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Diversification of Fish Species in Breeding in India

Dr. M.K.Datta, Asst. Professor (Senior Scale)

College of Fisheries, Central Agricultural Universirty, Lembucherra, Tripura, India

mkdatta2005@gmail.com


Introduction

Polyculture of fish in seasonal or perennial ponds involving different species of carps is an age-old practice in India. The rationale of using various carp species under composite farming in the same pond ecosystem for culture is to maximize production, with the fish having different feeding habits. Endemic carps like catla, rohu, mrigal and calbasu are the first ranking fish of choice by farmers in aquaculture due to their fast growing nature and taste. Both endemic and exotic major carps (Grass carp, silver carp, bighead carp, common/mirror carp) and silver barb have also been used in polyculture systems to enhance fish production per unit area. Farmers use various combinations of 2-7 species of carps at a stocking density of 6-12,000 fingerlings/ha for polyculture in perennial ponds in this country. Production can reach 2000 — 10,000 kg/ha/yr based on intensity of farming practices. Due to consumers preference, high market value as well as conservation-revitalization of various cultivable species, importance of diversification in culture of various species have been found of immense importance in present aquaculture scenario. Among the species, endemic minor carps, catfishes in monoculture, perches, murrels live species are important.

Diversified fish species breeding

Like major carps, both endemic and exotic in nature, breeding techniques of few important minor carps, catfishes/perches as well as shell fishes have been developed and seeds are available commercially in many parts of this country and in the world.

The easy availability of stocking material is always considered important for successful culture of any fish species. Though the collection of natural seed for the purpose may be an alternative, it is not sustainable for intensive culture. So the seed production in hatchery will be the only alternative for obtaining optimum quantities of seed for the purpose through induced breeding operations. The injection of different inducing agents in fish breeding is adopted for successful ovulation and collection of eggs in different cultivable fish species.

Use of minor endemic carp in aquaculture

Some other minor endemic carps like L. bata, C. reba and L. gonius are also most suitable species which can easily be cultured in all sorts of ponds to support additional income to the farmers. In the recent past, the natural stock of these species has become threatened by habitat destruction etc, which is likely to cause a gradual loss of genetic diversity. The availability of hatchery-produced seed of these species for farming is a major trust area of aquaculture activity.

Table .1 Endemic diversified species in culture in India

Family

Species

Common name

Local name

Cyprinidae

Labeo rohita

Rohu

Ruhu





Catla catla

Catla

Katla


Cirrhinus mrigala

Mrigal

Mrigal


Cirrhinus reba

rerrreariza/reba

Reba

Laachu, Bhangan


Labeo calbasu

Calbashu

Kalibaush


Labeo bata

Bata

Bata


Labeo boga

Boga labeo

Bhangan


Labeo gonius

Gonius

Gonnia


Labeo nandina


Nandina labeo

Nandil


Bengala elonga

Bengala barb

Along


Puntius sarana

Barb

Sarpunti


Tor tor

Tot mahseer



Tor putitora


Putitor mahseer

Mahashoal

Table.2 Exotic fishes in culture in India

Species

Common name

Status

Seed production

Ctenopharyngodon idellus

Grass carp

In poly culture




Seed produced in hatchery produced seed

Hypophthalmichthys molitrix

Silver carp

Do

Do

Aristichthys nobilis

Bighead carp

Do

Do

Cyprinus carpio var. communis

Scale carp

Do

Do

Cyprinus carpio var. specularis

Mirror carp

Do

Do

Cyprinus carpio var. nudus

Common carp

Do

Do

Barbodes gonionotus

Silver barb

Do

Do

Pangasius sutchi

Pangus

In poly and monoculture

Do

Clarias gariepinus

African magur

In monoculture

Do

Piaractus brachypomus

Pacu

Do

Do

Table.3 Development of artificial propagation techniques for minor carps etc.


