Start a Catfish Farm

A catfish farm is a major investment. And so, starting one needs careful consideration. Our guide will run you through questions you need to consider before construction of your catfish pond begins. It will also give you a basic idea on what to expect when operating and managing your catfish business.

Putting up a facility for catfish farming is a large investment. The most major investment for a catfish farm is the construction of the pond for catfish growing.

catfish farm

Once the pond was dug and the area has been developed, there is nothing one can do to undo the work and recover the cost. And so, extensive evaluation must be done by someone planning to start a catfish farm before he finally decides whether it is wise for him to pursue the project.

Pre-Construction Considerations

  • Where should the pond be located? Does the site have enough supply of quality water (from wells or springs)? There are minimum water flow rate requirements in building a pond for a catfish. Will the source meet them? Employ professionals to test whether the water supply volume and flow rate meets standard requirements.
  • Is the water supply suitable for catfish farming? Try growing a few catfish using water taken from the target source.
  • Is the area suitable for pond construction in terms of soil composition and permeability? Ideal soil for pond construction is one with good compaction property. One resource you can run to check on this is your local soil management office.
  • Catfish farming will require some water movement. Will you be able to obtain permits and other necessary licenses for the operation?

Pond Design and Construction

One major consideration in designing a pond for catfish production is the flatness or steepness of the area and the source of water supply. For a generally flat area that has access to a well, a levee pond could be built. Watershed ponds are built for steeper areas near a natural source of water. The depth of the pond is also crucial as this influences the availability of oxygen for the fish. And so is the amount of fish per surface acre of water. Check catfish growing manuals for standards to adhere to.

Catfish Farming Operation and Management

As oxygen supply is essential to the life of catfish, one of the major tasks of a catfish farmer during catfish growing is making sure nothing impedes natural production of oxygen in water and that enough goes to the stock. This means preventing wild fish (if the pond is open to streams and lakes) from getting into the pond, or preventing microscopic plants from growing in waters and competing with the catfish for oxygen consumption. Close monitoring of oxygen supply is essential especially during summer.

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For one to get the most profit for a catfish harvest, it is necessary to determine buyer requirements when planning the season’s production. Consider what buyers demand in terms of weight, frequency, size and price. One can sell the season’s harvest to fish processors or directly to consumer. The latter results a greater return to the farmer.

If you are Interested in Learning more and Setting your Pond for Raising Catfish, then Watch this Video

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  • Deen said on March 13, 2009
    i have just started constructing 4 intermediate ponds for catfish farming on a small scale level that I hope to be one of my occupying activities after resigning from my banking career. Would appreciate inputs on the way forward from all.
  • MARY CHIDINMA UWABUIKE said on March 16, 2009
  • Ismaila, Abubakar said on March 17, 2009
    I have been thinking over a long time on what to venture into as my personal enterprise. I am beginning to develop interest in fish farming. i hope to get more conviction from all.
  • Emmanuel O. S said on April 2, 2009
    Is the use of wooden vats a good medium for the rearing of cat fish like concrete ponds. I would like to know if there are any disadvantages or set backs.
  • ADEWUYI OLAWALE said on April 20, 2009
    please send me a break down on how to start and maintain these business 2 where can i get a pond builder and the cost you can mail me. don't have a phone for now,
  • luka favour said on May 4, 2009
    i want to start catfish farming and i don't know how, so i wouldn't mind if you will offer me a comprehensive document on how to setup a catfish business. from the hatching of eggs to feeding and the environment to real the fish. thank you.
  • ADEDEJI ABIODUN said on May 9, 2009
    if you want more than enough information on fish farming business you more than enough free information from cat fish farmers yahoo group, with over 400 members and over 4 years online providing free unbiased information on catfish farming in nigeria and beyond. the link once again is
  • Taiwo Show said on May 13, 2009
    Hello, I'm already in the catfish business but my fishes are dieing? what are the causes? Is there any way of neutralizing an acidic pond?
  • louis beginner adviser said on May 16, 2009
    call me on professional advice in catfish farming and how to correct your acidified pond water kaji farms 23 bamgboya st ejigbo lagos 08035309232. i will help you in all you want regards kaji

