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From: Fish farming – Footsteps 25

Practical tips and advice on small-scale fish farming

Few farmers use aquaculture in Latin America, though it could have great potential there. One of the reasons is that the soils are often too porous – they do not hold water well. It is possible to make artificial linings – using polyethylene or rubber sheets or cement. However, these methods are expensive.


There is one way of sealing ponds which does not cost anything. It is not a new method – it was first used in Russia, but has been rediscovered and adapted.

After 2–3 weeks, fill the pond with water. Tests using this method have been tried with great success in Costa Rica and on sandy soil at ECHO in Florida, US.

You will need to be careful not to disturb the bottom of the pond too much by scooping out the bottom mud, walking or stirring with sticks. Try this method first on a small pond.

Clay lining

Another ‘traditional’ method of waterproofing a pond was used many hundreds of years ago in the UK. Dew ponds were built on the chalk downs which normally hold no water at all.

Hundreds of years later, many of these dew ponds are still in use for livestock.

Information on gleying from ECHO, USA and William McLarney and J Robert Hunter. Information on dew ponds from Mike Withers, Bishop

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Cover of Footsteps 112: Communicable diseases

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