Species


Preliminary dose(PG mg/kg)

Interval between two doses (hours)

Decisive dose

(PG mg/kg)

Ovulation

(hours)

Hatching

(hours)


Labeo calbasu

Female 2.0

6

Female 6.0 Male 2.0

6 - 7

18 -20

Labeo gonius

Female 2.0

6

Female 5.0 Male 2.0

7 - 8

16 -18

Labeo bata

Female 1.0

6

Female 5.0 Male 1.0

7 - 8

16 -18

Cirrhinus ariza/reba

Female 1.0

6

Female 5.0 Male 1.0

7 - 8

14 -16

Puntius sarana

-

6

Female 5.0 Male 2.0

6 - 7

14 -16

Tor putitora

No requirement of hormone injection. Water flushing during spawning season induce female to be ripe which are stripped to collect ripe eggs.

72 -80



Breeding minor carps:

C. reba (Reba):

C. reba is a bottom feeding omnivore although the young feed voraciously on zooplankton and grow very quickly, even faster than the young of catla and mrigal. C. reba does not spawn in ponds even though they attain full maturity there. Currently, C. reba is considered as 'vulnerable in natural waters' due to a decline in its abundance, extent of occurrence, area of occupancy and habitat. Recently, C. reba has drawn attention as one of the potential new candidate species for aquaculture and captive breeding. C. reba is an annual breeder with a single spawning period restricted to south-west monsoons extending from May to July in Assam and Bangladesh, and June to August with a peak in June in West Bengal. The shallow waters affording the optimum range of temperature (approx. 28-30 C) may be a factor that induces the fish to spawn. The average fecundity was 420,000. The average diameter of eggs was 2.24 mm and average weight was 0.0042 mg.

Labeo bata:

Labeo bata, locally called as ilish bata, bhangon bata or bata, is one of them belonging to the Family Cyprinidae. It is a non-migratory fish and remains in one habitat throughout its life. The fish matures during monsoon season (April to July) in NE region and attends first maturity at 18.62 cm in total length .It breeds in floodplains during rainy season as Indian major carps. It spawns from May to July in at the range of water temperature 26.2-30.3oC.

Labeo gonius:

Inhabits rivers. Spawns during the southwest monsoon. Does not normally breed in ponds. Artificial breeding done through hypophysation. Cultured in ponds along with other carp species.

Breeding of Sarputi ( Puntius sarana)

Puntius sarana locally known as Sar Punti is widely distributed fish found in India. P.sarana is a freshwater fish common in ponds and rivers, prefers shallow waters of floodplains for breeding, column-bottom dwelling nature and omnivorous in feeding habit, have good consumer demand as food fish for its high biological value. It is a profilic breeder and breeds during monsoon. In July and August it spawns in shallow water. However, poor survival of egg and larvae were noticed. Like many commercially important indigenous fish species P. sarana also needs urgent attention from conservation angles, as the population of this commercially important species is reported to be in drastic decline. Artificial propagation of seed of this commercially important fish species was done using Ovaprim @ 1 ml/kg weight of both male and female fish as an inducing agent with success. It was also found that a dose fish PG of 5 mg/kg to 6 mg/kg body weight of female was suitable for breeding..

Induced spawning of Thai puti (puntius gonionotus)

Thai puti is an exotic species which breeds normally in streams and rivers like most tropical cyprinids. They can also breed in captivity like pond and tank water. Their breeding season starts from April and lasts till August. The natural source provides a negligible amount of fish seed because of higher mortality rate, mixture of cultivable and non cultivable species and shrinkage of spawning ground which impede the extension and expansion of fish culture. After the first attempt of induced spawning in early thirties this technique had been successfully tried in many countries of the world. The best ovulation, fertilization, hatching and survivability rates were achieved under higher dose of PG as used @2.00-5.00 mg/kg body weight 2 mg/kg weight of fish in first injection and 4 mg/kg in second injection) were found to be most effective for induced spawning of P. gonionotus. Slightly higher dose of hormone was required at the beginning and latter part of the spawning season and comparatively lower dose was required at the middle of the breeding season.


