How To Start A Fish Pond Business In Nigeria

by Demi

Looking for a resource or guide on “How To Start A Fish Pond Business In Nigeria”?

Read on..

This article comes with a free business plan outline for a Fish farming Business in Nigeria.

How To Start A Fish Pond Business In Nigeria

Why Fish Farming?

Fish farming is the fastest-growing animal husbandry industry in Nigeria and many parts of the world. In most parts of Africa, the most cultured species is Tilapia and Catfish. In Nigeria, the demand for fish is 2.66 million metric tonnes and only 1.4 million metric tonnes is available of which the country imports over 500 000 mt annually. However, our focus tonight will be on Catfish as it is the easiest fish species to raise commercially by every startup.

Basics Requirements in Catfish Production

Learning How To Start A Fish Pond Business In Nigeria, The requirements for rearing African catfish include;

  • Water: high quality, non-polluted water supply.
  • Good Parent Stock/Broodstock: selected broodfish of known origin for fast growth.
  • Water chemistry monitoring/test-kits.
  • Management: be a good manager of a management plan.
  • Recordkeeping.
  • Business plan.
  • Marketing strategy.

However, out of all the basic requirements, the most important is Water. Catfish can survive more than 7 days without eating, but cannot survive in bad water with poor oxygen for 30 minutes. That our water is looking clean does not mean the water is healthy. That is why it is important to do your water test to protect your fish water from being contaminated.

Catfish Value Chain and Phases of Production

Catfish has several stages of production, namely;

Hatchery: this is the stage at which we collect eggs and sperm from the broodstock to hatch new fishes called Fries.

Fingerling Production: This is the raising of catfish nursery from fries to fingerlings (usually 6 weeks).

Melange Production: This is the raising of catfish from fingerlings to three months in which the fish will be at an average weight size of 300-400g. At this stage, it is called mélange.

Table Size Production: It is the raising of catfish from fingerlings to an average weight size of 500–700g, usually from 4 to 5 months from fingerlings.

Grow-out stage: This is the raising of catfish from fingerlings to an average size of 1kg upward. At this stage, the fishes are in their bigger sizes.

Broodstock Production: This is the raising of catfish for the specific purpose of becoming a parent stock for the hatchery. They are raised for one year plus.

Processed Catfish: This is the aspect of processing catfish through the smoking kiln for human consumption. It is the addition of value to the fish.

Pond Setup

As mentioned earlier, there are various pond systems of rearing catfish. However, the most common types used in Nigeria and easy to control are;

  • Plastic Pond
  • Tarpaulin Pond
  • Concrete Pond
  • Earthen Pond

You choose your pond system when you want to Start A Fish Pond Business In Nigeria based on the phase of production you want to focus on as each type of pond system performs better under different production phases. For instance, you can’t do hatchery in an earthen pond. Likewise, growth production is suitable in an earthen pond.

Also, you will need expert advice when choosing your pond as there are other factors needed to be considered but are peculiar to every individual.

Setting up the ponds is not difficult. The volume of space you have available will determine the method and cost of your pond construction.

Catfish Breeding

Water: Having selected your water source either through a borehole or stream, ensure the water is regularly available and not being polluted from the source. Change your water as often as possible. Within 24-48 hours interval, based on the production phase you are involved in.

Feeding: Catfish feed can either be imported or locally produced. We have various imported and local feeds in the market. Fish feeds are in pellets ranging from 0.1 mm to 9 mm in size.

Fingerlings eat 2 mm

Melange 4-6 mm

Table size 6 mm

Grow out 9 mm

New Aller Aqua feeding chart required for 1000 post fingerlings to table-size (4 months and one week)

1.3 mm 3 kg 7 days

2 mm 2 bags 14 days

3 mm 4 bags 16 days

4.5 mm 11 bags 30 days

6 mm 20 bags 40 days

8 mm 30 bags 20 days

Total: 67 bags+3 kg of 1.3 mm(starter pack feed)

Average weight:1.4 kg

Catfish Farming Systems

There major systems of rearing catfish include;

  • Recycling system.
  • Flow-through.
  • Floating cage system.
  • Earthen pond.
  • Concrete and Tarpaulin pond/Household system.

Feeds and feeding in catfish farming is an important aspect that must be understood properly in order to achieve the optimum result of your investment, but first what is a feed?

Feed or fish feed is anything capable of being eaten, digested and utilised for growth and development of the body tissue. It contains nutrients such as protein, minerals, carbohydrate, fat and oil, vitamins and water. Literally, as we humans need balanced diet food to grow and glow, the same is true for fish.

Fish feeds and feeding are so important that it takes about 60-70% of the total production cost, therefore, if we can handle our feeds and feeding well, surely we are going to break even and make a profit. Catfish like to eat very early in the morning and evening. Do not feed them expired or mouldy feed.

The ability of fish to attain certain weight at a particular period of time depends mainly on feeding, stocking 1001 number of baby fish (fingerlings) is not hard since they are cheap to buy but the ability and capability to feed them with good feeds at the right time and appropriately till maturity is a thing we should never joke with.

The feed to be used when you want to Start A Fish Pond Business In Nigeria must be cheap and also should make the fish grow quickly, with the right quantity at the lowest possible cost.

