Catfish farming

How to Start a Commercial Catfish Farm


Starting a Catfish farm with adequate land

Catfish farming is a highly lucrative business venture because of the high demand for catfish and the top premium price of the fish. Before starting your fish farm there are certain things to must consider.

Important considerations like the landed space for the fish tanks, and source of clean fresh water. Other preparations involve the type pond, adequate piping and maintenance.

Good fish stock can guarantee success especially if you feed your fish high quality fish feed.  Proper pricing of your grow out fish, and duration before selling are all important factors.

Before investing in catfish farming you need the following

1    Catfish farming can be capital intensive depending on the size of the stock

2    You need laded space for your ponds

3    You need to determine the type of fish pond

4    Good stock equals a high payday

5    Good clear clean source of fresh water supply

6    High quality fish food and proper feeding

7    Attract best price for your catfish when selling

Land for you fish pond

It is not true that you need vast landed space to stat a catfish farm because moderate space can yield large quantity of catfish. The size of the land depends on the number of catfish you want to stock.

There a basically three types of space you can use for your catfish which include open space, in house or cordoned river side. The popular and more effective spaces are the in house farm and the open land format.

The in-house type can be found where there isn’t adequate laded space like a shop or kiosk. The open landed space is the best recommended and better maintained.

Open land space for catfish

If you are interested in having a big fish farm that can easily rear over thirty thousand catfish a plot of land can easily accommodate that number. Half a plot can take fifteen thousand catfish while a small fish farm of a thousand catfish needs only 14/8 ft space.

The type of fish pond you can construct on your open land could be either a dug out pond or and above ground pond. The dog out pond is tedious to build and difficult to maintain when changing water.

Some catfish farmers operate the dugout ponds like natural ponds and use nets to catch ready to eat catfish. However the above ground fish pond is highly practical, easy to use and maintain.

The practicality of above ground ponds makes it desirable for both large fish farmers and small scale catfish farmers.  The catfish farmer can use a small space to achieve good yield and healthy adult fish.

Open land allows the fish farmer use different types of ponds like the dug out pond and different types of above ground fish ponds.

In-house space for rearing catfish

The in house space might be due to lack of open land or in adequate space or rented abode. The in-house pond can occupy both small and large spaces like a warehouse.

The type of pond used in in-house ponds is the above ground pond which comes in different varieties. The pond could be constructed with glass, blocks, concert, plastic, and tarpaulin.

In-house ponds are difficult to maintain but the difficulty level reduces with good plumbing and good aeration. Changing the water and cleaning the pond is the major challenge with in-house fish ponds.

The fish pond should be in an empty space shed, shack, garage, tent or warehouse

Cordoned river side land for rearing catfish

If you have a clear river that runs through your landed property you may consider cordoning the water to create a fish pond. The only rule to this is the fish pond should have an inlet and outlet and should be able to secure your fish.

This type of pond is known to grow large catfish because of the constant flow of water. However if there is any pollution or contaminates in the river you might lose all your fish.

Another method is to build a circular net enclosure and place it in the flowing stream or river. So long as the fish are unable to escape and they have adequate food they will thrive.

Types of land needed for catfish production

They type of land needed for catfish production include the following

1    Small or large landed space

2    River/stream side

3    In-house space

The most practicable pond

The most practical pond is the above ground pond because of its easy application and maintenance. It works for both in-house space and open land space.

The above ground pond also allows the farmer control the growth rate and success of his farm. There a many types like the concrete pond, block pond, glass pond, and plastic pond.

When you decide to start a catfish farm the very first consideration is landed space. Then the next is the type of fish pod depending on the size of the space and function.

2     How to build your catfish pond

Once you have found adequate landed space, provided a good source of water the next logical step is the pond. The fish pond is another important aspect of growing catfish because the type of pond shows the farmers niche.

Hatcheries, nurseries and grow out ponds are entirely different in construction and functionality. Therefore the farmer need to determine the aspect of catfish farming that interests him.

The farmer could either concentrate on catfish breeding which is a very lucrative niche. Alternatively he can concentrate on grow out catfish for ready consumption.

Either of the two sectors of catfish farming needs specialized equipment, patience and knowledge.  A catfish breeder does not necessary have to grow his stock while the other sector does not need to bread from eggs.

