Profitable Fish Farming

Practical advice for profitable fish farming…

How to Make Profit on Catfishes that Don’t Grow Well


Do you know that profitability in catfish farming business is not about how big your fishes are at the point of sale? You can raise big fishes and still run at loss. Many farmers believe that they might not make reasonable profit on small-sized fishes. This is not true. Like I have been saying, big fishes are a product of good breed, nutritious feed, and good water environment. All these factor help them to feed in right quantity and convert well. As a matter of fact, one thing you might notice in fishes that will not grow well is irregular feed consumption. Their feed consumption pattern is often abnormal. For instance, by the time a thousand pieces of catfish should be consuming 20 kg of feed per feeding arrangement, they will consume around half of what they need to eat. There isn’t much problem when you notice. Just ensure you don’t waste your feed by dumping the feed in the pond.

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These Factors Can Cause You to Sell Your Catfishes Untimely: Here’s How to Plan

It has been observed that selling catfishes before due time always result in a loss — especially when the fishes sold are under three month old. Many fish farmers are the architect of their own failure. They plan to fail even at the onset of their business. Those essential aspects of their business that should be monitored are left at the mercy of chances. As far as I am concerned, planning is everything in catfish farming. You might need to plan the number of times to stock and harvest in a year, number of fishes to stock based on your financial capacity, type of feed to use and many more critical areas of fish farming. Here are seven major factors that can cause you to sell before an appointed time:

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Fish Farming in Sub-Saharan Africa: 8 Major Challenges

Fish farming is one of the most profitable agribusinesses in Africa. You can start fish farming without the need for huge investments on capital projects like purchase of land and heavy constructions as is obtainable in poultry farming. One particular thing I love about fish farming business is that you can get details of your profit and loss after just a season of six months. I am also particular about rate of returns on the investment. It’s always fantastic when you get the business right. In fact, some of us in the fish farming business cannot easily switch to other businesses; we prefer to expand our capacity because fish farming is interesting.

As interesting as fish farming is in our own part of the continent, there are many challenges existing and new fish farmers are facing and will still be facing if drastic steps are not taken to correct abnormality in the business. These challenges are seriously militating against the development of fish farming. According to my article on prospect of catfish farming in Nigeria, fish farming can generate a lot of employment opportunity for the vast unemployed youth in Africa and also earn the continent a huge foreign reserve. Some of the problems militating against the development of fish farming are discussed below:

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7 Stocking Rules Catfish Farmers Must Not Break

Rules are meant to guide, and when you break them you will be penalized. Almost every line of business is guided by dos and don’ts. In catfish farming business, there are many rules you must never attempt to break. They must be obeyed or else profitability of the business may be affected negatively. For instance, at the stage of breeding, male and female catfish of the same family and same generation must not be used to breed. The effect of violating this rule is long term and can even make mess of the whole process. However, not every catfish farmer will hatch what he will stock but every catfish farmer must stock small fishes to produce table size. This is the main reason I want to focus on seven rules you must observe as you stock your fingerlings.

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How to Prevent Diseases and Mortality in Catfish

According to a popular saying, “Prevention is better than cure.” This is due to the fact that the cost of prevention is always cheaper than the cost of control/cure. In catfish farming, effect of mortality due to disease may be severe. In fact, some diseases in catfish are incurable when they are discovered late. For instance, crack/broken head disease in catfish is difficult to cure. Any attempt to administer drug is usually a wasted effort. My recent experience in a friend’s farm prompted me to write this short note. He lost almost half of his capital to a disease that can be prevented.

Here are the ways to prevent Diseases in your stock:

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Want to Raise Big Catfishes? Here are 7 Things you must Do

Abiodun Eniola

A senior part-time farmer friend once invited me to his farm. The purpose of invitation was to behold his big catfishes. I was set aback when I saw how “big” his catfishes were at around six month old. They were not more than 600 grams. Indeed! What a “big fish” they were.

When I talk about raising big catfishes, I am not referring to my friend’s kind of big fishes. I am talking about raising catfishes of 2kg and above in six months. Anyone can raise catfishes but not everyone can raise them to profitable big sizes of my standard within a limited time. It takes well-planned preparation, knowledge and financial capability to achieve a real big size fish. Without further ado, here are seven things you must do to raise your African catfishes to giant sizes.

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Effect of Cold Weather on African Catfish and Solutions

African catfish performs optimally in temperature above 25 degree Celsius. This does not mean temperature below 25 degree Celsius will kill your fish. It will only reduce the growth potential of your stock.

Catfish cultured in a deep earthen pond of depth between 3 to 6 feet can easily adjust to temperature by swimming to the warmer or cooler depth. However, studies have shown that shallow ponds are more affected by change in temperature (cold or hot temperature). Whether in earthen ponds or other types of ponds, cold weather affects the performance of African catfish and its environment in different ways as explained in this article.

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Essential Pond Features that Will Guarantee Bigger Catfishes

Getting good ponds is a serious issue that must be approached with caution — and this applies whether you lease or outright purchase your ponds. This is due to the fact that most pond owners sell or lease out their ponds for reasons mostly beyond their control. Nobody will sell or lease out a performing asset except in a very rare situation. Therefore, think twice before you buy or lease ponds.

Most farm owners give out their ponds due to consistent losses they have incurred while using the ponds. Some of these losses were caused by failure to secure the farm from theft, flood, poor management or environmental related issues. Only a few offer their pond for sales or lease for reason like better business opportunity, relocation, acquisition of better or bigger properties, etc. In this article, I will like to introduce us to certain essential features to look out for in ponds, that must be observed before you rent or lease a catfish farm.

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These Solutions Will Guarantee an End to Glut in Catfish Market

Like I said in my last article, glut is a common experience in the catfish market. It has hindered the development of catfish farming to a great extent. With an estimated population of about 170 million people, glut in catfish markets in Nigeria is uncalled for irrespective of the season. I still believe that catfish farmers in Nigeria are producing far below what is needed. However, the influx of sea foods including fishes into Nigeria has reduced the demand for catfishes in the market. Apart from variety of tastes, imported fishes are relatively cheaper compared to catfish produced in the country. This is due to an enabling environment in the source country.

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Glut in Catfish Market: Here are Factors You Should Watch Out For

Glut is a common occurrence in catfish market. It is a period of time when demand for catfish drops significantly. It happens annually, usually when supply is a bit higher than demand towards the tail end of the raining season. New catfish farmers whose catfishes mature around this period may not be encouraged to continue in the business. However, to some old catfish farmers, glut is an unavoidable experience that must be well managed. In the past, farmers usually plan their stocking to avoid the period of glut.

Recently, farmers may not be able to predict the time in which glut will occur in the year. As a matter of fact, glut now occurs in the period we least expect due to constant changes in our economy. You might not really bother with what happens during the period of glut in catfish market if only your farm can shun the market situation and focus on feeding till the time sales will improve again. My experience in catfish farming has taught me that sooner or later demand will come for your catfishes irrespective of their sizes.

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