm in length and 50 kg weight. This fish can live longer than the two previously mentioned fishes, which is 38 years old.
4. Brook Trout
This fish originates from Canada and the USA. It can grow up to 86 cm with 9,89 kg weight. It reaches its maximum age at 24 years old.
5. Rainbow Trout
The normal adults can weight around 2 to 3 kg in the wild, but when raised right, they can reach 25.4 kg and with total lengths of 120 cm.
Necessary Condition for Rainbow Trout Aquaculture
To ensure that trout fish can grow well and thrive, it needs a specific condition. Be it raising trout in a pond or raising trout in tanks, these four conditions should be met at optimal or at least near-optimal rate.
1. Water pH
Uniquely, trout has different tolerance of pH level during every growth phases of their life. When they are still in the form of embryo and fry, the optimal pH is between 6.5 and 8. However, when they reach the swim-up fry and until adult phase, they have wider pH ranges tolerance, between 6 and 8.5.
2. Water Temperature
The optimal water temperature for trout to grow also differ depending on their growth phase. During the fertilized egg to swim up fry, the optimal temperature is between 7-18oC. However, when they reach the swim-up fry to adult fish, the optimal water temperature raised between 7-20oC.
Make sure you set the water temperature at the optimal range or at least at near optimal. Temperature changes highly impact on these fishes’ feeding behavior. When the water temperature increase, their feeding behavior also increases. However, upon reaching above 18oC, their feeding behavior drastically decreases and even stops. Therefore, to ensure that the fish eat optimally and to support their best growth, the optimum temperature in general for these fishes fall between 13oC and 15oC.
3. Dissolved Oxygen Content
Dissolved oxygen content in water is important to ensure that all living creatures in water are capable of respiration, and this is especially important to understand when you are starting a fish farm. Similar to the other two conditions above, dissolved oxygen content required for rainbow trout fish farm is also different depending on their growth phase.
For the younger group of fish, especially during eggs and first fry stage development, the optimal dissolved oxygen content ranges between 5 and 6 mg/liter. However, once the fishes get older the acceptable dissolved oxygen content ranges from 4 to 5 mg/liter.
4. Water Supply
Trout needs to live in fresh, clean water and rich of oxygen especially if they are living in a trout farm. Therefore, fish farm tank constantly needs a supply of fresh water. During the eggs and developing fry stage, they need 0.25-2.5 litres/min of fresh water per 10.000 eggs or developing fry. While during fry rearing, they need 1.25 litres/min of water for 1,000 fry initially, but during the end, they will need 3.5-4,5 litres/min of water.
Once the fish reaches the fingerlings stage, they will need 3.5-4,5 litres/min of water for 1,000 fingerlings at the beginning, and when nearing the end of that stage, their need of fresh water supply increase to 10-14 litres/min. When the fish are on the rearing of adult phase, they will need 10-14 litres/min at the beginning and increased about 67-95 litres/min for 1,000 adult fish.
The above details are suitable if you are using fish farming tanks. However, you need to readjust the amount of water if you are using earth ponds instead of your fish farming at home. For earth pond, you need to change the water maximum 4-5 times per day. However, changing the water 1-2 times per day are usually sufficient enough.
Trout are sold in any forms, and each has its own advantages and disadvantages. Before you decide to start your trout farm, find out what is your expected production goal. Here is the detail you need to know before deciding and, choose one that most suitable for you.
1. Eyed egg
If you are a beginner in this fish farming, then it is not recommended to make an eyed egg as your production goal. That is because there are a lot of requirements to become a trout eyed-egg seller. Not only must the eggs be in their best quality, but also because eyed eggs are sold in certain specific quantity from brood fish farms. Additionally, trout breeding and hatching fishes require high fish farming techniques which can only be obtained through training.
If you want fry production instead, you can start from fertilized egg or buying the eyed eggs instead. However, if you are a true beginner in this field, then directly buying the eyed-eggs are a better option.
Fingerling is easier to manage and sell, although you may still discover some downsides in this type of production. Sometimes your fingerlings can be too small while the farmers need a larger one. However, trout fingerling can be placed separately, or together with adult production farm. Therefore, it will save you some space to create trout culture.
4. Table Fish
Next, producing table fish or adult fish instead, are the easier option of all. These options are divided into two processes, rearing them from fry or fingerling.
