Catfish farming as a livelihood
This fish is called African catfish or Clarias gariepinus said catfish breeder Berting Madlangbayan of Bayan Luma, Imus Cavite. “It’s flesh is as soft and delicious as that of native catfish. But this fish is larger than native catfish. If properly fed and stocked in ponds with well-managed water, it will grow to 500 grams in two and a half to three months.”
Madlangbayan has a commerce degree (1965) and is a “farmer at heart.” He has been a fishpen operator in Batangas where he suffered a series of business setbacks , has worked at the Bank of Philippines Islands, and has attended a number of seminars on fish breeding , production and management. In 1990, he started the difficult task of inducing catfish to spawn, a highly experimental field where even many fisheries experts have failed.
Hard work, dedication and bold experimentation have paid off. He succeeded in developing a reliable method of inducing Clarias gariepinus to spawn.
For business reasons, Madlangbayan said he could give Greenfields readers only a general outline of the breeding method that he uses.
“I uses eight-month to one year-old breeder fish that have been stocked in tanks with clean, deep well water,” he said. “I can quickly identify ready to spawn female catfish from their distended or swollen bellies.
“Next, I inject a commercial spawning hormone that has been properly mixed with a culture medium into the testes or muscle of the fish. I use about 0.5 ml of this solution for every fish. The injection process is a delicate one: you have to hit the right muscle so that the hormone could be conducted to the pituitary gland of the animal this induces it to spawn. If done correctly the female will spawn 10 to 20 hours after the injection.
If hormone mixing and the injection are not done right, he added there will be delayed spawning or no spawning at all.
Madlangbayan said he could not reveal the precise details of the process (the correct mix of hormone with culture medium and other things) because he’s in business and every businessman should have a few trade secrets up his sleeve to stay ahead of competition.
We said we understood his position perfectly and did not press him for details.
The fry that develop eat their own yolk sac for five days and then are given a pure protein feed by Madlangbayan’s workers. They are then transferred to a nursery where, for five to seven days, they receive a high protein feed formulation.
Madlangbayan has perfected his spawning method and now produces about 500,000 catfish fingerlings monthly. He sells them to catfish farmers from Pampanga , Bulacan, and Laguna.