I had taken my time to create this post for many of those that are interested in Fish farming business but don’t know what it’s really all about
Fish farming business is a very lucrative business here in Nigeria although it involves quite a huge sum of capital.
The first thing needed to start a small scale fish farming business is some basic knowledge about fish farming so I would suggest that you get as much knowledge as you possible can about fish farming. Remember your investment is at stake. Trial and error method is not good in business except you have unlimited funds to experiment with.
so here in this blog post I’ll tell you;
- What fish farming really is
- The basic requirements needed for fish farming and
- Some Essential processes involved during fish farming
DEFINITION OF FISH FARMING
Fish farming involves raising fish commercially in tanks or enclosures such as; fish ponds, streams, River Etc usually for food. It is the act of rearing selected species of fish under scientifically controlled conditions in enclosed bodies of water where they breed, feed, grow and are harvested for consumption or for sale.
Some of the materials needed for fish farming are:
1. Space or cleared plot of land
2. Ponds or containers
3. Hatching ponds
4. Fish feeds
5. Constant clean water supply
But if in case you want to go further into commercial fish farming I would suggest these to be included;
* aquarium or fish tanks
* aeration devices
* Net or seine reels
* handling and grading equipment
* water testing equipment
Now let’s take a look at the requirements needed during fish farming
1. SPACE OR CLEARED PLOT OF LAND ;
To raise fishes you would need some space in your backyard for digging a pond or for placing the fish in containers.
Fish can be raised in any kind of fish tanks, containers and tube.
You could also raise fish in barrels.
2. FISH PONDS OR CONTAINERS ;
Enough fish ponds or containers are needed so as to avoid overstocking of fish ponds
An average pond is usually about 3m*2.5m by 1.4m
Before siting a fish pond one has to take into consideration some given factors to know more about such factors read my article here on 6 conditions necessary for siting a fish pond
3. HATCHING PONDS ;
Hatching ponds are necessary for the production of fingerlings
If hatching is successful one can get over Ten Thousand fingerlings
To get a more detailed explanation on the processes involved in catfish breeding click here
It is advisable to hatch fingerlings rather than buying them because most hatchery selects the best (shooters)for themselves and sell runts to farmers, And you would constantly feed these runts without attaining a reasonable weight thereby loosing your hard earned money and wasting your precious time.
But just in case you still insist on buying fingerlings follow these guidelines below to ensure your investment does not go down the drain..
1. Buy fingerlings or juveniles only from farms who use male and female fishes (brood stock) equal to or above 1.5kg.
2. Only buy fingerlings from recommended farms, especially those who specialise in the production of fingerlings and juvenile..
3. Runts head seems to be whitish in colour, their body is thinner and is not proportionate in size to the head, they are like unfed children so watch out and don’t buy them
4. FISH FEEDS ;
Feeding fishes usually takes more than 50 percent of the total cost of fish farming. Example of fish feeds available in the market are coppens, durante, multifeed, zeigler, aqua feed, ranan, vital feed etc. You can try each one of them and know which one works best for you
5. CONSTANT CLEAN WATER SUPPLY ;
During the process of fish farming you would need a constant supply of clean water during fish farming. The fish ponds should always be filled with water and inspected for any leakage. Any leakage found should be repaired immediately.
List of some Essential Processes involved during fish farming
Here is a list of some vital and essential process involved during fish farming which you must do or perform;
Disinfection of ponds
stocking of fingerlings
Sorting of fishes
Continuous supply and change of water
marketing your catfish
Regular harvesting of catfish
other processes include;
*Regular application of fertilizer
*Control of predators
*Prevention Of diseases
Now let’s discuss the essential processes involved during fish farming
DISINFECTION OF PONDS;
Before you stock the pond make sure it’s disinfected with “BLAGDON ANTI FUNGAI AND BACTERIA” or any other good product you know by doing so you have cleared the pond against any fungi or bacteria present in the pond. It has been discovered that sometimes after a farmer stocks his or her ponds the fishes may start dying due to an outbreak of disease in the pond caused by the presence of some microorganisms such as bacteria and fungi, so I would advice all farmers to therefore disinfect their ponds using the above mentioned drug.
STOCKING OF FINGERLINGS;
After disinfecting the ponds and supplying clean water you stock your fingerlings into the pond. You should please try as much as possible not to overstock your pond cause if you do that your fishes may not grow well because the water gets polluted easily and this will cause the dissolved oxygen to be depleted in the water. When this happens the fishes present won’t eat well because definitely their appetite for food will be lost. So it’s important that a farmer measures his pond well before stocking.
SORTING OF FISHES ;
Sorting of fishes (grading of fishes based on sizes) is one essential activity one MUST do to save his or her investment. If you don’t sort only less than half of your fish will grow well and be ready for sale when most should be ready. This is because it is only the big and aggresive ones that will be eating most of the time and they are usually less than half of the entire stock you have in the pond. But when you sort regularly most of the fishes will be of regular size and they can compete with themselves for food. So they can all grow at the same pace. PLEASE DO NOT TAKE SORTING LIKELY.
FEEDING REGULARLY ;
Feeding of fishes takes about 70% of the total cost and there are no cut corners in feeding your fish.It is normally said that “What you give to your fishes that’s what they will become” and that’s a fact.
As long as you have right fish (like shooteers) and you sort and don’t overstock your ponds you can go ahead and feed them very well.
When you stock the right fish(shooters) they can even eat less and yet grow bigger.
supplementary feeds in the form of compound feed should be given in sufficient quantity to ensure rapid growth and early maturity of the fish.
Example of fish feeds available in the market are coppens, durante, multifeed, zeigler, aqua feed, ranan, vital feed etc. You can try each knew of them and know which works best for you.
Also try to look out for fake feeds and avoid buying them. Now if you don’t feed your fish regularly they will not grow . And you should know the size of feed you give to them at the right time. Feeding should be three times a day but at the third month feed them twice a day while at the last month you can feed once a day.
CONSTANT SUPPLY AND CHANGE OF WATER;
I have been to farms where the water is so polluted and stinks and then wonder how such farmers reason. Its just like putting 20 people in a single room and you shut the door and window what do you think will happen over time ?
If you don’t change the water as at when due the enviroment of the fishes will be too polluted to encourage good feeding. The fishes urine, faeces and dissolve excess feed pollute the water and they wount eat well or digest the food because of polluted enviroment.
MARKETING YOUR CATFISH;
Now, some farmers would wait till harvest before they contact buyers and this is wrong because when the time of harvest has elapsed they keep feeding the fish and some may have depleted their money to feed the fish thereby allowing the fish to loose weight.
Start contacting buyers, eateries and joints before harvesting your fishes.
REGULAR HARVESTING OF CATFISH
Regular harvesting of fish is necessary to prevent over population, outbreak of diseases and cannibalism
periodic or total harvesting could be done 5 to 6 months after stocking using net or by draining of the pond.
Thanks for reading
I hope this article was helpful for you, in guiding you to the world of aquaculture business. Try to gather as much knowledge and resources as possible and get started with your own home based fish farming business hope you don’t mind sharing this post with your friends
Thanks again for reading!!