    PH: 08035309232

  • MR GILBERT said on May 27, 2009
    i am interested in commercial catfish farming in nigeria. i need urgent advice. I Will be pleased to see help. Thanks gilbert
  • Multi=Tech said on May 30, 2009
    I need a contact with an experienced and tested consultant to help in the establishment of a small scale commercially viable catfish farm pond. Thanks while awaiting your response. francis
  • Ziad Abusamha said on June 8, 2009
    how much does it cost to start? how big on bon do you need, and where do you get the babies from? I am in Palestine and been thinking of this! help thank you.
  • kehinde yomi said on June 10, 2009
    i am interested in fish farming, i would not mind if you can send a comprehensive business plan on how to start a backyard catfish farming to me. thanks.
  • HONESTKAY said on June 10, 2009
    Hello aquaculture farmers, call me for any advice and corrections you need concerning your fish farming business 08026238767. I wish you all well. HONESTKAY FARM AGO IWOYE.
  • UDO EBIRIM said on June 10, 2009
    I have a fish farm and the yield is not fantastic, what feed formulation can i use or apply to harvest at least 1.6kg/per fish in four months. Is it possible,if yes please advice
  • aderinkola ademola said on June 16, 2009
    I am into fish farming catfish but at end of 4 months i got 1 kg per fish. what are the causes of low weight please reply me. i am from demola badagry
  • chene silas said on June 21, 2009
    i am interested in cat fish farming, please kindly send me a comprehensive business plan on how to start a backyard catfish farming for commercial purpose to me. thank you so much. chene
  • frank said on June 25, 2009
    I need information on sources of good quality catfish feed and simple tools and implement for use. Thanks.
  • osemene stanley said on June 25, 2009
    I and my business partners are young businessmen and now we are into commercial cat fish farming business. what must we do first to achieve this and meeting all demands. contact:2347029650616.
  • kajifarms said on June 27, 2009
    if you are posting any update please also put your email addresses for easy communication. kaji farms
  • adamu m zakaria said on June 28, 2009
    please advise on good source of fingerlings in northern nigeria. this has been our worry. thanks
  • Isaac diratsagae said on June 29, 2009
    I am in South Africa. Give me the guidelines of starting a project on cat fish. Advice me on feed requirement and infrastructure needed. If possible send me a business plan template of cat fish.
  • Harris Adekoya said on July 1, 2009
    Please, how can i attain an advise regarding setting up commercial fish pond business in Nigeria. Thanks.
  • Nnamchi Uchenna Austine said on July 5, 2009
    please, i need a comprehensive information on how to start a catfish farm.
  • Nnenanya Obinna said on July 5, 2009
    Please I need a detailed and comprehensive info on how to start catfish farm and also how to go commercial. Thanks
  • bosun said on July 10, 2009
    Please tell me the no of times i can feed my fish daily to get maximum result, not minding the cost. thanx.
  • ROYAL BENIN said on July 10, 2009
    Royal Fish BENIN Farm is the first intensive production of catfish in Benin. The production capacity is 3,000,000 of catfish fingerlings and 300 tons of catfish from 800 gram to 1 kg. We sell our fingerlings in Benin, Nigeria, Togo. We are reached at Best regards HOUNDJO
  • Dian said on July 14, 2009
    I am interested in starting a fish farm, I have the land but don't know how big the ponds must be and how many fish I can grow. Can someone send me more info in the design of the ponds, quality of water, fish/m3 ratios etc.
  • Ibrahim said on July 14, 2009
    Please, I want to know the advantages of using concrete pond for rearing catfish over using earthen pond. Thank You
  • gerald said on July 16, 2009
    please i'll like to have a breakdown as regards cost on how to start a fish farm on a medium scale. thank you.
  • dave said on July 19, 2009
    Am in spain, am interested in catfish farming, please I need a comprehensive info, the risk involve, and how profitable is it, within the period before harvesting, the cost of feeding the fishes, e.g for 6 ponds.
  • MARK OLU KUNUYI said on July 26, 2009
  • David de Meyer said on July 28, 2009
    I wish to begin a catfish(clarias gariepinus)farm, producing app 280tons per month. Is this type of catfish suitable for export? If so where can I obtain info? Thanks
  • Ahmed Yunusa said on July 29, 2009
    how do i get capital to fund a small scale fish pond in Nigeria. Either in form of loan or grant.
  • Yetty said on August 11, 2009
    I like to start a Cat-fish business but i need a standard proposal. how can i go about it. Also i need a step by step guide on commercial catfish Farming.
  • Oyinkuro beginner adviser said on August 12, 2009
    I am a well trained fish farming consultant resident in Portharcourt, my company handles matter arising from fish farming and related aquaculture issues.. we train, consult sell coppens feed in quantities and all other materials. Call us for any info you need 08037773520

