Fish Farming Business-How To Start A Profitable One

fish farming businessIt’s another day and I have gone out as usual and tried to hang around some fish farm in Abeokuta and by so doing I was able to talk with some of the people who work in this company, though some refuse to share the information with me but I still had my way with others and got a lot of information I will be sharing with you all.

Lease I forget I also have a friend who is into this and I interviewed him for over 3 hours and we even have to visit is farm so I can understand fully what he is talking about and this is exactly what I will be sharing with you. Now lets me go ahead and explain in my own words.

I will try and explain as detailed as possible and hope that others who have experience in fish farmer will add to it as i try to answer people’s questions through commenting.

Do you know that one of the widely known farming in Nigeria is fish and that is so for some very good reasons? Back in the days where the only ways of getting fish is buy plucking them from the local river now the game has changed and you can start a fish farming business righ in your back yard. Likewise gone are the days when the only means one can get fish is by catching it in the local rivers and ponds through trial and errors.

If you are one of those unemployed Nigerian or someone looking for a business to start, I will advise you to go into fish farming business. Or if you are already into farming say poultry farm and you are looking at expanding your farm, I will recommend you to add fish farming to your farm. Do you know that fish farming most especially the popular cat fish is most compatible with poultry farming as you can be using the drops from the birds to make the feeds for your fish.

So let me further talk about the benefit of fish farming so that those who see no good benefits in it can read and understand and start to change the way they think about fish farming here in Nigeria.

Benefits of Fish Farming

1.Do you know that fishery products is the most popular animal products in the market, constituting over 60% of meat products in the Nigerian market.

  1. Do you know that Fish is one of the highest sources of protein? Fish is a low-fat high quality protein that is filled with omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins such as D and B2 also know as riboflavin. In fact fish is also very rich in calcium and phosphorus and equally a great source of natural minerals, such as iron, zinc, iodine, magnesium, and potassium.
  2. Do you also know that in Nigeria fish sells faster than any other animal products in the market and is relatively cheaper compared to meats, thereby making it the number one choice when it comes to affordability?
  3. Do you know that fishes grows very fast as practices in fish farming and it makes it possible for farmers to increase the rapidness of their fish growth by giving them certain formulation of feeds, ensuring that you harvest and sell within a shorter period of time compared to local river.
  4. Do you know that fish is the biggest source of one of the extremely beneficial compound to the human Omega-3 fatty acids; this helps to keep the heart and brain to be very healthy. Since bodies don’t produce Omega-3 fatty acids, the one and only source through which one can get it is by eating, that is where fish comes in.
  5. Do you know that Fish farming is very profitable? With the right planning and good fishing management, you can make back 110% of your initial capital in 6 months.
  6. And lastly do you know that compared to other type of farming, fish farm does not result into any environmental hazard, in fact you can setup a fish farm anywhere, including residential areas. For those who have specious compound, you can easily setup a small fish farm within your backyard without any need for regulatory precaution.

So this highlight I have listed above are some of the benefits of fish farming thou there are still many this page will not permit me to mention. Now it’s time to know the risk and challenges you should be aware of when going into fish farming business.

Risks and Challenges in Fish Farming

  1. Fishes are very sensitive animals to manage and a little mistake on the part of the owner can affect the growth of your fish or result into mass mortality which may cause massive revenue loss.
  2. Setting up a commercial fish farm is capital intensive, but not in the case of those you start for consumption. Fish farming require more capital to setup than a poultry or snail farming. When setting a fish far careful planning and much capital input is one of the topmost requirements. A relatively small fish farm may take up to N450, 000 to setup, and the bigger ones takes around a millions of naira or more than a million depending on its size and stocking.
  3. Due to the high cost of production, fishes that are produced from the farm are in most cases relatively higher than those caught from the rivers and ponds. Therefore, if there is good quantity of fisherman’s fish in the market, you may find it difficult to sell your farm grown fish as people would prefer the cheaper ones, remember we are in Nigeria where people go for cheaper things first.
  4. and lastly there are no byproduct in fishery unlike in the case of poultry farming where even the droppings can be sold and extra profit made,.