Cat/Air breathing fish breeding:

Important cultured species are:

  1. Clarias batrachus

  2. Heteropneustes fossilis

  3. Anabas. testudineus

  4. Pangasius sutchi

  5. Ompak spps.

Asian catfish (Clarias batrachus)

Asian catfish Clarias batrachus is considered as a potential aquaculture species in Indian subcontinent. The Asian cat fish, locally known as Magur fish, is an important air-breathing cat fish with good markets especially in North-Eastern parts of India where it fetches a higher price than the major carps. The scarcity of marketable fish as well as seed from the natural ground has been felt in this catfish. The potential to obtain magur seed from natural sources has become low due to the increasing use of pesticides in the paddy fields-which are the main breeding grounds of this fish. The breeding performance is an important parameter to evaluate the breeding success in captive condition, which depends on the type of hormone used and its potency, dose of hormone and maturity status of the fish Human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) at 14-23 h latency in combination with 3000-4000 IU HCG dose is one among them and is reported successful in catfish during induced ovulation. Appropriate combinations of the proper dose of inducing agent and stripping time always yield maximum egg output during induced breeding. A single injection of 0.6ml/kg body weight of ovaprim was the most effective. The males were given a single dose of 0.1-0.2 ml/kg body weight. Again administration of fish PG of dosage varied from 12 to 30 mg/kg weight of fish given in two doses, a provocative dose of 5-10 mg kg and a final dose of 8-20 mg/kg a 5-6 hours interval was found successful in spawning. In hapa nursing of magur, we achieved an average survival of 51% while feeding with rice bran and mustard oil cake mixture at 1:1 ratio and termite twice daily.

Before the female are stripped male fish with gravid testis are to be sacrificed, and testes are taken out and macerated in normal saline (0.9% NaCl).  The spermatozoa become inactive in this medium and this extract can be maintained for few hours in refrigerator.  After 16 hours of latency period female fish is stripped and ova are collected in to dry enamel tray.  Before fertilization milt (spermatozoa) extract medium is activated by addition of fresh water.  Sperms become active and motility of sperms can be confirmed in microscope.  Sperm preparation thus obtained will be sufficient to fertilize the ova stripped from 2 females.  Sperm extract is sprinkled over the ova and gametes are mixed gently with bird feathers and allowed to 2 to 3 minutes for fertilization.  After repeated washing with fresh water fertilized eggs are transferred to hatching trays for incubation.


A) Flow through System of Magur Breeding:

This is a simple device comprising a stand on which are placed a row of plastic tubs (12 cm dia, 6 cm high).  Water supplied from the overhead tank through a common pipe to all the tubs with individual control tabs.  Each tub is provided with an outlet at a height of 4 cm and connected to a common conduit to drain off water. In this model of  flow through system the temperature monitoring system has not been used which seems to be necessary to increase the rate of survivality of magur larvae

B) Innovative model of Flow through system:

This is a modification in the CIFA flow through system by adding temperature monitoring system which is necessary to increase the rate of survivality of magur larvae.  This innovative model device comprises a stand on which are placed a row of plastic tubs (12 cm diameter & 6 cm high).  Water supplied from the overhead tank through a common pipe to all the tubs with individual control tabs.  Each tub is provided with an outlet at a height of 4 cm and connected to a common conduit to drain off water.  Lights are fixed over each tub for maintaining the temperature in the tubs during incubation.  The wattage of bulbs is selected depending on the need of raise in temperature.  Normally 100 Watt bulb is sufficient to maneuver the temperatures in Vidarbha Region where, during the monsoon the average minimum temperature is found to be 16 °C which may decline up to 6° C in extreme conditions.  But the ideal water temperature required for the rearing of magur larvae is 22 ° C to 30 °C.

Singhi (Heteropneustes fossilis)

This is a common catfish found in freshwater swamps, ponds and tanks throughout the country. It is also suitable for pond culture. It reportedly attains a length of 200 mm at the end of the first year and a maximum length of about 450 mm. This fish breeds in ponds and confined waters almost throughout the year, peak season being monsoon. During rainy days, fishes move from wells to shallow inundated areas of paddy fields for breeding. The eggs are greenish in colour and are usually found attached to weeds. This fish has been successfully induced to breed in India by administering in one injection 75-100 lU of human chorionic gonadotrophin. It is also possible to induce this fish to breed 8 to 10 weeks ahead of peak spawning season by administering pituitary gland injections. By hypophysation these fishes can be induced to breed several times in the same season. Even the spawning season could be prolonged by 2-3 months when the fishes are kept exposed to light during this period for about 12 hours every day. The incubation period extends from 18-20 hours and the newly hatched larvae measure about 2-7 mm in length. At this stage, the larvae feed voraciously on zooplankton. Therefore, it is suggested that before stocking the larvae, the nursery ponds have to be prepared to have abundant zooplankton to get better survival of hatchlings.

