How To Feed Moringa To Fish

Why and When to Feed Moringa to Fish
Fresh Moringa leaves are a highly healthy supplement to the diet plan of plant-eating fish. They are especially useful for raising fish like Tilapia and Silver Barb. Fresh Moringa leaves offer extra protein and vitamins that can enhance the growth and health of these fish.

The Number Of Moringa to Plant
As few as 50 Moringa trees can offer a feed supplement for the fish in an aquaculture pond. A garden plot that is about seven meters by seven meters, with trees that are spaced one meter apart will be adequate for growing Moringa.

Moringa trees are extremely fast-growing plants-- they grow as much as 4m annually and reach a fully grown height of 6m-15m. The trees have a long taproot so they are drought-tolerant and flourish in areas with yearly rainfall of 250mm-1500mm. Although Moringa choose well-drained sandy or loam soils, they will endure a clay soil if it is not water-logged. They likewise endure a vast array of pH (5-9) and react well to mulch, water, and fertilizer.

Moringa can be grown from seedlings, or seeded straight in the ground. The seeds have no dormancy duration, so they can be planted as soon as they are fully grown. Seeds can be kept for up to one year although the germination rate may drop to 60-70%. Within 3 years, a young tree will produce 400-600 seed pods annually, each with 10 or more seeds. A mature tree will produce up to 1,600 pods per year.

For seedling production, poly bags 18cm x 12cm in size need to be filled with a mix of 3 parts soil to 1 part sand. Soak the seeds overnight, fracture and eliminate the shells and plant just the kernels. Germination will take place within 5 to 12 days, and seedlings can be transplanted when they are 60-90cm high.

If drip watering or another water source is available, seeds can be planted directly in the ground at any time of year. When direct seeding or transplanting, complete the following steps: dig planting pits; mix garden compost with fresh topsoil to fill the pits; and, the day prior to planting seeds or seedlings, water the filled pits.

Trees can likewise be established from difficult wood cuttings (not green wood). Cuttings that are 45cm to 1.5 m long and 10cm thick can be planted straight in light, sandy soil. Plant one-third of the cutting length in the ground. Do not over-water or the roots might rot. The cuttings can also be planted in nursery sacks and transplanted after 2-3 months.

The spacing of Moringa trees depends upon how they will be grown. If trees grow to their full mature height, they must be spaced 3m x 3m to make sure sufficient sunlight and air flow. This spacing would apply to a few trees planted in the house yard. Some people grow small plantations of Moringa to collect the leaves for sale in regional markets. In these cases, the trees are typically planted on a smaller grid, for example, 1.5 m x 1.5 m. In some places, trees are planted in a line less than 1m apart to create living fence posts. Since Moringa has a deep taproot, trees planted in gardens do not take on other plants for surface area nutrients and the light shade they supply can be beneficial for some vegetables.

As Moringa seedlings grow, a program of consistent pruning in the very first 3 months will encourage bushy trees that produce lots of pods.

When seedlings reach a height of 60cm, pinch the terminal growing tip 10cm from the top.

Secondary branches will appear within 1 week. When they are 20cm long, cut them back to 10cm. To do this, use a sharp knife and make a slanting cut.

Tertiary branches will appear and ought to be pinched in the same way.

Trees grown to gather leaves are routinely pruned to keep the trees at heights of 1-1.5 m. In areas where there is commercial production of dried leaf powder, plants that reach a height of 1.2 m are cut down to a height of 20cm. This decreases the development of woody stem material and enhances the leaf production. In Senegal where this is being done, there are 6-9 harvests of leaves each year.

Moringa trees do not require much watering. They will usually grow well without including very much fertilizer beyond the garden compost that is mixed in the planting pits. Moringa is resistant to most pests. Nevertheless, cattle, pigs and goats like to consume Moringa seedlings, pods, and leaves, so it is essential to protect the seedlings by setting up a fence until trees are more mature.

Collecting for a Continuous Supply
Moringa leaves can be collected every 6 weeks. Divide the Moringa garden plot into 5 sections with 10 trees in each section. Weekly the leaves of one area can be collected and fed to the fish. By the time the fifth section is harvested the very first section will be ready to be harvested once again. By doing this the plot can provide a continuous supply of leaves on a six week cycle.

How to Harvest Moringa
Feed the fish only what they can entirely consume in 10-15 minutes. The Moringa leaves can be fed two times a day. It is important not to feed more than the fish consume. Dead and rotting leaves that remain in the water will use up oxygen in the water that the fish requirement to endure.

Making dried Moringa leaf powder

Making dried leaf powder from Moringa leaves can easily be done at home.

Moringa leaves can be harvested at any time once a tree is established.

The leaves should be removed off the stems, washed in tidy water to eliminate dirt and bacteria, and spread in a thin layer on a flat surface area such as a cloth on the floor, a flat basket, or a tray made with wire mesh (to improve air motion).

The leaves need to constantly be dried in a location that is safeguarded from light. Drying Moringa leaves in an intense or sunny place will destroy Vitamin A and other nutrients.

The leaves should be covered by a thin fabric or mosquito netting to assist keep them tidy while drying.

It will take 2-4 days to dry the leaves depending on the humidity levels. Mix the leaves regularly while they are drying. When they end up being breakable and crush quickly, they are dry.

Once dried, pound the fragile leaves with a mortar and pestle. Then rub the dried scan a wire screen or mesh to produce a great powder.

The leaf powder can be safely stored for numerous months in a tightly-sealed container that is kept in a place protected from heat, humidity, and light. If mold or mildew appears, the powder ought to be thrown away and a fresh batch of powder made.

The ratio of fresh leaves to dried leaf powder is about 8 to 1. That is, it takes about 8 kg of fresh leaves to produce 1 kg of dried leaf powder.