So now let us talk about the type of fishes you can farm right here in Nigeria without encountering any climatic problem

Types of Fish That You Can Farm

As you have understood the benefits as well as the risk involved in fish farming, let me now proceed to talk about the variety of species of fish you can farm right here in Nigeria and then you can proceed to decide which of them you would like to start with. Find below some of the most popular fish species that is suitable for Aquaculture in Nigeria today.

  1. Cat Fish –  This species of fish is the most popular type of fish that is cultivated in Nigeria today, thou it is not the most consumed but it is by far the easiest to cultivate in Nigeria and because of this a lot of people have made this specie their number one fish species to cultivate.species-catfish-fish
  2. Tilapia – this is another species of fish that can be cultivated in Nigeria, it is the second most popular fish in Nigeria’s aquaculture industry after the mackerel or Titus fish or sardines, this fish is a shallow water living fish and it is also easy to cultivate just like the cat fish and it is popular in some Nigerian market too. Another characteristic of this fish is its ability to reproduce rapidly and faster growth pace.tilapia
  3. Mackerel– Otherwise known as Titus or sardine, this is the most popular fish in Nigerian market today but you will hardly see anyone farming it , rather the fish species is been imported into the country in droves. The reason this fish is not farmed in Nigeria is because it is a salty water based fish and anyone who can create artificial salty water that can breed this species of fish will be making a name for himself because he will be the first to do that in Nigeria. Thou I read it somewhere that some farmers in Nigeria are considering the possibility of creating artificial salty water that will be similar to sea water where mackerel can survive. But the question still remain, Can this deep blue sea fish species be cultivated artificially? So our main focus will be on cat fish and tilapia but specifically catfish.  mackerel-big



So what do you require to get started in this fisg farming business I have been writing about? Read it below..

Requirement To Get Started

  1. Land – this is one of the main require to get started in fish farming business, if you are going for artificial fish farming then any location is good since fish doesn’t cause any environmental disturbance. You should go out and find land you can get for cheap. Depending on the size of the fish farm you wants to operate on, half plot of land is just good enough for average fish farm but if you are looking at a bigger farm you might require more than one plot of land or even an acre depending on your choice. And make sure that the land you are getting is not in places known for rocky topography but those that have been known to hold water so that water supply will be easier for you to get. An example is a swampy area but not necessarily that; you can dig a borehole in area with water abundance.

If you already have a compound with some space in them that can accommodate some ponds then you can go ahead and use it.

  1. Construct Ponds – of course you will need to construct your ponds, You have to engage the service of expert pond construction engineer or you can visit a fish farm in your neighbor and ask them for the specification they used in constricting their pond and get some cheap labor to do it for you but it’s advisable to go for so that the plumbing work can be properly done to ensure proper drainage and avoid mistake because a mistake done at the foundation of the pond can result in a total demolishing of your pond when you decide to correct it.

For those who wish to use their backyard, you can get plastic fishing tank in the market for very cheap, there is various side you can get to start your fishing business.

  1. Dig a Borehole –when digging a borehole, it is important that adequate water supply is available in the environment because water is the lifeline of a fish farm and inability to get good amount of it may result to disaster because pond water need to be changed regularly. Naturally available source of water such as borehole, swamps and river water is the most suitable. Tap water from chemically treated source is not recommended for fish cultivation as it is detrimental to the health of your fish.
  2. Prepare An Overhead Tank – so what about the overhead tank, yes this is the water reservoir from which water will be supplied to your ponds. This tank has to be connected to your ponds through proper plumbing system to make it convenient for water to flow into your ponds when needed.
  3. Get Juvenile Fish – so once the above have been done, it is now time for you to start thinking about getting your fish breed fingerlings to rear. You can go out to farm in you surrounding and get your juvenile from them especially those that specializes in supplying it. Please be sure to go for high yield species of catfish or tilapia depending on your choice and be sure it is coming from a healthy farm, never buy an unhealthy fish even if it is very cheap if not you will be wasting your money in the long run.
  4. Go Out And Get Trained – I am not talking about all those one day seminar flying everywhere, never not if you are serious about the business. you need a very practical duration training or apprenticeship so you can properly learn the business well. One way you can do this is to work in a fish farm for sometime say 3 to 4 months otherwise you will be losing instead of making profits.

so is there any special equipment needed in this fish farming business, of course yes i have listed them below ;

Equipment Needed

Pumping Machine and Pipes

Water Testing Equipment


Baskets and Buckets

Seines and Nets

Electricity Generator Set

Pond Aerators

And least i forget always do your feasibility studies before you even think about starting this business. let me give you the feasibility studies of a standard farm

Feasibility Studies for a Standard Fish Farm

This feasibility study is from one I got from a source online and it is an example of a typical standard fish farm feasibility studies, so read on.

