Frequently asked questions about catfish farming in Nigeria

My name is D. U. Attah. based in Taraba State, Nigeria. Sir I was
reading an article on fish farming business and I saw your email address. Actually I wanted to start a fish farming business and wanted to know more before venture into it.

We received an email from a young Nigerian from Taraba State considering venturing into catfish farming business. After preparing our reply to him we decided to also post our answers to his questions on our blog so that other people can learn too. We hope you find it useful. The email and reply follows. 

Good evening sir.

My name is D. U. Attah. based in Taraba State, Nigeria. Sir I was
reading an article on fish farming business and I saw your email address.
Actually I wanted to start a fish farming business and wanted to know
more before venture into it. So please sir if you don’t mind, I will want
you to help me with the following information.

Q.1) For a starter how many juvenile catfish is one supposed to start with?

A.1) You can start with 1000 juvenile catfish.

Q.2) If I am to start with 1000 fish how many bags will they consume to maturity?

A.2) They will consume about 40 – 45 bags of 15 kg bags of feed in 3 months; Or 60 – 65 in 5 months; Or 75 bags in 6 months.

Q.3) How many months am I supposed to rear them?

A.3) 3 months if you are targeting 500 – 600 grammes average weight. 5 – 6 months if you are targeting 1.0 – 1.2 kilogrammes average weight.

Q.4) How many KG of feed will they feed on per day (to get a maximum result)?

A.4) It is recommended that you feed the catfish to satiation every time you feed them. The quantity of feed they eat varies with age of catfish, weather and time of day. Generally, the quantity of feed a fish eats varies according to its size. So when they are juveniles they eat relatively little, and when they are 800 – 1000 grammes they eat a lot. 

Q.5) If I am to use tarpaulin which size will I buy and how much?

A.5) For 1000 catfish it is recommended you use 3 tarpaulin ponds each of which should have a minimum surface area of 8 metres square. The cost of the tarpaulin ponds varies with the type of materials you use in constructing it and the labour charges. A tarpaulin pond of 8 metres square can cost forty thousand naira (N40,000).

Q.6) If I stock 1000 fish will harvest up to 900 kg?

A.6) Yes you can harvest 900 kg of catfish after 5 – 6 months if you take good care of the fish.

Q.7) What will be my average or maximum cost?

A.7) Your operating cost for feeding 1000 juvenile catfish through 5 – 6 months can range from N400,000 – N500,000.

Q.8) How frequently do I need to be changing the water?

A.8) Every 3 – 4 days. 

Q.9) What other things do I need to know?

A.9) You will need to learn about the different brands of fish feed in the market. You need to investigate the price of catfish in the markets around you. You should also find an experienced catfish farmer near you so you can learn from their experiences farming catfish.

Please sir, i will be grateful if you can help out and respond to my mail.

A.10) Done.

Thanks and God bless.


Divine Fish Farm and Gardens

Email:; Website:

Commonly used ponds for aquaculture in Nigeria – Types of ponds used in farming catfish in Nigeria

A brief description of the three common ponds used in farming catfish in Nigeria with links to detailed descriptions of each type of pond.

Aquaculture is the farming of fish, crustaceans, molluscs, aquatic plants, algae and other organisms under controlled conditions. Following the social and economic impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic more and more people across Nigeria are going into the business of catfish farming and one thing they like to know is the kind of habitat, or environment, to grow their catfish in urban or semi-urban areas. In this article I will give a brief description of the three common ponds used in farming catfish in Nigeria with links to detailed descriptions of each type of pond. 

The three most common types of artificial environment or ponds used for growing catfish in Nigeria are:

i) Earthen ponds;

ii) Concrete ponds;

iii) Plastic tanks and tarpaulin Ponds.

Earthen Ponds

Earthen Ponds are found close to natural water courses like rivers, streams, and ponds and are located in the outskirts of urban areas or even rural areas. Some work is done in and around these water courses to prepare the artificial pond to be suitable for farming catfish. There is usually the need to dig pits deep enough to hold water to grow fish. The banks of these pits also have to be reinforced with sandbags to prevent the sides of the ponds from collapsing during floods.

Care too  has to be taken to protect the fish in the pond from predators such as snakes, frogs, birds and other animals. Flood and theft are major concerns and measures must be taken to prevent or mitigate their occurrence. 

When conditions are right through a growing season fish do relatively better in earthen ponds than in concrete ponds or plastic tanks and tarpaulin ponds.

Earthen ponds can be found in agriculture settlements in Ogun State at Idiroko, Aiyetoro, Agbara, Ifo; in Lagos State at Iyana Ipaja, Ikorodu, Epe, Badagry, Ajah; and in Delta State at Warri. 

