Commercial and small scale catfish farming business is gaining popularity day by day. There are numerous catfish species available throughout the world.
Among those species, some are very large in size and some species are smaller. Nowadays catfish are highly available in the market and most of the people love this fish on their table.
Although the number of catfish in natural water resources is reducing due to numerous reasons. Lack of natural living place and fishing in a plenty are the most common reason for reducing the number of catfish species.
But now people are becoming interested in catfish farming and establishing large or small scale catfish farm commercially.
If you like fish farming business, then you can also stock and manage catfish in your pond.
Advantages of Catfish Farming
There are numerous advantages or benefits of starting a catfish farming business. Here we are trying to describe the top advantages of this business.
- Growing catfish is not a new business idea. It’s an established business and many people are already doing this business.
- Raising catfish is very easy and simple, even the beginners can also raise them.
- If you have an unused small pond, tank or any other such water resource, then you can stock some catfish in it.
- Demand of catfish is good in the market. And the price is also good.
- You don’t have to worry much about marketing your products. Because catfish already has an established market.
- You don’t have to invest much for starting this business. You can even start in your small water source.
- It’s a profitable business, so you can start commercial production.
- Commercial catfish production can be a very good employment source, especially for the unemployed educated people.
- Catfish is nutritious and a good source of protein. And you can enjoy fresh catfish if you start growing your own.
How to Start Catfish Farming
Starting small scale or commercial catfish production business is very easy and simple. Even the beginners can also raise them.
Although, there are some steps for starting this fish farming business, which are shortly described below.
Pond Selection for Catfish Farming
Pond selection play a very important role for maintaining a successful catfish farming business. Before selecting the pond for catfish farming, you have to consider the followings.
- The selected pond must have to be free from flood.
- Shore of the pond will be strong enough and free from all types of licks and hole.
- All fish will escape from the pond if there are any hole in the pond shore.
- Water depth will not be more than 4 feet during rainy season.
- It will be better if you construct oblong pond instead of squire pond.
- Construct the pond in an open area, so that the sunlight can directly incur.
Catfish can be cultivated in both new and old pond. But it will be better if you cultivate catfish in an old pond. If you want to use new pond, then you have to use fertilizers such as dung, lime etc.
Applying fertilizer after constructing the pond will make the soil fertile. If the soil of your pond is not fertile, then it will hamper the health and proper growth of fish.
In case of cultivating in old pond, dry the pond perfectly before stocking catfish. Remove excessive clay and harmful gas before stocking. After that apply lime and other fertilizers.
Cover a certain area with pond where you will stock the minnow for first time. Covering the place with net will prevent the fish from some harmful predators such as frog and snakes.
Snakes harm a lot than frogs. Fill the pond with fresh water (2 – 3 feet water depth for first time), after making the fence . Stock minnow after 2 to 3 days of filling the pond.
After completing all pond management tasks, stock high quality catfish minnow. Purchase 2 to 3 inch size minnow from the hatchery.
There are many hatcheries available who are producing high quality, diseases free and highly productive catfish minnow.
Apply anti fungus medicines in the pond, after 2 or 3 days of stocking minnow. This will help to keep the minnow free from all types of diseases.
You can use your pond for cultivating only catfish or with other fish species. If you cultivate catfish with other carp fish, then the stocking density will be at most 2500 to 3000 per acre.
You can increase the number, if you cultivate only catfish in a pond. You can cultivate catfish with other fish species such as tilapia fish, pangash etc. You can stock 4000-5000 catfish if you cultivate with pangash or tilapa.
Cultivating catfish with carp fish, tilapia or pangash will help to reduce the feeding costs. Catfish will eat the food provided for carp fish from the bottom of the pond, along with consuming their regular feed.
The main benefit of catfish farming with carp fish is that, this mixed system help to reduce the quantity of ammonia gas from the pond and ensure a healthy environment for all fish species.
Provide 20% of feed daily for the first 10 days, according to the body weight of stocked fish. Usually catfish minnow like to eat food at night.
So serve their feed twice a day. Reduce the feed serving rate to 12 to 15 percent, after the first 10 days.
Catfish start taking feed during day time when they reach about 3 inch size. After one months from stocking, provide them 5% of feed daily, according to their body weight.
For measuring average weight of catfish, measure the total weight of 10 fish and divide the total weight by 10. For example, total weight of 10 catfish is 2 kg, divide the result by 10. Now the average weight of one catfish is 200 g.
Measure average weight of catfish after a certain period and feed them according to their average body weight. Provide them feed twice daily (first in the morning and rest in the evening).
Always provide adequate feed according to the age and body weight of the fish. If you provide the catfish less feed than their daily demand, then they will not live and grow properly.
And if you serve excessive feed than their demand, then the extra food will pollute water and increase feeding costs.
During Winter Season
Winter season is not favorable for catfish farming. Various diseases affect the catfish during this season. So you have to take extra care during this season. Change water on a regular basis, usually after every 15 days.
Apply anti fungus medicine after every one month. Keep water depth within 2 feet. If you notice excessive amount of ammonia gas, then you can use Ganonex medicine (a medicine, usually used for removing ammonia gas).
You can use net for collecting fish from the pond. But it’s very difficult to collect catfish from pond by using net. You can use net for collecting a few catfish.
But if you want to collect all fish at once, then you have to remove the water from the pond. Always try to collect fish when it’s morning or afternoon. Never collect catfish, when it’s too sunny weather outside.
Because collecting catfish in excessive sunny days will damage the condition of fish and you will experience lower rate in the fish market.
