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FISH SEED PRODUCTION & CULTIVABLE FISH SPECIES WITH FISH CUM DUCK FORMING
India's Freshwater Fish
The economic importance of Indian aquatic ecosystems can be seen from their
contribution to fishery production.
Fish Seed Production
In past years the major source of fish seeds was wild collection. Seed was collected
from natural water resources after breeding season and used as stocking material.
These seed were of low quality and mixed with wild species of fishes. There was
another problem related to quantity of seed, required amount of seed was not
available, so the development of seed production technologies started in early years of
the 16th century.
In order to bring all the available effective water spread area under scientific fish
culture with optimum stocking density, 368.5 million fingerlings shall be required
every year. This would demand seed production of 4865 million spawn and 1216
million fry every year. The total average seed supply is only 30% of estimated seed
In Haryana is February-March every year where as the breeding season of other
species is monsoon season. Brood stocks of required fish are maintained and sex-
wise segregate is made two month before. The pairing is made and injected with
calculated dose of pituitary gland or ova prim, ova tide or ovpal is injected to male
and female fish. Within the 6-8 hours of the injection eggs from female and sperm
from male are released in the water. The fertilizer is external. Normally one kg fish
releases about one lakh eggs. The hatchlings are known as spawn. The spawn is reared
in the nursery pond. After 15 days, the spawn attains the size of 25 mm and ready for
stocking in the pond. More than 50 lakh fry can be produced per hectare fish seed
farm in both the seasons in a year.
Criteria for selection of suitable fish species
Adaptability to undrainable pond environment
Faster growth rate
Efficient utilizers of natural food resources of the pond
Efficient converter of artificial feed
Hardy and not easily susceptible to disease
Easy to breed and rear the seed
Prolonged breeding period or multiple breeding frequency
Non-predaceous, planktophagous and preferably herbivorous and detritus feeder
Compatability with other cultivable species of fish
Palatable with high nutritive value
High market demand and high price.
Groups of Freshwater Species
Indian freshwater fish species are grouped below into:
Indigenous major carps
Hill stream fishes
INDIGENOUS MAJOR CARPS
"Major" carps are larger and faster-growing than the "minor" carps.
Catla catla: Found on the surface of lakes, ponds, tanks, reservoirs, and other bodies of
Lebeo rohita: Found in the column (that is, at various depths) in lakes, ponds, tanks,
reservoirs, and other bodies of water.
Cirrhinus mrigala: Found at the bottom of lakes, ponds, tanks, and reservoirs.
Lebeo bata: Found at the bottom of bodies of water.
Labeo calbasu: Found at the bottom of bodies of water.
Catla (Catla Catla or Gibelion Catla), also known as the major (Indian) carp, is an
economically important South Asian freshwater fish in the carp family Cyprinidae. It
is commonly found in rivers and lakes in northern India, Nepal, Myanmar,
Bangladesh and Pakistan. Catla is a fish with large and broad head, a large protruding
lower jaw and upturned mouth. It has large, greyish scales on dorsal side and whitish
on belly. It has broad and stout body, broad head with upturned mouth, prominent
lips and elongated fins. The dorsal side of the body is more concave than ventral side.
It occurs in surface water. It matures by second year. Slender fish, Body is silvery but
dark gray along its back.
This fish is commonly called rohu. In Hindi it is called rehu (rawas is the Indian
Salmon, which is quite different). It is called rohi in Oriya, rui in Bengali, rehu in Latin
Nepali (now deceased), rou in Assamese and Sylheti, rohu itself in Madhesh
of Nepal as well as in Thailand, Bangladesh, northern India, Pakistan and Myanmar. It
is a non-oily/white fish in Nepal and India. It has an elongated body. Head is small
but it is with a prominent terminal mouth, thick lips with short barbells. Colour is
bluish or brownish gray above. Scales are gray and red or black. It grows to about
90cms. This carp occurs in column waters of all rivers and canals. It is an
important aquacultured freshwater species in South Asia. When cultured, it does not
breed in lentic environments, so induced spawning becomes necessary.
The Mrigal carp (Cirrhinus Cirrhosus, also Cirrhinus Mrigala), also known as
the mrigal and the white carp, is a species of ray-finned fish in the carp family. Native
to streams and rivers in India, the only surviving wild population is in the Cauvery
River, leading to its IUCN rating as vulnerable. It is
widely aquafarmed and introduced populations exist outside its native range. It
reaches a maximum length of 1m (3.3ft). Mrigal inhabits all the major river systems of
India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Burma. The adult fish feeds upon filamentous green
algae, diatoms, pieces of higher plants, decayed vegetable, mud and detritus. It is
basically a bottom feeder and hence suitable for cultivation with column and surface
feeder carps in ponds.
