How I started My Cat Fish Farm (Semi-intensive Culture of Clarias gariepinus)

How to start a cat fish farm
Intensive catfish farm

Catfish farming is one of the profitable agribusiness ventures for youths. One could easily make a lot of Money venturing into commercial Catfish farming.

I will give a detailed guide on how I started my own catfish farm. Just do me a favour by patiently reading till the end.

The species of catfish I'm farming

For my fish farm, I am culturing the African catfish known as Clarias gariepinus.

 Clarias gariepinus has an average adult length of 1–1.5 m, it reaches a maximum length of 1.7 m and can weigh up to 60 kg. My target is to achieve a live weight of at least 4kg. 
The African catfish was realized to be a very suitable species for fish farming for the following reasons:
  • It has fast growth rate and feeds on a large variety of agriculture byproducts
  • It is hardy and tolerates adverse water quality conditions
  •  It can be raised in high stocking densities, resulting in high net yields
  •  The selling price is higher due to its demand
  • It tolerates difficult conditions in fish farming

System of management

The System of management I used in this catfish farming is Semi-intensive system. It mainly involves fertilizing the pond so that algae will grow as supplementary feed and source of dissolved oxygen for the fishes, and occasionally flushing the pond.

I am using this management option because I stay in a place where there is no constant water supply.

Fertilization of Pond water

Fertilizers are natural or synthetic substances that are used in ponds to increase the production of the natural food organisms to be eaten by the fish. These organisms include phytoplankton, zooplankton, and insects. They are all part of a complex food web converging toward fish production. By increasing the availability of major nutrients, fertilizers promote the development of planktonic algae, which provide food for many fish

Fish pond can be fertilized with two types of fertilizers.
1. Mineral or inorganic fertilizers which contain only mineral nutrients and no organic matter. They are manufactured industrially to be used in agriculture for improving crop production and they can be obtained from specialized suppliers or agro-allied companies.
2. Organic fertilizers, which contain a mixture of organic matter and mineral nutrients. These include poultry droppings, pig faeces, cow dung, rabbit faeces e.t.c

I used poultry droppings for the fertilization of my pond.  See the video demonstration of how to fertilize pond.

 After fertilizing the pond I let it stand for more than one week. After one week I noticed the growth of algae which is the natural food of the fishes. I then removed the bag of poultry droppings from the pond water.

Read: Reasons why your fishes are not growing

Stocking with fingerlings of Clarias gariepinus

When I wanted to stock my fish I removed three-quarter of the pond water which is now very green and filled up with clean water. The reason for this is to reduce turbidity and light penetration into the water.

The Catfish I want to farm is the African Catfish scientifically known as Clarias gariepinus. I now introduced the fishes into the pond water.

Feeding of the fingerlings

I fed the fishes three times daily; morning, afternoon and night. For the first three weeks(April 4th- April 25th) the fishes were fed 1mm of extruded(floating) fish feed rich in protein content. In the evening of April 25th, I started to feed the fishes with 1.8mm feed and that is what they are eating up till now.
 The video below is me feeding the fishes.

Also Read:    Best Catfish feed formula


 Flushing of Fish pond(partially changing pond water)

Although I use the semi-intensive culture of catfish where algae are allowed in the pond water as supplementary fish food and source of oxygen, it is important to flush the pond for a number of reasons.

1. Water changing remove excess nitrates, heavy metals (which will just concentrate if the pond water is only replaced through evaporation). So reducing like three-quarter of pond water and refilling with clean water will reduce the concentration of these compounds.
2. Flushing of pond reduces pond water turbidity which impedes light penetration into the pond water. This turbidity is usually caused by a high concentration of organic matter in the pond.
3. It reduces algae boom; a condition in which the green algae becomes over-populated in pond water and harm the fishes by greatly reducing the oxygen content of fish pond water.
4. It also helps reduce the foul smell that might be coming out from the fish pond.


Other points to note

Always examine your fishes well and make sure they are well fed with the best feed at the fingerlings stage.

Hope I have inspired you in my own little way to start your own fish farm today.
Please Stay tuned to this blog on more updates on my how to successfully run a fish farm from scratch to finish.
You can also contact me for enquiries about how to start you own fish farm. I will answer all your questions just ask.

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  1. Sly, this is a beautiful work. Thank you for this.

    1. Thank you. Hope to see more of this in the near future. #ProudToBeAFarmer

  2. Thanks a lot your really doing a good work. Am into farming too, and am inspired to do more...

  3. Just came across your site today, but I have a question. Which one gives the fish more weight, the foreign feed or the local feeds. I want to sell by three to four months for making smoke fish. Thanks


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