But large farms have the capacity to merge both sectors of catfish farming to their advantage. Both breading and grow out farming can be done in large or small scale depending on the farmer.

Now the important questions what type of pond do your need for your catfish farm.

Pond planning, design and construction

There are various aspects of planning, pond design, and government regulations before constructing your pond. At all times compliance with state and local government rules is important.

The first step is to explore the landscape quality type of soil, adequate drainage and other considerations.  Other important things to determine are the fish ponds depth, pond capacity, hydrologic grouping of soil and volume of storm runoff.

Rainfall can impact both positively and negatively on your pond especially if it’s a dugout pond. Such considerations as runoff curve, rainfall frequency peak discharge rate average watershed slop and flow length.

Why start dry and smoke catfish business

Types of ponds

When you have determined the aspect of catfish farming you like then you need to choose the type of fish pond that is functional and durable. There are three major types of ponds the above ground pond, embankment/watershed pond and the dugout pond.

All of the above get the job done especially when they are positioned right and well constructed.

The dugout pond

Things you need to determine when excavation soil for your dugout pond is the soil composition and spillway requirements. You should plan how to stack, earth fill and how the piping works.

Once all this are taken care of you need to plan the dugout pond site, use compaction, clay blankets, additives and waterproof lining to reinforce your pond. The pond after construction should be turgid and water proof so it retains water effectively.

There are recommended side slop for earth dams and discharge value for corrugated metal/plastic pipes. Dugout ponds should be built to complement the slop of the lad for better efficiency.

Checklist when constructing a dugout catfish pond

1    choose a good land area

2    determine the size of the pond

3    check out the soil composition

4    consider the method of excavation and filling

5    situate it near water source

6    work out effective in-let and out-let including major piping work

7    if possible have an aeration system in place

8    work out how you can maintain the dugout pond

Building your dugout pond

Your dugout pond should not be close to any septic tank, sewage lagoon, open discharge unit or waste disposal area. Contaminants will kill your fish so this is very important when choosing a site for your pond.

Ensure that your dugout pond has ready water supply and the area is properly weeded.  The dugout water supply can be surface runoff, ground water, rain, or direct filling. High water table regions allow ground water enter you dugout pond which helps replenish the source.

The bigger your pond the more water it needs a  6/5/4ft dugout can easily accommodate 300 catfish. A small dugout pond could be rectangular shaped with a dept of 4ft and a length of 6ft.

Large fish farms can treble the length and breadth with a recommended depth of not more that 5ft. Work on the slop, internal lining structure of your pond, piping and aeration while securing the perimeter.

Types of lining for your dugout pond

There are various lining you can use for your dugout pond such as plastic lining, tapeline and polyester.

Another effective lining is polyethylene and compacted mud for turgidity. Lining can only be effective in low water table areas because high water table areas will ruin the job.

To aerate you pond use electronic powered air compressors and should be the diaphragm type. The disuse should be liner and located bellow for better distribution and effectiveness.

Dugout ponds are very durable and can last between ten to fifteen years with little maintenance. Always keep surface clean and prevent natural and man made pollutants or contaminants from getting into your pond.

Embankment pond

An embankment pond is usually built across a stream or river where the topology allows free water movement. They are built in large corrugated tracts or by damming a stream or water way. They are good for large scale fish farming because of ready water sources.

Concrete ponds

Concrete ponds are durable and long lasting but not practicable for today’s fish farmer. The ponds solidity and rigidity makes them strong and durable but are difficult to dismantle and reassign.

There are two methods to building your concrete pond that work best. The first method is to make molds made with wooden shutters so receive concrete. Concrete is poured into the mold forming a sold structure when dry.

Another method is to use blocks and filling them with concrete for extra strength. The major disadvantage of concrete ponds is cracking because of the concrete substrate used in filling the pond.

Plastic ponds

Plastic ponds work well for both small scale and large scale fish farms. The tanks can be used both in=house and outside depending on the fish farmers preference.

The ponds come in various sizes and shapes and are easily maintained and cleaned. Although large scale fish farmers can use plastic tanks it is better suited for small scale farmers.

