I'm not one to waste things, except for maybe time. As regular readers know, we recently raised enough money to put in a new in ground pool (see pool here) . But our old pool was still usable so we decided we would use it to grow bream fish (Tilapia) for eating. My husband likes eating fish -a lot -and we rarely get bream here in Mahalapye.
I phoned the fisheries people in Mmadinare. I was not a little bit amazed by how knowledgeable those folks were and also how very easy it is to be a fish farmer, I'm quite lazy when it comes to manual work. Fish farming is perfect for lazy people.
Since my pool has a diameter of four metres, it meant I could keep 26 fish in it. The most important thing is the surface area of the water so they can get enough oxygen. I was told to put water in the pool up to about one metre and let it sit for four days to let the chlorine disappear. Then I could go and collect my fingerlings.
When the water was ready Giant Teenager No. 1 and I set off for Mmadinare about 150 kms away. The fingerlings were bought for 50t each. We were asked if we wanted one sex or mixed sex. Apparently they breed like crazy and things can get out of hand. But too we hoped to make our fish pool sustainable so we decided to get mixed sex. They advised us to get extras as some would die on the way home. So we left Mmadinare with 35 fish, 10 female and 25 male. One died on the way. We now have a bit of an overpopulation problem. We've decided to solve it by ignoring it and hoping for the best.
(that's the dead fish (female), and Senor Ramon in the back mourning the dead fish)
So we've had them now for about three weeks. At first the pool was quite clear and you could see them swim around and it was a good way for a writer to procrastinate, watching the fish swim around. Now the pool has gone a bit green, which is apparently a good thing according to the fish people, and you can't see them very well. But when the sun is out they like to all come to the surface, I think they're sun bathing, I'm not sure. They eat a kind of pellet I bought in Gaborone. But they also eat the algae and the insects and mosquito larvae.
Below is a photo of the fish sun bathing. Sorry the photo came out so that you can't see the fish, but they're there. Honest.
So that's my experience as a fish farmer so far. My conclusion is that compared to the many ways I try to avoid writing, this is one of the more calming and rewarding ones. I like going out to look at the fish and I like feeding them. I'd recommend this procrastination method to all writers.
I'll keep you posted.