Breeding of Kai (Aanbas testudineus)

The adults are solitary and aggressive. It can gain weight up to 52gm in one year. Maturity occurs at the age of one when the fishes reach a size of 10-12cm in total length. The sexual dimorphism in A. testudineus is more apparent during breeding season. The mature male acquires a reddish hue on the body, particularly on the pectoral and ventral fins. The female shows only a faint reddish color. Further in the male a distinct diamond shaped black spot appears in the caudal peduncle. In the female this black spot is oblong and somewhat diffused. Moreover, the female in contrast to the male, has a prominently bulging abdomen. The ventral distance between the bases of the two pectoral fins in the female is significantly greater than the male. In the breeding season, the female exhibits a prominent bulge at the vent, resembling the genital papillae while in the male this structure is absent. Mature males ooze out white milt and mature females ooze out ova even at a gentle pressure at the abdomen during breeding season.

In nature the eggs are scattered in open water at the onset of the rains without any nest. The male wraps itself in the female body, fertilizing the eggs as they are laid. Each time 200 colorless eggs are released until about 5000 nos are laid. The fecundity varies from 5000-35000 nos. The eggs rise to the surface and float. The eggs hatch in 24 hrs and the fry are about 2-3mm long. They are free swimming within two days of hatching.

While in artificial breeding with pituitary or synthetic hormone, a single dose of injection for both the male and female spawning actively and courtship behavior starts after 6 hrs of injection. The water temperature to be maintained at 28° C + 1°C. Good spawning was reported with 8.0-12.0 mg/kg PG to female and 4.0 mg/kg of body weight to male admistration in hapa 7-8 hours after second injection in the temperature of 27-30°C. Fertilized eggs float on the surface of the water. It takes 18-19 hrs for hatching after spawning and newly hatched larvae measure 1.9-2.0 mm in length without any movement. Yolk sac completely absorbs on third day after hatching and settles at the bottom. Egg custard, plankton and Artemia are supplied as artificial feed for those frie up to 20-25 days. The survivability varies from 70-75%.



Breeding of pangas (Pangasius sutchi)

Pangasiidae (order: Siluriformes) is a family of fresh water catfish common to southern and south-eastern Asia. Catfish of the genus Pangasius have been cultured in earthen ponds and other waters on the Indo-Chinese Peninsula since ancient times. The most important of these is Pangasius sutchi, which is commonly known as shark catfish or Thai pangas and reaches weights of 3 kg and lengths of 150 cm within 2 years of birth.

The fertilized eggs are adhesive and spherical with a yellowish or greenish-brown egg capsule. The yolk sac is yellowish-brown in color and 1.20—1.80 mm in diameter. Nine hours post-fertilization, the first cleavage stage, embryonic shield, head, tail region, neural grooves and somites were evident. The incubation period ranges from 24—36 h at a temperature of 20—30°C. The newly hatched larvae are quite transparent and light yellowish in color with a body length of 2.98—3.10 mm. Eye pigments appear and the heart starts to work within 12—14 h of hatching. In 1-day-old pro-larvae, the mouth becomes well developed; barbules are elongated, prominent and look like tiny threads. The yolk sac is fairly well absorbed and the palatine teeth are fully developed during the 3 day pro-larval stage. At the end of 12 days of larval development, the stomach becomes functional and aerial respiration starts. After 2 weeks, the young fry is well-developed, and is of an adult appearance, that is, measuring up to 13.56 mm in length.