To install a ready made plastic pond you need to first build a concrete base that can withstand the weight of the water and fish. After the base has been constructed you make and inlet and outlet using pipes.

A mid sized plastic pond of about 6ft in length and 4ft dept can contain 500 catfish. Corrugated tanks work in similar ways but are prone to rust and extreme temperature changes.

Block ponds

Block ponds are very good and they maintain good temperature for your catfish. They are not rigid and maintenance on such ponds are easier that concrete ponds.

A well constructed block pond should have an inlet and outlet for easy water change. The same dimensions apply for both block and plastic ponds and the contain identical number of fish.

Block ponds don’t require much space same as plastic ponds and they allow the farmer easy control of his fish stock.

3 How to introduce pumps and plumbing to your catfish pond

Your newly constructed catfish pond needs plumbing work to function properly. The plumbing can be simple or complex but it has only to major functions to carry water to and from the fish tank.

While building your fish tank you need to determine how the plumbing and pumps affect the performance of your pond. Plumbing is generally static so getting it right from the start is very important.

When you start constructing your pond or tank you have to provide space for plumbing. For example while building a concrete pond the plumber should introduce a pipe within the wooden frame before concrete is introduced to the mold.

Types of pipes used for fish tanks

There are basically to types of piping material used for fish tanks. You are at liberty to use either metal pipes or plastic pipes for your plumbing work.

However, we recommend you use plastic piping because iron pipes tend to corrode after several years. The plastic pipes also has another advantage over its predecessors because its easy to change and install

How to apply plumbing for above ground fish tanks

Fish tanks or ponds need an inlet and an outlet to move water into the tank or pond. The outlet can be fitted with a simple tap placed at the lower portion of the pond. While the inlet should originate from water source and terminate just above the pond.

The plumbing can be an inlet with a series of pipes or a single pipe with several inlets for multiple ponds. Using this simple method a single pipe can service multiple outlets. The outlets are fitted with stop taps to regulate the amount of water introduced into the pond.

The entire pluming work starts with a fitted pipe to the pumping machine. Then the pipe is channeled along the ground then up into the pond.

The amount of water allowed into the pond is controlled by either a flotation device or manually through a tap. The outlet is fitted to a pipe and tap bellow the tank and is either allowed to fall directly on the ground or re-channeled.

To re-channel the outflow another pipe is attached bellow the initial outlet and fitted with a control valve. The reason for this plumbing work is to facilitate two functions one is direct shedding of water and the other controlled shedding of water.

Plumbing work for storage tanks

It makes sense to have a backup plan especially in countries like Nigeria were electricity isn’t a constant. The water tank is an effective backup mechanism that guarantee water supply during tough times.

The over head tank should be mounted higher than the pond and the tanks outlet directed into the fish ponds inlet.

You can pump water into the storage tank and use it when ever there is electrical failure or drought. Filling the overhead tank is via a pumping machine while discharging the water through the use of a valve or tap.

How to apply plumbing work for dugout ponds

Dugout ponds or embankment ponds need more elaborate plumbing because of it ground level construction. For the records not all dugout ponds require plumbing work but doing such gives the farmer greater control.

The inlet is easy enough because of the ground level pond but outlet a little bit difficult. There are three methods you can use to evacuate water from your dugout pond.

A.    The first method needs some technical savvy if you want to introduce a modest dam. The farmer should make sure control mechanisms are introduced to avoid fish escaping.

B.    The second method is to use a dedicated pumping machine to remove the water. The pumping machine can be fitted with pipes to allow this process.

The first pipe is submerged into the pond and attached to the pumping machine. The extracted water is shed via an outlet pipe at the other end. This system works fine but a major concern is the availability of electricity to power the pump.

C.    The third method you can use to remove water from your dugout pond is burying the outlet pipe. For the method to succeed you need to put in place filter nets at the extraction point to avoid loss of fish.

Before you start digging your submerged pipe makes sure no electrical cables or pipes are damaged. A simple mechanism should be fitted above the submerged pipes to allow opening and closing of the pipes.

4    How to stock your catfish pond

Once you have found proper land space, built your pond the next step is stocking your pond. There are two options when you want to stock your pond with catfish.

