Fish farmers generally divide themselves in to categories catfish breeders and catfish growers. Both segments are highly lucrative and earns the farmer huge returns.
If you are interested in producing fingerlings for farmers then you need to know how to breed them. The production process is easy but slightly technical and the farmer should know what he is doing.
You need specialized equipment to carry out the production process successfully. The equipment is basic but need to follow special conditions to induce hatching of the eggs.
Sourcing your male and female breeders
Sourcing catfish from nature is not only unreliable but very taking hence commercial breeding n a controlled environment. To start the breeding program the catfish breeder usual reserves special old fish for breeding in a separate pond. They are usually old fish of about two to three years old large and healthy.
They can also buy large male and female fish from the open market. The female fish is then induced via a special injection to produce eggs for the hatchery.
The fish breeder can also source fish from the institute of marine research or other fish farming organizations. Fish breeder try to avoid sourcing both fish from the same source because using different vendors guarantee a better breed.
The farmer selects a female catfish full of eggs and a mature male. They then squeeze the eggs form the female and introduce the male sperm. Then the farmer removes the male catfish sperm sacs and mixes the sperm with the eggs in a slightly salted water mix.
Then the mix is placed in a specialized pond with a steady inlet water and outlet flow. This hatchery pond is purposely conditioned to instigate hatching.
The hatchery pond
The hatchery pond needs to simulate certain conditions catfish experience in the wild for the eggs to hatch. The hatchery pond is usually small with a regulated inlet that allows a steady and constant trickle of water.
The outlet should also allow a constant trickle of water further simulating water movement found in nature. This process lasts for twenty four hours with the fish eggs spread on the surface of the water on a sponge like material.
After twenty four hours they transfer the sponge filled hatch-lings to anther pond and shake to free the tiny buggers. The initial hatchery pond should have some more fry that managed to free themselves without assistance.
Newly hatched fry
Newly hatch fry needs clean fresh water and food to grow like any other animal. They die easy but several thousands will survive the ordeal.
Fry between one and seven days old are feed special concentrate Artesia of about 0.5-0.8. While fingerlings eat feed concentrate of between 0.8mm to 1mm.
After a few days remove the fast growing shooters or they will eat the smaller ones and you will lose most of you fry. The fry should be nurtured to fingerlings which take about one month before selling them to catfish farmers.
Complete steps needed to breed catfish
STEP ONE. The first step is to identify the male and female catfish. The male catfish has a genital papilla while the female has a swollen genital opening. Theses organs can be found in the underside of the African catfish.
STEP TWO. Select a female then weight the large female
STEP THREE. Then grind some dried African pituitary glands in a mortar until it attains a powdery consistency.
STEP FIVE. Then add a saline solution to the powder and retrieve with a hypodermic needle.
STEP SIX. After 14 hour of injecting the female fish you can harvest the eggs. The female African catfish should show signs of a swollen under belly.
Then fish farmer then covers the head with a damp cloth and gently press the belly squeezing out the eggs in a downward motion. The presence of a few droplets of blood means you have squeeze as much eggs as possible so stop. The process of squeezing the eggs is called striping.
STEP SEVEN. Understanding the weight to egg ratio might give you an indication of the number of eggs. A single female catfish can produce 35,000eggs at a body to weight ratio of 500grams to 50grams of eggs.
STEP EIGHT. Cut the male and remove the milt sac, then cut testicles to bits and remove sperm and add saline solution to the milt.
STEP NINE. Pour the milt and saline solution onto the stripped eggs. Mix them thoroughly and introduce water into the mix. The saline solution is very important because it keep the sperm alive while aiding easy mixture. Ensure you mix steadily for one minute because the fertilization process has already begun.
STEP TEN. Prepare your hatchery pond by immersing the spawn sponge which seats o the sponge net suspended. Spread the eggs on the spawn sponge and create the constant water flow.
STEP ELEVEN. IT TAKES ROUGHLY TWENTY FOUR TO THIRTY SIX HOURS FOR THE FRY TO EMERGE
The fingerling production process
1 Buy you mature male and female
2 Squeeze eggs from female ad introduce male sperm
3 Place mix in special pond for twenty four hours
4 Shake and remove fry
5 Remove shooter after a few days
6 Grow fry to fingerlings and sell to fish farmers
How to sell your fingerlings
You can sell your fingerlings to recurrent buyers or advertise. Advertisement via newspapers, radios shows and online are also highly effective.
You can also inform catfish food sellers and provide handbills and posters. The breeder can use sm. messaging, and visit fish farmers in your area to inform them of your produce.