This is a feasibility study prepared for a catfish farm capacity of 10,000 and fingerlings of high breed catfish where to be stocked. The total expenses from the pond construction to marketing are considered. The farm is to have a total of 10 concrete ponds of flow through system and each pond is to contain 1,000 stocked catfish.

Cost of constructing each pond is calculated as follow.

Each pond is 3m x 2.5m by 1.4m; each pond consumes 210 blocks and each bag of cement for 30 blocks. Hence 210 x 10 = 2,100 blocks. 2,100/30 = 70 bags of cement needed. 2000 x 70 = 140,000 naira.

4trips of sand used =7,000×4 = N28, 000

2trips of gravel = 32,000x 2 = N64, 00

Cost of labor = N150,00

Cost of plumbing (inlet and outlet facility) = N100, 000.

Cost of bore hole = N150, 000.

Cost of treatment = N50, 000.

Cost of high breed fingerlings 30×10,000 = N300, 000.

Cost of feeding from day one to maturity stage is 200 bags of foreign feed = N1, 000,000.

After the average weight of the fish was 1.7kg. And it was sold at 800 naira each. The output was 800×9800 fishes, due to 200 mortality. 800 x 9800 = N7,840,000.

Input is N3.25’million. The profit is N4.59 million after six months of culture.” by following this cost analysis, you can easily invest N3 million and expect a massive turnover of N4 million within the six months it will take for you to harvest and sell.

So as you can see it there is no doubt that fish farming business is very lucrative and profitable in Nigeria. You need to get it right by writing a complete business plan and following it to the end.

Also you will need to apply good management skills and follow the acceptable standard. By the time you do all this you are guaranteed to make a good profit from your fish farming business here in Nigeria.

So let me also answer some frequently asked question I see people asking far too often

Frequently Asked Questions On Catfish Farming

What Is The Cost Of The Pond?

It is the area you want to setup the fish farming business that will determine the total cot you will spend setting it up. as well as the land you intend to use and the type of pond you intend to build. We have three types of pond namely earthen, tarpaulin pond and concrete pond, so their cost are different.

 How Much Will The 1000 Small Fishes Cost?

There are sizes when it comes to fish farming, as for catfish it has sizes which includes fingerlings, juveniles and post juveniles. And the best of this size to go for is the juveniles since most intending farmers don’t have facilities to handle fingerlings. In the local fish farm healthy juveniles cost between 25-30 naira per piece

How Long Does It Take For The Fish To Grow For Marketable Size?

Before you ever thought about going into catfish farming business, you have to make sure that you know your market or better still make sure you know your buyers very well and the size of fish they buy. Ok let me give you an instance , do you know that it will be very difficult for you to get a buyer for a 500g fish if your market environments demands for twice that weigh which is 1 kg and vice versa. However, if I have to give an average time, you should be able to get a size above 1kg within 5 months so far you fed them well and they are raised with the best practice

How Much Will It Cost To Feed 1000 Fishes Till They Are Ready For Sale?

Asking yourself this question is also very critical, this your question will make those that deceive others shiver. Do you know that there are some people who will tell you that a single fish will consume feed worth 200 naira for 6 month and by then would have attain around 1kg. this is untrue, in fact it is not feasible because there are different factors and condition that determine the response of fish to feed at any given time. Factors like the water quality (turbidity, ph, and temperature. e.t.c), stress and health. My advice is for you is to set aside reasonable amount for feed. For up to 1000 pcs of fishes and your target is 1kg and above fed for 6 months, my advice will be for you to budget 250,000 for their feeding.

How Much Will One Fish Be Sold?

