Ornamental Fish Farming|
Ornamental fish keeping and its propagation has been an interesting activity for many, which provide not only aesthetic pleasure but also financial openings. About 600 ornamental fish species have been reported worldwide from various aquatic environments. Indian waters possess a rich diversity of ornamental fish, with over 100 indigenous varieties, in addition to a similar number of exotic species that are bred in captivity.
The Ornamental Fish Industry has started to catch on in a big way in Rajasthan, allowing fish-farmers to earn good profits in the state's Tonk district. The State's Fisheries Department recently opened a full-fledged fish aquarium to benefit fish farmers. The motive behind this exercise was to encourage fish farmers to farm ornamental fish as they require less water as compared to other species.
Although the State Fisheries Department gets around Rs 200 million, estimates put the industry in Rajasthan - which includes numerous private players - at over Rs one billion. The main fish farming pockets in the State are Jaipur as well as the cities of Dungarpur, Banswara, Jhalawar and Bhilwara.
In the past few years in Rajasthan, the fish farming industry has boomed and around 20,000 people are directly or indirectly getting employment in this trade.
Limiting for fish growth here is the available food supply by natural sources, commonly zooplankton feeding on pelagic algae or benthic animals, such as certain crustaceans and mollusks. Tilapia species filter feed directly on phytoplankton, which makes higher production possible. The photosynthetical production can be increased by fertilizing the pond water with artificial fertilizer mixtures, such as potash, phosphorus, nitrogen and microelements. Because most fish are carnivorous, they occupy a higher place in the trophic chain and therefore only a tiny fraction of primary photosynthetic production will be converted into harvestable fish.
As a result, without additional feeding the fish harvest will not exceed 200 kilograms of fish per hectare per year, equivalent to 1% of the gross photosynthetic production. In order to tap all available food sources in the pond, the aquaculturist will choose fish species which occupy different places in the pond ecosystem, e.g., a filter algae feeder such as tilapia, a benthic feeder such as carp or catfish and a zooplankton feeder (various carps) or submerged weeds feeder such as grass carp.