Catfish: How to start a profitable fish farming Business in Nigeria

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Welcome to INCOME NIGERIA, Are you interested in articles about Fish Farming Business In Nigeria, this post contains all the necessary details on How To Start Lucrative Fish Farming Business In Nigeria.

I had to stay up late night in order to complete this write up and am glad i just did. This is really an interesting topic I have been planing to write on but time didn’t allow me. I have tried to make this article on Fish Farming in Nigeria very educative as possible for every layman and also starters as well. Just grab a glass of water, sit back in your chair and relax as you read on.

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Fish Farming In Nigeria

Fish farming is not a new business in Nigeria. It’s a business many Nigerians has tried their hands upon and have seen the miraculous money that oozes out from these Agribusiness. There has been a huge demand in the supply of catfish in Nigeria. This demand is very evident in every Beer joint or mams put you go in Nigeria. Everyone likes to eat fish especially when its catfish pepper soup.

This is a business I strictly urge any business opportunist in Nigeria to start because it never fail when done right. Yes I am serious. Not when you have read this article to the end and have also taking extra steps to Obtain my Expert guide on how to start your own personal Fish farming Business in Nigeria. I have my own Fish pond and I must confess that one major challenge I have is my workers Eating up my fishes. It takes discipline to prevent that from happening.

Benefits Of Fish Farming in Nigeria

Tilapia Fish Health Benefits:

  • Catfish is good source of protein.
  • Catfish is good for bone health.
  • Catfish may prevent prostate cancer.
  • Catfish is good for immune system and thyroid function.
  • Catfish is good for brain health.
  • Catfish is good for weight loss:
  • Catfish prevents premature ageing
  • Catfish is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, hence good for heart.

Advantages of Catfish Farming in Nigeria:

  • The best part of Catfish is the fast growth.
  • Catfish has excellent demand in both local and international markets.
  • Catfish prefers all kinds of supplementary feeds.
  • Catfish can be profitably cultured in seasonal ponds.
  • Catfish can be cultured at high stocking densities in ponds or local waters.
  • Catfish has high disease resistance ability.
  • Catfish can be raised in saline water as well where salinity is between 12 – 16 ppt.
  • Catfish farmers can achieve good profits with proper fish farming business plan. ( Click here to read about Fish farming business plan.)


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Types Of Fish You Can Farm

Below are the types of fishes mostly consumed by Nigerians.

1. Catfish

It grows in the same Agro climatic regions as tilapia. The water temperatures of between 26-33 degrees Celsius are ideal. It attains maturity at two years of age or at 200-500 grams. It feeds mainly on zooplanktons. Their stocking rate is 100-450 fry/ m2.

Catfish has a drawback of high mortality of fry especially during the first 14 days after eggs hatch

2. Tilapia

This is also a very popular fish found in Nigerian fish farming ponds. This is a warm water fish and is mainly cultured in fresh water environment. It thrives well in water temperature of between 20-35 degree Celsius. It attains sexual maturity at two months. Tilapia feeds lower in the food chain i.e. feeds mainly on phytoplankton, zooplankton and detritus.

3. Mackerel (Titus) –  Mackerel fish needs a salty water in order to survive. Mackerel is the most popular fish in Nigeria and also earns its place as the most consumed fish but unfortunately there are few mackerel fish farms in Nigeria. Most Mackerel fish farms are located overseas and the fishes are mostly imported. This is a huge business opportunity for you to venture into.

What You Need To Get Started In Fish Farming in Nigeria

Catfish / Fish Farming – Selection of Pond:

Select the pond or tank with minimum water depth of 1.5 to 2 meter. Make sure that the water level never falls down below 1 meter. The main criterion to be kept in mind is that the selected pond soil should be water retentive and sufficient water supply is assured. Avoid flood prone areas, industrial areas and chemically impacted soils. If you are selecting old ponds, they can be renovated for fish culture by dewatering, repairing of the embankments and provision of inlet and outlet. In either case of ponds (new or old), the following should be done for the development of the pond.

  • Excavation/Digging of new ponds should be carried out.
  • In case of existing shallow ponds, deepen the shallow ponds.
  • Desilting of existing ponds should be carried out.
  • Impoundment of marginal areas of water bodies should be carried out.
  • Construction of Inlets / Outlets should be carried out.
  • Construction / repairs of embankments should be carried out.
  • Construct/ repair any civil structures, watchmen rooms, water supply arrangements / electricity supply.

Catfish/Tilapia Fish Farming in Nigeria Farming – Bio Security: 

Bio security measures should be in place to ensure no escape of the  fish or biological material from the farm/pond to the other water source . The following important bio security measures should be taken care for safe Tilapia fish culture.

