[Beginners Guide] How To Start Fish Farming In Nigeria

Claria Gariepinus is the most common specie of catfish being reared in Nigeria. Fishes are artificially cultured using various types of ponds ranging from earthen ponds to plastic ponds to tarpaulin ponds to concrete ponds e.t.c

To successfully start a profitable fish farming business in Nigeria, you will need good capital, a good location to site the business, and skills needed to properly care for the fish. 

How To Start Fish Farming In Nigeria Step By Step

Table of Contents

First thing first, to start a profitable catfish business in Nigeria, the following are what you will need;

  • Good capital
  • Good farm location
  • Type of pond

Good capital

One thing you must put in place before you can be successful in your quest to raise fish is to make available good starting capital.

Read Also: How To Start Bee Farming In Nigeria [Beginners Guide]

Raising fish can be demanding and capital consuming, ranging from buying feeds, raising ponds, buying fingerlings, and many others.

So, before you venture into the catfish business here in Nigeria, you need to think of capital first before anything.

Read Also: How To Start Pig Farming In Nigeria {Beginners Guide}

Good Farm Location

Another thing you must set as a priority is the location you will be setting up your farm.

This matters in process of planning. You will need to get a location that is close to water, areas that are not too toxic, and void of natural predators.

Types of Fish Pond

Types of Fish Pond
Types of Fish Pond

Looking to start a catfish business, one of the first questions will be the choice of the pond to use. The type of pond to use depend on the location you are in.

Read Also: How To Start Shrimp Farming In Nigeria [Beginners Guide]

Earthen Pond

If you are in a swampy riverine area, an earthen pond is the most likely option. If you’re in no ln swampy area, other choices of the pond could consider. Plastic, concrete, or tarpaulin pond could be used but a tarpaulin pond is the cheapest.

Read Also: How to start catfish farming Business In Nigeria {Beginners Guide}

Tarpaulin Pond

Tarpaulin Pond is usually a fish pond that is constructed using tarpaulin just as the name sound. Aquaculture in tarpaulin ponds can be comparable to hydroponic farming, where the farmer isn’t constrained by a lack of land.

Read Also:  [Beginners Guide] How to Raise Broiler Chicken In Nigeria

Plastic Pond

These are ponds that are usually constructed using plastic materials such as big basins, GP tanks, big rubbers, and many others

Concrete Pond

Concrete ponds are usually ponds that are raised using blocks and cement.

Read Also: How To Start Farming Business In Nigeria [PDF Guide]

Step By Step Guide To Start Catfish Farming In Nigeria

Fish farming Business
Fish farming Business In Nigeria

Step One: Select the type of pond you will use

The type of pond you will be using depends on the location you have secured for your fish farm. You can actually make use of any of the fish pond types we have discussed above.

Step Two: Select Farm Size

After selecting your pond, a few important need to be considered which include the sizes of catfish one is going into perhaps you are just interested in raising fingerlings or raising giant ones.

Step Three: Select the Hatchery method

As you will be starting your farming, you will also need to take into cognizance the type of hatchery you want to use.

Fish farming Business
Fish farming Business In Nigeria

Step Four: Select Your water source

The quality of water, space and the quality of feed is very key in the catfish business. So you must ensure you get quality water for your fish.

Water has micro and macronutrient which must be present for the perfect condition of your fish. To get the best, take it for laboratory testing. If you’re going into a hatchery, recommendations will be given based on the sizes of fish you want to go into.

Read Also: How To Start Poultry Farming In Nigeria [Step By Step Guide]

Step Five: Provide Good Spacing

Fishes need spaces to grow properly. Their space must not be choked; it must be spacious. If it is choked, it can lead to the death of fish and can as well hinder them from growing properly.

Step Six: Select quality feed for your fish

Quality of feed is one very important cog in the wheel of the fish business. Knowing what size of feed to give them determines a lot because each size of feed contains a specific amount of crude protein needed for their growth. There is a range of feeds to choose from.

Step Seven: Selection of feed for fries

When you hatch your fish(fries), they start eating 3 days after. This is to enable them to grow needed body organs strong enough to feed.

At this point, you feed 0.2mm for a week. Then switch to 0.3 mm. You feed them this for at least 5 weeks. At this stage, they should be around 3-4 cm long. You change and feed them 0.5 mm.

They will eat 0.5mm for at least 2 weeks when you switch to 1mm. Their sizes should be around 5-6 cm, they should eat 1mm for around 2 weeks then you switch to 2mm at this stage they should be around 7-8/cm long.

Vides of How To Start Fish farming Business In Nigeria:

Types of Fish Feeds in Nigeria

Fish Farming
Fish Farming

Dry Fish Foods

In Nigeria, you’ll find a wide variety of fish diets. Flake foods are another name for concentrations of fiber and minerals for fish-eating that are generated artificially.

