Fish farming is an old agricultural method that modern homesteaders can use today. A great source of continuous protein, freshwater fish farms allow anyone to grow a different variety of fish that can be used for personal consumption.
While it may be hard work to get started, building a fish farm can be rewarding, fun, and can really pay off in the long run when you may not have a lot of money to spend on food. It could also be a good income source if you have other people around you who are in need of additional food.
If you like the taste of seafood and you’re thinking about building your own fish farm, then here are some expert tips on how to build a fish pond that you can use for homesteading. Let’s get started.
Pond Building Preparation
Don’t break ground on your pond until you answer a few key questions.
Decide Which Fish To Farm
Before you begin working out the location of your fish farm you first need to consider three main things.
- The type of fish that you’re looking to grow.
- The size the fish can grow when they’re in adult form.
- How many you’re looking to grow.
You want to make sure the pond size can handle the type of fish you’re going to be growing. You don’t want to grow fish that are too large for the pond size only to find out you’re running out of room.
Select A Suitable Location
When building a fish farm in your backyard or on your property, it will need to be positioned in an appropriate place to ensure the best growth and health of the fish. Some key things to remember when finding a suitable location is:
- The ground level should be low and flat (however earthmoving and excavation work can help to level the ground easily).
- The pond should be positioned in a place where it can easily collect natural rain water or run off. This helps to keep the water fresh and from becoming stale which can harm the health of your fish.
- Will there a barrier between the pond and your children? You don’t want to position your fish farm close to you home as it does pose a drowning hazard for young children.
- If the area is exposed to extreme heat or cold, you need to make sure the area that you’re going to dig can be dug between 8-12ft to ensure the fish can find enough shelter during these extre1me temperature changes. A pond that is shaded by trees is also ideal however you run the risk of digging into large root systems.
In taking these things into consideration you’ll be able to determine a good location that is suitable for your pond to be positioned.
Plan The Dig Site
When you’ve decided on an area, it’s also a good idea to draw sketches and map it out to the exact measurements and dimensions. This can be done with spray paint on the ground.
Building Your Fish Farm Pond
With prep-work complete, you’re ready to break ground. Here’s our recommended process.
Digging Your Fish Farm Pond
Depending on the size of your fish farm pond, you will either need:
- A large shovel, a lot of energy and a lot of time to commit to the hard work or;
- A bobcat or excavator that can handle digging up the area and the size of the pond.
Unless you have a team of strong-backed people willing to work for free, digging your pond with a Bobcat or other excavator is the best way to get the job done quickly. Here’s our tips and process for digging a fish pond with an excavator.
- Avoid digging at the top of the hole on a downward slope. This can cause your machinery to tip forward with the weight.
- When digging the hole, dig at depths of 16 inches at a time on the outer edges and place the dirt in a pile out of the way—at the back or side of the pond.
- When you’ve reached the center, start to dig deeper as this will help to create an even slope in your fish pond if you ever need to walk in it for some reason. It will also help you drive the excavator in and out of the pond easier.
- Continue to stop and measure the depth of the pond to make sure it’s the right level of deepness that you’re hoping to achieve.
- Take care when digging. If you rush the digging process you may find that your pond won’t be even.
- To make the edges look more defined when complete, dig around the outer edge with a shovel to level it better.
In taking these tips into consideration you will be able to dig your fish pond more successfully without too much trouble.