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Types of culture systems relative to confinement

 Pond culture – for milkfish, shrimp, seabass, siganid, tilapia, etc.
 Cage/Pen culture – for milkfish, grouper, seabass, siganid, snapper, tilapia, etc.
 Raceway culture – for milkfish, grouper, seabass, siganid, snapper, tilapia, etc.
 Raft culture – for mussel, oyster

Methods of culture relative to species combination

 Monoculture (single species) – either saline tilapia, milkfish, siganid, shrimp, prawn, or any
other single species
 Polyculture (2 or more species)
– shrimp and milkfish (shrimp is main crop; milkfish is janitor).
– grouper, mudcrab and saline tilapia (grouper is main crop; mudcrab is janitor; and tilapia
provides fingerlings as food of the grouper and the same time as janitor fish).
 Integrated farming – livestock + fish ; fish + chicks.
a. Livestocks + Fish
The livestock component of this integrated farming can be done either on fishpond
dikes or on reserved areas immediately adjacent to the fishpond. The decomposed and/or
undecomposed excreta of the livestock will be used as stimulant in the growth and
production of phytoplankters and other kinds of desirable algae which serve as the direct
food of the fish being reared and as the food of the primary consumers -- the zooplankton --
which subsequently serve as food of the fish stocks.

b. Fish + Chicks
The chicks component of this integrated farming can be carried out either on fishpond
dike or on near the side of the fishpond dike above the pond water where fish are being
raised. The excreta of the chicks and the feeds spilled-out from the feeding tray fall directly
on the pond and serve to induce the growth of plankton and to feed the fish respectively.

Methods of culture relative to levels of production

 Extensive culture – rely mainly on natural food productivity (or used natural food
exclusively); low stocking density (e.g. 2,000-3,000 fish/ha for bangus); wider culture area
for the stocks in relation to the number of stocks; water depth of 50 cm or less; minimal
investment; low yield (700-1000 kg/ha/crop for bangus).
 Modified extensive – rely on natural food with supplemental energy-rich feed; a bit higher
on stocking density ( 4,000-6,000 fish/ha bangus) in the same area as in the extensive
culture; water depth of 75-80 cm; a bit higher investment; a bit higher yield (,1000-2,000
kg/ha/crop bangus).
 Semi-intensive culture – fed with protein-rich feed with some natural food; higher stocking
density (8-12 thousand/ha bangus) in the same area as in the extensive culture; water
depth of 100 cm or more; higher investment; higher yield (2,000-4,000 kg/ha/crop bangus).
 Intensive culture – rely exclusively on complete feeding, i.e. feeding daily with higher
amount of formulated balanced feeds at higher feeding rate, usually starting a day or 2
weeks after stocking up to 1-2 days before harvest; extensive aeration and water
management; highest stocking density (>15 thousand/ha) in the same area as the above
three culture levels; water depth of  120 cm; very high investment; very high yield (4-12
T kg/ha/crop bangus).

Methods of culture relative to natural food

 Plankton method – fish are reared with plankton as the principal food. The fish may be
given supplemental artificial feeds.
– Plankton – are suspended microscopic plants and animals (phyto and zoo) growing
within the water column, most especially in the upper or surface layer. These natural
food passively drift with and float in the water. The plant (phyto) component of the
plankton include the: 1) green algae (ex. Scenedesmus, Chlorella, Pandorina,
Coelastrum, Ankistrodesmus, Pandorina, Pediastrum, Selenastrum, Closterium,
Dictyosphaerium, Oocystis, etc); 2) blue-green algae (ex. Microcystis, Anabaena,
Oscillatoria, Aphanozomenon, and Spirulina);
3) diatoms ( ex. Nitzschia, Navicula, Flagilaria, Cyclotella, and Synedra) ;

4) Euglenoids (ex. Euglena, Phacus,andTrachelomonas); and 5) dinoflagellates (ex.

Ceratium and Gymnodinium). The animal (zoo) components include the moina,
dahpnia, copepods, and other tiny animals, including the eggs and larvae of fish,
crustaceans, and mollusks.

