Anyone can start catfish farming in a pond at home, in closed water supply installations, aquariums or in barrels. The main conditions when keeping the fish is to choose a place with a shade or to set a muted light in the room. Would you like to know more about how to rear catfish at home? Continue reading!
Lately, the cultivation of African catfish has sparked the interest of Nigerian farmers. The reason is that catfish adapts to the conditions of restricted habitat very easily, and this is very important for fast growth with no surprises. Secondly, catfish is resistant to diseases and grows at large planting densities.
Starting African catfish breeding
The African catfish is delicious, nutritious and grows pretty fast. The biology of catfish is such that they can live without water for two days, breathing the usual air. The fascinating thing is that they have both gills and lungs. Catfish is strong and clever. In their homeland, in Africa, catfish can walk up to 1 km "on foot" - when the water leaves the spilled rivers. Catfish can jump up to 2 meters in height and crawl to look for water.
Some can survive at a water temperature of 8 to 35 degrees Celsius. But for reproduction, the needed temperature is more than 18 degrees, and for feeding - more than 20 degrees.
The first farms for catfish appeared in the Netherlands in 1980. There were more than 60 farms that produced about 300 tons of fish. In 1992, the production of the African catfish had already exceeded 1,235 tons, and 71.3% of this number, i.е. 880 tons, was produced in the Netherlands on 8 large farms. In Nigeria, there are a number of other small farms that grow mainly small amounts of catfish (no more than 50 tons per year).
How to run a catfish business
How to raise catfish at home and start making money from it? Any heated room with an area of 50m2 is suitable for growing catfish. For example, a German farmer, Peter Waller grows an African catfish in his former vegetable store. Fish are usually grown in special pools with an installation of closed water supply.
How much money does it take to open a catfish farm?
Investments for opening a farm for catfish cultivation with the volume of 10 tons commercial fish per year, can range from 100 - 200 thousand dollars.
The main costs are as a result of the following conditions for growing fish:
- acquiring pools;
- creating closed water systems;
- water filtration systems;
- engineering facilities.
Equipping a farm that produces 10 tons of catfish per year may include:
- eight pools of 1.5 m3 each;
- two clarifiers of 1.2 m3;
- tank with a volume of 2 m3;
- biofilter and 12 m3 of filter bags;
- adequate water;
- pump with a capacity of 1 kV;
- pipes, fittings;
- UV lamp with a power of 55 W;
- feeder - 8 pieces.
Characteristics of the recycling system for the production of 10 tons of catfish per year:
- the minimum building area is 60 m2;
- area of pools - 10 m2;
- volume of pools - 10 m3;
- the volume of water in the system is 15 m3;
- change of water in the ponds with fish - once every hour;
- process of water consumption - up to 300 m3 per day;
- permanent removal of weeds and pests;
- biological filtration, biological filter volume - 11 m3;
- the area of the biological filter is 150 m2 / m3;
- addition of clean water per day - 100 l / 1 kg of feed.
Technology of growing catfish in a pond
Young catfish can be purchased at at the price of N18,000 to N35,000 per 5000 pieces. But bringing the young to mature age is not a simple task. According to Peter Waller, the most difficult period are for the ones that weighs no more than 10 grams, the death rate at this weight is the highest. After 10 grams, there is a very small percentage of the fish death.
Catfish grows quickly. The period of growth of larvae to commercial fish is only 6 months. Catfish is omnivorous and eat almost everything. In Africa, catfish eat both fruit and meat. In Europe and USA, they are fed with mixed fodder, but you can give them wheat, corn, bran and others too.
‘When a fish eats actively, it means that it is healthy and in a good mood’ – a Nigerian farmer says.
The task of water purification is one of the main conditions for the success of the business. And the best thing for this task is an installation of closed water supply. Each pond with fish contains some bacteria that cannot be seen. It has a special benefit – it works as an inexpensive purification system. The microorganisms clear the pools of the remains of fodder, the products of vital activity of fish and therefore the water remains perfectly clean.
Answering the question ‘how to rear catfish’ one businessmen says that expensive feed and heating costs make up almost 30% of the cost of rearing the fish. These are the only drawbacks when growing catfish.
The average wholesale price of catfish is 1,050kg of fish (At the current rate of N480 per kg) - 504,000. The selling of fish may be a real problem at first. In the beginning, you can conclude contracts with small wholesale resellers. You can take the fish to markets, restaurants and retail stores. The perfect customer is a retail chain, which is not so easy to get into.
Cost Analysis Table
The information was gathered by profitablefishfarming.
Combination of floating and sinking feed.
Here are details of Expenditure and Cost Value (Naira) in the short info below:
- Pond rentage for six months (for 1,000 juveniles) is about 15,000;
- Pond preparation (applicable to earthen pond only) is about 10,000;
- Netting (including workmanship) is about 4,000;
- Procurement of juveniles (N20 each; between 6 and 10 grams) is about 20,000;
- Feeds (floating; I recommend 60 grams per fish. That’s approximately four bags at 7,000 each) is about 28,000;
- Local feed (1,700kg at N160 per kg). Note: At conversion ratio of 1.7:1 is about 272,000;
- Cost of feeding (assume N2,000 monthly for five months) is about 10,000;
- Cost of logistics (assume N2,000 monthly for five months) is about 10,000;
- Security (assume N1,000 monthly for five months) is about 5,000;
- Cost of pills (optional) is about 2,000;
- Cost of Cropping is about 3,000;
TOTAL is about 379,000.
Step-by-step plan or where to start
Stages of business organization for the cultivation and breeding of the catfish strongly depend on the financial possibilities. Beginning entrepreneurs should use an extensive or semi-intensive method of cultivation, and for businessmen with a more substantial start-up capital, it is all about intensive. Business plan for business organization is based on these stages:
- Calculation of estimated costs and annual profit.
- Construction of a small pond including the provision of the required ecosystem.
- Installation of auxiliary equipment: filters, lighting systems, etc.
- Obtaining the required permissions.
- Purchase of fodder and young catfish.
- Deals with the suppliers.
The technology of growing
The technology of growing African catfish depends on the chosen method. Extensive requires a small initial investment in the construction and upgrading of the area. In this case, the fish eats natural food made up of various kinds of plankton. An intensive method requires swimming pools with the connection of a closed water supply device.
In this case all favorable conditions are created for fish: temperature, diet, cleaning of containers, etc. The catfish can be raised with other fish species,but you should also remember that it is a predator. The optimum conditions for catfish are the same as for carp: the presence of 10ml / g of oxygen and 10-30 mg / l of carbon dioxide.
In Germany, Holland and France, the consumption of equatorial fish is actively promoted by the state, since the catfish is a natural source of fatty amino acids, and for farmers, it is about getting a fast return on investment.. In Nigeria this type of food is quite popular, so there is a high chance that you will not fail and enjoy impressive profits.
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