Tropical fish (Nigeria is a tropical country) and salty fish alike typically eat these feeds. These fish feeds are designed to last for a long time on the shelf without losing their quality.

Read Also: 10 Common Diseases Of Catfish In Nigeria And How To Treat

Vacation Fish Feeds

Vacation fish meals, often known as ‘food blocks’ or ‘weekend blocks,’ are a substantial type of fish feed. To feed the fish in the aquarium, this food has been prepared and is ready to use.

Medicated Fish Feed

Medicating feed has been a common practice in agriculture for many years. The greatest way to administer medication to fish is through their food, which they will inevitably eat hook, line, and sinker, therefore the use of medicated fish food is the most efficient.

Read Also:  [Beginners Guide] How to Start Goat Farming Kenya

Read Also: [Beginners Guide] How to Raise Broiler Chicken In Nigeria

Unlike bath treatments, which can contaminate the pond, medicating fish feed has the major advantage of not doing so. It does not harm fish or the growth of algae in the fish pond, and it has no effect on either.

It’s nearly undetectable because it’s chewed up and flushed away by the natural flow of the water, leaving nothing behind.

Frozen Fish Feed

These are typically manufactured from mosquito larvae, water fleas, bloodworms, and daphnia, as well as brine shrimp or other sea creatures. Instead of drying the components, they are packaged in resealable pouches and frozen, rather than dehydrating.

Read Also: [Beginners Guide] How to Raise Layers for Egg in Nigeria 

Perishable and damaged fish can contaminate ponds; thus they should be kept frozen by the supplier until they are sold. Frozen tropical fish feed is made from the same natural feed that the fish consume in the wild.

Step By Step Guide To Fish Hatchery Process.

There are two types of hatchery; indoor and outdoor hatchery.

Tools needed To hatch fish:

1) Cacaban or Net

2) plastic containers

3) Spoon

4)saline water

5) towel

6) salt

7) ovulin

Step One: prepare the gravid broodstock

To start hatching, we need gravid broodstock; matured male and female fishes that are at least 12 months old.

Step Two: Inject the female brood with Ovulin

The female brood will be injected with ovulin. Injecting the ovulin is to prepare the eggs for easy stripping. This fish will be injected at least 9 hours before the day of hatching.

Step Three: Extract the male sperm sac

Then, the male will sperm sac will be extracted in a bowl and add saline water this is to make it less active.

Read Also: Disease Prevention and Control In Nigeria Poultry PDF

Step Four: strip the female eggs

The next is to strip the female eggs. A wet towel will be used to cover the female broodstock, this is to calm the fish, then strip the egg in a bowl.

Step Five: Add male sperm to the collected eggs

After stripping, the male sperm will be added to stripped eggs, Stir together thoroughly.

Then the stirred eggs will be spread on the cacaban (net) that has already been spread in the pond filled with water. The purpose of spreading the eggs on a net is to prevent the unhat eggs from polluting the water, which might infect affect the fries.

Read Also: How To Start Poultry Farming In Nigeria [Full Guide]

Step Six: Cover the pond

After this, the pond will be covered the generate heat, which will make the fries hatch fast. The hotter the weather the faster the fries come out.

12 hours after, or less depending on the weather if it is an outdoor hatchery, your fries will be out.

Cost Of Starting A Catfish Farming In Nigeria

The cost to start a catfish business depends on the type you are willing to start, but you must have at least 300,000 to 500,000 nairas.

You need at least 3 ponds. If you’re going into table size fish which is around 700g to 1kg and above, you need t least 3 ponds. This is to enable sorting as the fishes grow.

To get a plastic pond, 3000 liters is around 75000. A Tarpaulin pond of 7 ft by 5 ft by 2 and a half feet costs around 35 – 40k per one.

Common Types Of Fish Farming In Nigeria


Catfish farming is Nigeria’s most popular aquaculture enterprise because of the fish’s widespread appeal. A wide variety of African establishments, including houses, restaurants, festivals, and hotels, use catfish as the most prevalent fishing product.

Most aquaculture farmers grow catfish because they are easy to cultivate and in high demand. It can be raised on a small or large scale, according to on the farmer’s preference.

Creating ponds and raising fingerlings or juveniles to maturity are all part of the catfish farming process. As a result, individuals tend to gravitate toward the fish species that are the most straightforward to raise.

Read Also:  How To Start Bee Farming In Nigeria [Beginners Guide]


Freshwater fishes that live in shallow streams, ponds, rivers, and lakes are used in this fish farming operation. Aquaculture systems around the world are increasingly relying on them.

Fast growth and tolerance for high stocking densities and poor water quality make this breed a profitable one for fish farmers to cultivate.

In Nigeria, tilapia is one of the most popular fish species grown for consumption. It’s a warm-water fish with a high growth rate and greater sizes than other fish.