For you to calculate the price to sell one fish, you will need to subtract the cost of starting the business from the sale of the grown 1000 fishes. And so what will your profit be? It is important for you to know that the price of catfish varies from one place to another. There are certain places 1kg-sized fish goes between 500-550, while in some places, you will have 460-480. But take note that it is not all the 1000 pcs that will survive and same as not all will attain 1kg on the average. However, if the fishes are fed well and raised under the right condition, then you should have above 850kg at the end of the. So if you do your calculation with the price range I gave above, you will still make some good profit. Profit margin however depends on the type of pond you choose whether concrete, tarpaulin or earthen pond. Concrete and tarpaulin ponds consume more money than earthen ponds because of the need to change water often.

What’s The Difference Between Fingerlings And Juveniles?

It is important for you to know the difference between this two, fingerlings are fishes that are 1 to 3 weeks old while juvenile on the other hand are 4 weeks to about 6 weeks after birth.Juveniles should be about 8 cm in length and 2 grams in weight.

Will Those Catfish Grow Very Well In A Brick-Constructed Pond?

Of course, they will grow so far the pond is a spacious one.

As A Starter, How Can I Neutralize the Cement Odour In the Pond?

For you to do this in a way that they wouldn’t have a harmful effect on your fishes, you should use this method which suit you. A faster method is to use muriatic acid. You should briskly scrub all surfaces of the pond with this solution using a brush or broom. This will not harm the pond. You should mix more solution if need be and also Make sure it reaches all surfaces. Rinse the pond thoroughly, and then drain and refill. Your pond is now ready for your catfish. Or you can lime the new Concrete pond, u can get lime from plumbers locally, Or you can wash with vinegar or palm oil. Then you lime it.

If the Sun Is too Much On the Pond, How Can I Protect the Water From Being Too Hot for the Fishes?

No, the water can’t be too hot for the fishes. In their natural habitat they aren’t protected. It is only hot on d surface. You can plant banana around your earthen pond or locate your mobile or concrete/mobile ponds where there is shade. High temperature affects the oxygen concentration of the pond water.

In What Month Can I Sort the Big fish from the Small fish ?

The best time to sort the fishes is every first week in a new month. If not they might eat up themselves.

Can I Use Salt And Fish Biotic Together To Treat My Fishes?

They Have Dropsy (Swollen Stomach) And Dying. Cos I Feel The Fish Biotic Alone Won’t Be Enough.

You should make your fishes fast for a day or two in new water, after then can you can use fish biotic or fast them in fish biotic but preferable the first option

How Many Adult Fish Can My Pond Rear?

This depends on your pond capacity. Ideally, you are supposed to have one fish per 8 liters of water since for those who don’t use an aerator. If you use an aerator, one fish to 4 liters is acceptable. To get better growth for your catfish you need an aerator
What Modern drug Can I Use To Fight Fish Diseases?
Drugs such as Aquapro, UV light. You can Google it. Some other cheap method is the use of amoxil and tetracycline preparations like NCO to fight disease

What Material Can I Use For D Hatching Pond Asides Concrete Ponds?
Alternate materials to use are canopy, plastics, even big bath containers

How Can pond Slime Be Neutralized Or Removed From Pond?
For pond slime, you simply clean with foam, don’t allow water to stay long and don’t overfeed. Slime is a form of algae.

How Can I Evaluate If Oxygen In Water Is Reduced?
To know this fishes can come to the surface, hang, or you see air bubbles or foam on your water

How Can I Know There Is Slime in the Pond So I Can Clean with Foam?
You will know when the pond becomes greenish and slippery

Please What’s This Pipe I Often See Popping Out Of The Pond Meant For?
Any pipe in a pond is to aid the control of water flow in and out of d pond.

That is all for fish farming business, but before  you leave  here is an offer


I have asked an expert in the fish farming business who have one of the big far over here to put together a business training material for those who intend to go into this business and For just N5,500, you will get 15 practical eBooks with step by step pictorial illustrations on different aspect of fish farming in Nigeria with a super bonus video on production of fingerlings,This 40 minutes video is an intensive and very comprehensive tutorial for any farmer who wants to produce fingerlings by his or herself. fingerling production  is a very good source of revenue and also reduce your overall cost of production.

