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Introduction :

The commonly cultivated six species - Catla (Catla catla) Rohu (Labeo rohita), Marigal (Cirrhinus mrigala) Silver carp (Hypothalmichthys molitrix), Grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella) and Common carp (Cyprinus carpio) are considered to be the best culturable species of fishes in the inland water system. These fishes originally belong to riverine environment and when cultured in standing water bodies such as ponds and tanks, they attain maturity but normally do not breed under confined conditions. Special attempts are therefore made to breed them by artificially creating riverine conditions and stimulating there endocrine system. The technique of breeding fish by other than its natural course is known as INDUCED BREEDING. Induced breeding techniques has been developed for production of quality fish seed of culturable varieties. It is one of the most dependable method of producing pure seed of desired species of fish. Further this technique has helped to produce fish seed in those areas where natural collection of fish seed was not possible.

Method of induced Breeding : Hypophysation - The technique of breeding the fish by administering pituitary gland extract injection is known as induced breeding or hypophysation. The pituitary gland secrete several hormones of which Gonadotropin is the most important for breeding.

The increasing demand of fish pituitaries have now been solved to some extent by the introduction of HCG, now readily available in the market. The HCG is now increasingly becoming popular due to its low cost. A mixture of HCG and pituitary hormone extract in definite proportion are employed successfully for breeding fish.

Collection of pituitary gland:

Glands are collected from ripe fish by removing the upper part of the skull(scalp) by a sharp knife or a bone cutter. After removing the scalp, the brain is exposed which is then cut from the posterior end and lifted up anteriorly. As soon as the brain is lifted the gland can be seen located in the cavity covered by a thin membrane. It is carefully picked up with the help of tweezers and kept immersed in a cavity block or a petri dish in absolute alcohol under cover.

Preservation and storage of pituitary glands:

While exposing and removing the glands great care is taken to avoid any contact with water. It is most important because the hormone of the pituitary gland is soluble in water. There are three methods for preservation of pituitary glands:-

i) preservation in absolute alcohol

ii) preservation in acetone

iii) preservation by quick freezing

Identification and selection of breeders for spawning :


The success of induced breeding depends on the proper selection of breeders. The identification the sex is made on the basis of the external characters. The mature males are distinguished from the females by the presence of denticulation on the dorsal surface of the pectoral fin which is rough to touch. Further, in males the abdomen is comparatively flat and the vent is not swollen but they ooze milt at slight pressure on their abdomen. The ripe females have soft and bulging abdomen with swollen pinkish genital opening. The presence or absence of pre-anal ridge is also taken into consideration as a sign of maturity for selection of female breeders. For the production of quality seed and better growth, breeders of standard quality may be selected viz., Catla-3kg and above, rohu, grass and silver carp-2kg and above, mrigal and calbasu-1kg and above.

Maintenance of breeders:

Farm raised breeders give better results. The breeders can also be collected from ponds and rivers. The best time for collection is from November till March. The optimal rate of stocking may be 2000-2500 kg per hectare. Organic manure along with low dose of single super-phosphate (17 to 20 kg. per hectare) may be applied at fortnightly intervals in the pond where catla and silver sarp is stocked as major species. Pond/tank stocked with grass carp as the major species need not be manured regularly. It may be fed with submerged aquatic vegetation during winter months and with grass on the advent of the spring (at the rate of 1-2% of the body weight) for acceleration of gonadial development. For other species feed prepared by mixing deoiled rice bran and oil cake at the rate of 1-2% of the body weight of fish stock is desired in the initial stages. Fish meal containing 30% protein could be a better substitute for oil cake at the later stage (advent of the spring).

The mature male and female breeders are segregated and stocked sex-wise in separate ponds about 1-2 months before their breeding season and their genetic conditions and stage of maturity are checked periodically.

Breeding technique :

After selection of brood fishes from the segregated brooder ponds they are kept in the hapas at fish farms or in fish seed hatcheries for about 6-7 hours for conditioning. After proper conditioning the individual brood fish is weighed in a hand net using a spring balance. The breeders are then ready to receive injection.

Determination of dosage for injection:

Doses of pituitary gland extract is calculated on the basis of miligrams of pituitary gland per kilogram body weight of the recipient fish. Determination of proper dosages of pituitary gland alone or in combination with H.C.G. depends largely on the stage of sexual maturity of the breeders and also to some extent on the environmental (climatic) conditions. Spawning of carp may be obtained by administration of a single dose of 5-10 mg. of pituitary gland per kg. body weight to the female breeders. In males a low dose of 2 mg per kg. body weight is usually given. Better results are however obtained by injecting a preliminary dose of 2-3 mg per kg. body weight to the female fish alone and a second dose of 5-8 mg per kg. body weight after an interval of 6 hours. The males receive only a single dose of 2-3 mg. per kg. body weight at the time of 2nd injection to the female. Both the sexes are then put together in a definite ratio in circular spawning pool inside indoor hatchery.