    08037773520 || Fish Farming Consultancy

  • Oladunjoye Raheem Abolaji said on August 14, 2009
    please i want to start a catfish farming somewhere in Abeokuta, Ogun state, i need a comprehensive business plan to guide me through. thanks
  • Abd'azeez said on August 14, 2009
    Great work by a concerned fellow! Please I am highly enthusiastic with catfish farming as my desire in life is to become a renown aquarist in future. Please, can you just shed light vis-s-vis the right channel to pursue my career. I mean a place where the right in-depth practical knowledge can be sought. Thanks.
  • Emeka kalu george said on August 29, 2009
    just got into fish farming, l stay in portharcourt and which to know the right feed to administer from stage to stage as they grow and to find out if there is any form of medication. 08036693669.Thanks.
  • ONYEKACHI said on September 4, 2009
    I am a specialist by profession in catfish production, fish food (life-fish-food) and also fish feed production in a cheaper rate. Contact me at my private phone number +233247444866 i produce zooplanktons( cladocera, moina etc) that supersede the cost of antemmia so if you need my work do not fail to contact me. this is my email address
  • Komolafe Andrew.A said on September 8, 2009
    what can I do to my fishes (catfish)in my pond to grow fast within a short period of time to table size like 1 kg each. please educate me better on what to do.
  • Abubakar M Dogo said on September 11, 2009
    please help with suitable feed formula for a catfish farmer in Niger State, Nigeria.
  • Yinka Adesola said on September 14, 2009
    I need cat fish farming manual I will like to know where I can get catfish food
  • Mr James Okereke said on September 17, 2009
    I want to start catfish farming and I don't know how to go about it, so I will like you to help me with a comprehensive guidelines on how to setup a catfish pond or a place where the right in-depth practical knowledge can be sought. thank you.
  • Afolabi Oladapo said on September 23, 2009
    I am a Veterinary Doctor, but with experience in setting up Catfish farm. You may reach me through the above details for consultancy services.
  • Nkechi said on September 23, 2009
    please, i would like to meet a consultant on how to start fish farming in lagos. Any body with an experience should contact me on 08033030534
  • Green Aquaculture said on September 23, 2009
    You can call me on this no 08026959390 or mail specific questions to me at How to keep feeding cost low, how to construct ponds or tanks, when not to stock fish, where to and not to buy young fish, how to identify good quality stock, why you may have to delay before starting and many more of these questions will get answered.
  • Paul said on September 25, 2009
    I am venturing into Catfish production. I just completed the construction of the ponds which will accommodate about 20,000 catfish. My problem now is that I have ran out of funds and my Consultant is insisting on a sterilization of the ponds that will gulp about N202,000 (according to his quotation). I don't have the money to do this. Please, advise me on what to do. The consultant happens to be the one to supply the fish, which I have already paid for. Paul
  • Jidda Abdulkarim said on September 27, 2009
    i am living in Nigeria, Maiduguri, Borno. I want to start a business in aquaculture or fish farming. Please kindly help me with advise on how to set up and operate the business.
  • ABG LAWAL said on September 28, 2009
    My advice to whoever that is interested in commercial fish farming is to go for training, where so many things will be taught. from experience, fish farming is more than my friend is doing it and i want to do it too. 08033568354
  • Pooja Dhiman said on October 1, 2009
    Hi...i am interested in small scale commercial catfish production. please help with the required info..
  • Tony Naidoo said on October 3, 2009
    I am interested in starting a cat fish farm in South Africa. I am looking for technical advice and know how can any one help me
  • Felix Abayomi said on October 6, 2009
    I can help with any information regarding catfish farming and management. I am based in lagos, Nigeria and I run a free information firm.
  • azeez said on October 9, 2009
    i am a catfish farmer located in ajah area of lagos. fingerlings, juveniles and table size available for sale. intending farmers can also reach me on 08055620799
  • Gt Aquatic concepts beginner adviser said on October 9, 2009
    hi Tony, you can contact me on this number;234-08035857961.