And here are the topics covered in the training materials

-Catfish culture system design construction and management,
-Catfish feed, feeding practices and production
-Catfish fingerling production
-Catfish disease control/prevention
-Catfish Production management
-Fish Farm Records
-Finance and Marketing Catfish in Nigeria
-Staff Management In Fish Farming Business
-Water Quality In Aquaculture

 please don’t forget to leave a comment of encouragement after reading this post or leave a comment if you have question that has not been answered already the the frequency asked question i listed out in the post, i will be very glad to answer all your questions and concern



  1. Am truly empowered by this post and soon i hope to gather money and begin my fish farming and also going into research on how to construct ponds for mackarel and sardines bcos those importers are really making money on sardine and mackarel

  2. To the poster you’ve really done a great job to share these with us,but my question is that from the feasibility study u gave, it take a million naira to feed 10,000 fishes to adult size,then u were asked how much would it take to feed 1000 fishes to adult size and u said 250,000. I really don’t understand cos it costs less feeding the 10,000 fishes when compared to 1,000. Pls clarify me on that. Whatsapp me on 08069196045 thanks

    • hello Mr Chbuike Emeka, thanks for the comment, looking at the calculation, i deducted that it was suposed to be 100,000 naira for 1000 fishes to adult size, i apologise for my initial mistake, but it all dpends on the availability of the feeding and its selling price in your enviroment


  3. Thank you very much, for the your encouragement. My question is this , what is the best breed for cat fish and how can someone get it.

  4. This is great…i really really love this this post.It is enlightening.Keep it up,please. I need a training on how and where to get a perfect training for catfish business for 3- 4months as you required, please where can it be gotten from?

    • hello Temitope, Thanks for the comment. as regard the training, you can look for any commercial fish farm close to you and go there as a free worker. you can use google to see if there is any commercial fish farm in your city.


  5. what an educative, inspirational and multivational post. i am really empowered. God bless you. is it advisable for one to write a business plan on fish farming when he has not acquired a piece of land to use ? thanks.

    • hello Simon eze, thank you for taking the time to leave a comment on the blog post. ofcouse you can write a business plan before getting land, that is even the proper way to do it as far as i am concerned

  6. Pls sir ,where can I read. Catfish diseases and control..
    Bcos I lost about a 100 fish yesterday to a disease I don’t know/understand.

  7. This is a very motivating write up. Good job. My area of interest really is how I can have access to wholesale buyers of dry fish or better still export buyers of same. My observation is that there are too many people with branded dry fish in supermarket now adays. The market is getting saturated. How can u help in this regard.

    • Hello Tope, thanks for the comment. Anyway if that is the case you can use google to search but I don’t agree with you hen you say the market is saturated. All it takes is pakaging and value. Do u ever wonder why pepsi still make wave where cocacola is. There is more to marketing than just selling your product. There are advantage you can have that others wouldn’t have that will put you at the edge.

      Just provide a quality product and make ur pricing go with it and you wouldn’t have a problem

  8. After reading your article, I feel the need to start my own fish faming business more than ever.
    Thank you for putting this up.

  9. Funmi lawal i want to start a fish farming business i have a half plote of land in Zaria under kaduna state pls i want you to give me advice on these

  10. Magnificent goods from you, man. I’ve understand your stuff previous to
    and you’re just too magnificent. I really like what you have acquired here,
    really like what you’re saying and the way in which you say it.

    You make it enjoyable and you still take care
    of to keep it smart. I cant wait to read far more from you.
    This is really a tremendous website.

  11. Please my husband wants to start a catfish farming and he is putting me in charge. He rented some ponds and wants to stock 10000 fingerlings, but he said people he asked are telling him it’s not lucrative, but by reading ur post, I am getting mixed feelings. Please can you advice me, should I go into it or not. Please I need your help.

    • Hi madam, fish farming is lucrative, but on one condition. And the problem with most Nigerians is that they ignore that condition, they fail and finally discourage others. Whats that condition? The answer is training. In addition to any manual you order online, you still need training to get maximum result. For example, if you are trained, you can know how to get the best breeds of fingerlings called SHOOTERS. Note: If you stock bad fingerlings, they will not grow well regardless of the amount of feed they consume. (Expo No. 1)

  12. Thanks for you educative write up. May God bless you. I am interested in going into fish and poultry farming. I have a plot of land 100 by 50 at badagry express road near Okwafor. i intend using that land for fish and poultry farming. so, I want to use the floor foe fish and build poultry on top. how many juvinie can i start up in that 50 by 100 piece of land.

