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Increasing the production and quality of pangasius fish through cultivation in deep ponds

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Review by
03 Feb 2024 4:00 PM

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Pangasius fish (Pangasianodon hypophthalmus) has become a favorite in the fishing industry in Indonesia, witnessing an increase in its popularity as one of the most widely cultivated types of freshwater fish. Pangasius fish cultivation has spread to various regions in Indonesia, with various methods used by farmers to optimize production. These methods include the use of cages, shallow earthen ponds, and deep earthen ponds. However, among the various cultivation methods available, the use of deep ponds is considered the superior option.

Deep ponds are the main choice for pangasius fish farmers because they have the ability to increase production up to two times compared to other methods. Not only that, the use of deep ponds is also believed to improve the quality of the pangasius fish meat produced. This makes this method a favorite among cultivators who are oriented towards increasing the production and quality of their cultivated products.

The advantages of deep ponds for increasing the production and quality of pangasius fish are supported by several factors. One of them is its ability to prevent pangasius fish meat from smelling of mud which often occurs in fish that live in muddy environments. The natural characteristics of pangasius fish which tend to search for food at the bottom of the mud can make the fish meat have an undesirable aroma if kept in a pond that is not deep. In deep ponds, food goes straight to the fish's mouth quickly, reducing the chance of the fish consuming mud.

Apart from that, this cultivation method also provides advantages in terms of environmental management. Deep ponds have a larger capacity to accommodate fish waste, thereby minimizing negative impacts on the surrounding environment. Thus, the use of deep ponds not only has a positive impact on the production and quality of pangasius fish, but also supports sustainable and environmentally friendly farming practices.

With its advantages, it is not surprising that the method of cultivating pangasius fish in deep ponds is increasingly popular among aquaculture in Indonesia. Farmers who adopt this method are expected to increase the efficiency and productivity of their cultivation, as well as meet the increasing market demand for quality pangasius fish. Thus, deep ponds are not only a solution to increase the production and quality of pangasius fish, but also become one of the pillars in the development of a sustainable fishing industry in Indonesia.

Location and environmental criteria

Pangasius fish farming is an activity that requires choosing the right location by paying attention to several environmental criteria. One of the main criteria is the availability of water sources that are easily accessible and stable, and free from the risk of natural disasters, especially floods. This is important because the availability of adequate and maintained water will ensure the survival of pangasius fish and increase cultivation efficiency. In addition, the water environment around the cultivation location must be clean from waste pollution and various sources of pollution, such as residential areas, industry, agriculture or livestock. Good water quality will support the growth and health of pangasius fish, as well as prevent the risk of disease and other health problems.

In addition to water-related factors, the texture of the soil subgrade at the cultivation site is also an important consideration. Ideally, the soil at the cultivation location should be sandy loam which can provide structural stability and sufficient nutrition for fish. The slope of the cultivation land also needs to be considered, where the optimal slope is around one percent (1%). The right slope will help in managing water in cultivation ponds, reducing the risk of erosion and ensuring even distribution of water throughout the cultivation area. By paying attention to these environmental criteria, pangasius farmers can increase the success of their cultivation and ensure optimal production.

Water quality

Water quality is a very important factor in pangasius cultivation because it affects the growth, health and quality of life of the fish. Some water quality parameters that must be considered include water temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen, ammonia, hydrogen sulfur and carbon dioxide. The ideal water temperature for cultivating pangasius fish is in the range of 25-33°C. Temperatures that are too low or too high can disrupt fish metabolism and cause stress or even death. Apart from that, the pH of the water must also be maintained in the range of 6.5-9.0, with an optimal value between 7-8.5. Significant changes in pH can affect the biochemical balance in the fish's body and cause health problems.

In addition, the dissolved oxygen content in water is very important for fish respiration. The ideal dissolved oxygen range for pangasius fish cultivation is between 3-7 ppm, with an optimal value of around 5-6 ppm. Low oxygen levels can cause oxygen stress in fish and disrupt their growth and health. Apart from that, the levels of ammonia and sulfur hydrogen in the water must also be maintained so that they do not exceed 0.1 ppm. High levels of ammonia and sulfur hydrogen can be toxic to fish and cause serious health problems. Likewise, carbon dioxide levels in the water also need to be considered and should not be more than 10 ppm, because high levels can disrupt the fish's respiration process. By paying attention to these parameters, pangasius fish farmers can create an optimal environment for the growth and health of their fish.

Pond preparation

The process of cultivating pangasius fish begins with the very important stage of pond preparation. This stage includes several steps to ensure optimal pond conditions for fish growth and health. First of all, the preparation pool must be dried for at least one week until the bottom of the pool cracks. This aims to remove excessive moisture and ensure that the bottom of the pond has the right texture to support cultivation activities. Next, water channels are prepared and repaired to ensure smooth and controlled water flow during the cultivation process.