 Lablab method – fish are reared with lablab as the main food. Likewise, fish may be given
supplemental artificial feeds.
– Lablab (Aufwuch) – is an association of phytoplankters, zooplankters, filamentous algae
and worms growing at the bottom surface of pond. Since they grow at the bottom and
so they are called benthic algae. The plant component of lablab are: 1) diatoms (ex.
Navicula, Nitzschia, Mastogloia, Amphora, and Stauroneis) and 2) blue-green algae (ex.
Lyngbya, Phormidium, Spirulina, Oscillatoria, and Micrococcus). The animal components
include Moina, Dahpnia, eggs and larvae of finfishes, crustaceans, mollusks, and insects.
 Lumut method – fish are reared with filamentous grass green algae (lumut) as their principal
food. Likewise, fish may be reared with supplemental feeds.
– Lumut – are filamentous grass green algae that start to grow at the bottom surface of
pond and continue to grow up to water surface.

Three kinds of “Lumut:”

- Chaetomorphalinum (Lumutjusi) – unbranched filamentous grass green alga.

- Cladophora – branched filamentous grass green alga.

- Enteromorphaintestinalis/tubulosa (Bitukangmanok) – an alga which looks like a

pancit when it is still young and which looks like an intestine of a fowl when it is in
its adult stage.
Methods of culture relative to sex of fish
Hereunder are adopted different methods of culture relative to sex of fish with the
main objective of rapid growth and producing large-sized individuals in a shorter period of time:

 Monosex culture. This refers to rearing of either the female or the male individuals alone to
prevent increase of recruits. or allowable number of stocks. This method is mostly and
widely adopted in tilapia species, especially saline tilapia.

Specific methods of culture under monosex culture are as follows:

1) manual sexing
2) hybridization
3) sex-reversal
4) genetic manipulation of sex
5) triploidy
 Manual sexing – is separating male tilapia from female tilapia. Male tilapias are the
ones to be reared to large size or marketable size because they are relatively larger in
size and grow faster than their female counterparts.
 Hybridization – is the crossing of two different species within the same genus, e.g.
Oreochromismossambicus ♂ x O. niloticus ♀ with the following objectives:
a) to produce superior all-male offsprings (in tilapias) which grow faster and are larger
in size than their female counterparts.
– 95-100% male progeny can be produced in a number of interspecific hybrid
crosses of the following species:
 male O. aureus x female O. niloticus
 male O. mossambicus x female O. niloticus
 male O. hornorum x female O. niloticus
b) to produce new breeds or strains
 Sex reversal – is the process of converting genetic female (in tilapias) into functional
males. This method is carried out with swim-up fry tilapia (or  11 mm in length) during
their totipotent stage (sexual undifferentiation) by feeding them with feed which is
mixed with an androgen hormone known as 17  - Methyltestosterone (or MT) and
ethyl alcohol (EA) at the mixing ratio of 40 microgram MT : 80 ml EA : 1 kg feed. The fry
are fed for 21–25 days at the rate of 30% of their weight for the 1st week, 25% on the 2nd
week and 20% on the 3rd week.
 Genetic manipulation of sex

– With this method, production of all-male tilapia can be attained with the use of YY
male technology.

 Triploidy method. This is a method used to produce superior fish for grow-out culture
by suppressing the normal development of fish gonads (for both male and female fish)
or of eggs prior to cleavage formation by means of cold-shocking or heat-shocking
technique to prevent further development of such gonads or eggs, thereby delaying the
maturity and permitting the fish to grow faster and to be able to attain larger size.

Other methods under finfish and crustacean

Traditional straight-run method

This is a method of culture where fish, especially the milkfish fingerlings, are reared in the grow-
out pond or rearing pond (not nursery nor transition ponds) from the stocking time up to the harvest
time without having them moved to another rearing pond compartment for feeding and growing
purposes. More often, 3 – 4 croppings in one year have been made in the grow-out ponds with the
straight-run method of culture. This method is a characteristic of a traditional or conventional type of
pond layout.