    • @okpara see here How To Order For Any Of The Above Product And Services

      To order for any of the above product and services, simply walk into any of the following banks and make your payment

      Guaranteed Trust Bank

      Account Name: Olujimi Metilelu

      Account Number: 0121882504

      After making payment send the following details to i will acknowledge your payment once i get the bank alert and send or register you for the service you paid for in 20 minutes.

      what you pay for

      bank you paid to

      amount you paid

      depositors name/account name in case of internet banking or mobile transfer

      teller number

  13. Hmmm! Dis is great am really inspired and empowered right now. Have gone through some similar post on this but this has got me motivated and going by this I don’t think I will need any training before I can start up mine. Kudos to you but will like to know if there is a possibility of rearing an artificial mackerel fish farming.

  14. thank you so much for the enlightenment, I am starting a fish farm by January 2016, so I really need to know if (1) one can sort fishes in a earthen pound (2) if one can rely on locally made feeds (3) some stricking challenges you had encountered in the fish business and how you over came it. Thanks.

    • @ rufus in response to your question 1. ofcourse you can sort them but its best to strt the fingerling in a seperate pond first before sending them to the erthen pond, which means grow them in an artificial pond first. 2. yes you cn rely on locall feed but once in a while feed then with quality rich feed. 3.managemenet has always been a big problem as any slight mistake can result in the death of all th fishes or if the pond isint well cred for.

  15. may God bless u for dis write up .pls I have some questions 1 how many fishes can I rear from juvenile with plastic tank if I hv only 600000 naira for everything needed in production including land
    2 how many fish will be in a tank

  16. Hun! Am really grateful and fulfilled in a way by your open hearted lesson for we aquaculture starters GOD BLESS YOU for this wonderful online information.
    I have a question, with is how long will it take to drain out water it change the water in each pond? Thanks.


  18. Thank you so much for this post.,I’m about starting one.,please how can I get the eBook?. I have poultry farm how will I use the drops of the birds as the fish food.??

  19. Kudos Bro. More Grease to your Elbow and More Feathers to your Crown. Please kindly give me your email so I can send you a message. Thanks

  20. Wow! Wow!! Wow!!!. God Bless you Outrageously. What a wonderful piece Sir. I’m fired up to take up my destiny in my hands to become an entrepreneur in Fish Farming. Can I ask for your email address. You just opened my eyes to a business I can begin to urgument my little salary. I’m most delighted and privileged to have earned from your wealth of knowledge and experience. Kudos.

  21. What can we do about this Chinese people who are now driving away we young people from fishfarming in Nigeria by selling at #550 for 1kg and above kilo of fish presently? With the current price of feed ingredients, farmers can not break-even with this price of #500 talkless of making profit. What is the way forward?

  22. What can we do about this Chinese people who are now driving away we young people from fishfarming in Nigeria by selling 1kg and above kilo of fish presently at #550 per kilo ? With the current price of feed ingredients, there is no way a farmer can break-even talkless of making profit at a price of #550 per kilo.

  23. Excellent Wright up. Please give me a fish feed formular that could enhance the growth of a fish from b/w 1kg to 1.5kg within 3 to 5months of production.

    • its an ebook so you are getting it via email so you can get it by making correspondiong payment as stated on this blog.
      here is that for the fish farming pakage

      PRICE: 4999 Naira
      How To Order For Any Of The Above Product And Services

      To order fo the above product and services,

      Guaranteed Trust Bank

      Account Name: Olujimi Metilelu

      Account Number: 0121882504

      After making payment send the following details to i will acknowledge your payment once i get the bank alert and send or register you for the service you paid for in 20 minutes.

      what you pay for

      bank you paid to

      amount you paid

      depositors name/account name in case of internet banking or mobile transfer

      teller number

  24. Pls,i want to knw if someone should have at least 300,000 and a plot of land,could he be able to start up a pond farming

  25. God bless you for this, pls i will like to know how much feed will i spend on 30pics from day 1 to 6 months. Also when exactly will i be changing water from my plastic pond. lastly, is it possible to use one pond all through. Minimum of how many ponds do i need as a beginner.

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