Types of Feeds

Floating Feed: is water-stable. This means it does not sink but is often expensive. It allows the farmer to see the response of fish to the feed. This type of feed is in different sizes ranging from 0.2-6.5 mm, depending on the size and age of the fish.

Sinking Feed: it is generally referred to as local sinking pellet, not as expensive as the floating feed. It easily dissolves in water, and it is also cheap.

Supplementary Feed: it includes maggot, poultry waste, fish offal, brewery waste, etc. It is used to supplement the main feeds. It can be given at any period of the day, it helps to prevent cannibalism.


Fish feeds must be stored in a cool dry place. Wet food such as maggot, fish offal/ poultry waste must be refrigerated or should be processed by boiling or by sun-drying to reduce the moisture content. This will inhibit the growth of spoilage microbes.

Also, try not to mix floating and sinking feed together. And when changing fish feeds from floating to sinking, use 70:30 i.e 70% of new feed and 30% of the old feed. Economically it is not advisable or wise, to use floating feed throughout the rearing period but rather change the feed to sinking when the fish reaches the post-juvenile stage.

Major Feed Ingredients in Fish Feed

  1. Conventional.Maize meal.

a. Soybean meal.

b. Groundnut cake meal.

c. Blood meal.

d. Vitamin and mineral premix.

e. Bone meal.

f. Oyster shell.

  1. Non-conventional.

a. Cassava rubber.

b. Offal.

c. Hatchery waste.

Feed Formulation

Feed formulation is the combination of two or more ingredients with known chemical composition to meet the nutrient requirements (needs) of fish at a particular stage of production.

Methods of feed formulation.

A. Pearson square method.

B. Trail and error method.

C. Computer method.


  • Check your formula (feed formulation) before going to the feed mill.
  • Be sure that the ingredients are weighed correctly in your presence.
  • Check the ingredients properly whether they are not mouldy, infested, or stale.
  • Reject infested feed ingredients.
  • Do not leave your feed with the feed miller.
  • Use clean sacks for your feed.


Fish could be fed twice or thrice in a day. Fish should be given feed in the morning and evening. The farmer should be consistent and stick to a particular time of feeding.


  • Do not feed when the weather is hot.
  • Avoid improper storage of feed.
  • Do not feed the fish with dung, excreta or faeces
  • Do not overfeed or underfeed your fish.
  • Feed at regular time.


Harvesting when you want to Start A Fish Pond Business In Nigeria is done when your fish reaches maturity or has reached your desired size or stage. This can be Fingerling, Juvenile, Jumbo, Smokeable or Table size.

Harvesting techniques can either be Partial harvesting or Total harvesting.

A. Partial harvesting is done during sampling or if there is a need to check the health status of a fish, for lab analysis, or during treatment. The water is not totally drained and not all the fish will be harvested.

B. Total harvesting is done when the farmer wants to sell or transfer the fish from a pond to another pond or tank. Here, the water will be completely drained and all the fish will be harvested.

There are different types of equipment used in fish farming, but harvesting equipment in fish farming is known as fishing gear. Examples are Dragnet, Cast net, Scoop net, Hook and line etc. It is advisable to harvest only during the cool period of the day. Fishing gear that will injure the fish should not be used e.g cast net, hook line, set net spear arrow and the likes. Do not keep harvested fish under the sun, heap the fish, or transport harvested fish during hot weather.


Fish processing/smoking is also known as fish preservation. It is the mechanism used in increasing the shelf life of the fish. It is highly perishable as it has over 60% moisture content. It tends to spoil immediately after death when not processed or preserved. Fish can be preserved by adding salt (2-3kg) to 1kg of fish in an airtight container or iced, or refrigerated. Also, fish can be processed into Smoked fish, Canned fish, Sun-dried fish etc The smoked fish business is one of the most lucrative businesses in Nigeria. Even if you do not know how to hatch fish seed or have a pond, you can still venture into fish smoking business with just a little start-up capital. It is highly lucrative.


As of today, the demand for fish and fish products surpasses its supply. Almost everybody eats fish either dried or fresh, compared to other products such as pork and beef that are being affected by religious and medical constraints, respectively.

Fish has Omega-3 Fatty Acids, which is highly essential to the body and it can be sold to people of every kind in hotels, churches, at conferences, meetings, banks, individual door-to-door delivery etc

Now that you know How To Start A Fish Pond Business In Nigeria, are you ready to get a business plan?

How To Download The Complete Catfish Farming Business Plan In Nigeria PDF and Doc

Above is a part of the catfish business plan in Nigerian. If you want the complete catfish farming business plan with 3 years of financial analysis, follow the procedures to download it.

Pay the sum of N8000 (Eight thousand naira only) to the account detail below:
Bank: GTBank
Name: Oyewole Abidemi (I am putting my name and not our company account so you know we are real people and you can trust us)
Ac/No: 0238933625
Type: Saving

P.S: We can also tailor the business plan to your name, business size, capital requirements, and more to fit your direct needs.

Thereafter, send us your email address through text message to +234 701 754 2853The text must contain the title of the business plan you want and also your email address. Immediately after the confirmation of your payment, we will send the ginger business plan in Nigeria to your email address where you can easily download it.

You may also like

Leave a Comment

Social Media Auto Publish Powered By :