How to Start a Fish Farming Business In Nigeria 2021

Fish Farming Business in Nigeria, How to Set It Up And Make Good Profit Out Of It.

Today, the world is full of entrepreneurs who now run the world. It is no more news about the recognition of the fish farming business as a lucrative business.

In Nigeria, the farming sector have always been a productive sector of the nation. The fish farming have been brought to the notice of the public as one lucrative business.

There are certain criteria though in making your fish farming business boom.

Firstly, we must know that there is a difference between FISH FARMING and  FISH BUSINESS. The two of them are different sectors but must work hand in hand for profit making.

Without being a fish farmer, you cannot market your fish and that’s where the both sectors meet.

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Fish farming is the rearing of fish for the consumption of humans and for economic growth. It involves the buying of juveniles to growing frys to fingerling and to matured fish ready for consumption or sale.


This is a small fish at the early stage from the larvae which is grown to table size.


This set of fish follows the juvenile stage. At about one week old fish which has just evolved from the larvae stage.


Fingerlings are about 3-4 months grown fish, this period is their growing period and would need care.

Fish farming is hardly done for the sale purpose of family consumption due to its high demanding nature. It is mostly a commercial farming kind of farming though it can vary in scales.

How to set up a fish farm

A fish farmer should consider setting up a habitat for the fish before bringing in the fish.  It is very important to plan for the convenience of the fish before initiating the idea. Just like in poultry farming too. Some of the things to plan in fish farming are going to be listed in this article. This article is bent on making fish farming easy and a guard to be productive about it.

Some business owners do not like to pass through the steps of thinking to make a business plan. There are no easy way out of attaining perfection, but the good news is, it is attainable!

Following the research made about fish farming and experience, it is possible to bring you this guiding principles. If you follow these principles and guidelines, in due time you will be a successful fish farmer.

Know that there are different stages in fish farming; FINGERLING PERIOD, REARING and FATTENING.


The Fingerling stage is a delicate stage as this is the period of growth of the fish. Just like brooding period in poultry is a delicate period, fingerling stage is to fish farming.

At this stage, the matured fish of about 2-4 years must have spawned and after spawning comes fingerlings. These fingerlings are carefully trained and nutritional needs of the fingerling must be met.

This stage involves fertilization, drying of water, removal of harmful insects and organisms like snake lizard, birds, etc.. It also involves hatching and growing fingerlings which could take up to one (1) week. The fish can now be sold to farmers who want to rear them which brings us to the next stage.


At the rearing stage, the fish is now reared until it gets to the juvenile stage. This could take up to 3-4 months before it can be sold to other farmers who will now take it to the next stage which is the fattening stage.


At this stage, farmers who wouldn’t want to go through the stress of breeding the fish from hatchery can take over. It is advisable that people who are still learning fish farming should start from this stage. It is cost intensive to hatch a fish, rear and fatten and could be done well by professionals.

At the fattening stage, the fish should be adequately given foods to improve their weight gain. They should grown in weight and size and this could be determined by the kind of feed you give them.

There are three categories of feed for fishes

Natural feed: these include bacteria, earthworm, snails,

wastes: these include left overs of food we eat, like rice, beans, and even drops from poultry. This might be detrimental to the fish or gainful to some. It is cheap but not very sufficient to meet the needs of the fattening fish.

Refined feed: Refined feeds are feeds carefully and proportionally mixed by professionals and Animal scientist to meet the fish requirements. This feed is usually composed of amino acids like methionine, lysine, arginine, threonine, tryptophan, histidine,  etc..

Amino acids are very important for fattening fish, also, the natural feeds are necessary too in fattening fish. To get a good result, feed fish with both refined feed, natural feed and leftovers.

The stages listed above are to be carefully managed but it is not good as a beginner to invest in all stages at a time. It is advisable to choose either of the stages, then with further training and equipment proceed to the last two stages (REARING and FATTENING). Choose one part and master it.

