By Muhammad Atif Ismail
MULTAN, Oct 04 (APP):Biofloc fish farming is a modern concept of high density fish rearing. It not only is a profit generating business but also helps to resolve the challenge of food security. Both, the rich as well as the poor can rear fish easily because of extremely low operational cost.
In Biofloc fish farming, the fish are nurtured in a water tank, made of turbulence sheet, which is easily available in the market. Fish seeds are put into the water tank. Similarly, probiotic (a kind of bacteria) is also mixed in the water.
It is a low cost procedure in which toxic materials of the fish such as Ammonia, Nitrate, and Nitrite can be converted into feed. The probiotic in the tank consumes ammonia and converts it into protein. Thus, the fish in the tank use this protein as feed. Actually, the principle of this technique is to recycle nutrients. Biofloc helps in cleaning the culture water of the fish while giving an additional source of feed.
It is a sustainable and eco-friendly process. It also helps save water. Vice Chancellor Muhammad Nawaz Sharif University of Agriculture Multan (MNS-UAM) Dr Asif Ali told APP, Biofloc fish farming was very much beneficial as it helped save water. Similarly, it was a highly economical and handsome source of income for the poor also he said and added, citizens could rear fish at homes and enjoy protein rich feed throughout the year. It is also a source of recreation for women and kids.
Oftenly, people make aquariums at their homes for beautification purposes. However, Biofloc fish farming culture will serve them in both ways, beautification as well as provision of highly nutritious and economical fish. Asif observed that MNS-UAM introduced Biofloc fish farming with an aim to promote it across the region.
The concept was also vital to address the issue of poverty in the region. Many people had contacted varsity for seeking information about Biofloc fish farming, noted Dr Asif. Project In-charge Biofloc Fish Farming and lecturer MNS-UAM Nabeel Ikraam talking to APP remarked that varsity made a water tank of 12 feet diameter with 4.6 feet depth.
About 500 fish seeds and 200 gram of probiotic were added in the water tank. He stated that fish rearing was heading forward successfully in the water tank.
To a question about fish feed, he observed that probiotics consume ammonia, which was released by the fish. “These probiotics replicate in good numbers and also become a source of feed for the fish, Similarly, floated feed, made of corn flour and soybean seed was also put into water tanks in low quantities; About 200 grams of floated feed is enough for the tank,” he noted.
About the cost of tank and biofloc fish farming, he informed that varsity spent Rs 83,000 on the project.
He maintained that the operational cost of the biofloc fish farming was very low.
The citizens will have to bear expenses for the first time because of construction of water tanks. However, fish seeds and its feed is available in meagre amounts, he clarified. “We did not change the water of the tank,” Nabeel said and added, ” minor level contamination, which remained at the bottom of the tank is drained out with one litre of water only. Nabeel Ikram also informed them that they were rearing Tilapia fish in the water tank.
About any threat of disease, the lecturer maintained that they used to check PH of the water on a daily basis. Similarly, they also monitored TDS (total dissolved salts). For PH and TDS inspection, the instruments are easily available in general markets, he added.
Another student namely Usama from the Department of Agronomy is also assisting the Biofloc Fish Farming project. He also spoke and stated that Biofloc was an eco-friendly culture system.
“It reduces environmental impacts and improves land and water use efficiency”, he hinted. Usama added that biofloc fish farming had good survival rate, growth performance. It saves water as well as reduces water pollution. In Biofloc fish farming, there is limited or zero water exchange.
He suggested that citizens should focus on fish farming as it promised high economic returns and food security for the general public in the country.