Hundreds of small farmers are illegal, informal and unregistered which makes it very difficult to control this sector. Therefore, it is impossible to make a reliable estimation of total surface area involved. Intensive pond farming is still an important farming method for farmers of round fish and carp. As there are several reservoirs throughout Brazil, this kind of farming is increasing rapidly. Fast-growing species like pacu (Piaractus brachypomus) and tambaqui (Colossoma macropomum) need very short time to reach its commercial size of around 800-1,200 grams, about 6 months. However, to reach the commercial size of 10 kilos, the pirarucu (Arapaima gigas) has to be farmed for at least 13 months.
After harvest, the ponds are cleaned thoroughly but during farming the pond is only cleaned superficially. The borders and the surface are cleaned continuously of herbs, leaves, waste and whatever falls into the water. Some bigger companies are implementing ASC certification which will secure and guarantee the water and environmental management.