How To Start Fish Farming Business
Fish farming Business is an interesting agri-business to venture into. Aside from the fact that it is profitable; there is nothing that gives joy than watching such a wonderful specie being reared successfully outside their wild environment.
What is Fish Farming
Fish farming Business means rearing fishes commercially in tanks, ponds or other enclosures for the purpose of producing food. It is a lucrative business which requires time, patience and money. Why fish farmers fail in Nigeria is because of the believe that fish farming requires little investment which results in huge profits. Fish farming is very technical, risky, capital-intensive, needs adequate knowledge and attention. But when compared to other reared animals like poultry, they are still a better choice because their mortality rate is less.
Before starting you need to go for training from an experience fish farm in other to know the intrigues of the business. And you have to start small until you have become a successful fish farmer before expanding.
The key things you need to know in fish farming is
- How to hatch (spawning)
- How to manage pond
- Feed formulation
Fishes that are mostly domesticated in Nigeria are; Mackerel, Catfish and tilapia. Of the three catfish is the most reared fish in our environment.
PURCHASE FISH FROM A GOOD FARM
Buy fish from reputable farms if not you will be given runts which cannot attain reasonable heights. It should be a farm where the female and the male are equal or above 1.5kg Here is how to identify runts; the heads appears whitish in colour and their body very thin. thinner in such a way that it cannot be matched with the head.
REQUIREMENT FOR FISH FARMING
You have to choose a suitable place that will be used in the construction of the fish pond. One of such place is a swampy environment, it is very good in rearing fish. Do not use thick bush or where trees are many especially when you are using earthen pond. Build bore hole or pond if you are using concrete pond. You can purchase water and give shade to the fishes or fingerlings. Prevent direct sunlight to your farm.
2. OVERALL COST
i. COST OF LABOUR/MAN POWER
It should be moderate but can be both expensive or cheap. This will be due to location and the type of pond. Concrete pond will require much labour. However, you can look for a way to cut the cost down.
ii. COST OF MATERIALS
This will depend on the time, type of pond and the number of fingerlings you are managing. You have to calculate the number of blocks, cement etc. That you are likely to use in case of concrete pond. You have to constantly change water so you need light (electricity diesel) to pump the generator.
FACTORS THAT MAY AFFECT FISH FEEDING
Different factors affect or contributes to the response of fish feeding at a given time. Such factors include:
- Water quality (turbidity, ph, temperature etc.),
Fishes need enough space. Profit does not depend on the number of fishes you stock alone. It will even be better to understock them instead of overstocking them. To know if you have overstock fishes is when their water starts smelling within 3 days of changing it.
The solution to this is to change their water daily which will be more costly and time-consuming. Another way is to reduce the stock, fish likes fresh water. It helps them swim well and also eat better which will in turn result in healthy and bigger fishes.
Bigger fishes always suppress the smaller ones because of their size and weight. This makes it difficult for the small fishes to feed when food is served. In other for them not to die or be stunted, separate them by putting the smaller fishes in different pond. Sort them into different sizes; big, medium and small after two weeks of stocking.
HOW TO TREAT A NEW POND
Pour 4 bags of poultry manure into the pond to neutralize the acidity of the cement and also to add Spirogyra to the water. Leave it for about a month before washing them out and restocking fresh water.
HOW MUCH IS REQUIRED TO SET UP A FISH POND?
A plot of land can take 3 ponds, stocked with 3000 fishes in each pond totalling 9000. you can start a medium fish farm with #200,000, small farm with #80,000 while large farm is from one million.
You can also construct a 60sqm pond of 5ft deep for 100k. 2000litres size can take 250-350 fishes from fingerlings to table size.
HOW MUCH IS DOES A KG OF FISH COST?
The prices of fish varies from place to place for instance 1kg can cost #500-#600 in one place while selling less or more in another place.
All the fish reared may not survived and they cannot attain uniform weight hence their prices is bound to vary.
Success in fish farming depends on;
1. The quality of the fish
2. The quality of the feeds
3. The quality of the water system used
4. The structure of the pond system (space/depth)
5. infection fish will be eating without growing. Always observe your fishes whenever you change their water to identify any infection. If most of the fishes turn whitish then know there is an infection. Immediately use anti-biotic..
With this I mean to say if you cannot devout enough time for the fishes, please do not go ahead to start fish farming. Also if your fish farm is close to a water body example river; build a protection for it just in case…..