I want to assume that your catfish are juveniles. If yes, they will be around 6-8weeks of age. At this age, 2mm of imported feeds is recommended. As they keep growing and from experience, I have come to conclude with the sizes that correspond to their age especially if they are from good source and are responding well to their feeds. For instance: 2mm at 2months, 3mm at 3months, and 4mm at 4months etc.
However, the type of feed should also be considered, for instance the size of 8mm coppens is the same as the size of 6mm of Indonesia feeds. So put this into consideration and inform your consultant before changing from one size of feed to another.
What Feed Size to Give Your Catfishes
Like I said earlier, there are various fish feed sizes, whether you go for floating or sinking feed; sinking feed is usually bigger, and longer, than floating feed.
From my experience, here are the different sizes I’m currently aware of:
1.5mm, 1.8mm, 2mm, 3mm, 4mm, 6mm, 8mm, 10mm, etc.
The bigger you fishes, the bigger the feed size they can pick.
Here’s what I recommend if you just stocked your ponds, if your fishes fall into the following categories:
- Fingerlings (3 to 4 grams): 1.5mm feed size
- Post-fingerlings (4 – 6 grams): 1.8mm feed size
- Juvenile (6 – 10 grams): 2mm feed size
- Post-juvenile (10 – 50 grams): 2mm feed size
As your catfishes grow, the size of feefeedd they can pick will increase. Here’s the feed size I recommend for bigger fishes, based on their size/weight, if you’re to give them floating feed:
- 10 – 50 grams: 2mm feed size
- 50 – 150 grams: 3mm feed size
- 150 – 400 grams: 4mm feed size
All things being equal, your fishes should be around 200 – 300 grams in 2 months with floating feed alone, if they are being fed properly; after then, you can switch to sinking feed and give them the following feed sizes:
200 – 300 grams: 2mm feed size
300 to 600 grams: 4mm feed size
600 grams to 1kg+: 6mm feed size
If your fishes exceed 1kg in weight, and you’re able to get bigger feed sizes, then you can consider giving them 8mm, or even later 10mm, feed sizes. 3 to 4kg fishes eat 6mm sinking feed just fine, though, so don’t worry too much if you can’t find bigger feed sizes.
How Often Should You Feed Your Catfishes?
How often you feed your fishes will differ depending on a lot of factors, but for the results I get – an average of 1.5kg to 2kg fish size in 6 months – here’s what I recommend:
- Fingerlings (3 to 4 grams): twice daily
- Post-fingerlings (4 – 6 grams): once or twice daily
- Juvenile (6 – 10 grams): once or twice daily
- Post-juvenile (10 grams and above): once daily
- Anything above post-juvenile: once daily
All things being equal, I feed my fishes daily until they reach the 6 months mark when I sell them; this is absolutely essential if you want optimal results.
Types of Catfish Feeding
There are two feeding types I use for my fishes:
Broadcast Feeding: This basically involves me going round my ponds and spreading floating feed all over the pond to ensure all the fishes in the pond can eat.
I use this for my fishes if they are in the fingerlings to post-juvenile stage, and I do this because they just got introduced into a large body of water, often from somewhere significantly smaller, and not all the fishes can come to the same spot to eat.
By spreading the floating (or extruding) fish across the pond, I’m ensuring they all get to eat.
Once my fishes become more mature, often this is in the post-juvenile stage or around 30 – 50 grams, I instantly switch to spot feeding.
Spot Feeding: Spot feeding is less time-consuming and more effective, since it is less stressful and I can carefully monitor how my fishes are eating.
Spot feeding is basically me feeding my fishes in one spot.
I try getting my fishes to eat in one spot once they reach 30 – 50 grams, or after 2 – 3 weeks of stocking them from juvenile stage.
At first, if they are used to eating using the broadcast style, most of the fishes won’t come to a particular spot to eat; however, by ONLY feeding them on that spot for a few days, they’ll be conditioned to come to that spot and eat.
Feeding at the right time(s) each day (Feeding Frequency).
Feeding Frequency has a role to play in the utilization of the feeds by the fish. Feeding frequency is the number of times fish in a pond are fed daily. The frequency is important in order to reduce starvation and have a uniform growth rate.
Smaller sized fish should be fed more frequently as their stomach is too small to hold food they would require for the whole day, whilst fish from 400 g and above could be fed once a day.
For example, the 1,000 fish above requiring 4.5 kg daily ration should be fed twice daily. This means that the 4.5 kg of feed should be divided into 2.25 kg to be fed in the Morning and Evening.
How to easily calculate Feed ration, frequency and size
In order to easily calculate Feed ration, size and the feeding frequency, we have been able to create a spreadsheet taking into consideration all the necessary information simplifying the process for other fish farmers to determine how much feed I should give my fish.
Here are some amazing catfish farming books to guide and assist you further: