5 tips to handle fish in aquaponics

Hello sustainable growers. This is Jonathan from Melbourne Aquaponics
and today, we’re going to see how safely handle fish in aquaponics. So if you are growing fish in aquaponics,
there may be some times where you need to handle the fish. It may be just to treat your fish if they
are sick you know, if you want to give them a salt bath. I made a special video about that so have
a look at the video on how to treat your fish in aquaponics. It may be because you want to check the growth
of the fish and you want to know the biomass so you have to fish your fish to weigh them
and sometimes to measure them. So for — in all those conditions, we’re
going to fish your fish and we’re going to handle them. So the first thing to understand is that when
you’re going to fish your fish, when you’re going to manipulate your fish, it’s going
to induce a certain stress on your fish. So you want to make sure that your fish are
not fed the day before. So the point number 1 is to not feed your
fish the day before. If you know that you’re going to handle your
fish, if you know that you’re going to stress them, don’t feed them the day before. You know when a fish is eating, then it’s
going to digest and when it digests it consumes some energy because you know, it needs all
those — the metabolism of the fish needs to absorb the nutrients and it consumes a
lot of oxygen and a lot of energy. So don’t feed the fish the day before. Otherwise, there’s going to be indigestion
and when you stress them they may not recover. So never feed the fish when you know that
you’re going to stress or when you’re going to handle the fish after. The point number 2 is to use fish-friendly
nets. So you know that when you’re going to handle
your fish, first you have to catch them and most of the time you’re going to use a net. So this net has to be fish-friendly. So what I mean by fish friendly I mean a net
that is not rough because the fish has got scales and mucus and if you fish the fish
with a net that is rough, you know for example, a classic butterfly net, some of them are
very smooth but some of them are very rough. So if the net is rough, it’s going to basically
remove some slime from the fish and mucus of the fish is going to be removed. It’s going to stay in the net and sometimes
you can even remove some scales and obviously the scales and the mucus are barrier against
the disease. So if you remove them from the fish, the fish
is going to become weak and any disease that is going to arrive especially fungus and parasites,
they’re going to find directly the flesh of the fish and it’s going to be able to stick
on the fish and obviously to start to attack your fish, So your fish become very weak. So avoid those types of nets that are very
rough. Choose a net that is very soft. So here I got a few. I got a classic butterfly net. I got the net that people are using when they
go fishing so this one isn’t very hard plastic. So if it’s hard plastic it’s not the best
because it can be — you can basically remove the mucus of the fish and then I got another
type here that is more smooth. So this one is really good. It doesn’t have to be too elastic. Sometimes they are very elastic and then the
fish can put their head through you know, and then their gills are trapped in the net. So that would be the worst because that’s
basically killing the fish. So use a net that is soft such as this one. It’s really good but not too elastic. If you are catching small fish, use a net
with very, very small mesh. You’d never want to use a net where the fish
is able to put his head through the hole. Right? So in this net for example, I would never
use this net to catch little fingerlings. This net is for fish that are 1 kilo and more,
right, but not for small fish. The third point is to have wet hands. I need to explain to you exactly what happens
when you touch your fish. A fish is wet obviously, it lives in the water. When you catch it with your net you put it
in a bucket whatever and then you want to catch it with your hands. If your hands are dry and if you catch the
fish directly, the fish that is still wet, what is happening is that you got a force
there. I don’t know if you heard about this, this
word, the capillarity. It’s a force but basically the water is going
to wet the dry area. So for example if you take a piece of paper
and you put it touching the water you know the surface of the water is going to be in
contact with the paper but you’re going to see that the water is going to go up through
the piece of paper. It simply is the capillarity and that’s the
same thing when you touch a fish with your hands if you got dry hands, the moisture is
going to start to go on your hands and it’s going to stick to your hands, right, which
is fine but the problem is the mucus of the fish is going to do the same thing. It’s going to stick to your hands. It’s going to remain on your hands and sometimes
with fish that have a very soft skin and some scales if they have very thin scales, the
scales may stick to your hands which means that when you touch the fish, you don’t realize
but then when you release the fish you look at your hands and you got all the scales that
are stuck to your hands and the fish obviously has got a large part of his body without scales
which is again a big source — a big source of entrance for the disease. So avoid this every time you have to touch
a fish, first you touch the water, you wet your hands and then you can start to touch
the fish. The technique that we see very often is people
who catch the fish by the gills. You know, they put their hands or their fingers
through the gills of the fish and they hold the fish like that. It may seem like a really good idea because
obviously the fish is very slimy. It slides through your hands and it’s very
hard to keep the fish in a good position if you just take it by the body. So some people think okay, if you put it by
the gills it gives you a really good trap you know, you grab it really well and therefore
the fish can’t go away. The problem when you do that is that the gills
of the fish are like our lungs. What is happening in the gills you got some
very small vessels of blood and all the blood of the fish is going through those vessels
and that’s where basically the oxygen is able to go through the membrane of those vessels
and to go inside the blood of the fish. So you understand that the vessels are very,
very small and very fragile. They are very soft, very fragile and if you
put your hands through you’re going to basically damage those vessels and obviously when you
put the fish back into the water the fish is going to bleed from the results and it’s
going to basically lose all its blood and it’s going to die. So the worst thing to do is to touch the gills. You never want to touch the gills of your
fish. Even in aquaculture when the water is dirty,
sometimes the fish when they breathe, they get some material that is clogged on the gills
and it can damage their gills, just to tell you how fragile it is. So never touch the gills of a fish with your
hands. You’re really going to kill the fish. So the best thing to do is to just grab the
fish from underneath the body you know, one hand on the tail and one hand just below the
head, under the tummy. So that’s a really good grab. If you know that the fish are dead then you
can take them by their gills. That’s really the best way because you really
maintain them. You really grab them but never do it on a
fish that is alive and even on a dead fish, just be careful what type of fish it is because
some fish, some big predators, they’ve got some kind of teeth so basically the gills
are very sharp and when you put your hands through you may basically cut your hands,
but that’s very specific. Here we are to talk about fish that are alive
and we want to keep alive. So never put your hands through the gills
of the fish. And the last point, the fifth point, is to
watch out for the last move. You know that when you catch a fish, at the
beginning that the fish is moving very fast trying to escape and after a while it is very
quickly exhausted and it doesn’t move anymore. That’s when normally you have to grab it and
you do whatever you have to do, if you want measure the fish or if you want to weigh the
fish, whatever you want to do. If you want to have a look if everything is
fine on the fish whatever you have to do you do it at this point where the fish is tired,
but be careful because when you take the fish, the fish is going to be afraid and most of
the time it’s going to move and that’s where basically a lot of people are letting the
fish slide and fall down on the floor. The fish that fall on the floor can be very,
very seriously damaged and can die after because all the organs interns they are not designed
to absorb any shock. So when the fish fall on the floor it may
look fine when you put it back in the water, but it may die a few hours after. You know, inside there is a bladder. The bladder is full of air. When the fish falls on the floor, sometimes
it just — the bladder explodes and you got all the other organs such as the liver, the
heart, or the intestines are — all those organs they are very, very fragile. So never let a fish fall from a high distance
you know, a high height. If you have to grab the fish and to have a
look at the fish, stay below, you know, you stay just on top of a bucket of water or whatever
or on top of a mat, but just a few centimeters above. Never grab it at your height. You know, the people who do that is normally
to take pictures, right, but when you examine the fish in aquaponics, you don’t need to
take any specific picture. So just grab the fish. Just if you have to lift it just lift it off
to few centimeters so that if it falls down it falls down back on the water or down on
the mat but you don’t damage your fish. That’s the worst thing you could do is to
grab a fish, that is, — just caught. If you grab it at you height, if the fish
just gives a little movement, it’s going to slide. It’s going to fall down and you may kill
your fish. So that’s the five points to basically handle
your fish in total safety. If you have just started aquaponics, please
have a look at the free guide that we offer, the six-step guide that is in the description
just below. You’re going to find a link and I’m going
to send you this guide which is going to basically allow you to build your own aquaponics setup
in the best conditions. So I’m going to give you the best ratio to
respect and the limit of aquaponics. If you like the video, please give it a like. If you are new to this video, don’t forget
to subscribe to the channel because I give you tips every week. So if you subscribe you’re going to receive
them every week. You’re going to receive the new aquaponics
tips and together we’re going to progress and we’re going to produce some fantastic
food for you and your family. See you on the next video. Bye-bye. Don’t forget to get your free gift from this
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video. Subscribe to the channel and see my last video. I really hope to see you soon and I wish you
a fantastic success with aquaponics. Have a good crop!

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