Frequently Asked Questions On Fish Farming In Nigeria: Common Questions Answered
DIRECTORY OF FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ON CATFISH FARMING
WHAT IS THE COST OF THE POND?
Cost of pond depends on area, land and type of pond you intend to have. By type of pond, I mean earthen, concrete or tarpaulin ponds.
HOW MUCH WILL THE 1000 SMALL FISHES COST?
Catfish have sizes: we have fingerlings, juveniles and post juveniles. I always advise potential farmers to go for juveniles since most of them don’t have facilities to handle fingerlings. Healthy juveniles cost between 25-30 naira
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE FOR THE FISH TO GROW FOR MARKETABLE SIZE?
This is where gullible investors fall prey. Before you go into cat fish farming, make sure you know your market or better still make sure you know your buyers and what type of size they buy. For instance it will be difficult for you to get a buyer for a 500g fish if your market environments demands for a 1kg fish and vice versa. However, on average, you should be able to get a size above 1kg within 5 months PROVIDED you fed them well and they are raised with the best and healthy practices
HOW MUCH WILL IT COST TO FEED 1000 FISHES TILL THEY ARE READY FOR SALE?
I could see you really know what you want and this your question will make those that deceive others shiver. I have heard where they will tell you, 'each fish will consume 200naira worth of feed for 6 months and you will attain above 1kg'. Oh my God!!! How is this feasible? Definitely it is not and yes i said it is NOT feasible because different factors and condition determine the response of fish to feed at any particular time. Factors like water quality (turbidity, ph, and temperature. e.t.c), stress and health. What I advise is to set aside considerable amount for feed. For 1000 pcs of fishes and your target is 1kg and above fed for 6 months, I will advice you keep 250,000 for feeding.
FINALLY, HOW MUCH WILL ONE FISH BE SOLD? THEN SUBTRACT THE COST OF STARTING THE BUSINESS FROM THE SALE OF THE GROWN 1000 FISHES. WHAT IS THE PROFIT?
This is another good question. Catfish price varies from place to place. In some places, 1kg-sized fish goes between 500-520, while in some places, we have 460-480. But also have this in mind that not all the 1000 pcs will survive and also not all with attain 1kg averagely. However, if they are well fed and raised under the appropriate conditions, you should have above 850kg at the end of the day. So if you do your maths with the price range I give above, you will still make profit. Profit margin however depends on the pond type you choose. Concrete and tarpaulin ponds consume more money than earthen ponds because of the need to change water.
WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN FINGERLINGS AND JUVENILES?
Fingerlings are fishes that are after birth about 1 week to about 3 weeks old, while juveniles 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?
Yes they will grow in concrete ponds as long as it is spacious.
AS A STARTER, HOW CAN I NEUTRALISE D CEMENT ODOUR IN D POND?
To neutralize the cement such that they don't have any harmful effect on your fishes, use this method which ever suits you. A faster method is to use muratic acid. Briskly scrub all surfaces of the pond with this solution using a brush or broom. The cement may bubble some as the lime works free. This will not harm the pond. Mix more solution if needed. Make sure it reaches all surfaces. Rinse the pond thoroughly, drain and refill. Your pond is now ready for your catfish. Or lime the new Concrete pond, u can get lime from plumbers, Or wash with vinegar or palm oil. Then lime.
IF D SUN IS 2 MUCH ON D POND, HOW CAN I PROTECT D WATER FROM BEING TOO HOT 4 D FISHES? I'M SCARED COS D RECENT SUN IS RATHER 2 HOT.
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 oxygene concentration of the pond water.
IN WHAT MONTH CAN I SORT D BIG 4RM D SMALL COS I READ SOMEWHERE ABOVE THAT THEY EAT EACH OTHER?
The best time to sort is every first week in a new month. Yes, they eat themselves.
CAN SOMEONE GIVE ME A ROUGH ESTIMATE OF HOW MUCH IS LIKELY TO FEED 2,000 FISHES AND FOR DURATION OF HOW MANY MONTHS?
The average cost to feed a catfish from fingerling to table size for 5 months is N250. Now, 250x2000 = N500,000. In a nutshell, you'll spend 500k in feeding 2000 catfish for 5months.
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.