For the most part, Tilapia fish are found in freshwater environments such as ponds and lakes, rather than in brackish water. Tilapia is a fast-growing and easy-to-grow fish that is popular in the Nigerian market.

Salmon (Mackerel)

For the most part, salmon are migratory freshwater fish that return to spawn in their native waterways after spending time in the sea. They can be caught in the wild, but they can also be raised in zoos. Nigerians consume a large proportion of their fishery products from salmon. In Nigeria, they are referred to as “Titus” and are purchased by millions of people every day.

Feed and Feeding Methods for Fish Farming in Nigeria

All animals grow healthily when fed properly, and feeding is the most crucial factor in their development.

If you’re running a business for profit, you’ll want to use foreign feeds, even if fish have distinct dietary needs. This is because the business is primarily for profit and you want the fish to grow quickly so that you may recoup your investment as quickly as possible.

Arginine, methionine, and lysine are all important amino acids present in crude protein sources, and providing them in the diet will maximize fish productivity in Nigeria.

Fishmeal is the best source of crude protein for this purpose. As an alternative, you can utilize traditional and sometimes unusual animal by-products and plant residues that suit the nutrient requirements of catfish (such as groundnut cake, and soya bean cake, for example).

In order to keep production costs as low as possible, this is being done. This guarantees that the fish get enough food to grow at a faster rate.

How much does it cost to start a fish farm in Nigeria?

The cost to start a catfish business depends on the type you are willing to start, but you must have at least 300,000 to 500,000 naira.

Which fish is best for farming in Nigeria?

The best fish for farming in Nigeria is the Catfish.

Fish aquaculture is a well-established and lucrative enterprise. And the demand for catfish is on the rise as well. Catfish farming is one of the most popular in Nigeria, where there is a high demand for all fish farming.

Is fish farming profitable in Nigeria?

Yes, fish farming is profitable in Nigeria with at least 60 percent return on cost for raising one fish each.

You may make N380, 000 in sales selling 1 kg of fish at the current market price of N800 (475 X N800). Your gross profit margin is 22.58 percent if you have invested N310, 000 and sold N380, 000. Farming catfish does not generate much profit. As long as the market is strong, you won’t be selling every day and week.

How many catfish can you have in a 1000 Litre tank?

You can keep about 26 to 30 fish in 1000 liter of tank

How many bags of fish feed 1000 fish?

You need just a bag of fish feed to feed 1000 fish.

How long do catfish take to grow in Nigeria?

Averagely, fish takes about 24- 36 weeks to grow to the full stage.

How many months does it take fish to mature?

Between 6 to six months.

How many times should catfish be fed in a day?

During the summer, most catfish farmers feed their fish once a day, seven days a week. Feeding fingerlings twice a day may help their growth marginally, but on big catfish farms, the practicalities of frequent feedings make this unfeasible. Mechanical feeders are commonly used to disperse feed on the surface of the water.

How big of a pond do you need for catfish?

The ideal size of a fish pond is about 5 to 7 acres of farmland

Do catfish need sunlight?


Other than water plants, all of the plants utilized in catfish feed are totally reliant on sunlight for their energy. Slightly warm water is ideal for tropical catfish, who thrive in it. Direct and indirect effects of the sun’s heat are used to control the temperature of the water in ponds.

How deep does a catfish pond need to be?

Aquatic vegetation problems can be minimized by using ponds with a depth of at least eight feet and an edge slope of three feet or more. The water-holding capacity of soil should be evaluated for building ponds.

How do you make catfish grow faster?

purchase juvenile fish.

make sure they are the shooters.

avoid overstocking.

verify the source of the water.

include an inlet and outlet.

buy quality feed with high protein.

use live bate.

buy soy-rich feed.

How much is catfish 2022 Nigeria?

1kg catfish is sold at N1000 to N1200.

How do you calculate fish feeding?

ABW (Average Body Weight) = 1.5g. …

Formula = ABW × FR × Fish Population. = 1.5g × 10% × 1000.

= 150g/day.

@ 10:00hrs.

Feeding = 20% × 150g = 30g.

@ 12:00hrs.

Feeding = 30% × 150g = 45g.

@ 14:00hrs.


Fish farming is one of the booming sectors in animal husbandry that many people are keying into, it is not a bad idea if you give it a try,

Do not forget we are always here to help you anywhere you are facing difficulties with your farm, wish you the best of luck!

Oh hi there 👋
It’s nice to meet you.

Sign up to receive awesome content in your inbox, every month.

We don’t spam! Read our [link]privacy policy[/link] for more info.

Author: Adewebs

David is a seasoned farmer with over 8years experience on the field and teaching. He has about 20 acres of Palm farm, 10acres of livestock farm where he spent most of his time tending and caring for his farm. He offer profffesional services and consultancy services to clients who are interested in venturing into farming.

3 Replies to “[Beginners Guide] How To Start Fish Farming In Nigeria

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

error: Alert: Content selection is disabled!!