Step To Step Guide On Hatching Catfish At Home

Hatching catfish at home
Hatching catfish at home

Hatching catfish at home is one venture not to be ignored because it is very lucrative.

Generally, catfish farming is lucrative. However, when it comes to catfish rearing, there are catfish breeders and catfish growers. Catfish breeding involves hatching catfish for sales to catfish growers.

In this article, I will discuss catfish hatching at home and the ways to successfully manage catfish hatching at home.

Hatching catfish at home


Catfish hatchery involves the artificial breeding of catfish, that is the catfish eggs are hatched artificially.

The process which is mainly artificial insemination takes around 24 to 36 hours. This takes place before the actual management system begins.

Hatching catfish at home requires the use of certain equipment, below some of the equipment you will need to begin hatching catfish at home.

Hatchery equipment

  • Broodstock
  • Well managed water
  • Incubator
  • Synthetic hormone
  • Spawning net
  • Syringe
  • Saline solution
  • Scale
  • 2  towels
  • Bowl
  • Blade
  • Plastic spoon
  • Tissue paper

Steps on how to hatch catfish at home

Identify your broodstock

This is simply identifying the male and female catfish. Mature catfish are called broodstock. You know you need a male and female catfish to get a catfish egg and hatch.

Identify the male catfish by checking for a red top sexual papilla located behind its anus.

The female catfish has a reddish genital opening, it also has an easily identifiable stomach that causes the release of eggs when pressed.

Assess your broodstock

This involves assessing and selecting suitable catfish for the hatchery process. Hatching catfish at home requires a careful selection of catfish to be used.

The maturity of selected catfish influences the hatchery process, thus, make sure you select healthy and mature catfish.

Hatching catfish at home
Table size catfish

Weigh your broodstock

Preferably, the female broodstock should be at least 1kg. So, make sure you weigh the broodstock to ascertain they are up to the required weight for successful hatching.

This is important as it helps to determine whether the broodstock has many eggs or not.

Prepare female broodstock for propagation

Immediately you are done making your selection, you should begin preparing for propagation. Hatching catfish at home requires the preparation of the female broodstock for propagation.

This stage involves injecting the female broodstock with the synthetic hormone.

Also, the amount of synthetic hormone used depends on how much a female catfish weighs. Ovaprim or Ovulin are the synthetic hormones used.

To get effective and desired results, you should cover the face of the catfish with a towel and inject the synthetic hormone by pointing the syringe towards the tail of the female catfish.

Carry out separation

Separation is carried out. This involves separating the injected female broodstock from the male broodstock. During separation, the catfish should be covered so as to keep out light.

Separation is important because, after four hours, the female catfish will begin to react to the synthetic hormone injection.

If there is no separation, the injected catfish can become restless and try to fight its way out of the space it occupies.

Separation has to be done for at least eight hours.

Set up the incubator

This step should be ready before the separation of the catfish. The incubator is where you will be hatching the catfish eggs. The water to be used for incubation should have a suitable pH level. The spawning net should be spread over the water.

Strip the female catfish

Stripping of the catfish is carried out, eight hours after injecting the catfish with the synthetic hormone.

You need to be careful here because the process of stripping the catfish is a delicate one.

Cover the eyes of the catfish with a towel, then have someone firmly hold the tail of the catfish with a towel, making sure the fish won’t fall.

Then begin to gently press the belly of the fish till eggs come out. Continue pressing the belly till eggs stop coming out or blood comes out.

Hatching catfish at home

Bring out milt from male catfish

Next, you take out the milt sac (sperm) from a male catfish.

Some cut the belly of the live male catfish and remove the milk sac from the side. Others kill the fish first before removing the milt sac.

Depending on the size and weight of a female broodstock, a single milt sac should be enough. Although, a male catfish has at least two milt sacs.

After removal of the milt sac, you should put it in tissue paper and cover it. You can choose to do this before liking the male broodstock or after.

Mix stripped eggs and milt with a saline solution

After removing the milt sac from the broodstock, the next thing is to mix the milt sac (sperm) with the stripped eggs.

Get the eggs, gently cut the milt sac with a blade, and mix with a spoon using the saline solution.

Make sure the saline solution has no much salt, especially when using fresh water. Mixing should last for at least sixty seconds.

Spread the eggs on the spawning net

Lastly, gently spread the eggs on a spawning net then use thick nylon to cover the pond for a minimum of 24 hours.

After which, check to see if the eggs have hatched.

You need to regularly check to make sure there is no pollution.

If you don’t remove the net on time, the water may get polluted which can cause the hatched eggs to die.

You ascertain the eggs have hatched when they fall from the net down to the bottom of the incubator. The bad eggs tend to turn white and remain on the net.

It is normal not to see the fries, fingerlings, or juveniles early. Some catfish breeders see them swimming in the pond after 72 hours.


Hatching catfish at home is something everyone can do, however, the main work is not in the process of insemination but the management of the newly hatched catfish.

After hatching catfish at home, you still need to nurture them properly for survival and healthy growth before they’re finally purchased by other catfish farmers.

You need to properly feed them, change the water in the pond, and sort them well. At least manage the fries for two weeks before selling them off.

Hatching catfish at home
Hatching catfish at home

Hatching catfish at home is not that difficult, but it requires special attention and hard work. I hope you find this article helpful, kindly share with friends and drop your comments too.


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