As mentioned earlier, the giant gourami is a slow-growing fish which appears to take two to three years to reach marketable size. However, the experience so far is not based on any systematic culture practices directed to obtain fast growth and high productivity. The feeds used in grow-out ponds are leaves and tender parts of Ipomoea, land grass, yam, tapioca, kitchenwaste or a mixture of cooked rice, rice bran and trash fish, with no regard to the nutritional requirements or the stocking densities suitable for optimum growth. The rates of growth are reported as 15 cm in the first year, 25 cm in the second year and 30 cm in the third year, and the production per hectare is about 200 kg.
The Siamese gourami reaches lengths of 16–18 cm and weights of 130–150 g in 12 months, and at the higher stocking rate of 40–220 kg spawners per ha a minimum yield of about 500 kg/ha is obtained in monoculture (fig. 24.6). Culture in rice fields with proper stocking and manuring provides higher yields of up to 2.2 tons/ha.
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