  • Outlet water from fish ponds must be screened and treated before released into drains/canals/rivers during culture practice or subsequent to harvesting in order to prevent escape of fish eggs into natural water bodies.
  • Provide bird scaring device/fencing securing the pond.
  • Make sure that the bund height is high enough to avoid fish escape from the pond.
  • Arrange sluice gates with appropriate mesh size to prevent escape of fish, eggs, and fry.
  • In case of flooding, make sure to secure the pond so that the fish or fry will not escape from the pond to other water source.

Catfish/Tilapia Fish Farming in Nigeria– Pond Management:

Pond management plays critical role before and after stocking the fish. Various measures should be carried out as part of pond management. The following are the fish pond management activities.

  • Catfish/Tilapia Fish Farming in Nigeria – Pre stocking: In case of new ponds, pre-stocking starts with liming and filling the water.In case of existing ponds, any unwanted weeds and fish should be cleared by manual, mechanical or chemical means. Unwanted and predatory fishes and other animals should be removed by repeated netting or by sun drying the pond bed for couple of days.
  • Catfish/Tilapia Fish Farming in Nigeria – Liming: The fish ponds which are acidic in nature are less productive than alkaline ponds. However, lime is used to bring the pH to the desired level for better production. Apart from this, lime has other benefits as mentioned below.

* Lime increases the pH level.

* Lime acts as buffer and avoids fluctuations of pH.

* Lime increases the resistance of soil to parasites.

* Lime toxic effect kills the parasites and lime speeds up organic decomposition.

* If you are planning to go for commercial fish farming, soil test should be tested. On an average, 225 to 250 kg/ha lime is required to cover the 1 hectare pond. However, actual dose depends on pH of the soil and water.

* In case of new pond, the pond should be filled with water after liming application.

Catfish Fish Farming in Nigeria – Fertilization:

Fertilization should be carried out depending on the soil quality in the pond. A combination of both organic and inorganic fertilizers may be used for best results. The fertilization schedule has to be prepared and can be modified depending on the growth of the fish.

  • Catfish/Tilapia Fish Farming in Nigeria – Organic Application: Organic manure to be applied after a gap of 3 days from the date of liming; Cow-dung @ 5000 kg/ha may be applied; Requirement of nitrogenous and phosphate fertilizers would vary as per the nature of the soil fertility indicated below.
  • Catfish/Tilapia Fish Farming in Nigeria – Stocking: The fish pond will be ready for stocking after 2 weeks of application of fertilizers. Tilapia fry (small fish) can be procured from the approved hatcheries.
  • Catfish/Tilapia Fish Farming in Nigeria – Nursery Rearing: The Tilapia fry should be reared in nursery ponds at least a month before they come to actual pond.The nursery rearing can be done in nylon meshed hapas suspended in grow out ponds. 50 – 80 fry may be reared in one square meter.
  • Feeding can be done using small floating pellets and the feeding can be reduced from 30% -20% of the body weight as the fish grows and moved into the grow out pond.
  • Special feeds can be bought from the market. The Tilapia fry’s should be fed at least 3 – 4 times a day based on the demand for feed to get good survival and growth.
  • The ‘hapa’ should be cleaned regularly to facilitate water flow.
  • After rearing one month in nursery ponds, Tilapia fry’s can be released into actual growing pond with a stocking density of 3-6 No’s /sq. meter for better development and survival.

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  • Supplementary Feeding: Generally, any fish needs much more feed than what is available in the pond or tank. However, Tilapia fish can be fed with artificial feed and floating pelleted feed. A commercial feed with Feed Conversion Rate of 1.25 to 1.5 is ideally preferred.
  •  Manuring: Organic Manuring may be applied in monthly installments @ 900-1000 kg/ha and inorganic fertilization may be applied at monthly intervals alternating with organic Manuring. However, the monthly rate of fertilization will depend on pond productivity and the growth of the Tilapia fish. Make sure that excess fertilization does not take place which may result in eutrophication.
  • Catfish/Tilapia Fish Farming in NigeriaMonitoring: Periodical monitoring of the fish to be carried out for disease incidence and growth. Records for day to day management of the pond to be kept for inspection.
  • Harvest: Harvesting of the Tilapia fish is generally done at the end of 5 to 6 months, when the fish attains an average weight of 500 to 600 grams in 5-6 months. A production of 8 – 10 tons/ha can be obtained in one crop of 6 months.

Harvesting should be done by partial dewatering and repeated netting. Based on the market demand fish farmers can sell the live fish to Local market in Nigeria or can be frozen and export to international markets. I hope you enjoyed reading

What to do Next:-

  • Drop your tips and experiences using the comment section
  • share this post to your friends on Facebook, Twitter and Whatsapp. They might be interested in  Reading too.
  • Join the Team of successful Nigerian Fish farmers in Nigeria and Get our well detailed manual on how to startup your fish farming business effectively in Nigeria without having any problems. Click here to Place your order now. highly recommended.


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6 thoughts on “Catfish: How to start a profitable fish farming Business in Nigeria

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