Modular method
This is a method of culture where fish (mostly milkfish) pass three series of progressing sizes of
grow-out pond compartments to grow from juvenile or post juvenile stage to marketable or large size.
In other words, the fish are stocked in smallest grow-out pond compartment (GOPC), then they are
transferred to the next GOPC with bigger size after 15-30 days in the 1st GOPC. After 15-30 days of
rearing in the 2nd GOPC, the fish are finally transferred to the largest GOPC for another 15-30 days of
rearing period. The three GOPCs in the modular system may be named, PPS1, PPS2 and PPS3, where PPS
spells out production process stage. The three GOPCs are best apportioned into 1:2:4 parts. Like for
instance, if the entire area of the grow-out or rearing pond constitutes 7 hectares, then 1 part is equal to
1 hectare, 2 parts – 2 hectares, and 4 parts – 4 hectares. In terms of percentage rate, 1 part is equal to
14.29%, 2 parts – 28.57%, and 4 parts – 57.14%. Whatever is the total area of the grow-out pond, it
should be multiplied to the above-mentioned percentage rates to determine the area of each PPS.

The culture operation in the modular system is continuous enabling one fish farmer to have
6-8 croppings per year without taxing (or heavy demand) on the natural food supply and a potential
output of more than 2 tons in one year. The eight croppings can be realized when stocks stays for 15
days in each PPS making 45 days for the 3 PPS to complete one production cycle. This makes the
modular method far more advantage over the straight-run method.

Culture Methods For Mollusks and Other Invertebrates

Hanging method (using rubber strip, plastic rope w/ threaded empty shells, galvanized iron wire w/
threaded empty shells).
In oyster culture of this method, the cultches of either of the following: 1-1.5 m long rubber strips
from old tires, plastic rope #6 with threaded empty shells spaced at 10-15 cm, or galvanized iron wire
#8-10 with threaded empty shells also spaced 10-15 cm are hanged at 30-40 cm intervals on bamboo
poles horizontally tied to several x-designed bamboo posts. Rows of x-designed bamboo posts are set at
a distance of 1-1.5 m apart.

Ring method (using rubber strip)

Ring method of oyster culture also uses rubber strips from old tires. These are tied on the
horizontal bamboo poles and serve as the spat collectors.

Stake “tulus” method

The bamboo trunks (split or whole) known as stakes for oyster spats collection are clipped with
empty oyster shells or tin cans at 10-15 cm intervals to increase the space attachment of oyster spats.
These are staked on shallow areas (not <1m deep during the lowest tide) with soft or muddy bottom at
a distance of 30-40 cm apart.

Tray method
A tray measuring 1m x 2m can be made out of bamboo slats, wooden slabs/marine plywood, or
plastic material whichever is available and/or more economical for culture of oysters. A tray with built-
in posts is set by pressing it down the soft mud. A tray without posts is either tied to fixed poles or
hanged on a raft. The tray method is used for culturing under-sized oysters separated from the
harvested stocks. As such, the tray is rarely used as a method of culture.

Raft method
A raft for the culture of oysters can be made out of bamboo poles or lumber supported by
enough floaters in the form of either sealed drums, solid styrofoam, or other able floaters and one or
more anchors depending on the condition of the site. A 5m x 5m raft is able to float with four gasoline

In this method, the oyster cultches such as those used in the hanging method are hanged on the
horizontal bamboo poles at 30-40 cm intervals.

Broadcast method
Broadcast method of oyster culture is the method which do not require high capital for inputs
and labor, except during harvest. Construction facilities are not necessary, except perhaps for the 4-
corner post for fence to mark the boundaries if needed.

This method is best adopted in places where the bottom is firm, sandy, or rocky. Old oyster
shells, pieces of iron, stones, rocks, adobe blocks and the like are spread on the river or sea bottom.
These will serve as anchorage when the free-swimming larvae grow heavier and settle on the bottom
surface. Oysters are allowed to grow to marketable size afterwhich they are gathered for sale or for the

Pond preparation
Draining and drying
– Dry the pond for about 3 – 5 days until the bottom soil hardens and cracks.
 Purpose of drying:
a) to eradicate pests, predators and competitors;
b) to eliminate obnoxious gases (e.g. hydrogen sulfide, H2S) resulting from organic matter
c) to hasten the mineralization or decomposition of deposited organic matters so that
nutrients will become available for the growth of natural fishfood;
d) to kill disease-causing microorganisms.

Tilling/Cultivating the pond bottom

– This is done with the use of either rotavator, plow, or rake (for a small pond).