Ompok ( Pabda) spps

Ompok pabda/bimaculatus (Ham.) popularly known as 'butter cat fish' or pabda is a freshwater species native to India specially in North East States of India. Open beels/mauns connected with rivers are common habitats. Pabda has fine flesh with a soft meat texture, good taste and high nutritional value. Presently Ompok spp has been listed as an endangered fish species in India due to its decrease in abundance and restricted distribution. Causes of the decline are likely to be indiscriminate fishing during the breeding season, wide use of pesticide and insecticides from agricultural fields causing pollution and siltation in habitat. The fish attained maturity at the end of the first year. Males matured earlier than females, which became mature at 30 —40 g in weight. Fertilization is external and spawning occurs once a year during the monsoon season (June — August) with a peak in July. Fully ripe females and males were segregated and used in induced breeding. Females can be distinguished by a rounder, fuller abdomen, reddish vent colour and rounded genital papilla. Males have an elongated and pointed genital papilla. Used Ovaprim to promote induction of spawning. Ovaprim was applied at 1 — 1.5 ml/kg body weight for females and 0.5-1.0ml/kg body weight for males, applied in a single injection. Females were stripped for spawning 8 — 10 hours after hormone injection and the eggs were collected in a tray. Milt was obtained from males by surgically removing the testes, which were macerated to produce a suspension to be mixed with the eggs for fertilisation. Eggs were subsequently washed thoroughly with clean water and transferred to a fibreglass/cement tank for hatching, with constant aeration.

Embryonic development:

30 minutes after fertilization the blastodisc begins to form over the yolk, following first, second and third cleavage. Sixty four cell stages were observed after 70 minutes postfertilisation followed by morula stage in two hours. Yolk plug stage appeared after five hours. The cephalic and caudal end of the embryo had differentiated after 10 — 15 hours. After 16 — 21 hours the gut had faintly appeared posterior to the yolk sac, leading to the anus, and movement of the embryo could be seen within the egg. After 22 hours movements of the embryo were observed. The eggs began to hatch after 23 hours.

Larval rearing

Newly hatched larva can be reared in fibre glass tanks and cement cisterns as well as in nurseries using pond water. Suitable water parameters are temperature 25±3° C, alkalinity 120-150 mg l-1 and dissolved oxygen in the range 3 —5 mg l-1. Initially the water level of containers was maintained .at 3 — 4 cm, and gradually increased to 15 — 20 cm after one week. Water levels were adjusted at different stages of rearing to minimize the stress to larva. Aquatic weeds such as Hydrilla can be provided to give cover for the larvae.

Feed

Yolk sacs were absorbed in around three days. Early spawn were cannibalistic, attacking and devour others. It was necessary to reduce the density of the stocked population to reduce cannibalism. Mixed zoo plankton, Tubifex worm, and egg custard were provided as larval feed. Larvae accept zooplankton up to day 15. In fry stages and onwards the fish can be fed with compound feed (rice polish, silk worm pupae and boiled egg) at 100 % of body weight of the population. The average size of fry was 1.1 — 2.0 cm in length and 0.6 — 2.0 g in weight. Fry can also can be reared in fibre glass tanks and cement cisterns fed with both zooplanktons 2.0 — 3.0 Embyonic development at 1 hour and 10 minutes. Embryonic development at 1 hour and 42 minutes. Embryonic development at 11 hours and 40 minutes.. Fry attained 5.0 — 6.0 cm and 3.0 -5.0 g after a rearing period of 40 days, which is a good size for stocking in grow out ponds.


Breeding of murrels:

The important cultured species are:

  1. Channa marulius

  2. C. panctatus

  3. C. striatus

Among freshwater fish species, murrels (snakeheads) and catfishes secure the top rank economically. Murrels have long been commercially cultured in Thailand, Taiwan and Philippines. But fish farmers in India are not much familiar with murrel culture due to want of breeding, feeding and culture techniques. The common species are Therefore it is imperative to make murrel culture popular among fish farmers and unemployed youths for income generation. Females with soft and swollen bellies are suitable for breeding. However a gentle pressure on the belly for oozing of eggs could check prime maturation. Males are selected by external examination of genital papilla since they do not ooze milt by pressure. The fecundity of Channa punctata ranges from 2,200 in a specimen of 12·1 cm TL to 33,873 in a specimen of 22·3 cm TL. Murrels are induced to spawn by injecting natural (pituitary, human chorionic gonadotropin) or synthetic (ovaprim, ovatide) hormones intramuscularly. Among the hormones tested a synthetic product of SGnRHa marketed by Glaxo Ltd. is recommended at a single dose of 0.5 ml/ Kg. Each breeding set consists of one female and two males. Immediately after injection each breeding set is introduced into a breeding tank (6m x 5m x1m) having sides pasted with cement and bottom filled with clay. Aquatic weeds (e.g. water hyacinth) are introduced into the breeding tank for hiding purposes. Spawning activities are observed after 6-10 hrs of hormone injection. Courtship behavior continues till the complete release of eggs and milt (24-30 hrs). Fertilization is external and the fertilized eggs are usually floating. An egg mass of about 6-14 cm diameter consists of 5000-10,000 eggs (diameter 1.2mm -1.5mm). The rate of fertilization ranges between 70-90%. Hatching takes place 24-30 hrs after fertilization and the hatchlings (2.8mm - 3.2mm in length) are guarded by the parents especially by the male parent. From a single spawning 4000-8000 hatchlings/female are obtained.