Labeo bata is fish in genus Labeo. It is commonly known as bata, and is a native fish
to India and Bangladesh. It is a popular game fish and is popular for its taste. It lives in
ponds, rivers, etc. Its maximum length is 25–35 centimetres (9.8–13.8 in). It eats
protozoa, algae, and tiny fishes. It is a slow-moving fish, so with any active and
aggressive it will be nervous. The age and growth of Labeo bata (Ham.) was studied
by the analysis of annuli found on the scale and by length-frequency distribution.
It is commonly found in fresh water ponds and tanks of India. The body is bluish
green in colour with small head and folded lips. The snout consists of four black
coloured long barbs. It is cultivable in ponds. It reaches to a size of 1 m and l .5 to 2 kg
When the indigenous fishnets are not favoured for culture due to economic viability,
exotic breeds are selected and cultured. These fishes yield nutritious food and earn
CYPRINUS CARPIO (COMMON CARP)
This fish was imported from China and introduced into Nilagiri lakes. The growth of
the fish is higher and grows to a length of 75cm and 6.5 kg weight. It breeds thrice in a
year. When cultured under extensive system, the productivity was at 1500 kg/ha.
OSPHRONEMUS GORAMY (GOWRAMY)
The Giant gourami (Osphronemus Goramy), is a species of gourami believed to be
originally native to Southeast Asia, with its occurrence in other locations due to
introductions. This species is commercially important as a food fish and is
also farmed. It can also be found in the aquarium trade. The species has also been used
for weed control, as it can be a voracious herbivore. It lives in fresh or brackish water,
particularly slow-moving areas such as swamps, lakes, and large rivers. It is capable of
breathing moist air, so can survive out of water for long periods. It is much larger than
most gouramis, growing to a maximum length of 70 cm (28 in), though most are only
around 45 cm (18 in). In colour, it is a pale to golden yellow, with silvery, pale blue
stripes running vertically along its body. Females can be identified by their thicker
lips. Giant gouramis build nests using weeds and twigs. It was imported from Jawa
and Maritius and introduced into fresh waters of Madras and Calcutta. The rate of
growth is very slow.
CTENOPHARYNGODON IDELLA (GRASS CARP)
The grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon Idella) is an herbivorous, freshwater fish species
of the family Cyprinidae, and the only species of the genus Ctenopharyngodon. It is a
large cyprinid native to eastern Asia, with a native range from northern Vietnam to
the Amur River on the Siberia-China border. It is cultivated in China for food, but
was introduced in Europe and the United States for aquatic weed control. It is a fish of
large, turbid rivers and associated floodplain lakes, with a wide degree of temperature
tolerance. Grass carp will enter reproductive condition and spawn at temperatures of
20 to 30°C (68 to 86°F). Grass carp have elongated, chubby, torpedo-shaped body
forms. The terminal mouth is slightly oblique with non-fleshy, firm lips, and no
barbels. The complete lateral line contains 40 to 42 scales. This species occurs in lakes,
ponds, pools, and backwaters of large rivers, preferring large, slow-flowing or
standing water bodies with vegetation. In the wild, grass carp spawn in fast-moving
rivers, and their eggs, which are slightly heavier than water, develop while drifting
downstream, and kept in suspension by turbulence.
HYPOPHTHALMICHTHYS MOLITRIX (SILVER FISH)
The silver carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix) is a species of freshwater cyprinid
fish, a variety of Asian carp native to China and Eastern Siberia. It is cultivated in
China. Pound for pound, more silver carp are produced worldwide
in aquaculture than any other species. They are usually farmed in polyculture with
other Asian carp, or sometimes Indian carp or other species. It has been introduced to,
or spread by connected waterways, into at least 88 countries around the world. The
most common reason for importation was for use in aquaculture, but enhancement
of wild fisheries and water quality control were also important reasons for
importation. The silver carp reaches an average length of 60-100 cm (24-39 inch) with a
maximum of 140 cm (55 inch) and about 45 kg (99 lb).
The Mozambique tilapia, Oreochromis Mossambicus, is a tilapiine cichlid fish native
to southern Africa. It is a popular fish for aquaculture. Dull colored, the Mozambique
tilapia often lives up to a decade in its native habitats. Due to human introductions, it
is now found in many tropical and subtropical habitats around the globe, where it can
become an invasive species because of its robust nature. This makes it an optimal
species for aquaculture because it readily adapts to new situations. It is known
as Black Tilapia in Colombia and as Blue Kurper in South Africa. It was imported
from East Africa in 1952. The upper jaw in males is larger. It breeds even at the age of
MURREL FISHES (AIR-BREATHING FISHES)
These are air breathing fishes with long cylindrical body, flattened head and
protractile mouth. These can grow in fresh water ponds, irrigation canals, wells and
marshy areas. They breed even before the onset of monsoons.
