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Paddy cum fish culture

Paddy cum fish culture

Advantages of paddy cum fish culture

  1. Economical utilization of land
  2. Little extra labour is required
  3. Saving on labour cost towards weeding and supplemental feeding
  4. Enhanced rice yield by 5 -15 %, which is due to the indirect organic fertilization through the fish excreta
  5. Production of fish from paddy field
  6. Additional income and diversified harvest such as fish and rice from water and onion, bean and sweet potato through cultivation on bunds
  7. Fish control of unwanted filamentous algae which may otherwise compete for the nutrients
  8. Tilapia and common carp control the unwanted aquatic weeds which may otherwise reduce rice yield up to 50 %
  9. Insect pests of rice like stem borers are controlled by fish feeding on them mainly by murrels and catfishes
  10. Fish feed on the aquatic intermediate host such as malaria causing mosquito larvae, thereby controlling water-born diseases of human beings.
  11. Rice fields may also serve as fish nurseries to grow fry into fingerlings. The fingerlings, if and when produced in large quantities, may either be sold or stocked in production ponds for obtaining better fish yield under composite fish culture.

Site selection:

  • About 80 cm rainfall is optimum for this integrated system.
  • Fields having an almost uniform contour and high water retention capacity are preferred.
  • Groundwater table and drainage system are important factors to be taken into consideration for selection of site.

Types of paddy fields for integrated system:

Preparation of the paddy plot can vary according to the land contours and topography.

1.     Perimeter type: The paddy growing area may be placed at the middle with moderate elevation and ground sloping on all sides into perimeter trenches to facilitate easy drainage.
2.     Central pond type: Paddy growing area is on the fringe with slopes towards the middle.
3.     Lateral trench type: Trenches are prepared on one or both lateral sides of the moderately sloping paddy filed.

  • Suppose the area of the integrated system is 100 m X 100 mi. e., 1 ha. The area to be utilized for paddy should be 82 m X 82 m -i.e., 0.67 ha. The area to be utilized for fish culture should be 6m X 352 m -i.e., 0.21 ha (4 sides).
  • The embankment area should measure 3m X 388 m i.e 0.12 ha. and the area for fruit plants should be 1m X 388 m i.e., 0.04 ha. This is an ideal ratio for preparation of an integrated system.

Paddy cultivation

1. Rice varieties used for integrated system:

  • The most promising deep water varieties chosen for different states are PLA-2 ( Andhra Pradesh ) , IB-1, IB-2 , AR-1, 353-146 ( Assam ) , BR-14, Jisurya  ( Punjab ), AR 61-25B, PTB-16 ( Kerala ) , TNR-1, TNR (Tamil nadu), Jalamagan (Uttar Pradesh), Jaladhi-1, Jaladhi-2 (West Bengal) and Thoddabi (Manipur).
  • Manoharsali rice variety seeds are used in rice fields where the fishes are reared.
  • The paddy plot should be made ready by April - May. Having prepared the plot, deep water variety of paddy is selected for direct sowing in low lying areas after the first shower of monsoon rain.

2. Fertilization schedule:

  • The paddy plots are enriched with farm yard manure or compost at 30 t / ha on a basal dose.
  • The nutrient uptake of deep water paddy being very high, the rate of inorganic fertilizer recommended are nitrogen and potassium at 60 kg/ha.
  • Nitrogen and posphorus are to be applied in three phases viz., at planting, tilling and flowering initiation.

3. Pesticide use:

  • Paddy cum fish culture is not developed much due to the use of pesticides in rice fields for the eradication of different pest and these are toxic to fish.
  • To overcome the pesticide problem, the integrated pest control system may be introduced and pesticides less toxic to fish may be used in low doses, if absolutely necessary.
  • Pesticides like carbomates and selective organophosptes only should be used. Furadon when used 7 days prior to fish stocking proved to be safe.
  • During the Kharif crop period, pesticides should be avoided. Harvesting of Kharif crop takes place in November - December. The yield in this crop is 800 - 1200 kg/ha.
  • During the Rabi crop, the pesticides can be used according to the necessity. Before adding pesticides to paddy, the dyke of the trench should be increased so that the pesticide may not enter into the trenches. The yield in this rice crop is 4000 - 5000 kg/ha.

Culturable species of fish in rice fields

  • The fish species which could be cultured in rice fields must be capable of tolerating shallow water (>15 cm depth), high temperature (up to 350 C), low dissolved oxygen and high turbidity.
  • Species such as Labeo rohita, Catla catla, Oreochromis mossambicus, Anabas testudineus, Clarias batrachus, Clarias macrocephalus, Channa striatus, Channa punctatus, Channa marulius, Heteropneustes fossilis, Chanos chanos, Lates calcarifer and Mugil sp have been widely cultured in rice fields. The minor carps such as Labeo bata, Labeo calbasu, Puntius japanicus, P.sarana, etc. can also be cultured in paddy fields.
  • Culture of freshwater prawn Macrobrachium rosenbergii could be undertaken in the rice fields.
  • The selection of species depends mainly on the depth and duration of water in the paddy field and also the nature of paddy varieties used.