After the basic preparation stage is complete, lime is added to the soil with a low pH (<6) using CaO lime. The aim of adding lime is to increase the pH of the pond soil and kill germs and pests that can interfere with fish growth. The recommended dose is around 100 gr/m2, which must be distributed evenly throughout the pool area. The next stage is the fertilization process to increase soil fertility. Fertilization can be done using manure with an adjusted dose, namely around 250-500 gr/m2. Fertilization will provide the nutrients needed by aquatic plants and plankton as a food source for fish. Finally, the pond is filled with fresh water until it reaches a height of around 80%, ensuring an optimal water environment for the growth of pangasius fish. By carrying out the pond preparation process carefully, farmers can create ideal conditions for cultivating pangasius fish.

Pangasius fish cultivation pond in Kampung Patin, Riau

Seed dispersal

The distribution of pangasius fish seeds is an important stage in the cultivation process that requires special attention to reduce stress on the seeds. Before pangasius fish seeds are distributed into cultivation ponds, they must undergo an acclimatization process first. This acclimatization process aims to reduce the stress that the seeds may experience due to changes in the environment from their place of origin to the cultivation pond. Usually, the acclimatization process is carried out by placing the seeds in a plastic bag and placing them on the surface of the pond water for approximately 10 minutes. In a plastic bag, the seeds will have time to adapt to changes in temperature and water conditions before being released into the pond. This step helps reduce stress on the fry, thereby increasing their survival and growth rates once distributed into the culture pond.

The acclimatization process of pangasius fish seeds before distribution also helps in minimizing risks to the health and quality of the seeds. By giving the fry time to adjust to their new environment, they have the opportunity to reduce stress and strengthen their immune systems. This will have a positive impact on the growth and health of the seeds during the cultivation period in the pond. Apart from that, a good acclimatization process can also increase the efficiency of seed use, because healthier and stronger seeds will have a higher survival rate and better growth in the cultivation pond. Thus, the acclimatization process before stocking pangasius fish seeds is an important step that must be taken to achieve optimal cultivation results.


In pangasius fish farming, feeding is a very important aspect to maintain optimal fish health and growth. Farmers must pay careful attention to the frequency and amount of feed given to fish. In general, pangasius fish are fed 3 times a day at a dose of around 2-3% of the total fish biomass in the pond. Regular and consistent feeding frequency helps ensure that fish get enough nutrition for their growth and health. By providing feed according to needs, farmers can minimize the risk of health problems and increase fish growth efficiency.

Feed conversion ratio (FCR) is an important indicator in pangasius fish farming which measures the efficiency of the feed given on fish growth. FCR is a comparison between the weight of the feed given and the weight of the fish produced. In pangasius fish cultivation, the desired FCR is 1:1.5, which means that around one kilogram of feed is needed to produce 1.5 kilograms of pangasius fish. The lower the FCR value, the more efficient the use of feed in fish farming, which means production costs can be reduced and profits can be increased. Therefore, monitoring and controlling FCR is important for farmers to optimize the results of their pangasius fish cultivation economically and sustainably.

Providing food for pangasius fish care in Kampung Patin, Riau

Pest and disease control

Prevention is an effective approach in controlling pests and diseases in pangasius fish farming ponds. Through the implementation of biosecurity measures, farmers can reduce the risk of pests and diseases entering ponds. Biosecurity includes a series of preventive measures, such as ensuring the cleanliness of pools and equipment, good waste management, and controlling populations of potential nuisance organisms such as insects and natural predators. In addition, biosecurity also involves good sanitation management and limiting outside access to prevent cross-infection and the spread of disease from infected ponds to other ponds.

Apart from biosecurity, providing probiotics is also an important thing that needs to be considered in efforts to control pests and diseases in pangasius fish cultivation ponds. Probiotics are good microorganisms that are given in a controlled manner to help maintain the balance of microbiota in the pond and strengthen the fish's immune system. By providing probiotics regularly, colonies of good microorganisms can grow and compete with pathogenic microorganisms, thereby helping to reduce the possibility of disease infection. The use of probiotics has been proven to be effective in improving fish health, reducing stress, and increasing growth. Therefore, the application of probiotics together with biosecurity measures can be an effective strategy in preventing pests and diseases in pangasius cultivation ponds.


Harvesting pangasius fish is an important stage in cultivation which is usually carried out after a maintenance period of 8 months or more, depending on growing conditions and cultivation environment. Pangasius fish are ready to be harvested when they reach the desired size, which is around +600 grams or more. Choosing the right harvest time is very important to ensure that the fish have reached optimal size and weight so that their selling value is maximized. Apart from that, timely harvesting can also help optimize cultivation efficiency and ensure a balanced fish population in the pond. By paying attention to these factors, farmers can plan and carry out the pangasius fish harvest well, so as to obtain maximum results from their cultivation efforts.



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Created by
03 Feb 2024 1:00 PM
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03 Feb 2024 2:00 PM

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