Earthen pond in Idiroko Ogun State
Earthen pond in Idiroko Ogun State

ii) Concrete Ponds

Concrete Ponds are built with quality blocks, filled with concrete mortar, and plastered inside-out with cement mortar. They are usually found in walled enclosures in sub-urban areas. People with spare land and plenty of freshwater in their houses can set up concrete ponds to grow catfish. A well constructed concrete pond is leak-proof and can last ten years or more. Concrete ponds include plumbing systems to allow inflow of fresh water to the ponds and outflow of waste water from the ponds.

Concrete pond used in farming catfish in a residential area.

iii) Plastic tanks and tarpaulin ponds

Plastic tanks and tarpaulin ponds are temporary or mobile fish ponds commonly used in fish farming in residential areas. They are the least expensive to set up among the common types of artificial ponds. The plastic tanks and tarpaulin materials used in their construction can be bought from tank manufacturers or retailers of these products.

Features common to all types of artificial ponds used in farming catfish in Nigeria are a well, pumping machine, plumbing system, storage tanks, weighing scales, water pits and plastic containers.

In fact, in many catfish farms you will find a combination of two or even all three types of artificial ponds in use to grow fish.

Ugochukwu Ukwuegbu

NB: Do you want to start your own catfish farming business? You can use our consultancy service and avoid common costly mistakes made by many new and even old catfish farmers. Call Divine Fish Farm and Gardens on +2348077776861; Email:; Website: 

Cost of catfish feed in Lagos Nigeria

One piece of information that is of importance to catfish farmers in Nigeria is the cost of catfish feed. Catfish are carnivorous animals and so can eat grains, vegetables, worms and flesh of other fish or animals.

A farmer can mill their own catfish feed or they can choose to buy feed produced by commercial feed millers. Whichever option of feed source a farmer uses to grow his fish he must ensure the feed is of good quality. Buy good quality I mean that the feed must contain the nutrients the fish needs to grow optimally and in the right proportions. The fish feed should also not pollute the pond water easily as this will lead to increased use of water.

While fingerling and juvenile catfish need feed with relatively high protein content (about 42%), as they grow they can do with less of protein and more of other components like fat and carbohydrate. Commercially bagged fish feed is a common choice among farmers in Nigeria, especially smallholder farmers, because it avoids the expensive overhead costs incurred in milling their own fish feed. They are available in containers or bags of 5kg, 15kg and 25kg.

Some common ingredients of fish feed are fish products, oils and fats, cereal grains, concentrates, and additives. A typical feed nutrient composition by percentage is crude protein (42%), crude fibre (4.5%), crude fat (12%), crude ash (8.4%), phosphorus (1.0%), calcium (1.3%), lysine (2.0%) and methionine + cysteine (0.9%).

The bagged fish feed are usually in pellets which can be sinking pellets, floating pellets, or extruded feeds.

Sinking pellets are usually tightly compressed with almost no air space within. It is easy to pack nutrients in sinking feed and it is the least expensive feed type. However, they sink quickly and often dissolve in the water before they are picked up by fish and so it tends to pollute the pond water. Also because they sink in water forcing the fish to feed at the bottom of the pond it is difficult to know when the fish are satisfied during feeding.

Floating pellets are loosely compressed and are filled with small air pockets which make them buoyant and float on water. They float for a relatively long time before they soak up enough water to make them sink. They are usually more expensive than sinking feed but this is compensated by decreased feed waste as the farmer can easily detect when the fish are satisfied and can stop feeding the fish.  

Extruded feeds are ground feeds that are forced through a die under pressure and steam heat. They are thought to be more digestible for catfish. This is the choice of feed for farmers who mill their own feed.

Farmers should take time to read the nutrient composition of the bagged feed they choose to buy. Some factors that determine the farmer’s choice of feed are:

  1. Cost of feed;
  2. Nutrient quality of feed;
  3. The degree to which the feed pollutes the fish pond water;
  4. Availability of the feed in the farmer’s locality.

Below are popular brands of commercially available feeds and their price ranges as of November, 2019. The prices are for 15kg bags in floating pellet sizes of 2mm, 3mm, 4mm, 6mm, and 9mm. The smaller pellet sizes are usually more expensive than the larger pellet sizes due to nutrient composition and ease of manufacture.

  • CHI Feeds: N5500 – N6500;
  • Vital Feeds: N5800 – N6800;
  • Blue Crown: N5300 – N6300;
  • Topfeed: N4800 – N5200;
  • Ecofloat: N4200 – 4500;
  • Skretting: N6000 – N9300;
  • Aller-Aqua: N7600 – N9000;
  • Coppens: N8000 – N12500.

What are the prices of bagged fish feed near you? Feel free to share with us so others can learn. Thank you.