Preparation of gland extract :

Once proper dosages are determined, the quantity of glands required for injecting the breeders is calculated. The required quantity of glands is then taken out from vials, dried on a filter paper and macerated in a tissue homogenizer with a little distilled water or 0.3% common salt solution. The homogenized glands are then centrifuged and the supernatant liquid is decanted and diluted with the same solvent to a known volume. the following dilutions are recommended.

Weight of brooder Prepatory dose Final dose

1.0 to 2.0 kg 0.50cc/fish 0.75 cc/fish

Above 2 kg 0.75 cc/fish 1.50 cc/fish

Method of injection :

Intra-muscular injection of fish pituitary extract is administered usually in the region of the caudal peduncle a little above or below the lateral line region or near the shoulder region. For injecting the fish, the needle is inserted under a scale, parallel to the body of the fish and then pierced into the muscles at an angle. A 2ml graduated hypodermic syringe is most convenient for injecting most of the fishes. The size of the needle depends upon the size of the breeder to be injected.

Breeding environment :

Success of spawning by hypophysation depends on the hydrological and climatic conditions. Temperature is one of the most important factors. It has been observed that 250-280C is most conducive for breeding. However, spawning could be induced at or below this temperature range. The percentage of fertilisation and hatching under uncontrolled conditions is not very satisfactory. Circulation of fresh water containing 5-9 mg/litre of oxygen promotes better success in spawning, higher fertilisation of eggs and higher recovery of hatchlings from fertilised eggs.

Spawning and hatching :

Eco-hatchery-circular spawning pool:

It is circular cement pool (8 metere in diameter) with 50 cubic meteres of water holding capacity. The bottom of the pool slopes to the centre where there is an outlet pipe (10 cm dia) leading to the incubation pond(egg collection chamber). The wall of the spawning pool is provided with diagonally fitted inlet pipes at an angle of 450for circulation of water creating artificial riverine conditions. After circular pool is filled with water, about 80 kg. of females and 80 kg of males are released into the pool. When the breeders start coming up to the surface the valves are opened so that a circular current is created. The speed of water current is maintained at about 30 meters per minute.

The yield of 10 million eggs per breeding operation is usually achieved.

Eco-hatchery-Incubation pool:


As spawning goes on in the spawning pool, the fertilised eggs are led into the incubation pool (3 metere diameter - double walled circular pool, with inner wall of regulated mesh permitting outflow of water) where water at a regulated speed enters through the duck mouth valves fitted on the floor of the outer chamber. The speed of the water is regulated @2.5 litre/sec. in the initial stage and then reduced to 2.0 litre/sec. when movement of embryo inside the eggs starts. After hatching, the speed is again increased to 3.0-3.5 litres/sec. and the hatchlings are allowed to remain there for about 3 days till the yolk sac is absorbed.

Rearing of seed-hatchling to fry/fingerling stage:

Presently two techniques are practiced.

  1. Rearing in earthern ponds at the fish farm.
  2. Two phased seed rearing - Phase one inside the hatchery building and phase two rearing in earthern pond at fish farm.

Rearing in earthern ponds at fish farm upto fry stage:

From the hatchling receiving ponds (nursery ponds), the weeds are removed. Unwanted fishes are removed using mahua oil cake containing 4-6% saponin at the rate of 2000-2500kg/ha metere. Lime is applied @ 250-300 kg per ha. for neutralizing acidity and helping mineralisation of organic matter. Manuring of ponds with cow dung @5000kg/ha is done about 15 days before the anticipated date of stocking by broadcasting all over the pond (dose of cow dung is doubled weigh Mauna oil cake is not used). Aquatic insects are controlled suitability of water is tested thereafter ponds are stocked with about 3-4 days old spawn usually in the morning hours. The moderate rate of stocking may be 25-30 lakhs/ha.

Supplementary Feed:

A mixture of finely powdered groundnut/mustard oil cake and rice bran/polish, in equal proportion by weight is supplied to the fry. Cobalt chloride or manganese sulphate (trace elements)@0.01 mg/day/spawn may be added to the feed. Addition of yeast increases survival of fry. Feed may be broadcast all over the pond commencing from the day of stocking. Feeding may be stopped one day earlier to the harvesting. The generally recommended feeding schedule is as under.

Period Rate of feeding per day Approximate quantity per one lakh of spawn/day
1st to 5th day 4 times the initial total weight of spawn stocked 0.56 kg
6th to 12th day 8 times the initial weight of spawn stocked 1.12 kg
13th & 14th day No feeding  

Feeding not to be suspended in adverse ecological conditions.

Harvesting of fry:

The fry in about 2 weeks time generally grows to 25-30 mm size. They are harvested with fine meshed (1.5 mm) drag net in the cool morning hours avoiding the cloudy days.

