7 Reasons Why Your Catfish Are Not Eating

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7 Reasons Why Your Catfish Are Not Eating

 

There are certain reasons why your catfish are not eating. Some of these reasons are:

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1. New Environment: Many farmers may not be aware that a new environment can affect the fish for a while. Once you transport a set of fish from farm A to farm B they will not eat for some time. The reason is that they have been moved from their usual environment to another new environment.
This new environment could actually be from one pond to another pond within the same farm. The fact is that once they live their usual pond to another pond it will take them time to adapt thereby affecting their feeding pattern for a while. Most often it takes up to a day for the catfish to adapt to their new environment before the cat starts eating as usual.

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2. Stress: One would ask if catfish undergo any form of stress. The answer is yes. Once the catfish are stressed, it will prevent them from eating not just for that minute but for a whole day.
Understand that the stress catfish experience comes in diverse ways. The first type of stress is from sorting the fish. The process of bringing them out from the water, categorizing them into different sizes and stocking the catfish into different ponds is enough stress already.
The second way catfish get stressed is during the time of changing water. By the time the water goes out and another one comes in the fish will be stressed. That alone may contribute to why your catfish may not eat for a while.
When your fish stops eating could be a result of stress during the time of changing water from the pond.

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3. Water Temperature: The temperature of the water in the fish pond matters to how the fish will respond to the feed you give them.
When the water is extremely cold the fish won’t eat. This sort of behaviour often occurs during harmattan (dry season). During this period, you have to wait till sunset to start feeding them because the water would have become warm by that of the day.

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4. Fish Feed Quality: When you feed your fish junks they will not eat because the feed is not palatable. Fish feed quality matters as to how they respond to the feed.
There are various ingredients that when combined become palatable for the fish to eat. Some of these combinations can be found in our post “best catfish feed formula”.
Sometimes, if you change the fish feed brand they are already used to it would take them time to adapt to the new feed.

READ ALSO: Water Quality Monitoring and Management for Catfish Ponds

5. Sickness: There are common catfish diseases that could make your catfish stop eating will as a result of loss of appetite. When any of these diseases attack your fish, their response is mostly noticed by their inability to feed.
Once you observe that your catfish are not feeding for about 24 hours it means something is definitely wrong.

6. Polluted Water: The dirtiness of the water in the pond also affect the fish and their craving for food. Understand that frequent water renewal helps to keep the fish alive and healthy.
Dirty water will not only breed fungi that will cause infection but will result in catfish mortality. So, if you are worried that the fish you stocked in the pond are not eating well or as supposed to, first change the water and after some hours feed them again.
Another issue with dirty water is that the oxygen level will be low. When the oxygen level in the fish pond is not optimized it will affect the eating pattern of the fish.

7. Size of the Feed: Few fish farmers understand the calculation involved when it comes to sizes of feed appropriate for different categories of fish. If the feed size is bigger than what the fish can swallow you have ended up wasting the feed.
There are different sizes of catfish ranging from catfish fries, fingerlings, jumbo, post-jumbo and adult ones. It is expected that at each stage the feed they eat will vary in size.

Other Factors
Other factors that could affect or result in catfish not eating for a while are explained below.
When bigger fish swallows the smaller ones it will make them not to eat till digestion fully takes place.
When the feed they eat earlier has not diggested, it becomes difficult for them to eat. Therefore, calculate how you feed them, possibly twice per day.
If they are not well sorted and graded according to their sizes, the bigger ones will not give space for the smaller ones to eat. The essence of sorting is to avoid unhealthy competition for food and cannibalism.

READ ALSO: Catfish Diseases And Treatment

Summary
A new environment will affect the way the catfish respond to feed. The new environment could be sorting and transferring them from one pond to another pond. When fish are stressed as a result of sorting or water change they will not eat at that point. If as a farmer you continue to pour in feed inside the pond hoping they will eat you will end up wasting the feed.

Your fish is what they eat. If you feed them junk it will result in them not eating the feed. Therefore, for your catfish not to be eating well means that you need to change the kind of feed you give to them. You can as well learn how to make catfish feed yourself so as to formulate good feed yourself.

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Cold weather also contributes to why catfish would not eat. It is preferable to wait till sunset to begin feeding them to avoid waste. Loss of appetite for more than a day or so could be a result of disease.

Good water management helps the fish to feed very well. When the water in the pond is dirty the oxygen level will be low and that will have a negative impact on the growth of the fish. Finally, where the catfish are not well sorted into different sizes, the bigger ones will not allow the smaller ones to feed.
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