Guidelines for Catfish Farming
Catfish is one of the popular sources of protein in the United States. It is healthy and tastes delicious, which makes catfish aquaculture popular aquaculture business. This type of fish thrives well in warm climates, and raising catfish is easy too. As long as you have a suitable and proper place and condition, you can even have a catfish farming at home. Therefore, you can have an alternative source of protein for your family, or also gaining profit by selling them.
Catfish fish farming is easy even for a beginner in aquaculture. However, if you are unsure about how to start catfish farming, this article will help you to understand everything you need to know about this type of fish farming.
Advantages of Catfish Fish Farming
If you are still unsure whether or not you should raise catfish and jump into this business, here are some advantages and reasons why this catfish fish farming is a feasible business to try.
1. Wide Market
As mentioned previously, catfish is one of the popular sources of protein in the United States. Not only in the United States but many other countries also familiar with this type of fish as an alternative source of protein. It is relatively cheap, delicious, and easy to cook. Even a simple deep fry resulting in a delicious taste. Therefore, catfish has quite a wide market acceptance which will make this business profitable for fish farmers.
2. Quick to Harvest
This business is suitable for you that do not want to wait for too long to see the results. Catfishes are fast to grow especially if you feed them with an appropriate amount of feed and nutrition. When they grow healthy and stress-free, you can harvest them only within 3 months. This is a reasonable reason why you should try to jump into this business. It does not take long to see the results and you can learn everything you need to learn about catfish fish farming in a short time.
3. Easy to Breed
It is easy to breed and cultivate catfish. They can easily adapt to their environment whether it is a cement pool, ground pool, or tarpaulin pool. These fishes also easy to take care of and do not require special care. As long as you feed them appropriately with good quality of feed and vitamin as well as provide them with good water flow, they should be able to thrive easily.
4. Strong and Resistant to Disease
Some fish are prone to disease and can die easily, but catfish are different. This fish is relatively resistant to disease which makes them easier to take care of. They also strong and does not easily die. They thrive in clean water and still can live in dirty water too. However, if you want the best result, you will still need to ensure they live in great condition.
5. Big Profits
Another reason to start this business is due to its big catfish farming profits. The fingerlings are cheap and easy to find. They also do not require high maintenance costs and have a low death rate. Additionally, you can start harvesting them within 3 months only which means you will receive your capital back along with the profit in a short time.
How to Raise Catfish
Although raising catfish can be considered easy, you will still need proper catfish farming equipment to ensure that you will get a good harvest. A serious upfront investment for this aquaculture will help your catfish production later on. Of course, the equipment investment here depends on how big is the scale of your aquaculture business will be.
Equipment You Need for Raising Catfish
1. Catfish Pond or Pool with Good Water Flow
The first thing to prepare is a pool or pond with good water flow. You can adjust the width of the pool depends on how many fishes you want to put in that pond. However, ensure that the pond is large enough for the catfish to grow well. Additionally, the pond should be deep as well, and the optimal depth is around 1 – 1.5 meters.
Raising catfish is not always have to be in a pool, you can also raise catfish in a tank. Catfish farming in tanks is not only easy but also great for you that do not have a large enough land to make a large-scale catfish farming. However, the rule is still the same, you need adequate width and depth tanks and don’t overcrowd the tanks with fishes as this can hinder their growth. There are many home fish farming tanks available both in the online or offline store. You should be able to get them easily before starting your fish farming business. You can get fish farm tanks at the Fish Farming Tank website.
Aside from having an adequate size of the pond, the next thing you have to make sure that your pond has good water flow consistently. A pond with water inflow and outflow is good for the fish’s growth. It will encourage them to eat more, and the more they eat, the bigger they can grow. In fact, poor water quality will decrease the catfish’s appetite. Don’t put too many catfish fingerings in a pond because it can pollute the water easily.
In most aquaculture, having clean water is a must, and this is also true for catfish rearing. Poor water conditions will make the catfish prone to infection or illness. You don’t want to end with many dead catfish early on your journey of catfish farming, therefore, make sure that the water for your catfish pond is refreshed frequently and adequately oxygenated.
2. Find Good Quality of Catfish Culture
Once you have the right and appropriate pool or pond as well as clean water needed, the next important step is choosing the catfish juveniles. Poor juveniles may yield undesirable results like stunting or some might even die. You will more likely to end up with losses when not choosing the catfish culture carefully for your farm.