CHANNA PUNCTATUS OR OPHIOCEPHALUS (SNAKE HEAD)
It is a long fish with snake like body and accessory respiratory organs. As it lives
outside the water also, it is commonly called Live fish. It is coloured differently. It
grows to an average length of 30 - 35 cm. It is a common food fish of high demand.
Catfishes (order Siluriformes) are a diverse group of ray-finned fish. Named for their
prominent barbels, which resemble a cat’s whiskers, catfish range in size and behavior
from the heaviest and longest, the Mekong giant catfish from Southeast Asia and the
second longest, the wels catfish of Eurasia, to detritivores (species that eat dead
material on the bottom), and even to a tiny parasitic species commonly called
the candiru, Vandellia cirrhosa. There are armour-plated types and there are also
naked types, neither having scales. Despite their name, not all catfish have prominent
barbel. Members of the Siluriformes order are defined by features of the skull
and swim bladder. Catfish are of considerable commercial importance; many of the
larger species are farmed or fished for food. Many of the smaller species, particularly
the genus Corydoras, are important in the aquarium hobby. Many catfish
are nocturnal, but others (many Auchenipteridae) are crepuscular or diurnal. The cat
fishes are predatory fishes. Their skin is devoid of scales. Two pairs of barbels are
present on upper and lower jaw. Most of the fish body is utilized as food due to
absence of scales and spines.
CLARIAS BATRACHUS (WALKING CATFISH)
The walking catfish (Clarias Batrachus) is a species of freshwater air breathing
catfish native to Southeast Asia, but also introduced outside its native range where it is
considered an invasive species. It is named for its ability to "walk" across dry land, to
find food or suitable environments. While it does not truly walk as
most bipeds or quadrupeds do, it has the ability to use its pectoral fins to keep it
upright as it makes a sort of wiggling motion with snakelike movements. It can
survive using this form of locomotion as long as it stays moist. This fish normally lives
in slow-moving and often stagnant waters in ponds, swamps, streams and rivers,
flooded rice paddies or temporary pools which may dry up. When this happens, its
"walking" skill allows the fish to move to other sources of water. Considerable
taxonomic confusion surrounds this species and it has frequently been confused with
other close relatives.
The Asian stinging catfish or fossil cat, Heteropneustes Fossilis, is a species of airsac
catfish found in India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand,
and Myanmar. In India in the state of Kerala it is locally called as kadu (Malayalam :
kadu). It is highly preferred in Assam and locally known as xingi. In Bangladesh this
fish is called Shing Mach, In SriLanka; this fish is called hunga by the Sinhala-speaking
community. It’s found mainly in ponds, ditches, swamps, and marshes, but sometimes
occurs in muddy rivers. It can tolerate slightly brackish water. It is omnivorous. This
species breeds in confined waters during the monsoon months, but can breed in
ponds, derelict ponds, and ditches when sufficient rain water accumulates. It is in
great demand due to its medicinal value. The stinging catfish is able to deliver a
painful sting to humans. Poison from a gland on its pectoral fin spine has been known
to be extremely painful.
CLARIAS MACROCEPHALUS (BROADHEAD CATFISH)
The broadhead catfish (Clarias Macrocephalus) is an economically important air-
breathing catfish that is a native of Southeast Asia. The fish is farmed in ponds for use
in human consumption in countries such as Thailand and the Philippines. However,
native populations now face extinction due to man-made activities and genetic
introgression due to interbreeding with escaped aquaculture hybrids. The broadhead
catfish is identified by its large dorsal fin and its short and rounded occipital
process. The occipital process is pointed in Clarias batrachus, a closely related species.
Another identifying feature for the broadhead catfish is the white spots on the side of
its black body.
ANABAS TESTUDINEUS (CLIMBING PERCH)
Anabas Testudineus, the climbing perch, is a species of fish in the family
Anabantidae, the climbing gourami. It is native to Asia, where it occurs
from India east to China and to the Wallace Line. It has also been established in some
countries outside of its native range. This species grows to 25 cm (9.8 inc) in total
length. This species is important as a food fish in certain areas of India and
in Southeast Asia, where its ability to survive out of the water for extended periods of
time, provided it is kept moist, improves its marketability.
