As spring approaches, it is important to be prepared for springtime diseases and dissolved oxygen loss on your aqua farm. Abrupt temperature changes, decreased oxygen levels, and bacteria are all factors leading to springtime fish deaths, but they can mostly be prevented or alleviated.
Why Are My Fish Dying?
Fish have decreased appetites during the winter and the lesser amount of food intake also suppresses their immune systems. When springtime causes temperatures to rise again, bacteria that are present in fishponds will attack the vulnerable fish, resulting in diseases and fish deaths. The abrupt temperature changes that can occur in springtime also suppress fish immune systems.
Many aqua farms experience partial fish die-offs during the spring due to low dissolved oxygen levels. Algae and phytoplankton, the main oxygen suppliers in most ponds, produce oxygen through the consumption of sunlight; cloudy weather will decrease dissolved oxygen production. When pond water increases its temperature too quickly, cold-water algae often die off suddenly, which in turn causes low oxygen levels in the pond for several days.
To figure out the cause of fish deaths on your aqua farm, ask yourself the following questions:
- Are only the larger fish dying? If big fish are dying but small fish are not, the problem is probably low dissolved oxygen.
- Are only the small fish dying? If smaller fish die before larger ones of the same species, there could be a toxic substance involved.
- Are all fish dying, regardless of size? In this case, you are probably dealing with a disease outbreak.
- Do the fish have unusual discoloration or sores on their bodies? This often indicates a bacterial disease.
Once you know the cause, or have an educated guess, as to why your fish are dying you can easily and quickly find a solution.
How to Prevent Fish Deaths
Don’t panic! Here are a couple of ways you can prevent fish deaths and keep your fish happy and healthy in the springtime:
- Look to your fish feed supplier; some feed stores supply medicated fish feed designed to treat bacterial disease.
- Install real-time monitoring devices, like the Aquasend Beacon®, in your ponds to be notified immediately of a drop or change in temperature and dissolved oxygen levels in your pond in order to avoid potential fish kills.
- Consider an aerator for your farm; aerators create bubbles under the surface of the pond which allows more oxygen to be circulated and dissolved. There are different types of aerators that are best for specific pond sizes. For example, aerated well water systems (splashed or sprayed) are effective for smaller ponds.
Taking preventative measures before you start experiencing fish deaths is the best way to prepare for springtime.
Aquasend® Can Help Prepare Your Aqua Farm for Spring
At Aquasend, we strive to help aqua farmers around the world give their farms a breath of fresh air. The Aquasend Beacon is a solar-powered dissolved oxygen and temperature monitoring buoy that was designed for real-time monitoring in outdoor aqua farms. The Aquasend Beacon can instantly alert you to any changes in dissolved oxygen or temperature levels, allowing you to quickly react to any issues before your fish start being affected. Contact Aquasend today to protect your bottom line come springtime.