For any type of catfish you choose to raise, there is general guidelines you should follow in choosing healthy and good catfish culture. First thing you should notice is whether they actively moving or not. A healthy catfish juveniles, just like other types of fish, should be actively moving around. There should be no defects on their body too, so you should take a good look at them.
The next thing you need to consider is their size and color. Pick a similar size and colored catfish juveniles. You should also pick catfish culture from the same parents. Its body should be proportional too, that is around 4 to 7 cm long. Pick juveniles that are around 7-9 weeks old, or about 7-15 grams weight per fish.
Find a reliable catfish breeding around your area to make sure that you only get good catfish culture. Some breeders, in order to gain profit faster and rush the process, usually hatch their fishes with fishes that are not mature enough, or sell the catfish juveniles with poor conditions. This can result in weak catfish and they will not thrive and might even die.
3. Protective Nets to Ensure that the Catfish are Safe From Predators
Wherever you are going to set up your catfish farming, you also have to consider to set up a protective net too. Small catfishes are delicacies for other animals like birds, cats, or lizards. To avoid your catfish juveniles are eaten by predators, you need to set up a protective net at least until they are 2 months old or with big enough size. Bigger catfish are rarely become the target of predators. However, you can also keep the protective net until it is time harvesting catfish.
4. Provide the Necessary and Adequate Feed
After you spread the catfish juveniles into the pool or pond, the next thing to do is to maintain. Make sure to feed catfish regularly and adequately. There are many types of catfish feed available. There are variations in size, and even floating or sinking type. For the smaller size of fish like the fingerlings one, you should feed them with smaller feed approximately the 1.5 mm size. But once your catfish get bigger, you can vary the size and type of the feed you give them.
For juveniles catfish or younger, you can give them the floating type of feed first. Once they got bigger and approximately 2 months old, you can switch their feed. Although catfish are usually bottom feeders, giving them a floating feed at their early is good to avoid overfeeding. This way, you can give the feed gradually while letting them eat it and also reduce the possibility of water pollution due to uneaten feed which can be bad for young catfish.
You also need to pay attention to the catfish nutrition while choosing the type of feed for them. Find feeds with a good formula and enhanced nutrition to make sure they can grow optimally. You can also give the fish additional vitamins or probiotics.
Feeding the catfish should depend on their growth progress. Fingerlings should be fed twice a day, while post-fingerlings should be fed once or twice a day. When they got into the juvenile stage, you can still feed them once or twice every day. But if they reached the post-juvenile stage or around 10 grams weight or above, you should feed them once a day.
While it is important to keep them well-fed, make sure you are not overfeeding them since it is only going to make them sick or die as well. If you see the fishes get excited or hurried when you feed them, then it means they are hungry. Once the responses reduced, or you barely see them popping their heads of the water, you can stop giving them feed.
5. Harvesting the Catfish
The last step and probably the most awaited step in this catfish farming business is harvesting the catfish. After waiting for about 2 or 3 months, you can start to harvest your catfish. Since the pool or pond can be quite deep, then you should reduce the water first before catching the fish using your fishing net. It will be easier for you to catch the fish when the water has been reduced. However, make sure you still left some water left so that they still survive.
Make sure to use a fishing net specifically to harvest fish that made of smooth and slippery materials. By using this type of fishing net, you will not risk causing cuts or wounds to the fishes. Once you catch the fishes you need, put it in a container with water to make sure they still live long enough when you sell them. After all, everyone will prefer fresh fish to buy.
Possible Cause of Catfish Death
Although raising catfish is relatively easy, seeing a huge amount of catfish died is possible too. There are some reasons why a huge amount of catfish can die at the same time. Here are some of the reason:
1. Poor Catfish fingerlings quality
One of the reasons why you should get your fingerlings or juveniles from reliable breeders is to get healthy ones. Poor quality of fingerlings will make them prone to disease and easily die.
2. Water with unstable pH
Although this fish is easily adapt to its environment, they still need to live in good water condition. Unstable water pH can be deadly to these fishes.
3. The surrounding atmosphere is too noisy
Even catfish can get stressed too when they live in poor conditions. When they live in an area where it is too noisy, they can get stressed too and die.
4. You don’t feed them regularly, or you overfed them
This one should be obvious, in any type of fish farming or other animal farming. When you don’t feed the fish regularly, they will not optimally grow and even died. However, overfeeding them is also unwise. Therefore, make sure you feed them regularly with an appropriate amount of food.
Those are some easy catfish farming guide that you can follow. Due to its strong and easily adaptable characteristics, this type of farming is easy enough even for a beginner in the fish farming business. So as a start, why don’t you try this business?