The first consideration is the size of fish you want to buy fry, fingerlings or juvenile catfish. Making the right choice depends on your proficiency as a fish farmer, duration, growth rate and risk factor.

The second option is if you want to bread the fish from eggs to grow out. To bread catfish from eggs you need to have the expertise, equipment and knowledge of breeding techniques.

The famers should note that whatever his preference the smaller the fish the longer it takes to reach table size.

Ways to stock your catfish pond

Breading catfish to stock your pond

Fish farmers with the knowledge of breading young fry prefer breading their own stock. This is generally true with large fish farms and middle scale farms. Although many use this method a few prefer to concentrate only on growing the fish.

It is not advisable for small scale farmers to bother themselves with breading the fish. Unless they want to sell the excess fish they hatch as a side business.

Breading catfish involves retrieving the eggs from the female, then applying the male sperm. The fertilized eggs are then placed in a controlled environment to induce hatching.

A batch of egg from a single female can produces a astounding 30,000 fry. Many would eventually die but in the hands of an expert a lot of them would survive.

The fish farmer chooses mature male and female fish induces egg production injects retrieves, mixes the blend and controls the hatching process.

Buying fingerlings

The fish farmer can buy fingerlings when stocking his pond. An inexperienced farmer should by fingerlings that are about three inches long to prevent high mortality.

While an experienced farmer can by slightly smaller fish if he so chooses. But remember the bigger the fish you start with the less grow out time. Some farmers prefer buying juveniles because of this same time advantage.

When stocking your catfish pond we advice you to buy shooters, these category of fish are those that seem to grow faster that their mates.

Buying juvenile catfish

Although juvenile catfish are slightly costlier that fingerlings they are a better option. Juvenile catfish are more rugged, durable and grow faster than fingerlings. Buying juvenile catfish reduces the risk of loss through death of fish and they eat better.

Both shooters and juvenile catfish are the best option for farmers looking to turn quick profit and reduce growth time.

Buying young adult catfish

You rarely see young adult catfish up for sale because breeders quickly dispose of fingerlings and juvenile fish. It is not advisable to stock your fish pond with young adults because they more likely are old fish that grow slowly.

If you are compelled to buy young adults some will grow fast given certain conditions but the others will just consume your food without growing much bigger.

Where to source catfish fingerlings for your fish farm

The quality of the fish you stock can make the difference between profit and loss.  Sourcing high quality fish is very import because it saves time and money.

There a many places to source your high quality fish such as local fish breeders, and government organizations like institute of marine research. Other ways to source fingerlings is from advert in news papers and online resources.

Source catfish stock from abroad

It is possible to stock high quality catfish fingerlings from abroad if you are ready to pay premium price for your stock. The foreign breeder with a good reputation after receiving payment and your order starts the process.

The country you reside is very important because the distance the catfish has to travel shouldn’t be more than ten hours. The breeder after receiving your order packages the fingerlings in specially sealed aerated bags.

The air in the package would keep the fish alive for a certain period but prompt delivery is essential. The cargo is then flown by air to its destination and should get their in the nick of time.

If the shipping process is handled efficiently the fish farmer can get his order with little causality. However, different countries have different regulation guiding movement of livestock across borders. Some governments regulate such cargo while other bans such imports.

Buy catfish fingerlings from local breeders

Buying catfish fingerlings from local breeders are the best and simplest way to stock your fish pond.  Local breeders offer fry, fingerlings and juveniles for sale to fish farmers. The best option is to buy either the fingerlings or juveniles but avoid fry like a plague.

Only very highly experienced farmers can gamble with fry because they have a high mortality rate.

Sourcing catfish for your pond from nature

It is possible to source catfish for your pond from nature if you know where to get them. Nature has abundant resources so using them is just another alternative.

The biggest challenge is getting enough stock which in my opinion is a daunting task. You can use a wild catfish and cross bread them with domestic stock for healthier fingerlings as another method.

Different ways to stock your fish pond

1    Source wild catfish from nature to stock your pond

2    Cross bread wild and captive stocks to get stronger disease resistant stock

3    Source high quality stock from abroad

4    Buy fingerlings from local breeders

5    Breed the catfish your self to stock your pond

5 Things you need before starting your catfish farming business

There a certain things you need in place before starting your catfish business. Catfish business is capital intensive with high rewards so finance the first and most important requirement

Without adequate capital the fish farmer would find it difficult feeding his stock. This is because feeding takes up 7o percent of total investment.