 Purpose of tilling/cultivating:
o to make the subsurface nutrients available at the surface for the growth of natural fishfood;
o to eliminate and destroy the pond weeds
o to eradicate the burrowing fish enemies;

Leveling the pond bottom

– This is done to make the pond bottom surface level and sloping toward the gate for ease of
draining and drying.
Eufwuchs (lab-lab)

Soil sampling
– Soil samplings shall be undertaken to determine the physico-chemical condition of the
different pond compartments, particularly on the organic matter content, nutrient contents,
pH, and many others. This is necessary to identify the actions and solutions to take in
conditioning and treating the soil before the pond will be used for fish culture purposes.
– The soil samples shall be taken from each pond compartment in an S orientation. Take note
that not exactly or not only the surface soil that will be taken but also to include a part of
the subsurface soil for evaluation. Some of these samples will be airdried under the shade
afterwhich they will be homogenized for nutrients analyses with the use of reagent
chemicals and for organic matter determination through the oven. Other samples will be
immediately examined for their pH.

Soil conditioning

Soil conditioning is the process of bringing the soil from its undesirable/bad state to
normal or suitable and desirable state with the use of neutralizing or buffering material such as
lime or acid-forming fertilizer (alum or gypsum).
– Use lime when the soil or water is acidic.
– Use acid-forming fertilizer, alum, or gypsum, when soil or water is excessively high in pH or
highly alkaline.
 Alum (Al2(SO4)3 · 14H2O) hydrolyzes to release hydrogen ions.

Gypsum (CaSO4 · 2H2O) increases calcium hardness resulting in the precipitation of CaCO3.

Generally, it is advisable to maintain total alkalinity and total hardness between 20 –

200 mg/L CaCO3.


Liming is the application of lime in the pond soil or water for the following purposes:

a. to neutralize the acidity or sourness of the soil or water or to buffer the pH to an

acceptable alkaline level

b. to kill the parasites, pests and other undesirable organisms

c. to improve soil condition and to promote the bacterial breakdown of waste material

d. to precipitate excess dissolved organic material and clay turbidity

e. to reduce the potential of O2 depletion by making CO2 available to photosynthesis

 materials used in liming:

– limestones
– oyster shells
– other materials containing basic substances such as CaCO3 and/or MgCO3, Ca(OH)2,
and the like

 What is lime?
Lime – is a material or substance derived from limestones and shells, like oyster shells,
which contain mainly of calcium carbonates (CaCO3).

 Kinds of limes used for treating or conditioning pond soil and water.
1) pulverized limestone (agricultural lime) – CaCO3

2) burnt limestone (quickline or unslaked lime) – CaO

3) hydrated lime (slaked lime) – Ca(OH)2

4) dolomite lime (also pulverized lime or agricultural lime) – CaCO3 + MgCO3

 Agricultural lime and dolomite lime are prepared by crushing limestones to particle sizes of
10 mesh (1.70 mm diameter) to 60 mesh (fine with <0.24 mm diameter) with rock crusher.
Particle sizes which pass a 60-mesh screen have a finess value of 100% which means
fastest to dissolve.

– It has a neutralizing value of 100% CaCO3.

– It is relatively slow acting but of low cost.
– It is used mainly for neutralizing acidity and increasing pH as well as for precipitating
suspended clay and silt particles and excess dissolved organic material.

Burnt limestone is prepared by heating limestone in a furnace or in a very high degree of

temperature between 500°C - 600°C.

CaCO3 CaO + CO2

– It has a neutralizing value of 173 – 179% CaCO3.

– It is the fastest acting lime.
– It is used for neutralizing acidity, increasing pH, precipitating excess dissolved organic
material and suspended clay and silt soils, killing pests and parasites, and curing
– It is caustic and can damage eyes and skin. So caution in handling.

Hydrated lime is prepared by treating burnt lime with water.

CaO + H2O Ca(OH)2

– It has a neutralizing value of 135 – 136% CaCO3.

– It is also fast acting but next only to burnt lime.
– It is used for neutralizing acidity, increasing pH, precipitating excess dissolved
organic material and suspended clay and silt soils, killing pests and parasites, and
curing diseases.
– It is caustic and can damage eyes and skin.

 How to distinguish one lime from the other limes.

This is done by examining or analyzing the pH of a slurry of 10-20 parts distilled water and
1 part liming material (10-20:1).

– pH of agricultural lime will not be more than pH 10.

– pH of burnt lime or hydrated lime will exceed pH 12.