Rearing of spawn:

The yolk sac is completely absorbed on the 3rd day and the mouth is fully formed. At that time the larvae start exogenous feeding especially on small plankton like rotifers. The young ones are allowed to stay with parents in the breeding tanks for one or two weeks. To avoid cannibalism the fry are removed from breeding tanks after two weeks. The fry are fed with boiled and finely ground chicken intestine or fish waste. After a month the fry (15mm length) attains red colour. The fry are reared in cement tanks (3m x 1m x 1m) with a stocking density of 500/m2. Whenever the young ones are reared, they should be of equal size to avoid cannibalism. Fry survival may be 65-80% in the cement tanks. Water quality (29 ±°C, 0.06 - 6.52mgO2/l pH 7.5 - 8.2) and feeding are the deciding factors for the survival of the young ones. A flow through system is always preferred for better survival. The fry are reared in medium (3m x 1m x 1m) or large cement (5m x 4m x 2m) tanks upto the fingerling stage. The fry reaches 4 to 5 cms after 2 months and the fingerlings are collected from the cement tanks for commercial culture.

Table 4. Effect of different dosis of two hormones on induced spawning in C. punctatus and H. fossilis. The low, medium and high dosages with different superscripts are significantly different (P<0.05)


Hormone

Fish mass (g)

Dosage Latency Fertilization

Egg output kg/bw period (h) rate (%)

Hatching rate (%)

Survival rate of hatchlings (%)

C. punctatus

Ovaprim

65 - 80

0.1 ml

-

-

30 ± 8

-

-


65 - 80

0.3 ml

28 - 34

73.5

3276 ± 75

65.0

30


75 - 85

0.5 ml

28 - 34

75.0

198 ± 10

50.0

10


60 - 70

1000 IU

-

-

102 ± 20

-

-

HCG

70 - 80

2000 IU

28 - 34

75.5

699 ± 78

65.5

50


65 - 85

3000 IU

28 - 34

78.0

1253 ± 126

70.5

65

H. fossilis


100 - 105

0.3 ml

18 - 24

70.0

258 ± 85

50.5

10

Ovaprim

90 - 105

0.5 ml

18 - 24

75.0

1052 ± 220

60.0

30


90 - 100

0.7 ml

18 - 24

70.0

6692 ± 790

50.0

15


80 - 105

1000 IU

18 - 24

78.0

6336 ± 800

75.0

60

HCG

90 - 100

2000 IU

18 - 24

75.0

18376 ± 1020

60.5

50


110 - 115

3000 IU

18 - 24

70.0

82922 ± 5432

60.0

55


Small indigenous fishes (SIFs) and their breeding

Small indigenous fishes traditionally occupy an unenviable position and an inseparable link in the life, livelihood, health and the general well being of the rural mass, especially the poor. It has been reported that some species such as mola (A. mola), dhela (O. cotio cotio), darkina (E. danricus) and kaski (C. soborna) contain a high amount of vitamin A and other micronutrients and minerals. Studies in Bangladesh and Cambodia showed that small fish species make up 50- 80 per cent of all fish eaten during the production season. Two species from the genus Esomus (E. danricus, E. longimanus) are rich in high iron content. Small scale aquaculture of A. mola, Puntius sophore, Osteobrama cotio, Cirrihinus reba, Labeo bata, Gudusia chapra, Notopterus nototerus etc. along with Indian major carps have been reported in India. Successful captive breeding of several SIF's have been reported under National Agricultural Technology Project (NATP) -NBFGR projects and also by several workers. Many of the SIHs are self breeders and need proper management practices to facilitate natural breeding mostly in monsoon.



Breeding of C. reba



Breeding of murrel Breeding of magur

Stripping of magur



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