Before now, for one to start catfish rearing business, such a person would face serious challenges that are easily identified, met or/and avoidable in the recent times.
Challenges ranging from the ideal feed for the fish, pond construction and management and a lot of so many others.
You must also know that launching a catfish farm is not the same as setting up a snail farm.
One thing special about catfish rearing is that it is one of the ideal and lucrative agribusinesses we have.
Inasmuch as people are venturing into the agribusiness because of its high income rate, it is also vital to understand the rudiments of the business if you must be successful in the catfish rearing enterprise.
In this resource, we will be giving out every knowledge you must have concerning catfish rearing, and also how you can start Catfish Rearing In 30 Minutes after reading this.
Shall we? Yes, lets start from the scratch!
What is a Catfish?
Funny question right? Yea, but as funny as it may sound to ask, a beginner in the fish rearing business, or someone without the basic knowledge in fishery cannot tell when a fish is regarded as a catfish.
So, lets get this straight, a catfish is a freshwater fish which belongs to the family Ictaluridae and order Siluriformes.
The scientific names of the african catfish are called Clarias gariepinus and Clarias anguillaris – Source: Wikipedia
The perculiar difference that differentiates the catfish from other types of fish is their scaleless bony stout body which has ray fins.
Such scaleless nature of theirs makes them appear very slimy and difficult to grab. Moreso, they are regarded as catfish because of their long tactile barbels which resembles like that of the whiskers of a cat.
There are over 300 species of Catfish, some include; heteroclarias, flathead catfish, clarias spp, blue catfish, channel catfish, clarias nigro-digitatus and a lot more,
What is Catfish Rearing?
Catfish having being the most consumed fish in the African continent, a lot of agribusiness owners have resorted to rearing them for commercial purposes. You too can!
When we say catfish rearing, we are simply referring to the act of raising catfish for market gains/commercial purposes.
Why Should I Start A Catfish Rearing Buisness?
Are you one of those still evaluating whether this aspect of agribusiness will worth your time and equal your resources,if yes, then keep reading.
Fish rearing is the one of the fast-growing animal husbandry enterprise in the African continent and the world at large. To be more precise, the fish farmers either rear tilapia or the catfish.
For example, in Nigeria, about 2.66 million metric tonnes of fish are said to be in demand but unfortunately, only 1.4 million metric tonnes is said to be available.
Such high margin proves that more fish are needed. Therefore, as a beginner, if you maximize this opportunity efficiently, you would relieve a fraction of such margin and make huge returns.
What Is There To Know About Catfish Rearing?
It is often recommended that farmers (especially the beginners) who wish to venture into the fish rearing business to begin with growing catfish.
Why’s that? What is even unique about the catfish? Is there more profit in catfish rearing than it is in the other fish?
It might be just right as you think.
However, in this resource below, we will show you the few vital facts about the catfish just before you decide on venturing into the business.
So, what are the very few things you ought to know about the catfish agribusiness? Here they are;
1. Catfish Are Quite Easy To Rear
Are you an intending or beginner in catfish rearing in any of the African continent? If yes! You’re very lucky because your fish will definitely thrive well.
Catfish are actually simple to farm due to their less temperature sensitivity.
This means that, if you ensure their environment is warm enough, they will thrive so well.
Catfish is so easy to rear in such a way that anybody can venture into the agribusiness with just a little guidance.
2. Catfish Possess A Carnivorous Nature.
According to research, few researchers have concluded that the catfish are carnivorous in nature due to their association with the carnivore family.
Well, such fact might be right because catfish often feed on worms, insects, frogs and other small fleshy organisms.
3. Catfish Have Predators
Did you know that your catfish farm can shutdown if you allow the invasion of predators? Lets not argue this!
Predators like birds, snakes, and even humans could attack your fish in the farm/pond. So, you need to always watch out!
4. Female Catfish Lay Eggs
Yes, you can be shocked, but don’t be too shocked on hearing this. Catfish do lay eggs when they mate. And when the females do their spawning (lay eggs) they do that quite close to the surface of the water.
Normally, Catfish do lay about 10-90 eggs at once, and even hatch them all in less than 7 days.
For startup, it is recommendable to purchase catfish juvenile feed and then raise them to maturity, and then market them.