The fish need to be feed everyday for them to thrive and grow fast. Other things that impact positively on your fish is adequate clean water environment.

Capital for you catfish business

You need lots of capital to successfully grow catfish from fingerlings to adult fish. The majority of the capital goes on feeding while the structures like the pond and equipment are durable and only need occasional maintenance.

The amount of money you need depends entirely on the size of your fish stock and your fish farm. The more fish stock you have the more money you spend and the more money you make.

Small catfish farmers should not exceed one thousand catfish to maximize earnings and spend less. It takes an average of seven moths for large catfish to grow but fish prepared as smoked fish takes much less time.

Smoked fish are usually the young adult which is barely three months old. You can source capital from personal savings, loans, family and cooperatives.

Buy landed space

If you plan to have a big catfish farm you need to buy land for you farm. You need either a plot or half a plot of land to grow about ten thousand catfish. Small fish farmers interested in growing between one to two thousand catfish only needs about fourteen square feet of space.

Sourcing water for your fish farm

Water source is very important for your fish farm so you need to prove clear clean water. You can do this by digging a borehole, well or using a nearby river or stream.

The borehole is the most practical because of the large water source it provides. A well might be adequate for small scale farmers but not large fish farmers.

The water table/level dictates the depth of the borehole and how much it costs. Avoid digging shallow boreholes because they might get contaminated easily.

Build your fish ponds

The good thing about building your ponds is that the expenditure on this project is once. The ponds can last up to ten years with minor fixes and plastering.

You can opt for either block ponds or plastic ponds depending on your preference. Block ponds are more ideal for both small and large scale fish farmers.

However both plastic and block works nicely for small scale fish farmers.

Proper plumbing work

The plumbing work should be practical easy to use an effective. The pipes and electric water pump should easily deliver water to you fish pods while the ponds should have a good pipe outlet.

The type of plumbing work depends on the type of pond either dugout pond or above ground pond.

Stocking your fish farm

Always strive to get high quality, fast growing fingerlings to reduce to growth period. Stocking your pond is not capital intensive so this should be the easiest stage.

Don’t get carried away and end up buying more fingerlings than you need. Only purchase the number you need with an addition twenty extra to replace those that will die.

Buy your stock from local breeder, import them, make your own or source from government establishments.

Feeding your stock

Every stage in catfish production requires different sizes of fish food. You are at liberty to buying either imported or locally produced fish food.

We advice you to buy imported fish food in the earlier stage of the fish. The reason is local feed tend to sink while foreign feed float and are nicely formulated.

That said local fish makes are getting better so you are at liberty to combine the two for better results. Avoid over stocking your fish feed and buy according to the needs of you fish.

Try to buy high quality fish feed because it helps the fish grow faster thereby reducing your cost in the long run.

Lastly read many books to get more knowledge on catfish farming or go for practical seminars. Catfish business isn’t that difficult what you know what you are doing.

6 Sourcing fresh water for your catfish pond

Catfish thrives in warm regions like West Africa, East Africa and parts of India.  When searching for a suitable location for your fish pond you need to select a spot close to adequate water supply.

Without lots of water your farm might be doomed before you start your small business. There are a few sources of water you can use to fill your pond and give your fish a nice environment.

Sources of fresh water

There are many sources of fresh water you can use which are cost effective and easy to access s. listed bellow are a few sources of clean water for your pond.

Well water source

If you don’t have a well then you might consider this option as a source for fresh water. A well is easy to build especially if the water level in the particular area is high.

Although some wells have brownish or un-clear water making the well deeper with constant use might clear the source in due time. The well should be fitted with adequate piping and a dedicated water pump to suck out the water.

Manually fetching the water for your pond is not only stressful but impractical for large ponds.

Catfish are very tough but hard water can kill your fish and the PH level is important. If the water need some level of purification before use you might try this option.

A crude way of testing if your fish can survive in clear looking water is to place a few in the water for a maximum of 23 hrs. if the fish are still alive after this period and are not sluggish or lethargic or dead then the water is useable.

