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How to care for catfish so they don't die is quite easy and can be implemented directly in daily cultivation. This method must be considered carefully so that the catfish does not die and the cultivator avoids the risk of cultivation failure due to the death of the catfish or catfish seeds.

Pests and viruses are still the main causes for catfish to get sick to death. Nevertheless, there are other factors that affect the failure of catfish farming, including because all catfish are attacked by diseases simultaneously, all catfish seeds and fish die, the quality of the seeds is not good, to the ratio between the price of feed and the selling price of catfish that has fallen.

This article will focus on the causes of cultivation failure caused by seeds and catfish dying simultaneously or in other words mass death to how to care for catfish so they don't die.

Causes of Dead Catfish

There are several factors that cause catfish to die, thus creating conditions for the failure of catfish farming, including:

  • There is moss and grass algae in the fish pond.
  • Rarely clean the pool so there is a lot of dirt that can cause viruses, pests and disease bacteria.
  • The pond area and stocking density are not suitable so that the fish population is too dense and causes the pond temperature to get too hot.
  • The location of the pond is close to the disposal of chemical waste and has a negative impact on the quality of the pond water.
  • Chemical substances are mixed in pool water which can come from water or air.
  • The pool security system is minimal so that noise around the pond can make catfish uncomfortable.
  • A minimal pool security system also allows predators such as snakes, birds, bats or other birds to easily enter.

Also Read: Check the Causes and How to Overcome Hanging Catfish

Symptoms and Signs Will Occur Mass Death

When the stress level of catfish or catfish seeds increases, their body condition becomes less stable. Pests and viruses will easily enter and be fatal to cause death in catfish.

Before it's too late, identify the symptoms of catfish under stress below.

1. Mustache Curly Catfish

The first symptom of a stressed catfish is that its whiskers look more curly than usual. The normal condition of catfish whiskers is straight and elongated. However, when the catfish feels stressed, the whiskers will expand and curl. You can notice these significant changes when feeding. The cause of the curly catfish mustache can be due to poor water quality, which makes it prone to harboring bacteria and viruses.

2. Reddened Catfish Skin

If you find that the color of the catfish's skin is red and not like normal skin color in general, then you cannot take this as trivial. The reddening of the skin of the catfish is caused by the catfish not being suitable for adapting to water conditions.

3. Fins Bleeding Catfish

The cause of bleeding catfish fins is because the fish has been exposed to the herpes virus. Therefore, when you see that the catfish's fins are bleeding, immediately remove the catfish and separate it from other fish so that the virus does not spread.

4. More Protruding Catfish Eyes

Specifically, there is no main reason why catfish eyes are more prominent. However, when catfish are infected with certain viruses or bacteria and feel sick for a long time, the body's visible response is the more prominent part of the eye. These symptoms indicate that the catfish is stressed and sick.

It's hard to tell at a glance which catfish has the more prominent eyes. You need to do a detailed check and one by one to see directly if there are catfish eyes that are more prominent. When you find catfish with protruding eyes, immediately separate them and treat them in a separate treatment pond.

5. Hanging Catfish

The next symptom is when the catfish swims or floats in a hanging position or seems to be floating. If you find a hanging catfish, immediately separate it and treat it before it finally dies.

6. Catfish Swim Erratic

Catfish are active and agile swimmers. This is different if you find catfish swimming in an unclear direction or swimming erratically. Not infrequently also fish that swim carelessly will bump into other catfish. This condition is not because the catfish has an active and agile nature, but because the catfish is under stress so you need to have it checked in more detail.

7. Catfish Lost Appetite

The factor that causes catfish to lose their appetite is because the fish are poisoned by ammonia. Ammonia is leftover food that settles at the bottom of the pond or floats on the surface of the pond for quite a long time. The unpleasant aroma of the leftover food is not liked by catfish so that catfish are easily stressed when inhaling it. Therefore the catfish loses its appetite. Even if you provide quality pellet feed, the catfish are still reluctant to eat it.

8. There are white spots on the body of the catfish

Spots or white spots that are visible on the body of the catfish indicate that the catfish is stressed. If you find catfish with these symptoms, do an in-depth examination in detail. Find out what viruses or bacteria are nesting in the catfish's body and take treatment before the catfish dies.

