A catfish farm can be an extremely lucrative business, or it can end up being money down the drain. While these steps cannot guarantee you a profitable catfish farm, they can give you the very basics on how to start one.
Decide if you want your catfish farm to be commercial or individual. Commercial catfish farms can set you back almost a half a million dollars at the beginning, but depending on your loan term, you may be able to get financing for 45 per cent of your catfish farm.
Start by growing a small family of catfish with the source water you plan to use. This way, you will know if the water you are using is going to kill the catfish before you even begin. It would be a huge loss if you already developed your catfish farm and found out that the water you were using was lethal.
Look into the licensing needed to move the water that will go into the catfish tank.
Decide if fish are to be fed or not. If they are to be fed, fertiliser should not be deposited into their pond. Also, if you decide to feed the fish, figure out which type of feed is the most cost effective.
Read up on catfish and check out catfish growing manuals. These will help you decide where the tank will go (for example, do you want it on a flat surface next to a well or on a watershed next to a natural source? Do you want your catfish raised in a natural pond or in a "cage culture"?). It is recommended that you only put 1,000 catfish per acre in a caged environment.
Check the acidic value of the water you plan to grow your catfish in. If it is too high, you will need to lime the pond.
Make sure your catfish have access to the right amount of oxygen. If catfish are near a lake or stream, you want to make sure they do not escape. It is also essential that plant life is not growing within their tank, as this can impede their growth.
Decide on the target market for your catfish. Are you selling them to a fish processing plant or to people directly? Most people who sell to a fish processing plant have some sort of investment in the processing plant. Call the ones you are interested in using.
Figure out a marketing strategy. How will you sell your catfish to individual or private clients? What makes your catfish special?