Tap water source

Using tap water is a no brainer because tap water is clean easy to access and less stress. However, tap water is a rarity in certain parts making this easy resource difficult to get.

If you have running clean tap water you can use a good plumber to channel an inlet into your fish pond. That is why where you locate your pond is very important because the closer it is to ready source of water the easier access to the source.

Another simple solution is using a water hose attached to a tap and placed as your water inlet.

Rain water source

Rain water source for your catfish is only practical if you have heavy rainfall in your area. Rain water is clean free easy to access and good for your fish.

Rain water can be used as an alternate source of water and should be regulated. To harness the rain you need to build a series of diverts from roof channeled into your fish tank.

Special care is needed to avid the first stream of rain because your roof edge might be dirty. You also need to regulate the amount of water let into your fish pond.

You can fetch some into containers if water is difficult to get and store for daily use. Always make sure you have plenty of water before starting a fish to avoid unnecessary expenses.

Buying water

Buying water into water tanks through water trucks is greatly discouraged. Although the water supplied by water vendors is good for your fish the expenses and practicality make nonsense of this method.

Due largely to the large volume of water you need throughout the life of your fish you will make zero profit using this format. Buying water for your fish pond is only logical when done out of desperation or when something affects your water source.

Don’t use this method to source your water if you want your catfish farm to succeed.

River or stream as water source

If the river or stream is pollution free you ca use this source for your catfish farm. Here are two ways of harness the rivers natural water by either cordoning the source or using a water pump.

The type of pond you use depends entirely on what makes you comfortable. We suggest you use an above ground pond ad use clever piping and water pumps to supply water to your catfish.

Borehole water source

Using Borehole as a water source is the best and most practical source of water for your catfish farm.  Digging a borehole if you have the permission is the best source of water for your fish farm. Borehole wells at appropriate depth supply vast amount of water that can cater for your fish.

The borehole should be channeled to a holding tank and your pond via a pumping matching. We suggest sinking a borehole if you intend starting a large catfish farm it is simple and the most effective source of water.

Sources of water for your catfish farm

1    tap water source

2    build a well

3    dig a borehole

4    use rain water

5    use a nearby stream or river

6    buy water

7 Reasons why deeper fish ponds are better than shallow fish ponds

Fish ponds come in different dimensions, shapes and sizes but the carry out the same function.  They create a good environment where catfish can thrive bred and grow.

The standard depth of 4ft deep is usually recommended when building your fish pond. This allows better aeration and large space for your catfish to grow.

Fish farmers should avoid over stocking their ponds and always strive to stock fish in ponds according to the ponds size. Although ponds that have the recommended dept last an average of eight to ten years, deeper ponds tend to last longer.

This is more so with dugout ponds because with time lots of sediment accumulates at the bottom of the pond. There are several reasons why you should consider digging deeper ponds some of which are explained bellow.

Reasons why deeper ponds are better that shallow ponds

1    Aeration is an important reason why deeper ponds are better that shallow ponds. The larger dept adds to the ponds dimension allowing more space for the fish and better aeration. Apart from natural aeration smaller ponds need artificial aeration twice daily.

2    Smaller ponds might require frequent maintenance of a shorter period that deeper ponds..  larger ponds are almost self sustaining like a flowing stream or river.

3    Smaller ponds are more prone to erosion after a period of years. With time erosion affects dugout ponds causing debris pileup further reducing the depth of your fish pond.

4    Larger and deeper ponds in the long run reduces cost of rebuilding and reconstruction shallower ponds

5    Fish bred in deeper fish ponds tend to grow faster, healthier and bigger that those bred in shallower ponds

6    Sediments take longer to build up in deeper ponds than shallow ponds.

Shallow ponds life cycle

The life cycle of shallow ponds is ten years whereby reconstruction is needed. When maintaining old pond the cost might not necessarily spiral up.

The major drawback when maintain you old pond is the down time in fish growing. The pond becomes temporarily out of commission while the pond is repaired.

Deeper ponds tend to have longer life cycles because they are almost self sustaining. Knowing the best depth for your pond is important because to deep and it losses its efficiency.