ETROPLUS SURATENSIS (GREEN CHROMIDE)
The Green Chromide (Etroplus Suratensis) is a species of cichlid fish from freshwater
and brackish water in southern India and Sri Lanka. It can be a perfect fish
for Pisciculture. In India, it is found throughout Kerala, especially in Kerala
Backwaters around Alleppey (Alappuzha), Kottayam, Quilon (Kollam), and in
western flowing rivers in Karnataka, backwaters of Andhra Pradesh and Chilika lake.
It feeds on algae, plant material and insects. The fish, known locally in Kerala
as Karimeen, is considered a delicacy. Some of the prominent dishes are the
Karemeen Fry, Karemeen Molly and Karemeen Pollichathu. This fish is fairly
expensive and is available throughout the year. It is caught mainly using gillnets. It is
commonly called pearl spot due to presence of transparent patches shining like pearls.
The body is greenish, light pink and possesses eight black stripes. It is regarded as a
good food fish due to delicious smell. It is not a predator, builds nests during the
breeding season and hence regarded as most suitable for culture in ponds and lakes.
Wallago Attu is a species of catfish in the family Siluridae, or "sheatfishes". The fish is
commonly known by its genus name, wallago or 'lanchi'. It is found in large rivers and
lakes in much of the Indian Subcontinent and in parts of Southeast Asia. The species
can reach 2.4 m (8 feet) total length. It ranges mainly across India, Nepal, Bangladesh
and SriLanka, but is also found in Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and Malaysia, and is
also reported from Afghanistan. It is a cat fish found in all rivers and lakes of India.
Head is larger than trunk. The body is laterally compressed. Tail is extraordinarily
long and slender. Two pairs of barbells are present on the head. Mouth is large with
large jaws having teeth for feeding on fresh water. Hence it is called fresh water shark.
As it is a predator fish, it is not suitable for artificial culture.
Mystus is a genus of small to medium-sized bagrid catfishes that occur
in South and Southeast Asia. Four pairs of barbs elongated upper jaw, long maxillary
barbs, and deeply divided caudal fin are the main features of the fish.
Coldwater fish, in the context of aquariums, refers to fish species that prefer cooler
water temperatures than tropical fish, typically below 20 °C (68 °F). Some examples
are koiand goldfish. These fishes are commonly called sport fishes. These species tend
to grow more slowly and live longer than fish that live in warmer waters, and are
generally felt to be easier to keep. Coldwater fish are fish such as goldfish, koi, and
other members of the carp family that are able to survive in cold water temperatures.
When kept in a household aquarium, they do not require a heater and are quite
comfortable at around 60°F (15°C). These fish are also desirable choices for outdoor
ponds and can stand temperatures down to 10°C.
SALMOGIARDNERI (RAINBOW TROUT)
The rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) is a species of salmonid native to cold-
water tributaries of the Pacific Ocean in Asia and North America. The steelhead
(sometimes "steelhead trout") is an anadromous (sea-run) form of the coastal rainbow
trout (O. m. irideus) or Columbia River redband trout (O. m. gairdneri) that usually
returns to fresh water to spawn after living two to three years in the ocean. Freshwater
forms that have been introduced into the Great Lakes and migrate into tributaries to
spawn are also called steelhead. Adult freshwater stream rainbow trout average
between 1 and 5 lb (0.5 and 2.3 kg), while lake-dwelling and anadromous forms may
reach 20 lb (9.1 kg). Coloration varies widely based on subspecies, forms and habitat.
Adult fish are distinguished by a broad reddish stripe along the lateral line,
from gills to the tail, which is most vivid in breeding males.
TOR TOR (MAHSEER)
Mahseer is the common name used for the genera Tor, Neolissochilus, and Naziritor
in the family Cyprinidae (carps). The name mahseer is however more often restricted
to members of the genus Tor. The range of these fish is from Malaysia, Indonesia,
across southern Asia including the Indian Peninsula and Pakistan. They are
commercially important game fish, as well as highly esteemed food fish. Mahseers
inhabit both rivers and lakes, ascending to rapid streams with rocky bottoms for
breeding. Head possess short rostral and long maxillary barbs. Dorsal ride of the body
is grayish green, lateral sides are gold and belly is silvery white. Even though it is
adapted to grow well in canals but now it is cultured in reservoirs like Bakranangal. It
grows to a size of 1mt.