Order your dried catfish from Divine Fish Farm and Gardens. Click to know how.
Order your dried catfish from Divine Fish Farm and Gardens. Click to know how.

Estimate cost of growing 500 kilogrammes of catfish in Lagos, Nigeria for August – December, 2019

These are 8 weeks old juvenile catfish enjoying fresh water at Divine Fish Farm and Gardens. We intend to grow these fish for another 12 weeks (3 months) by which time they should average 500 grammes (g) per fish. At that size they will be ready for processing, i.e. smoking and drying.

These are 8 weeks old juvenile catfish enjoying fresh water at Divine Fish Farm and Gardens. We intend to grow these fish for another 12 weeks (3 months) by which time they should average 500 grammes (g) per fish. At that size they will be ready for processing, i.e. smoking and drying.

Here is a budget estimate for growing these fish.

The catfish in this pond number 1000 pieces. They will have an estimate total mass of 500 kilogrammes (kg) after 3 months. They will consume about 35 bags (15kg per bag) of extruded catfish feed at an estimate total cost of two hundred and forty-five thousand naira (N245,000).

The cost of hatching catfish fries and growing them through fingerlings to 1000 juveniles after 8 weeks is N35,000.

The operational costs of growing the fish is N55,000. The total estimate cost of growing the 1000 fish in this pond to 500 kg is N335,000.

Given this outlay at what price should the catfish be sold to recoup the investment? Remember that the farmer cannot ignore the market price of fish in deciding the price at which he or she will sell his or her fish. How much control does the farmer have over the price at which he/she sells his/her product? To which market should the farmer sell his/her product? Can the farmer take advantage of producing at scale to reduce unit cost of growing fish? How close is the farmer to his market?

The questions above are what every fish farmer should ask at the beginning of every fish farming cycle. A fish farmer should do his budget estimate at the beginning of every fish farming cycle. Intending fish farmers should also do this exercise so as to determine if the venture would be worthwhile.

Sadly, many catfish farmers in Nigeria do not do a budget analysis before engaging in the business of catfish farming and it often leads to unintended consequences. I will end with a tabulated estimate of growing 1000 catfish to an average mass of 500 grammes per fish.

Estimate cost of growing 500 kilogrammes of catfish in Lagos, Nigeria for August – December, 2019



Cost (N)


1000 pieces of juveniles



500 kg of extruded catfish feed



Operational costs



Total Cost



Ugochukwu Ukwuegbu

Divine Fish Farms and Gardens, +2348077776861

6 Reasons Onions Should Be Part Of Your Everyday Meal

Onions are important vegetables used almost every day, especially, for cooking. It falls in the category of allium vegetables which include garlic, leek to mention a few. However, onions have so many health benefits and below are some.

May Help Reduce Cancer Risk

Onion contains properties such as sulphur compounds and flavonoid antioxidants found in allium vegetables which are capable of reducing cancer and other related ailments. These vegetables decrease tumour development and slow the spread of ovarian and lung cancer. Also, research shows that consuming fresh yellow onion helped lessen insulin resistance and hyper-glycemia in breast cancer patients undergoing a form of chemotherapy known to cause insulin resistance.

Sliced onions
Sliced onions

Aids Digestion

Onions also aid digestion, it contains a special type of soluble fibre called oligofructose, which promotes good bacteria growth in the intestines; this helps digestion and at the same time, prevents and treats all forms of diarrhoea. This fibre also reduces the chances of developing gastric ulcer.

Eases Respiration

The anti-inflammatory properties of onions can help soothe respiratory ailments. According to medical practitioners, patients with a respiratory disorder like asthma and allergic rhinitis should include onions in their diet.

Improves Eyesight

Onions have the capacity to stimulate the production of a protein named glutathione, which acts as an antioxidant. This reduces the risk of glaucoma, macular degeneration and cataract. Also, the selenium in onion helps to increase the Vitamin E found in the eye.

Banga (akwu) and other ingredients
Banga (akwu) and other ingredients

Fertility Booster

Onion can be used to manage erectile dysfunction and sexual impotence in men. Its extract can be mixed with honey to boost fertility.

By Modupeoluwa Adekanye,

Culled from the Guardian Nigeria website

Cost of feeding 1000 pieces of catfish fingerlings or juveniles to 1kg table-size fish in Nigeria

When feeding of catfish is done optimally, 1000 kilogrammes (kg) of feed will convert to 1000 kilogrammes of catfish flesh.

A good benchmark for budget planning to grow catfish is estimating the cost required to feed the fish till they reach market size. I recommend that every fish farmer does this at the beginning of a fish growing cycle.

When feeding of catfish is done optimally, 1000 kilogrammes (kg) of feed will convert to 1000 kilogrammes of catfish flesh.