General maintenance of your fish pond

A well constructed pond needs little to non maintenance especially above ground pods. Dugout ponds need more maintenance especially weeding out shrubs and debris.

The electrical equipment like water pumps, aerators and the piping should be checked regularly. Leaking pipes should be promptly replaced and inlet and outlet properly tested.

8    Catfish Fingerlings Production Process

Fish farmers generally divide themselves in to 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 producer 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

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 process

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 hatching 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.

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    Shave 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 SMS messaging, and visit fish farmers in your area to inform them of your produce.


Some benefits of fish farming

.The price of the catfish

Catfish farmers in 2015 sell their stock per kilogram to local retailers and restaurants. The price fluctuates but a kilogram of catfish in 2015 was 2 dollars per kilogram.

If the fish farmer chooses to go further down the retail market he makes much h more by selling as smoked fish. Smoked fish are not necessarily one kilogram but around two hundred and fifty grams ad they can sell as much as 2 dollars

The fish farmer might have an outlet to grill or barbecue the fish and sell twice the cost of a kilogram. Other highly priced menu from catfish are steamed catfish and pepper soup.

The fish farmer can earn huge income packaging the fish for exportation. Exportation attracts foreign currency when change because very impressive amount.

Catfish farming reduces unemployment

Although catfish farming is capital intensive you can scale down your catfish farm. A small farm can make good earnings for an unemployed person when done right.

The unemployed person can choose to go into any of the two segments of fish farming which is breeding or grow out. The unemployed person can join an agricultural cooperative and get loans for his venture.

You don’t need vast land to become successful catfish farming a small space close to clean water supply would do nicely. To make huge profit on little investment the person only needs to market and sell his produce to smile al the way to the bank.

.    Some benefits of catfish consumption

Catfish is not entirely the healthy fish people make it out to be because it has certain oil and fat that isn’t recommended.  But it has its good aspects like vitamins, and fish protein.

When processed into smoked or dry fish it is better than the boiled variant. The meat is healthier than red meat and slightly better than livestock products.

Catfish farms a easier to maintain than livestock farming

Livestock farming which includes poultry farming, cattle rearing and sheep rearing is more difficult that fish farming. Poultry farming is very capital intensive, labor intensive and high maintenance.

The same applies to cattle rearing and goat rearing when compared with fish farming. Other types of livestock farming are also messy, and pro to deadly diseases like mad cow diseases or bird flu.

Don’t get me started on the smell and noise from chicken farming compared to fish farming. Fish farming is almost silent, easy to do, need little space to produce large numbers.

Although catfish are prone to diseases they are not as bad as those found in other agricultural sector.

Fish farmers have Easy Access to business credit

Fish farmers have easy access to business credit because the federal government has provided revenue to boost catfish production. There are different organization set up to aid fish farmer’s access loans like Bank of Industry, Agricultural cooperatives, Agric. Bank and many others.

Commercial banks also provide credit to fish farmers including other federal and state initiatives.

Maintenance and expenses

Fish farmers spend less on maintenance and recurrent expenses because the fish ponds are durable and can last ten years. Once the fingerlings are bought the only major expense is feeding which takes seventy percent of the cost of production.

The fish hardly get sick, but sick fish should be promptly isolated and removed from the stock. Other costs to consider are electricity to pump your water into the fish tank.

Once you change the water once a day if its dirty and feed them either once or twice daily you job is done. Catfish are quite easy to maintain giving you time to do other things.

Catfish farming allows diversification

You can go into any aspect of catfish farming and make good profit. The fish farmer can breed catfish, grow catfish, and sell to open market or directly to customers.

The fish farmer can export his products or even go into other aspects of farming like live stock. The expelled water from the fish pond can even be channeled unto vegetable farms.

Catfish farming does not demand much of your time so you can have a regular nine to five job easily.

Ten reasons catfish farming is profitable

These are a few reasons catfish farming is profitable

1    The fish attract premium price

2    You can diversify you operations

3    Low maintenance

4    Access to credit facilities

5    Easier to do that livestock farming

6    Large market for the catfish

7    Good for consumption

8    Good government initiatives and funding

9    Reduces unemployment

10    You can make huge profit catfish farming

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