Some practical ways of determining acidity, a soil condition that is to be neutralized by


1) By ocular inspection of the soil, the indicators of acidic pond soil are:

a. a newly constructed pond is likely to be acidic.

b. ponds that do not respond to fertilization.
c. ponds with plenty of decaying bakawan and nipa roots.
d. pond bottom that turn reddish when exposed to sunlight for more than 3 days.
e. evidence of “Jarsite” could be identified by the yellow color of the soil.

f. water with alkalinity of less than 20 ppm (or mg/l) CaCO3.

g. water with total hardness less than 20 ppm (or mg/l) CaCO3.

1) By use of litmus paper

a) If litmus paper turns reddish after having moistened with the subject water, such
is acidic.

b) If it turns bluish, the subject water is alkaline.

 Determining of acidity by chemical treatment using the chemical mixture given below:

Mixture of chemicals used in treating soils for pH determination:

0.8 gram bromothymol blue indicator,

0.4 gram methyl red powder, and

0.2 gram methyl orange powder

Note: The three chemicals above are both dissolved in one liter of distilled water

The colors that appear after a chemical treatment of soils had been done are to be
used in determining the soil condition and in calculating the corresponding pH values of
the soils represented by such colors.

Reddish – very acidic – pH 4 or lower

Yellowish – light acidic – pH 5 - 6

Greenish/grayish – neutral – pH 6.5 - 8.5

 Major sources of acidity:

1) Vegetation which produces tannic acid, e.g. Rhyzophora spp. (bakawan).

2) Soil sulfides – Oxidation of soil sulfides produces sulfuric acid.

3) Run-off – This carries acid elements from upland and from pond dikes into the
pond water.
 Methods of controlling and neutralizing acidity
1) washing/flushing (leaching)

2) liming

The control of soil acidity by draining and drying the pond to expose to air and
sunlight and then by washing said pond several times after having filled with water
is known as leaching.

 Procedure of liming
1) soil should be analyzed first for its condition whether acidic or alkaline and for its
quality in terms of nutrient and organic matter contents

2) lime shall be broadcast or spread all-over the drained but moist bottom

3) lime shall be thoroughly mixed with the soil to attain maximum efficiency

Amount of lime to be used when soil or water is analyzed

QL = (DpH – ApH) x 0.5 ton/ha x A

0.1 x NVL (in decimal)

where, QL = quantity of required lime

DpH = desired pH

ApH = actual average pH reading of the pond soil

NVL = neutralizing value of lime

A = area of the pond (in hectare)

Ex. a) QL = 6.8 – 6.5 x 0.5 ton/ha x 1 ha

(tons of AL) 0.1 x 1

= 0.3 x 0.5 ton/ha x 1 ha


= 3 x 0.5 ton/ha x 1 ha

= 1.5 tons agricultural lime

Desired 7 actual 6.4 Area = .75ha

b) QL (ton quicklime) = 6.8 – 6.5 x 0.5 ton/ha x 1 ha

0.1 x 1.73

= 0.3 x 0.5 ton/ha x 1 ha


= 0.867 ton or 867 kg quicklime

c) QL (ton hydrated lime = 6.8 – 6.5 x 0.5 ton/ha x 1 ha

0.1 x 1.35

= 0.3 x 0.5 ton/ha x 1 ha


= 1.111 ton of hydrated lime

Amount of lime to be used with the following pH ranges as recommended by Boyd and
Daniels (1993)

Agril lime Hydrated lime Quicklime

PH range (kg/ha) (kg/ha) (kg/ha)

(100% NV) (136% NV) (179% NV)

<5 3,000 2,205 1,676

5–6 2,000 1,470 1,117

6–7 1,000 735 560

Sandy soils with pH ranging 6.1 – 6.5 may not be treated with lime.

Decision on what kind of lime to be used must be strictly considered.

– Applying lime should foster greater rates of organic matter decomposition aside from
neutralizing acidity.
– Use of quicklime (CaO) or hydrated lime (Ca(OH)2) which have very high CaCO3 efficiency
may kill microbial organism, and decomposition will be temporarily stopped or greatly
retarded. Agricultural lime is, therefore, the best for the decomposition of organic matter.
– Apply lime in the pond bottom surfaces and on tops and sidings of pond dikes to neutralize
the acidity and perhaps to kill the disease-causing organisms (see previous sections and
pages hereof for the application rates and procedures).
– After liming, the pond is ready for fertilization.

