Grass Carp Fish Farming Information

Grass Carp Fish Farming Commercially in 10 Steps

The grass carp was first introduced in Europe and the United States for aquatic weed control. The species of fish with the largest reported production in aquaculture globally, over 5704 thousand tons in 2018 (FAO) which about 10.5% of total fish production in the world.

The grass carp is a large herbivorous freshwater fish species native to eastern Asia also known as Asian carp. Its body stretched and cylindrical, round belly, measure length is up to 4.25 times of body height, and up to 4.5 times of head length.

Grass Carp Fish Farming
Grass Carp Fish; Image: indiamart.com

Grass carp fish farming began in the southern part of China in the areas of the Yangtze and Pearl Rivers. Compared to common carp its culture started much later. But success in accelerated breeding technology greatly promoted its farming. Now the fish has been introduced to more than 40 other countries (FAO). The main producing countries are China, Taiwan, Bangladesh, India, Iran, Laos, Russia, and Myanmar.

Grass Carp Fish Farming Business Guide

Grass carp fish farming commercially is not a new business idea at all. Though as a commercial fish farming grass carps farming started much later as compared to the common carp fish.

Today, commercial grass carp fish farming business is very common and getting popular also in many countries. In many countries, its farming commercially is increasing day by day as its growth rate is very high. Some countries like Bangladesh, China, India, Iran, and Russia are producing more than 100 tons of fish every year.

At present, various production systems are applied for grass carp fish farming in many countries to farm grass carp commercially. The major systems are semi-intensive and intensive culture in ponds, and pens and cages in open waters.

Grass carp fish farming moneymaking business has already been recognized as a lucrative business in some countries and areas, particularly in the South Asian countries such as Bangladesh, and India. And its commercial production is becoming popular gradually.

Grass Carp Fish Production from 2010-2018 (Thousand tonnes)

Grass Carp Fish Production
Grass Carp Fish Production; Data Source: FAO

How to Start Grass Carp Fish Farming

Generally starting grass carp fish farming is not too difficult but when you start commercial farming then you need to maintain some principles. For a successful fish farming business commercially you must flow a set of instructions to execute your fish farm properly, and smoothly.

We are trying to inform you more about starting grass carp fish farming business commercially.

1. Site Selection

At first, you have to select a very good site for starting your grass carp fish farming business commercially. The selected site must be free from noises and any other types of pollution. And also ensure availability of full sun while selecting the site with good soil quality for farming. The site also should be plane land and away from the flooded area. Though you can also start raising grass carp fish if your existing pond is suitable for that.

2. Pond Construction

Earthen or natural ponds are regarded as the best options for grass carp fish farming business. So as a beginner farmer, you need to construct a pond for starting grass carp fish farming business. A commercial fish farming earthen pond would be 200 sq. m. while the maximum size of the pond may be up to 1000 sq. m. Though modern instruments are applicable for grass carp farming, any types of smaller concrete or plastic tanks are not suitable for commercial grass carp farming.

Earthen Pond Construction
Earthen Pond Construction; Image: facebook.com

3. Pond Preparation

Pond preparation includes watering in the pond, greening the pond to preparing food for fish. As the grass carp fish are majorly fed on hydrophytes plant, so you have to prepare the pond absolutely and have to ascertain maximal hydrophytes plant production. For this purpose, you need to infertile the pond first by using lime in the proper amount. After using lime then dry up by sun for some days. Finally waters your pond and then apply both organic and inorganic fertilizers into it for accelerating natural food production in the pond.

4. Seed Collection

It is well known to all that if use the best fingerlings then you will get better output in fish farming. So collecting your fingerlings you must be considered such things as, collect initial fingerlings from specialized fingerling producers; avoid stocking stunted fingerlings; they will not grow well; stock it with fish of about 25 g at the rate of 5 fingerlings per sq. m.

Artificial generation is the major supply of seed for the culture of grass carp fish. Although natural seeds are still available in some rivers of China, and Halda River in Bangladesh the brood-stocks used for artificial propagation are generally raised in captivity from seeds from the wild or from breeding stations where good natural stocks are maintained.

5. Rearing the Fingerlings

The grass carp fingerlings are not suitable at all for stocking directly into the main pond. So to get better fish you need to raise them in the nursery pond first for a particular time. When they reach about 12-14 cm length then introduce them to the main pond.

6. Stocking in the Main Pond

The fingerlings become prepare for stocking up in the master pond when they reach about 12-14 cm length. The grass carp fish is in general stocked in the pond with other carp fish species as they are upper-level feed eater in the pond. The stocking compactness of grass carp fish with other fish species like Rui or other carp fishes can be up to 30,000 per acre.

7. Feed Supply

The grass carp fish can be reared with both natural and commercial food. They are normally fed on aquatic weeds and grasses. They prefer relatively low fertility. Production is mainly limited by water quality. In the case of feeding the fish with commercial feeds, the feeds are relatively low in protein (28%-30%) and their raw materials include soybean cake, rapeseed cake, and wheat bran. As they are herbivorous you can also collect aquatic weeds from natural water bodies for feeding your grass carp fish. Planetary grasses can be grown on the pond dyke naturally with organic manure, you can use it.

8. Harvesting

Selective and total harvesting both are practiced for harvesting grass carp fish. Selecting harvesting is generally conducted in the early morning due to temperatures are comparatively low and marketed immediately.

On the other hand, total harvesting is accomplished at the end of the culture period. And all the fish are harvested at the end of the year, either for restocking or for marketing for the next production cycle.

9. Marketing

Generally, harvesting depends on the market price, if the price is high then you have to collect fish and you may late for a little period to get a better price. The grass carp fish is in general marketed live and fresh in the market. So try to send the fish in the market instantly after harvesting.

10. Keeping Record

Keeping a record is very much necessary for fish farming. You may fail for the first time in any type of work, but the record will show you the way of success. So for a successful grass carp fish farming business commercially, keeping records is a must. You can easily forget if you do not write this information down properly. Records will help you to keep on schedule, figure out how much fish you have produced, and calculate profits. Authentic records will help you to compare results from year to year.