Chinese Fish hatchery - A few tips

  • The location of a Chinese Hatchery should ideally be on a sloping high land for economical construction. If sloping land is available the floor level of the spawn collection tank should be adjusted to the ground level for draining out water by gravity.
  • The level of eggs transfer outlet located at the centre of spawning tank should be about 10 cm. above the level of central overflow pipe at the top of the hatching tank. This will enable complete transfer of eggs from the spawning tank to use outside the tanks.
  • Overflowing water from the hatching tank should not be passed on to the spawn collection tanks but should be put to use outside the tanks.
  • Separate fresh-water supply lines should be installed from the overheads water tank to each tank i.e. spawning tank, hatching tanks and spawn collection tanks in order to ensure independent working of each.
  • Water spraying arrangements should be provided for aeration and oxygenation in the three tanks.
  • Eggs transfer pipe should discharge the water along with eggs into the hatching tank in between the two walls of the hatching tank to avoid damage of eggs.
  • The walls of the spawning tanks should be provided with water inlet pipes installed in a diagonal position to create a circular water flow during the spawning period.
  • Where water flow is insufficient for circulation,multiple-chambered hatching pools with paddle wheels for circulation may be constructed.

A. Capital cost


Item Cost(Rs.)
1. Renovation of tank of 2 ha water spread area involving excavation upto 1 foot depth 30,000
2. Circular breeding pool & hatching pools  
i. Breeding pool of 8 m diameter 30,000
ii. 3 Hatching pools of 3m diameter @ Rs.15,000/- per pool 45,000
3. Overhead tank of 5000 gallons capacity 50,000
4. Shallow tube well 8"x6"x200' 25,000
5. Pumpset(5HP) 20,000
6 Generator set with 10 KVA alternator 50,000
7. Guard shed and office room 25,000
8. Brood stock-5 tonnes 150,000
9. Contingent expenses for nets, equipments hapas etc. 30,000

B. Recurring cost

I. Cultural cost for 3 preparatory months

i. Feeding of brood stock @ 3% body weight for 5 tons of fish with 13,500 per kg artificial feed (150 kgsx30 daysx3 months) @ Rs.3/- per kg.
ii. Salary of 2 guards-cum-labour @ Rs.450/pm 37,000
iii. Cost of netting 2 times a month for 3 months 600

II. Cultural cost for five operating months

Feeding of brood fish @ 1.5% body weight for 5 tons of fish with 11,250 kgs artificial feed (75 kgs.x30 daysx5 months) @ Rs.3/kg 33,750
ii. Wages of 2 guards-cum-labour @Rs.450/month for 5 months 4,500
iii. Operation cost of electric pump/generator on equal ratio @ Rs.5.00 per hour for 5 hrs. daily (Rs.5x5hrsx30 daysx5months) 3,750
iv. Additional labour for 5 months 36,000
v. Misc. cost for pituitary glands, equipments, electricity etc. 19,250

III. Cultural cost for 4 post-operatory months

Manuring, liming and fertilising @Rs.450/- ha/month 3,600
Wages for 2 guards-cum-labour @Rs.450/- ha/month 3,600
Cost of periodical netting @ Rs.50/- per.month 400
Other expenses 300

Total Recurring cost (I+II+III)=Rs.1,48.900/-

C. Unit cost

i. Capital cost Rs.4,55,000
ii. Recurring cost Rs.1,48,900


A. Installed Capacity

Unit size No. Capacity
Spawning pool 8 m dia 1 150-200 kgs.

brood fish

Hatching pools 3m dia 3 150 litres fertilized egg per pool or 450 litres of fertlised eggs from 3 pools requiring 8-0 kgs. of female brood fish or 160 kgs. of total brood fish.

B. Expected utilisation of installed capacity

Per batch requirement of female brood fish 80 kgs
Per batch requirement of brood fish for single run (male or female)

160 kgs

Total number of hatchery runs @5 run/month for 5 months 25 runs
Total requirement of brood fish in 5 months (160 kgs.x25 runs)

4000 kgs

Requirement of breeder for 5 months operation (considering 90% of the brood fish will attain maturity and 90% of the matured breeders would respond to hypophysation)

4940 kgs

Number of spawn produced per kg body weight of female brood fish (considering @ 1.2 lakh/kg female, 90% fertilisation 80% hatching rate)* say 80,000

80000 nos.

Spawn produced from female brood fish in a single run 64 lakhs

C. Expected Income

I Gross income/run

Gross income/run  
From sale of 51.2 lakhs of major carp spawn (80% of the produce) @ Rs.200/lakh Rs.10,240
From sale of 12.8 lakhs of exotic carp spawn (20% of the produce) @Rs.500/lakh Rs.6,4000
Gross income/month

(Rs.16,640/-x5 runs)

Gross income in 5 operative months Rs.4,16,000
Net income Rs. 2,67,050

* The fecundity may be as high as 2.0 lakh/kg of body weight of female brood fish. However an average rate of 1.2 lakh/kg body weight is considered for purpose of economics.

Financial Analysis of Eco Hatchery

Particulars Years        
Capital Cost 4.55 - - - -
Recurring Cost 1.49 1.49 1.49 1.49 1.49
Total 7.04 1.49 1.49 1.49 1.49
Income 2.08 4.16 4.16 4.16 4.16
Net Income -4.96 2.67 2.67 2.67 2.67
NPV of cost@15% 2.32        
NPV of Benefits@15% 9.82        
NPV@15% Rs2.32 lakhs        
BCR 1.24:1        
IRR 40%        

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