Yes, mobile ponds are the next big thing in fish farming in Nigeria. The mobile ponds are either called tarpaulin fish ponds or catfish mobile fish ponds. These mobile ponds are gradually becoming the trend for fish farming in Nigeria.
This mobile ponds can be set up anywhere from home gardens to office roofs to backyards of point-and-kill restaurants to schools, literally anywhere!
How can you identify the best mobile fish ponds in Nigeria? What makes a mobile fish pond that lasts? How can you get the best from your tarpaulin mobile fish ponds?
This is one of the most important factors in the mobile or tarpaulin pond. Frames are the structures used to support the liner of the pond.
The pond liner is what you call tarpaulin. The frame of a pond can be either from galvanized iron, wood (different grades), PVC pipes or blocks and cement.
I use all of them for different projects and each is suited to a specific type of project- either grow out fishes, hatchery or broodstock ponds. Iron sounds like the obvious strongest, but the strongest might not be the ‘best’.
Did you know that though the elephant is touted as one of the strongest animals on earth, the turtle can outlive it by over 50 years? You want a mobile pond that lasts right? The frames determine the lifespan of your mobile pond. Choose wisely on your choice of frames.
2. Inner Fibre:
There are different grades of tarpaulin that is used for mobile ponds. Some are referred to as high-density polyethene whilst some are called reinforced fish pond fibre tarpaulin.
The ones that last the most are not identified by colour, or by thickness, but by the quality of fibre that is within the material.
The inner fibre is a thick wire mesh that is embedded within the tarpaulin, it gives it its thickness and strength. All the liners used by Asher ponds are reinforced and guaranteed for 10 years.
I send my mobile fish pond liners to all over Nigeria and other African countries such as Ghana, Benin and Togo. I even send catfish Juveniles as well!
3. Drainage System:
This is a tricky part. Some mobile ponds drain by exit valves, whilst others drain with a pull out chamber system. I have used both and I would say if both are fixed appropriately, you have no problem with either one.
The only advantage of the chamber drainage system over the exit valve system is that the chamber system drains faster. This might be a disadvantage in a non-secured location. I still use both for different projects.
The exit valves are definitely better for hatcheries and smaller ponds whilst the chambers are for larger ponds.
Mobile ponds do better under shade. Yes, it is not compulsory and there are tricks to counter it, but there is a reason for roofs for even car garages. Ponds need protection too from the weather elements.
Though rain would not affect the reinforced tarpaulin fibre, the rain can affect the frames. This is even more necessary if the height of the pond is not up to 4 feet. Consequently, the water level would not be up to 3 feet, allowing the sun rays to penetrate the water and can cause heat stress for the fishes.
Another great tip is to always leave water inside your pond. From experience, we discovered that rats or animals will not eat into your pond liner if there is water inside.
Empty mobile fish ponds are more susceptible to wind movements, falling and other issues.
Whilst it is good to maintain a clean environment for your fish, be wary of using chemicals, soap and other reagents in washing your pond.
Salt remains the simple best substance to wash your pond with. A scrub (not coarse) or foam and some salt is all that is needed to wash your pond.
A little algae or green around the sides of your pond show that it is a habitable environment that supports life, it is not an excuse to go and buy every chemical to wash or scrub it away.
I personally don’t think frequent washing of a pond is a good idea. You disturb the fishes and change their environment, and then you wonder why they are sick?
A good fish farm shouldn’t use drugs. Yes, I said it!
6. Keep Sharp objects away from your pond. Do I need to tell you that?
If you are just starting your fish farm project, you can find some helpful tips here.