If you want to start a small-scale catfish farming business, this article is for you. You will learn some of the key things about starting catfish rearing in a plastic tank.
Why is fish farming a lucrative business in Nigeria?
Fish is a popular seafood and healthy source of protein. Fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids which boost our heart health and reduce blood cholesterol levels.
Catfish rearing even on a small scale can play a role in meeting global protein demands.
Fish is consumed in tons in Nigeria daily, and catfishes are popular among them.
You can start a small scale catfish farming anywhere, even in your backyard with little investment.
Catfish farming has proven to be a lucrative business for many people. When done well, it can give you returns of up to 50% in 6 months or less.
Why rear catfish in a plastic tank?
It is economical, and ideal if you don’t have the capacity to start off in a big fish farm.
Also, if you live in a rented apartment or have only a small space to spare, plastic tanks are ideal for catfish farming.
Steps to start a small-scale catfish farming
Below are the steps you can take to start a small-scale catfish farming at home.
Suitable Plastic Tank(s) for Rearing the Fish
Catfish farming plastic tanks are made especially for the purpose of fish farming.
They are quite different from normal storage tanks. For example, storage tanks have smaller openings while catfish rearing tanks have wide openings to let in air for the fishes.
Plastic tanks are more advantageous than using concrete slabs to house the fishes because they:
- are very easy to wash,
- are treated with non-toxic paints to avoid killing the fishes,
- can be carried about which makes them portable,
- do not take up large space,
- last for years which accounts for their durability
The plastic tanks for fish farming vary in sizes but in Nigerian markets, there are three (3) types. So, pick the size that fits your needs.
Use Concrete to Build the Base
Keeping plastic tanks on the floor will lead to the tanks getting damaged easily.
So, after acquiring a suitable tank for your catfish farming business, you need to create some sort of elevated slab to keep the tank elevated.
The shape of the concrete slab which you will keep the plastic tank on should be determined by the base of the tank – if it is a circular base, then a circular slab will be required, if it is a rectangular base, then a rectangular slab will be required and so on.
A concrete slab of at least 5 inches from the ground can serve. But the concrete doesn’t need to be very high.
You can get a mason to help you with the right amount of cement, blocks, sand, etc required for the project.
Have a Source of Clean Water
In as much as catfish rearing in tanks is a great idea, not having a good source of a constant supply of clean water can render your efforts fruitless.
Water is to fishes what air is to humans.
Not making enough water av3 is as bad as having dirty water in for fishes as it would harm them or even kill them off.
To start your catfish farming business, you need to ensure there is a borehole or any other source of clean water available for your usability at all times because you will be changing the water for the fishes all the time to keep them healthy and to achieve the results.
Get the Best Fingerlings
Getting the best type of fingerlings that are very healthy is a step towards achieving your aim in catfish farming.
Ensure you contact reliable suppliers for the best type of fingerlings, you can also contact people who are experienced in this business to help you out.
Note: Healthy fingerlings swim actively, they do not have bloated stomachs nor patches on their heads.
Use of the Right Fish Feeds
Catfish feeds constitute more than 50% of running the business. This means that you will spend more on feeding the catfishes than you did in setting the business up.
Make sure to get quality feeds to ensure the fishes’ survival.
Also, avoid overfeeding them to avoid wastage. Feeding them twice a day is okay.
Strategically Market Your Catfish Business
Getting potential customers for your catfish farming business even before the catfishes are ready is a good strategy.
Try to have access to restaurants, fish joints or markets where you can sell your catfish.
Study the markets and places catfishes are sold to make sure there is a high demand for catfish is your target market.
Setting up a backyard, small-scale catfish farming business does not require so much.
You can rear the fish in a plastic tanks without any issues as regards containment. This approach can also help to reduce the spread of diseases or their chances of contracting diseases, they get protected from pest attacks and so on.
Before you start this business, make sure you researched extensively on it. No knowledge is a waste, take advantage of the resources online, and educate yourself on the business as this will keep from making silly mistakes.
We hope you find this helpful. You can drop some feedback and we promise to get back to you.