5. Fish Undergo Spoilage
It would be a misinformation which could lead to business loss if you do not know that fish are not durable, they can spoil.
What does this imply? This means that you shouldn’t store them up after they must have matured to market them in a later date.
Unfortunately, the catfish business involves selling them when and only when they are fresh (that’s if you need cool money and not losses).
Storing them up even attracts more cost of feeding which could amount to losses.
6. Overcrowding Can Lead To Diseases Outbreak
Disease outbreak mostly occur when there are too many fish your pond can carry. You see? This is one of the major reasons you must sell off matured fish before restocking your pond.
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Just like human beings, Fish are also prone to fungal, parasitic and bacterial infections.
If there is anything you should be afraid of in catfish rearing, it should be disease outbreak. And how can you avoid such menace? It’s quite simple, ensure you maintain hygiene within and without the pond.
Things Needed To Start A Catfish Farm
Congratulations on your decision to venture into the catfish rearing business, so here are the things you need for a successful catfish rearing operation;
- Business plan
- Marketing strategy
- Water chemistry test kits
- Good Parent Stock/Broodstock
- Water supply – non polluted and of high quality
- Management – be a good manager of the business plan.
With the aforementioned, launching your catfish rearing agribusiness will sure be a fun ride.
Best Systems For Catfish Rearing
Catfish rearing involves the adoption of a good mechanism that equals your environment, and further meets your budget.
The core systems for farming catfish include;
- Earthen pond
- Recycling system
- Concrete and Tarpaulin pond/Household system
- Floating cage system
Start Your Catfish Rearing Business In 30 minutes
The following are the 5 most effective and efficient steps on how to set up your catfish farm;
1. Perform A Market Survey Of Catfish Rearing Agribusinesses In Your Locality
Constructing your fish pond and buying fish juveniles for stocking is not all it takes to begin your catfish agrbusiness.
There’s need to also do a survey on what what farmers in the similar line of business are doing or combating, as it will enable you to set up goals and objectives that will double your gains
When you perform a market survey, they following are what you’re likely to discover;
- Current price of catfish
- Level of catfish demand in your locality
- The number of fish that yields certain amount
- The time of the year in which catfish farmers enjoy more sales
- The target sales points i.e the market women, merchants, hotels, restaurants etc.
With the aforementioned data, you would not have to raise fish more than necessary and on the other hand, often have available fish to market.
2. Figure Out The Size Of Your Catfish Farm:
Determining the size of your pond and the type of pond to construct is another factor to consider when you want to start a catfish farm.
Should it be small-scale, medium-scale or large scale?
Well, when starting a small-scale catfish farm, a small size of the pond is required, as this will enable the fish engage easily, having easy access to fresh feeds.
Whereas, a large-scale catfish farm will require an enlarged tent and a bigger pond –concrete or an earthen pond.
3. Identify The Possible Cost Of Launching A Catfish Farm Of Your Chosen Range:
As soon as you have decided on the size of pond to go for, you can now go ahead to identify the cost of setting up the catfish farm.
To achieve this, you must find out the following costs;
- Cost of constructing the desired pond size.
- Cost of the catfish that will occupy the size of your pond.
- Cost of the catfish farm materials.
- Aggregate cost of feed from juvenile to maturity
- Cost of electricity (for pumping of water)
- Cost having employed staff (if you wish).
Identifying the possible cost of starting a catfish farming agribusiness will enable you estimate your profit.
4. Get To Know Your Competitors:
For you to do well in the catfish business, there’s also need to identify your competitors (those in same line of business with you).
And to do this, you need to answer following questions;
- Who are their buyers?
- Are they making gains?
- How much of the market demand do they meet?
- Where in the market is yet to be served?
- Are there unexploited ways you can attract more fish consumers or retailers to your farm than them?
- Can you setup your farm where the cost of operations is minimized in order to market at more competitive prices?
- How possible it to produce your catfish feeds yourself in order to market at a more competitive price?
Having an idea about the questions above will enable you to structure your catfish farm so as to earn huge profits.
5. Water And Feed supply:
Remember, as catfish are naturally freshwater aquatic animals, they require you to always change their water. This simply entails that there must be a frequent water supply in your catfish farm, as poor quality of water is way too enough to mar your catfish.
