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How to Start a Lucrative Fish Farming Business

by: CallisTheBlogger

Fish farming means ‘raising fish commercially in tanks, ponds or other enclosures for the purpose of producing food’. Commercial fish farming has already established as a profitable business venture throughout the world. Fish is a great source of food and protein. The demand and price of fish and fish related products are also increasing rapidly, in accordance with rapid population growth. This is the main reason of increasing this business around the world.

In Summary

How To Start Fish Farming Business

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  •     Source of water to fill the pond and how the same water will be brought to the pond: The general rule is that the pond water inflow and outflow should equal the pond volume over the period of a month.
  • Stocking rates range from two to six fingerlings/m2, depending on the level of management. Male tilapia are known to grow almost twice as fast as females.
  •     The fish should be fed between 10am and 4pm when the water temperatures and dissolved oxygen content are reasonably high and the fish are active

Advantages of Fish Farming Business

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There are many advantages of starting commercial fish farming business. Here we are describing the main advantages of fish farming business.

    According to the demand, commercial fish farming business allows for large supplies of fish. Catching fish from the wild can’t always fulfill the consumer’s demand. In such cases commercial fish farming can meet up this demand.
    Fish can be raised in tanks until they are ready for marketing, and they don’t require the extensive capture of wild fish. Thus commercial fish farming helps to preserve natural ecosystems.
    Compared to the wild brethren, some farm raised fish species are more nutritious. Fish are usually fed a wide variety of protein and nutrient enriched foods or pellets on commercial fish farms. So farm fish become more healthier than the wild fish.
    Various types of fish species are available throughout the world. So you can choose your desired species for your fish farming business.
    Fish are very popular as food around the world. So there is an established fish market, and you don’t have to worry about marketing your products.
    You can start fish farming business in both large or small scale production purpose.
    If you don’t have enough capital for starting this business, then you can apply for bank loans. Many banks will allow loans for starting this business commercially.
    Fish farming business is a great source of employment. More than 1 billion people around the world depend on fish as their primary protein source. And most of this people are directly or indirectly involved with fish products or fish farming business. As a result, fish farming creates a great income and employment source for the people. Global fish exportation business is now earning more money every year, than any other food commodity.
    Even you can meet up your daily family nutritional demands through small scale fish farming in tanks or ponds.fish farming, rui fish, rui fish farming, carp fish, fish farming business, commercial fish farming, commercial fish farming business.



Before a farmer starts fish farming, there are several basic considerations to ensure success. These include:

Pond design
When deciding on the pond site and design, there are some factors to be considered. Some of these are:

a) Source of water to fill the pond and how the same water will be brought to the pond: The general rule is that the pond water inflow and outflow should equal the pond volume over the period of a month.

If the inflow is too low, water quality may suffer from oxygen depletion and/or accumulation of toxicants.

If the water outflow is too high, large amounts of beneficial algae may be flushed out from the pond.

The water should keep the pond full throughout the culture period. The pond should fill up in less than a week.

Place screens on pond inlets and outlets to keep out predators, insects and unwanted fish and also to retain the cultured fish.

b) Size, shape and depth of the pond: Relatively shallow ponds are productive. However, the shallow end should be at least 0.5m deep to avoid invasion by weeds and predation of the fish.

The size and shape of the pond can vary depending on the fish species, fish population and the farmer’s preferences.

It’s worth noting that if you want to produce fingerlings, you will require more small ponds whereas a food fish producer requires relatively large ponds.

c) Slope of the pond bottom: The bottom must have a sufficient slope for good drainage. A slope with a drop of 2cm for every 10m along the pond bottom is appropriate. If the slope is too gentle, the pond will not be easily drained. If the pond is too steep, it may be too shallow at one end or too deep at the other end. Pond should be drainable.

d) Height, width and slope of the dyke: The perimeter and feeder roads are required for movement of machines during construction and harvest.

If you plan to drive on the dykes, build them at least 3m wide on top and at the base.

e) Soil types: Top soil is high in organic material and should not be used to construct pond dykes. Land should be composed of good quality soil, with little or no gravel or rocks either on the surface or mixed in. Areas with rocky, gravelly, or sandy soil are not suitable for pond construction. Soil that will be used to build the dykes must contain at least 20 percent clay so the finished pond will hold water throughout the growing period.

    Species suitable for culture

There are three major fish species which can do well in the most climatic conditions. They are Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus), African catfish (Clarias gariepinus) and Trout

a) Tilapia

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.

Stocking rates range from two to six fingerlings/m2, depending on the level of management. Male tilapia are known to grow almost twice as fast as females.

It is therefore preferable to stock only males (monosex culture) to achieve the fastest growth and reach market size in the shortest possible period, resulting in more proteins and profits. A major management problem of pond-cultured tilapia is excessive reproduction and the subsequent stunting of fish due to overcrowding.

Methods of controlling overpopulation include manual sexing of fish, use of sex-reversal hormones to produce all males, and use of predators.

The success of these methods may rest with how well a fish farmer understands the techniques.

b) 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

c) Trout

It’s a cold water fish and it’s best grown in high altitude regions where water is cooler. Its presently limited by availability of seeds and quality feeds in the country

    Pond preparation for stocking

The procedure below should be followed by the farmer to the latter when preparing the pond for stocking. These steps will help boost the productivity of the pond.

    For an old pond, drain all water and allow it to dry for 14 days.
    Apply lime to the pond bottom and dyke slopes. Choose agricultural limestone (CaCO3) for application in your fishpond
    Apply organic fertiliser in the pond before filling it with water. The most common examples of organic fertilisers are animal manures (from cattle, poultry, donkeys, rabbits, sheep and goats) and decaying plant matter, such as cut grasses.
    Fill the pond with water.


    Fish feeds

There are various feeds that can be offered to the fish in the pond. Some commonly available feeds include:

— Meals

— Crumble

— Dry sinking pellets

— Moist sinking pellets

— Floating pellets

The feeds can be formulated so as to meet the body requirements of the fish species. This can be done as follows:

i. Cotton seed cake— 37%

ii. Wheat bran— 57%

iii. Fresh shrimp— 6%

iv. Vitamin premix

Feed ingredients can be hand ground or a manual grinder can be used. It’s important to adhere to the four fixes (4Fs) when feeding fish. These are:

• Fixed feed quality.

• Fixed feed quantity.

• Fixed feeding location.

• Fixed feeding time.

The fish should be fed between 10am and 4pm when the water temperatures and dissolved oxygen content are reasonably high and the fish are active.




Marketing is the easiest step of fish farming business. There are numerous markets available where you can sell your products. And all types of fish have a huge demand in the market. After harvesting, you can easily sell the fish at any of your nearest local market. Even there are many companies available who export fish to the foreign countries. So don’t worry about marketing the products, just focus on the other steps.

Fish farming is a very profitable enterprise if done with good management. Farmers should develop passion towards this less exploited agricultural opportunity.

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