Now in all the stages above, choose where you can handle and start small at a time. Other things to consider in fish farming are as follows;


  1. Type of Fish : Before trying to do a fish farm, you should consider a specie of fish that will be easy to rear. In Nigeria, considering our water quality, climate, and nature generally, it is best to rear Cat Fish.
  2. Size of the business : Think of how big or small you want to start the business because it will determine how to plan for other necessary things. The set up for a small scale fish farming is different from a large scale fish farming .
  3. Good site : The next thing to consider is a site that suit the size of the farm you want to establish. If it is a small scale fish farm, you can simply use your backyard or a corner of your house to establish a convenient habitat. If you are considering making a large scale farm then, you will need to consider a larger area of land.
  4. Habitat or house(farm): It is also important to consider where and how to construct a comfortable home away from natural rivers for the fish. Since it is an artificial rearing of fish, then you should bear in mind that you would make a home for them similar to their natural habitat.
  5. Source of water: Just as air is to humans, water is to fish. So it is compulsory to put sufficient water for the fish as the water will be artificially added.
  6. Good drainage : In other for the fish to survive, you must drain off water very often. There could be accumulation of toxic substances formed from the left over of the fish feed. Also harmful bacteria and insects might be present in the water and will harm the fish if not removed. Therefore, there should be a good drainage system so that the water which will be drained out of the tank will flow into. This is necessary to avoid air pollution and contamination of the environment.
  7. Cost : There is a popular add age that says “cut your coat according to your clothe”.  After all these listed above, it is best to know how much it would cost you before venturing into fish farming. I can’t say for sure how much it would cost because prices of things in the market differ by environment, fluctuation and time. It is therefore advisable to ask people who might be into the business and lives in the same locality with you. Take note of their replies and do a market survey.

After putting all these into consideration, if the terms favor you, then congratulations! You can now go ahead with your fish farm establishment.

Remember at the beginning of this article, I said something about fish farming working hand in hand with fish business. Well, firstly you have to learn the farming process because this will determine how much you can make out of the business. Fish farming is a lucrative business but requires time to start making good money out of it.

Most people just think about only investing in the farm but do not consider how to cash out from the farm.


If you want to make a good fortune out of your fish farm business, then you should keep reading…

  1. Location : Make sure your farm is sited close to the market for easy marketing of your fish.
  2. Accessibility : the road to your farm should be accessible just in case some people might want to buy in large quantity and decide to come straight to your farm.
  3. Be serious with the business : when you do your business, do not add sentiments, sell according to your input.
  4. Be strategic : As a good business oriented person, you need to be strategic in dealing with customers and attracting people to patronize you. The market is competitive and therefore good strategic methods are very important. For example; it is better to start advertising and telling people about your business before they get matured to sell. Do not wait for the fishes to get matured before you start your customer hunt.

Materials Needed For Fish Farming

Materials required depends on the scale of the business. If it is a small scale business which could be done in the confine of your compound, you will need;

  • A tank for filling the fish
  • Pipes and plumbing materials for borehole
  • Generator and fuel for pumping water.
  • Filtration to filter unwanted chemicals and harmful substances in the tank.
  • Hole and digger to dig up drainage system.

For a bigger scale where it might need to dig a well,  then you will need;

To dig a well,

  • Aerators and diffusers to circulate air among the fishes.
  • Cage culture.


  • A digger
  • Sand to fill up the corners of the pond.
  • A tarp liner to protect the fish


It is not possible to tell exactly how much it would cost to get the business started as it will depend on many varying factors. Factors like; size of the business, location of the business, fluctuation of price of materials in the market, time.

All these factors listed above can affect the price of starting the business.


It can take you about 8-13 months to make a good profit out of fish farming.  This is because the capital used tk start small will give u a profit of which you might add a little more capital to extend the business. From the addition, you should be making a 100% profit from your third set.

Are There Any Losses In Fish Farming?

Of course, there is actually no business which do not require risks. Just like in poultry, there could be disease break out which can cause mortality. But this could be managed also by taking careful and safety precautions.

Take a bold step to start from somewhere, gradually, you will be a successful business man/woman in fish farming.

For further help, drop your comments on our comment box and ask questions where you need answers.

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