Make your fishes fast for a day or two in new water, after then can use fish biotic or fast they in fish biotic (i prefer d first option)
HOW MANY ADULT FISH CAN MY POND REAR?How many litres is your pond capacity? Ideally, you are supposed to have one fish per 8 litres of water since you don't use an aerator. If you use an aerator, one fish to 4 litres is acceptable. To get better growth with catfish, you definitely need one.
WHAT MODERN ITEMS CAN I USE TO FIGHT FISH DISEASES?
Modern methods include medications, e.g. Aquapro, UV light. Google it. Cheap method is the use of amoxil and tetracyline preparations like NCO to fight disease
WHAT MATERIAL CAN I USE FOR D HATCHING POND ASIDES CONCRETE PONDS?
Alternate materials are canopy, plastics, even big bath containers (wide)
HOW CAN SLIME BE NEUTRALIZED OR REMOVED FROM POND?
For slime, you clean with foam, don't allow water to stay long and don't overfeed. Slime is a form of algae.
IF SODIUM B NOT OKAY TO RAISE pH, WHAT ELSE CAN I USE TO RAISE pH TO 7?
I'm not disputing the fact in reference to raising water pH, possibly the quantity use, you can raise pH, but evaluate if it isn't causing the oxygen content of d water to reduce.
HOW CAN I EVALUATE IF OXYGEN IN WATER IS REDUCED?
The 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 D POND SO I CAN CLEAN WITH FOAM?
For slime, pond becomes greenish/ slippery
WHAT DOSAGE OF AMOXIL AND TETRACYCLINE CAN I USE TO TREAT FRIES OF 4-6 DAYS OLD FROM D DAY I START TO FEED D FRIES?
A capsule for about 300- 400 litres of water
IS IT POSSIBLE TO HAVE AN EARTHEN POND IN AN AREA THAT IS NOT SWAMPY OR WATER LOGGED? I WANT TO FIND OUT IF IT’S POSSIBLE TO AV ONE ON MY FARM DAT WILL ACCOMMODATE JUST FEW FISHES OF ABOUT 500. WHAT IS THE RECOMMENDED SIZE OF SUCH EARTHEN POND FOR 500 FISHES?
It’s possible, but you'll make sure that there is constant water supply 2 d pond. You'll have to put water in the pond 24/7 to sustain d water level. For 500 fishes you can dig a 10 by 6 feet pond with a depth of five feet. It’s very possible, so far u have a reliable source of water supply. 14/9 feet with 2 metres depth should do.
PLEASE CAN SOMEONE TELL ME THE ESTIMATED COST TO BUILD OR CONSTRUCT A CONCRETE POND OF 4000 CAPACITY, SIZE OF THE BLOCKS TO BE USED AND THE AMOUNT OF BLOCKS?
To build such a pond will cost u about #250,000. You are to use 9 inch hollow blocks (size of the pond should be 15 by 30 feet). 9inches = 0.75ft. You can get a rough estimate on the number of blocks with this data.
PLEASE WHAT'S THIS PIPE I OFTEN SEE POPPING OUT OF THE POND MEANT FOR?
Any pipe in a pond is for the control of water flow in and out of d pond.
WHEN DO I SWITCH TO THE DIFFERENT MM OF FEEDS? I'M AWARE THAT FARMERS MIGHT CHANGE AT DIFFERENT INTERVAL BUT AT LEAST I WANT TO GET A ROUGH IDEA.
I can't tell you when to change the size of feeds because it depends on how fast or slow your fish grow in size. First, when you stock with juveniles feed them with 2mm for like 3 weeks to help in boosting their growth rate because 2mm protein content is higher than the rest. The greater the feed size, the lower its protein content. It's for the person feeding to discern when to change from 3mm to 4.5mm, 6mm. Like for instance when feeding with 3mm, he will know when to change to 4.5mm due to the fact the feed 3mm will look too small in proportion to the size of the mouth of the fishes.
I'M PLANNING TO START HATCHING VERY SOON. I TESTED THE PH OF MY WATER YESTERDAY AND ITS ACIDIC (PH 4). WHAT CAN I DO TO MAKE IT SUITABLE FOR HATCHING?
Get sodium carbonate and add it to your tank, it also depends on the size of your tank, like for 1500 litres u can add three spoonful then test. you can also add soda ash to the water. If you have a reservoir, add soda ash to it once it is filled with water, leave for few hours then pump it to d pond it will boost its pH.