    PH: 08035857961

  • chan dy said on October 12, 2009
    i am interested in catfish and i want run my business with it. I think catfish farm is simple business and human right need it every day, but i still poor and not sure how to feeding it, if sb have method for feeding catfish can i reach it . thank you
  • Felix Abayomi said on October 12, 2009
    I am marketing Multifeed catfish feed. It is cheap and most importantly gives you the desired result. I also provide support service information to help in all or any aspect of catfish farming in Nigeria. I can be reached on +2348034715121 or
  • salami olayinka hammed said on October 14, 2009
    hello sir/ma, am a very young man, i once lived in a village in osun state, and i also once worked in a company that owns a fish pond. i have the idea but an adage says there is no monopoly of knowledge. so i hope there is some things i need to know about the fish pond, it has been my dream to own one of the biggest farm in the world but it will start with a step. i don't want to finish my education and start searching for jobs. i think i have the innovation to be once of the best farmer in the world. so i need your respond on how you can teach me about fish farming and farming in general.
  • david o odubanjo said on October 19, 2009
    Every and Anybody that has interest on a trade, should at the lest try and get a basic knowledge/little education on such Trade/Business. This little advice may make a very great change, Check it out. Also buy books on fish farming, you will be able to learn the dos and donts. Thanx
  • mfon wilson said on October 22, 2009
    sir, i will like you to give me more details on how to start a catfish business, is it advisable for one to use a gp tank in breeding catfishes, the amount of fishes that should be in the tank, the kind of feed to use, can one use fresh or salt water in breeding catfish, how much capital i need to start with, what is the harvesting period
  • Amaju Aham said on October 25, 2009
    I could help you out with some question you may have if you are truly ready to start. Call me on 07069790090. Amaju
  • Amaju Aham said on October 25, 2009
    you would need a maximum of N160 per fish to get them to a weight of about 1.3kg. The minimum space needed is 8X8 feet surface per 500 fishes.
  • prosper said on October 28, 2009
    please send me the step by step guide to start cat fish farming
  • GOZIBESTATE FARMS said on October 28, 2009
    Our tablesize .8kg - 1kg catfish will be ready by end of November 2009. Large quantity. Interested buyers should please contact us by email: or phone 07041547402 in Nigeria for reservation.
  • Sterling Synergy Aquatics said on November 2, 2009
    do u need any information on intensive catfish breeding using d size of ur kitchen to produce about 30,000 pieces of catfish fingerlings and juvenile? call me on 08060373724. ur wealth is all around u, hurry up!
  • Gabriel Yomi said on November 11, 2009
    pls i just started the catfish business, i will like you to send me a rich local feed formula that will enable the fish to grow fast after using imported feed.
  • sesan said on November 17, 2009
    J.PANKU FARMS, IBADAN, OYO STATE, NIGERIA. I would like to know the disadvantages of using rubber tank for fish pond business because i am already in it. please reply me
  • kenneth martin said on November 20, 2009
    i've heard about the idea and i think that help from the experienced like u guys is all i need to be fully in line. pls help me become a successful cat fish farmer.
  • abubakar sadiq abubakar said on November 20, 2009
    Have just started a catfish farm but I need your assistance to get to know more about catfish rearing in full due to difficult am facing now. from ilorin, kwara state, Nigeria
  • newman said on November 24, 2009
    Sir, i am a nigerian living in spain born in edo state i have bought 5,000 fingernails. pls i want to know how much will it cost me to a tablesize and period of harvesting
  • uzoma said on November 25, 2009
    I am a nigerian and live in Imo state i want to start a fish farm but a don't know where to buy good species. My phone Number is 08062999990
  • Femmy said on November 25, 2009
    Ogbomosho, Oyo state in Nigeria. What do I need to go into this business. I have a space at my backyard but I don't know anything about this biz. I need ur help
  • balogun said on November 28, 2009
    my fish are up to 8 months but are yet to be 1kg, what are the possible solutions
  • Cathcist Jonas Ogbuefi said on November 28, 2009
    My Fish Pond Is Located in side my Church Compound in Nibo Awka South L.G.A, Anambra State, Nigeria. Please help me on how to get Fund For My Fish Farm
  • Roland said on December 3, 2009
    I need some workers in my fishing company in Abidjan at list like 8 graduates with experience and honest and more peoples will be needed but now, please 8 people is needed. Call me on +22545480973. or come on yahoo messenger lets chat. R.C.N Fishing company Abidjan, Dr.Roland.G.Walter.
  • OKA said on December 5, 2009
    I am currently working on my catfish pond, please advice me what step to take so that i can yield good profit...i am planing to start big..07038160294, thanks a lot
  • Ejogo Anthony said on December 8, 2009
    i am interested in engaging in catfish farming. i live in port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria. please kindly send to me a manual or guide on how i should start. thank you
  • Suresh Jani said on December 9, 2009