Necessary Trout Farming Equipment
Trout farming requires some necessary equipment for better and proper fish maintenance. These are some of the necessary equipment you are going to need for your trout farm.
1. Hatching trays
This device is important for the incubation process of the trout eggs as well as sac fry. Usually, the bottom part of the trays is made of sieve material where the eggs and sac fry rest. Under the tray, freshwater will keep flowing to ensure that the eggs and sac fry receive the necessary amount of water to keep them alive. One tray of about 0,2m2 is used to incubate 10,000 eggs and sac fry. However, once they grow into swim-up fry, they will need 5 times larger space with 0.5m of water depth.
2. Tanks or Ponds
You will need several tanks or ponds for your fish farming business. If you are building a large scale fish farming, then earth pond or concrete tanks should be sufficient. However, if you are trying a small scale fish farming, a fish farming pond should be enough. Although you are choosing smaller ponds, make sure to keep the quality as your first consideration. For high-quality trout farm ponds, you can visit reliable pond and tank store such as fishfarmtank.com.
As previously mentioned, trout fish requires a good flow of freshwater. Therefore, you will go to have pumps ready as well. These pumps work by filling the ponds with fresh water, and when the growing cycle coming to an end the pump will drain the pond and send these used water into the recycling pool. In the recycling pool, the water will be cleaned from any impurities before sending the cleaned water back to the fish pond.
4. Aeration Devices
While the pump is necessary to keep the water fresh and clean, aeration device is important to provide adequate oxygen supply in the water. With this device, you can place a lot more fishes in a smaller space and you don’t need to worry about the oxygen supply. With this device, you can even place your trout farm tanks inside a building.
5. Seine Reels
Next equipment for trout farm is seine reels that will help you to collect fishes when it is time to harvest them. The seine will sinks to the bottom of the pond, and then using a tractor power, the reel will gather the fish and move them to sort or grading equipment. Of course, these automatic devices will be necessary if you are establishing a large-scale trout fish farming. But if you are working with a small scale fish farming, this device would not be necessary.
6. Feed Supply
Another thing you need to pay attention to is feed supply. Live feeds make a good source of nutrients, however, it can be difficult to get them. Fortunately, nutritious pellets are available nowadays in various pet or farming stores. There are many kinds of pellets available and are categorized based on their life stages. These pellets nowadays are modified to contain the necessary nutrients needed for any growth stage.
Hand feeding is perfect for small fishes or when you have smaller-scale trout farm. However, the larger scale of the trout farm may need mechanical feeders to make sure that the fish are feed regularly. These feeders usually provided with a timer so you can set the machine to feed the fishes at certain intervals of time.
Possible Disease Affecting Trout Fish
Various diseases and parasites can affect these fishes in the trout farm, especially if they are not kept in good condition. Here are some of the possible trout disease.
Symptoms of this disease include reddening fins, boils around the body, tissues die, and infection on pectoral fins. This disease is caused by a bacterium and can be solved with antibiotics mixed with fish food.
When your fish seems to lose their appetite, reddened or bleeding around mouth and gills, they are probably suffering from Vibriosis. This disease highly increases mortality but can be solved with an antibiotic. You can also give them a vaccine for extra protection.
3. Bacterial kidney disease
You will see white lesions in the kidney and sometimes accompanied by bleeding from kidneys and liver. They will swim close to the surface and may appear darker. This disease is caused by bacteria and can be solved with antibiotics mixed with fish food.
4. Bacterial gill disease
This disease is also caused by bacteria and can make the gills swell and reddened. It may even be massed together and will block the gill function over time. If you see your fish with these symptoms, bath them with bacteriocide. Also, make sure to always filter your pond water regularly.
5. Infective Pancreatic Necrosis
This disease is caused by a virus and can be deadly for trout fishes. The symptoms include erratic swimming, and they eventually swim to the bottom of the tank before finally dying. Unfortunately, there is no cure for this disease. The only thing you can do is removing the infected fish to prevent infecting other fish stock.
There are a lot of things to learn about when you want to try trout fish farming. Start to learn from their biology, habit, living environment, and everything that you will need to raise them. Once you learn everything about how to raise trout and how to create a trout farm, the next thing you should prepare is a fish farming business plan.