For this reason, it is expedient to have a borehole in your catfish farm or have an access to a nearby river.
In terms of feeds, the catfish feeds must be rich in nutrients such as methionine, lysine, and arginine.
However, you could use local meals such as worms as they grow.
6 Core Phases Of Catfish production
The following are the mechanism of growth in catfish in phases which you are likely to come across as a catfish farmer;
Phase 1 – Hatchery
This is the first phase in fish rearing which involves the collection of eggs and sperm from the broodstock so as to hatch new fish.
Phase 2 – Fingerling Production
In this phase, you nurture your small catfish in the nursery into becoming fingerlings at about 6 weeks.
Phase 3 – Melange Production
In this phase, your fingerlings transits into melanges at about 120 days (i.e 3 months) with about 300g to 400g of weight.
Phase 4 – Table Size Production
In this phase, your catfish begin to weigh about 500 to 700g at about 4 – 5 months from fingerlings.
Phase 5 – Grow-out Phase
In this phase of catfish rearing, your catfish attains 1kg and upward in weight.
Again, this is that phase where they’re in their bigger sizes. And yes, you can sell at this phase.
Phase 6 – Broodstock Production
If you didn’t consider to sell at the previous phase, maybe you had a special reason for that.
Well, such fish become a parent stock for the hatchery, and are normally stored for one year plus.
FAQ On Catfish Rearing
What type of catfish is most suitable for rearing?
If you are a commercial farmer, it’s advisable to grow hybrid catfish (especially the blue catfish) because they grow faster and convert feed more efficiently than the others.
Must I start a catfish farm with a large pond?
Well, the size of a pond to begin with depends on how large you want to go into the agribusiness.
Lets say, for a catfish rearing beginner-farmer, its advisable to start small until you are sure you can handle more fish.
Don’t dive into something you may not be able to handle, you must be sure that you can handle more fish in a bigger pond judging from your experience in handling the smaller pond, as beginning large can be quite very harmful which at the end might make you incur losses that could have been avoided.
What type of water do catfish thrive in?
Catfish as freshwater aquatic animals are expected to only grow effectively in a freshwater environment.
Such freshwater should not be acidic. And how do you know this? To get the details of your water parameter, it will require a pH meter to read the water acidity.
How do I Identify that a disease outbreak has occurred in my catfish farm/pond?
Well, it can be hard to detect if your catfish is diseased since they live and breath in water,
However, through the following symptoms, you should be able to identify an unwell or sick catfish;
- Open sores
- Breathing difficulty
- Frayed fins
- Reddishness of the body
- Cloud eyes
- Loss of colour
- Reddening or inflammation of skin
- Bloated body
What is the most efficient feed that I can serve the catfish?
It is a matter a choice, as you can feed your catfish with either locally or foreign produced feed.
They actually do not care like the snails. *winks
Regardless, you should know that the Fish feeds are usually in pellets at about 0.1 mm to 9 mm in terms of size.
However, the pellet size isn’t static as it is expected to change alongside fish growth. Take a look below to understand better:
- Fingerlings consumes 2 mm
- Melange 4 to 6 mm
- Table size eats 6 mm
- Grow out eats about 9 mm
What is the rough estimate of starting a catfish farm?
Inasmuch as the cost of setting up a catfish farm greatly lies on the area, country and region of residence. An average cost of setting up a catfish farm with about 500 fingerlings is 310,000 NGN.
Here’s the calculation;
- 500 fingerlings – N10,000
- Wooden (VAT) tank construction together with labour – N150,000
- A 4-months’ feeding coverage – N150,000
Starting a catfish farm is not as difficult as it may sound as far as you’ve got the basic materials needed, and your availability and readiness to care for your catfish farm to avoid unnecessary losses.
To excel in the catfish rearing business, the following equipment will come in handy, they are of very high qualities from reliable suppliers:
7.8FT Saltwater Freshwater Bait Fish Net – $43.10
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Aquarium Chiller Aquarium Cooler LCD Display Quiet Fish Tank Cooling System 20L for Fish Water Grass Coral Shrimp Farming – $189.94
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Have you started your catfish farm already… If yes, how much did it cost you? And if no, what are you waiting for?
Lets chat at the comment section, I will be sure waiting for you.