On an average, you can produce about 4 tons of catfish (in proper care and management) from a pond of one acre within 10 months.
Marketing catfish is very easy. Because catfish has an established market throughout the world. You will probably be able to easily sell the products in your local market.
Catfish has a great demand and price in the market. Almost all types of people like to have catfish dish on their table. Catfish also has medicinal value and very suitable for the patient. As a result, doctors advice their patient to eat catfish.
However, catfish farming is also a very suitable way to earn some income along with your current job. And also a great source for fulfilling your daily family nutritional demand.
Interesting Facts About Catfish Farming
Catfish farming is a booming industry that has been growing at an incredible rate over the past few years. The popularity of catfish as a food source has led to the widespread establishment of catfish farms across the world.
Catfish farming offers many benefits, including a sustainable and affordable source of protein, economic growth for rural communities, and reduced pressure on wild fish stocks.
Now, we are going to list some interesting facts about catfish farming business:
- Catfish farming is not a new practice; it has been practiced in some parts of the world for centuries. For example, in Africa, catfish have been farmed for thousands of years.
- There are several types of catfish species that are commonly farmed, including channel catfish, blue catfish, and flathead catfish.
- Channel catfish is the most commonly farmed species of catfish in the United States.
- Catfish can grow up to 5 feet long and weigh up to 100 pounds, making them one of the largest freshwater fish species.
- Catfish are omnivorous, meaning they eat both plants and animals. They feed on insects, mollusks, crustaceans, small fish, and aquatic vegetation.
- Catfish are popular in many cuisines worldwide, including African, Asian, and American cuisine.
- In the United States, catfish farming is primarily concentrated in southern states such as Mississippi, Arkansas, Alabama, and Louisiana.
- Catfish farming is a significant source of protein and contributes significantly to the economy of many rural communities.
- To start a catfish farm, you need a water source, ponds, and catfish fingerlings (young catfish).
- Catfish farming requires a lot of work and dedication. Farmers must monitor water quality, feed the catfish, and ensure their health and well-being.
- Catfish farming is a sustainable way to produce protein. Catfish are efficient at converting feed into body mass, and their impact on the environment is minimal.
- In some countries, catfish farming has been used as a tool for poverty alleviation and economic development.
- The global demand for catfish is increasing, and many countries are investing in catfish farming to meet this demand.
- Catfish farming can be done using different methods, including pond culture, raceway culture, and tank culture.
- Pond culture is the most common method of catfish farming. It involves raising catfish in ponds that are either dug or constructed.
- Raceway culture involves raising catfish in channels or tanks that allow water to flow through continuously.
- Tank culture is similar to raceway culture but involves the use of tanks instead of channels.
- Water quality is crucial in catfish farming. Catfish require clean water with adequate oxygen levels to survive.
- Feeding is a significant expense in catfish farming, accounting for up to 60% of production costs.
- There are various types of feeds available for catfish, including pellets, crumbles, and extruded feeds.
- Catfish are susceptible to diseases, and farmers must take measures to prevent and treat them.
- Catfish farming is an exciting and rewarding venture that offers many benefits, including a source of affordable protein, economic growth for rural communities, and environmental sustainability.
Tips for Profitable Catfish Farming Business
Catfish farming has become an increasingly popular business venture worldwide, thanks to the high demand for catfish as a nutritious and affordable source of protein.
However, starting and running a profitable catfish farming business is not too easy. It requires careful planning, hard work, and attention to detail. Here are some tips for profitable catfish farming business:
- Conduct thorough market research before starting your catfish farm. This will help you identify potential customers and determine the right price point for your products.
- Develop a detailed business plan that outlines your goals, target market, financial projections, and marketing strategies.
- Choose the right location for your catfish farm. Consider factors such as access to clean water, availability of suitable land, and proximity to markets.
- Determine the size of your catfish farm based on your production goals and available resources.
- Invest in high-quality equipment and infrastructure such as ponds, nets, pumps, and aerators.
- Ensure that your catfish farm is properly secured to prevent theft and vandalism.
- Select the right catfish species for your farm based on their growth rate, disease resistance, and market demand.
- Source high-quality fingerlings from reputable hatcheries to ensure optimal growth and survival rates.
- Establish a regular feeding schedule and use high-quality feeds that provide adequate nutrition for your catfish.
- Monitor water quality regularly and maintain optimal conditions for your catfish, including temperature, pH level, and dissolved oxygen levels.
- Implement biosecurity measures to prevent the spread of diseases among your catfish.
- Establish a record-keeping system to track your expenses, sales, and production data.
- Develop relationships with suppliers and buyers to ensure reliable input supply and market access.
- Market your catfish products effectively by using various channels such as social media, word-of-mouth referrals, and trade shows.
- Provide excellent customer service to build a loyal customer base and generate repeat business.
- Diversify your product offerings by adding value-added products such as smoked or dried catfish.
- Consider joining a cooperative or association of catfish farmers to benefit from collective bargaining and marketing.
- Stay up-to-date with the latest trends and innovations in catfish farming through attending conferences, workshops, and training programs.
- Explore opportunities for exporting your catfish products to international markets.
- Seek advice from experienced catfish farmers and other experts in the industry to learn from their experiences and avoid costly mistakes.
- Continuously evaluate your performance and adjust your strategies accordingly to stay competitive and profitable.
- Finally, be patient and persistent. Catfish farming requires time and effort to succeed, but with dedication and hard work, you can build a profitable and sustainable business.
Hope this guide has helped you! Good luck & may God bless you!