9. Bloated Catfish Stomach

The last symptom of impending mass death is when the catfish's stomach looks enlarged or bloated. This symptom is quite obvious because the catfish will not swim as usual. The cause can be due to bacteria or changes in water quality and water temperature.

Also Read: Catfish Biofloc: Ways, Tips, and Treatment

How to Take Care of Catfish So They Don't Die

After knowing the causes of dead catfish and their symptoms, then let's find out how to treat catfish so they don't die. You can also apply these methods as a way to care for catfish seeds so they don't die.

1. The process of cleaning the pool before use

Before the pond is used for cultivating catfish, it should be sterilized first by cleaning it with soap or precipitated washing water and draining it. During the draining process, make sure there is no soap or detergent left, then dry the pool for some time.

2. Maintain Cleanliness and Pool Water Quality

To maintain the cleanliness and quality of pool water, you are required to clean the pool and change the water once a week or once every 2 weeks. You do this by draining as much as 30-50% of water from the total volume of water. Do not throw away all the water in the cultivation pond because if you change the pool water completely, there is a risk that the catfish will find it difficult to adapt again. Be more careful in cleaning the bottom of the pond so that the dirt or leftover feed that settles is also wasted through the drains.

3. Make a Dark Room Inside the Pool

Catfish are included in the category of nocturnal animals, namely animals that are active at night and passive during the day. To add to the feeling of comfort and safety for the fish while in the aquaculture pond, you can make a special room that is darker in the pond. For example, by adding some cave-like ornaments made of dry leaves or crackle. That way, catfish will be more comfortable swimming when in a dark place.

4. Provision of Feed and Supplements

The process of enlarging the fry into adult fish is quite a crucial process. The main factor that supports the success of the enlargement process is the provision of feed and supplements according to the nutritional and nutritional needs of catfish. There are many recommendations for natural and artificial pellets that you can use to feed catfish. In addition, make sure to also control the amount of feed given and also the regular feeding time.

5. Administration of Probiotics

The use of probiotics has a dual function, including helping the digestion of fish, helping the body's metabolism. There are even types of probiotics that can suppress the growth rate of harmful bacteria in aquaculture ponds. By using probiotics, the catfish's immune system is getting better and more resistant to viruses, bacteria, and other diseases that can stress catfish.

6. Selection of Superior Quality Catfish Seeds

Selection of catfish seeds can also be the best way to care for catfish so they don't die. Because if from the start you have used superior and best quality seeds, the DNA in these seeds will be able to provide independent protection against viruses and bacteria. 

However, apart from paying attention to the characteristics of quality catfish fingerlings, cultivators also need to pay attention to the stocking density of the aquaculture ponds. There are separate rules governing how many seeds can be sown in a certain pond size so that the catfish will not accumulate. The impact if you impose stocking densities in large quantities is mass death due to lack of dissolved oxygen.

7. Has an Aerator Tool

The last way to treat catfish so they don't die is to use an aerator. An aerator is a tool that can produce oxygen bubbles that catfish need. That way, you don't need to worry when the catfish don't get enough oxygen because the aerator will produce it.

Also Read: Check out How to Care for Baby Catfish Properly and Correctly!

How to maintain water quality?

There are several alternative ways to maintain the quality of aquaculture pond water. First by adding special probiotics that can kill viruses and bacteria in water. Then make the construction of channels and circulation of water that is smooth and not easily compressed so that dirt is easily wasted. The last is to provide feed in a reasonable amount and on a schedule so that there is no buildup of leftover catfish feed.

To increase your knowledge about the right and good ways or steps for cultivating, you can study or look for tips on cultivating at eFisheryKu. There are many guidance videos, tutorials, and cultivation stories from reliable and professional cultivators.

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Questions About How to Take Care of Catfish So They Don't Die

The causes of dead catfish include moss and grass algae in fish ponds, ponds are rarely cleaned so viruses and bacteria multiply, stocking density ratio is too high, aquaculture pond water is polluted with chemicals, and the pool security system is minimal so that predators can easily enter.

The way to care for catfish so they don't die is to regularly clean the pond, maintain the quality of the water, provide feed and supplements, provide special probiotics, make a dark room in the pond, and use an aerator.

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