    I need step by step information on starting a brand new Cat Fish Farming Business in Gujarat, India. I have 50 acres+ land
  • emmanuel said on December 11, 2009
    Ogbomosho in Oyo state. I need a step by step info on how start a profitable catfish biz. Can someone help in d house.
  • Bill said on December 11, 2009
    Interested in starting catfish farm in California. Please forward info.
  • ojeleye olusola oyekunle said on December 12, 2009
    I will finish my nysc programme by january 2010 & will like 2 own my catfish farm possibly in oyo or ogbomoso town. I want your advice on proper location. And may u tell me if there is a ready made sale around this towns & possibly current prices of various stages[fry, fingerling] IM FROM OGBOMOSO TOWN, OYO STATE, NIGERIA.
  • Gabari said on December 15, 2009
    Hello there, I want to get info on the Fish Feed to buy for my Fish Farming in Nigeria. Thank you.
  • dire morebise said on December 17, 2009
    I do not have problem in raising fish. presently, i am producing fingerlings. i own a plot of land at offada village in ogun state. all i needed now is fund for expansion. how can you help me to raise fund and possibly to increase my customer base for my current production.
  • Igiegie Joshua Ogheneovo said on December 17, 2009
    Please i want to know the specialist advice to give to a farm operator on how to feed catfish, the types of feeds to be given to them from when they have absorbed their yolk to fry to juvenile and then to brood-stock. Warri, Delta, Nigeria
  • David Feitimi said on December 18, 2009
    To all new fish farmers, my name is David Feitimi C.E.O of Yos Agro Ltd, Kimon Feed-Mill and Kimon bio Fuel, based in Ibadan Oyo state Nigeria, head Office in Brampton Canada. We manufacture 28%32% protein floatable feed for catfish, rabbit pellet, dry dog food e.t.c. We also manufacture cleaning and eco-friendly pelletized bio mass. For any question regarding fish feeding, water circulation and filtration system, contact my office at (905)840-5715 or (416)716-7137 and ask for David. you can also send your question to my email or
  • David Feitimi said on December 18, 2009
    Source of water, water quality, availability of oxygen, water circulation and filtration system, types of feed (floatable is the best) min 28% from the start to the end, feeding system (ones or twice daily). Send your question to my email or call me for more indepth information.
  • Zamree said on December 19, 2009
    Dear Sir/ Madam, I would like to start a Catfish farming in Miri, Sarawak, Malaysia. I am planning to use fiberglass for my fish ponds, Can someone share the information of the system or machine for water control system which can control the PH and temperature and PH of the water and can recycle. I would like to purchase the machine and please email me :,
  • ikenna uchechukwu said on December 19, 2009
    i live and work in owerri imo state Nigeria. i need a detailed information about catfish farming. i want to start constructing a concrete fish pond
  • nneka udeh said on December 21, 2009
    what breed grows fast(matures for harvest within the shortest time?) what do they eat where can i find them?
  • Obisesan oladayo said on December 23, 2009
    I am located at ibadan. My major is fingerlings production. We sell for #6. Phone no. Is 07034204821. Located in nigeria
  • Umar Muhammad Minjibir. said on December 25, 2009
    I'm located at Kano. I've started catfish farming recently and it seem as I'll benefit more. I'm in need of your advice to develop it.
  • Fano Luthuli said on January 2, 2010
    Hi, I would like to be assisted on business plans for cat fish farming. I'm in the Republic of South Africa in Durban South Coast. I also need some guidance on implements.
  • ella said on January 4, 2010
    please can i get a detailed feasibility report on how to start a cat fish farm. pls can you kindly send the details to
  • ononivwe benson said on January 6, 2010
    I want to start catfish production in Sapele- delta state, nigeria. please i need information on how to start, management, feeds preparation, feeding and marketing.
  • buchi said on January 7, 2010
    Happy new yr everyone am a young man living in warri delta state and i wish to go into fish farming(catfish)i need all the info i can get to be successful in this business. I need your help anybody thanks
  • anakhu vic said on January 11, 2010
    pls what method can i adopt to ensure that my catfish reaches 1.5kg in 4-5moths. thanks
  • Roosevelt said on January 11, 2010
    i have a land measuring 200ftx 100ft. i want to start a large scale catfish farm in warri delta state Nigeria. i need your help on how and the size of fish pond to construct and any accessories i need. is a pond or a plastic container better to be used?
  • oshinowo said on January 12, 2010
    kindly send me the details of earthen ponds for catfish production and the relevant species that will suite this.
  • Corus du Plooy said on January 13, 2010
    Please help with business plan on producing catfish in South africa highlands. Want also to know the minimum land size and min production to be profitable. Kind Regards
  • AKINDELE ABIODUN said on January 15, 2010
    I am Akindele Abiodun from Nigeria, Ipaja Lagos. i need some vital information on how to start a cat fish biz. i have space, water and time but dont know how to go about it. just need some tips on the size of the pond and how many no of fish that will be in there, their food and so other things i need to know.


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