Major systems of paddy cum fish culture

Two major systems of paddy-cum-fish culture may be undertaken in the freshwater areas:

1. Paddy-cum-carp culture

2. Paddy-cum-air breathing fish culture

1. Paddy-cum-carp culture:

  • Major or minor carps are cultured in paddy fields.
  • In the month of July when rain water starts accumulating in the paddy plot and the depth of water in the water way becomes sufficient, the fishes are stocked at the rate of 4000 - 6000 / ha .
  • Species ratio may be 25% surface feeders, preferably catla, 30% column feeding, rohu and 45% bottom feeders mrigal or common carp.

2. Paddy-cum-air breathing fish culture:

  • Air breathing cat fish like singhi and magur are cultured in paddy fields in most rice grown areas.
  • The water logged condition in paddy fields is very conducive for these fast growing air breathing cat fish.
  • Equal number of magur and singhi fingerlings are to be stocked at one fish/m2. Channa species are also good for this integrated system.

Fish culture in rice fields

Fish culture in rice fields may be attempted in two ways, viz. simultaneous culture and rotation culture.

Simultaneous culture:

  • Rice and fish are cultivated together in rice plots, and this is known as simultaneous culture.
  • Rice fields of 0.1ha area may be economical. Normally four rice plots of 250 m2 (25 X 10 m) each may be formed in such an area. In each plot, a ditch of 0.75 m width and 0.5 m depth is dug.
  • The dykes enclosing rice plots may be 0.3 m high and 0.3 m wide and strengthened by embedding straw.
  • The water depth of the rice plot may vary from 5 - 25 cm depending on the type of rice and size and species of fish to be cultured.
  • Five days after transplantation of rice, fish fry are stocked at the rate of 5000/ha or fingerlings at the rate of 2000/ha. The stocking density can be doubled if supplemental feed is given daily.

Releasing of fish seeds in paddy cum fish farm

The simultaneous fish – rice culture may have few limitations

  1. Use of agrochemicals is often not feasible
  2. Maintaining high water level may not be always possible, considering the size and growth of fish.
  3. Fish like grass carp may feed on rice seedling, and
  4. Fish like common carp and tilapia may uproot the rice seedlings. However, these constraints may be overcome through judicious management.

Simultaneous culture of paddy and fish

2. Rotational culture of rice and fish:

  • In this system fish and rice are cultivated alternately. The rice field is converted into a temporary fish pond after the harvest.
  • This practice is favoured over the simultaneous culture practice as it permits the use of insecticides and herbicides for rice production.
  • A greater water depth up to 60 cm can be maintained throughout the fish culture period.
  • One or two weeks after rice harvest, the field is prepared for fish culture.
  • The stocking densities of fry or fingerlings for this practice could be 20,000/ha and 6,000/ha respectively.                                                              

Fish culture:

  • The weeds are removed manually in trenches or paddy fields.
  • Predatory and weed fishes have to be removed either by netting or by dewatering.
  • Mohua oil cake may be applied at 250 ppm to eradicate the predatory and weed fishes.
  • After clearing the weeds and predators the fertilizers are to be applied.  Cow dung at the rate of 5000 kg/ha, ammonium sulphate at 70kg/ha and single super phosphate at 50 kg/ha are applied in equal instalments during the rearing period.
  • Stocking density is different in simultaneous and rotational culture practices.
  • The fishes are provided with supplementary food consisting of rice bran and groundnut oil cake in the ratio 1:1 at 5% body weight of fishes in paddy cum carp culture.
  • In paddy cum air breathing culture, a mixture of fish meal and rice bran in the ratio 1:2 is provided at the rate of 5% body weight of fishes.
  • After harvesting paddy when plots get dried up gradually, the fishes take shelter in the water way. Partial harvesting by drag netting starts soon after the Kharif season and fishes that attain maximum size are taken out at fortnightly intervals.
  • At the end of preparation when the water in the waterway is used up for irrigation of the Rabi paddy, the remaining fishes are hand picked.
  • The fish yield varies from 700 - 1000 kg/ha in this integrated system.
  • Survival rate of fish is less than 60 %. Survival rate is maximum in renovated paddy plots when compared to fish culture in ordinary paddy plots.
  • The dykes constructed for this system may be used for growing vegetables and other fruit bearing plants like papaya and banana to generate high returns from this system.
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