Fertilization and Fertilizers

 Definitions
– Fertilization refers to the addition of organic and/or inorganic fertilizers to soil or
water to stimulate and maintain growth of desirable phytoplankters and other kinds
of algae for food of animal organisms including fish.
– Fertilizers refer to organic and/or inorganic fertilizers.
 General classes of fertilizers

1) Organic fertilizers – are fertilizers capable to be decomposed and which contain varying
amounts of nutrients.


a) animal manures, dung or droppings – from hog, cattle, poultry, and birds.

b) green manures – from leaves of legumes, grasses, rice straw and rice bran.

c) compost plant and animal materials.

Average composition (%) of several manures

Item Water N P K OM C:N:P

Poultry - 1.6 0.7 0.7

Sheep 64 1.1 0.3 1.1

Fattened cattle 78 0.7 0.2 0.5

Dairy cows 79 0.5 0.1 0.5

Pig/Hog 74 0.5 0.2 0.4 17 17:1:2

Source: Noriega – Curtis (1978) and Schroeder (1980)

1) Inorganic fertilizers – are fertilizers that are not decomposed but rather dissolved in water
and which contain concentrated amounts of at least one of the three major plant
nutrients -- the NPK.

 Classification or types of inorganic fertilizers

1) Single element fertilizers – are those which contain only one fertilizer element.

Examples of single-element fertilizers

Nitrogenous Phosphatic Potashic

Muriate of
Urea (46-0-0) Superphosphate (0-20-0) (0-0-60)
Ammonium Potassium
(21-0-0) Solophose (0-18-0) (0-0-48)
sulfate sulfate

2) Incomplete fertilizers – are those which contain two fertilizer elements.


Ex. Ammonium phosphate – 16-20-0

Diammonium phosphate – 18-46-0

3) Complete fertilizers – are those which contain all the three major nutrients (N, P2O5 and

Ex. 12-12-12, 14-14-14, and 15-15-15

Common Practice on Rate of Fertilizer Application

a. On chicken manure (organic fertilization)

Without soil analysis, the recommended application rates are:

– 3000 - 4000 kg/ha in combination with 50 kg/ha urea to enhance mineralization

process -- for newly constructed pond on sandy loam pond -- as basal fertilization.
– 1000 - 2000 kg/ha in combination with 50 kg/ha urea - - for old and loamy to clayey
ponds as basal fertilization.
– 1000 - 2000 kg/ha - - which is to be applied every two weeks until 30 days before
harvest for the maintenance of plankters or lablab (aufwucks)) which are the
association of minute plants and animals growing at the pond bottom.

b. On inorganic fertilization
Without soil analysis, the recommended application rates are:

– 50 kg/ha of 16-20-0 (for salty water) or 14-14-14 (for freshwater) as basal fertilization
– 8 kg N and 10 kg P/ha (which is equivalent to 50 kg/ha 16-20-0) - - to be applied every
after 2 weeks until two weeks before harvest to maintain abundance of plankters as
natural fish food. This rate was found optimum for maintaining and sustaining growth
of aufwucks (lab-lab).

 Methods of Fertilizer Application

– Dissolve in a pail with water ⅓ to ½ of the total amount of fertilizer to be applied.
Afterwhich, the fertilizer in solution will be spread all over the pond surface. The rest
will be wrapped in cloth, then hang it on the stake/s or be placed on a pre-installed
platform in the pond for gradual dissolution.
and Don’ts in Fishpond Fertilization

a. For inorganic fertilization

– Do not apply it during heavy cloudy and/or rainy hours or days. Phytoplankters and
other desirable algae do not respond very well during these weather condition.
– Apply it on a sunny day between 9 AM – 12 Noon for fast assimilation by plant
– Change water only every after 13–14 days from previous date of fertilization to avoid
early loss of fertilizer nutrients.

b. For organic fertilization

– After fish stocking, organic fertilizer/s (OF) should not be immediately spread all-over
the pond surface to float to avoid destroying the water quality.
– Instead, the OFs should be soaked first with the container bag afterwhich they are
released in certain parts of the pond.