You can choose to grow 1000 kg of catfish by:

  1. Growing 3000 pieces of catfish juveniles to average mass of 330 grammes in 3 months; or
  2. 2000 pieces of juveniles to average mass of 500 grammes in 4 months; or
  3. 1000 pieces of juveniles to average mass of 1 kg in 6 months.

Whichever method you choose from above, it is recommended that you grow with floating feed to 50% of body mass and complete with sinking feed for the remaining 50% of body mass.


 Cost of feed (as of March, 2018) for raising 1 tonne of catfish.

  1. 500 kg of bagged floating feed will cost roughly N270, 000 (two hundred and seventy thousand naira); and
  2. 500 kg of bagged sinking feed will cost roughly N170, 000.

Going by the above you can estimate that it will cost you N440,000 to grow 1 tonne of catfish flesh.

Thank you.



Order your dried catfish from Divine Fish Farm and Gardens. Click to know how.
Order your dried catfish from Divine Fish Farm and Gardens. Click to know how.

Our catfish fingerlings are doing well

Our recent stock of catfish fingerlings is doing fine. You can buy them as fingerlings or juveniles.

You can pick them up at our farm for N30 per fish or have them delivered to you in Lagos or to a motor park near you in most States in Nigeria. The cost of delivery ranges from N5 – N15 per fish.

This 2018 we have successfully delivered catfish juveniles to customers in Abia, Kaduna and Nassarawa States.

Call Ugo on 0807 777 6861. Email:

Thank you.


Prices of catfish fingerlings and juveniles in Lagos Nigeria

We can deliver catfish fingerlings or juveniles of the hetero-clarias (hybrid) specie to you anywhere in Nigeria from Lagos State.

The prices of catfish fingerlings and juveniles as of November, 2017 are:

SN Quantity Fingerlings (4 weeks) Juveniles (8 weeks)
1 0 – 5,000 pieces N25.00 per fish N35.00 per fish
2 5,001 – 10,000 pieces N20.00 per fish N30.00 per fish
3 10,000 and above N15.00 per fish N25.00 per fish

Procedure to order your catfish fingerlings and juveniles

  1. The first step is to call 08077776861 to confirm the availability of fingerlings.

  2. If you want fingerlings (4 weeks old catfish) and they are available they can be packaged and shipped to you within three (3) working days after payment has been made for them.

  3. If you want juveniles (8 weeks old catfish) then you will first call to confirm for the availability of fingerlings. If fingerlings are available then you will book for them. This means you pay for them. On our part we will feed them and take good care of them till they grow to juvenile stage after 3 – 4 weeks.

You can monitor the progress of growth of your fish within this period. When the fish have reached juvenile stage we will package them for you and send them by night through a reliable transport company. You can then pick the fish up at the transporter’s motor park the following morning.

Thank you.

Call: Ugo on 08077776861; Email:

You can click here to send us an instant message from our contact page.

We will reply you

Our website is

Yaba Deanery Agriculture Training Seminar and Empowerment Programme

In August, 2017 we attended the Yaba Deanery Agriculture Training, Seminar and Empowerment programme at the YCC Hall, St Dominic Catholic Church, Yaba, Lagos.

The event was anchored by Rev. Fr. Fortunatus Okeke, OP, the Executive Director, Dominican Centre for Human Resources Development, Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria.

The event was themed Agric Business: Opportunities and viability in Nigeria.

Here are some pictures from the event.

Start an agriculcure business today and beat recession.

Smart Farms Seminar – Family Edition

On Saturday, 29th July, 2017 we ( attended the Smart Farms Seminar – Family Edition organised by PS Nutrac in Ikoyi, Lagos.

The event discussed how farming can be done at home using everyday materials and innovative techniques to grow green healthy foods and vegetables.

Through smart farming agricultural productivity can be increased while agricultural wastage can be drastically reduced. The need for every hand to contribute to food sufficiency in Nigeria cannot be overemphasised.

Techniques of growing food discussed at the seminar include:

  • Soil-based farming;

  • Soil-less culture;

  • Hydroponics;

  • Aquaculture;

  • Aquaponics;

  • Design of hydroponics and aquaponics units;

  • Fish in aquaponics;

  • Hydroponics and aquaponics plants;

  • Plant propagation; and

  • Plant growth requirement.

It was a day of learning that attracted over 50 farmers and farming enthusiasts from Lagos and surrounding states. Our take-away from the event was how to use the waste water from our fish ponds, which is rich in ammonia (a source of nitrogen), to fertilize our vegetable garden. Hopefully this will help improve our water management and increase our vegetable yield.

The smart farm seminar was organised by PS Nutrac, a company committed to improved production of healthy foods using innovative techniques.