TINCA TINCA (DOCTOR FISH)
The Tench or Doctor fish (Tinca Tinca) is a fresh- and brackish-water fish of
the cyprinid family found throughout Eurasia from Western Europe including
the British Isles east into Asia as far as the Ob and Yenisei Rivers. It is also found
in Lake Baikal. It normally inhabits slow-moving freshwater habitats, particularly
lakes and lowland rivers. In Germany, the tench is called Schlei. Trout are predators
and the natural enemies of the tench. It has a stocky, carp-like shape and olive-green
skin, darker above and almost golden below. The caudal fin is square in shape. The
other fins are distinctly rounded in shape. The mouth is rather narrow and provided at
each corner with a very small barbel. Maximum size is 70 cm, though most specimens
are much smaller.
CULTIVABLE FISH SPECIES
Amongst the cultivable carps, there are two groups of fish which are highly
recommended for pond fish culture; i) Indigenous which includes Rohu, Mori and
Thaila and ii) Exotic which includes Silver Carp, Grass Carp and Bighead Carp. The
former group of fish are widely distributed throughout the Indian Sub-Continent
therefore, they are called Indian Major Carps and later group of fish are widely
distributed in China, therefore, they are called Chinese Carps.
The guppy (Poecilia reticulata), also known as millionfish and rainbow fish, is one of
the world's most widely distributed tropical fish, and one of the most
popular freshwater aquarium fish species. It is a member of the Poeciliidae family and,
like all other members of the family, is live-bearing. Guppies, whose natural range is
in northeast South America, were introduced to many habitats and are now found all
over the world.
Gambusia is a large genus of fish in family Poeciliidae (Order Cyprinodontiformes).
Gambusia contains over 40 species, most of which are principally found in freshwater
habitats, though some species may also be found in brackish or saltwater habitats.
These can be introduced into ponds to eat mosquito larvae. As a consequence, they
have been introduced widely outside their native range, and sometimes
become invasive, threatening the local species. They are very important in aquarium
trade, desired for small size, ease of breeding, and charming gracefulness. They are
viviparous—they have live young.
The family Stromateidae of butterfishes contains 17 species of fish in three genera.
Butterfishes live in coastal waters off the Americas, western Africa and in the Indo-
Pacific. A family of very deep bodied fish, many of which are called something else
and other fish which are not butterfish are called butterfish.
SKATES & RAYS
Rays and skates are dorsoventrally flattened fish that are closely related to sharks. All
are considered to be within a closely related group of fish called elasmobranchs. Rays
belong to three scientific orders - Pristiformes, Myliobatiformes, and Torpediniformes
while skates are classified in the order Rajiformes. These mostly bottom dwelling fish
are related to sharks but have pectoral fins so enlarged they are referred to as "wings".
Like sharks skates have no bones but a skeleton of cartilage. Skate is generally sold as
cuts from the wings and is prepared quite differently from other fish. There are many
different types of rays including stingrays, electric rays, butterfly rays, round rays,
manta rays, guitarfish, and sawfish.
Tuna include the largest members of the Mackerel family. Unlike those called
"Mackerel", tunas have deep flattened bodies. Most have scales only in a few places
but that's enough to be kosher. Bluefin Tuna (all varieties) is to be avoided as all
Bluefin’s are critically endangered. The tuna is distributed throughout the Atlantic
and Pacific Oceans in subtropical and temperate waters. In the western Atlantic
Ocean, it is found from Labrador, Canada, to northern Brazil, including the Gulf of
Mexico. In the eastern Atlantic Ocean, it is found from Norway to the Canary Islands.
In the western Pacific Ocean, it is distributed from Japan to the Philippines. This tuna
is epipelagic and oceanic, coming near shore seasonally. It can tolerate a considerable
range of temperatures and has been observed both above and below the thermocline,
down to depths of greater than 3000 feet (9,850 m).
The goldfish (Carassius Auratus) is a freshwater fish in the family Cyprinidae
of order Cypriniformes. It was one of the earliest fish to be domesticated, and is one
of the most commonly kept aquarium fish. A relatively small member of
the carp family (which also includes the koi carp and the crucian carp), the goldfish is
a domesticated version of a less-colorful carp (Carassius auratus) native to East Asia. It
was first domesticated in China more than a thousand years ago, and several
distinct breeds have since been developed. Goldfish breeds vary greatly in size, body
shape, fin configuration and coloration
FISH CUM DUCK FARMING
Fish cum Duck Integration is most common in the developing countries. This type of
integration is not popular in northern states of India. Ducks are of several types and
Khaki Campbell is recommended for fish-cum-duck integration Fishpond being a
semi-closed biological system with several aquatic animals and plants provides an
excellent disease-free environment for the ducks. In turn, ducks consume juvenile
frogs, tadpoles and dragonfly etc. there by making a safe environment for fish. Duck
droppings go directly into the pond, which in turn provide essential nutrients such as
carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus that stimulate growth of natural food organisms.