Business : small-scale fish farming
Business type : animal husbandry
Most suitable for : People living near water bodies,with farmlands, Pisciculture enthusiasts, and you.
Thinking of fish farming in your backyard or farmland? Well, I have been researching about it for a while, and in this article ,let’s discuss about how it actually works practically in real life.
After reading this article, you will be clear about the following things
~ Types of fish farms
~ Expenditure associated with fish farming.
~Pros and con’s of small-scale aquaculture.
~Requirements for fish production.
~Estimation of profit from fish farming in tanks.
~Marketing your harvest in a better way.
Types of fish farms
1. Ornamental fish farming
This is a business where fish raisers raise ornamental fishes for aquariums in a commercial scale. Most of the time, they become one stop dealers for every aquarium related stuff like fish feed, aquariums, different varieties of ornamental fishes and water supply system equipment. Customers can just come and buy whatever they want for their fishes. There are other people who just raise the fishes and sell them to the customers.
This kind of fish business needs a lot of attention and knowledge about the fishes. There are some certain kinds of fishes which have a lot of demand in the market. For example, catfishes are said to have more demand in the market than the Cichlids or the tetra fishes.Here is a list of fish species which are commonly raised and sold for the aquariums,
-Cat fishes(there are hundreds of kinds in it)
Requirements to set up an aquarium fish breeding store
– You need a considerably big area to breed so many kinds of fishes. However, to breed 4 to 6 kinds of fishes, your back yard or a big room in your home is enough. But I recommend you to set up an entirely new place if you are expecting a very high-income business.
– Fish farming equipment like the fish tanks, nets , fish feeds, water supply pumps, etc…. there are many one stop dealers who can provide you everything you need. Or you can buy the stuff you need from different stores.
– Next thing to worry about is the load of permits. A western country needs a lot of permits compared to other parts of the world. So, the number of permits you have to clear depends on the country you are living.
Is it a profitable choice?
I would say yes, only if you are confident enough to become a good marketer. Because breeding the fishes is not a very big task, but selling them is. You may breed the rarest of the rarest fishes, but if you cannot advertise your product, then it is a waste of your time.
Here is a list of ways in which you may advertise about your fishes.
– Make your store look attractive, or make people talk about your store with others. Didn’t get what I said? here is an example, recently a DVD store owner in my state made news for showing movies for random people walking by the street for a week. Now, everyone must be knowing about his store in his neighborhood. Do something like that, give people something for free, they would definitely talk about you.
– Exhibit your fishes to the public. Let people come and enjoy in your place. More people just visiting your store may escalate the profit by many folds.
– As I always say, open an online store. This generation spends more time on internet than anything else. So, it is more than necessary for you to make your presence online.
– Know your customers. Find out which kind of fishes they like and order. A detailed research on services like google keyword planner, google trends may help you.
– Print small and attractive advertising cards with images of colorful fishes and distribute them. The most effective and smartest way you can do this is by asking the local news paper boys to include your cards while distributing them. Don’t forget to pay them a nice incentive.
– Customer satisfaction is the most important thing in any of the business. It is very important here also. Get feed back from them and improve your services. Don’t forget to use the social media to connect with your customers.
– Start selling products other than fishes also, like aquarium setups, weeds and aquarium plants, fish feeds, etc… so that your customers buy things needed to their fishes from your store itself.
2. Commercial fish business for food
Commercial fish farming is for those who want to breed the fishes for food. Here, fish production takes place in a very large number. With fishery collapse in many fishing belts around the world, inland fish farming is becoming more and more mainstream.
If you are thinking of rearing the fishes in a small room or a shed, it is just not that profitable, but can feed your family and some neighbors . You need a considerably large area to go commercial. Some of the very famous commercial fishes are,
How do I rear the fishes? What can be my initial investment?
Before answering this question, I should inform you that these calculations may vary for different geographical areas,and can depend on the method of water supply, and the types of fishes you are breeding.
To give you a rough idea, I can explain you with an imaginary person called Ram. In India, if Ram has to start a fish farm with his two acres of land (1 acre= 0.404 hectares), then Ram should find 24/7 water source for his farm land. The quality of the water can be altered using scientific methods, so the quality of the water is not a real issue.
He will have to dig ponds in his land ( most of the ponds are of 20m*20m size, but you can choose them as you please), or he has to set up plastic fish breeding tanks in his farm land. Then comes the water inlet and outlet setup. All these can roughly cost you 70000 rupees – 90000 rupees (1000$-1500$) per acre including the equipment but excluding the fish seeds and feeds. Now, different fish seeds have different prices. For salmon or for Catla, it can cost you 100 rupees per 10000 seeds. They will have 40% survival rate, which means you can harvest nearly 4000 grown up fishes at the end of the rearing season.
In an acre of land, you can harvest hundreds of thousands of fishes for every 6-8 months. Professional fish farmers calculate their profit as nearly three times as they spend on their fishes. So, if you spend 100000 rupees on the business, you can expect a profit of 300000 rupees. However, the profit also depends on the market rate of the fishes and your marketing skills.
This seems more profitable, especially when your paddy crop gives you just 34000 rupees per acre. But, wait, you will have to be ready to take care of them, feed them twice a day, weigh them regularly to know the sufficiency of the feed and sell them to the right buyer (whether the local customers or some firms and restaurants). If you pass on all these tests, this can be a really profitable dream business. So, make your business plan today.
Ornamental fish farming Fish production for food
– Breeding aquarium fishes – Breeding commercial fishes
– Large area not needed – Large area needed
– Needs special marketing skills – Need one regular wholesaler
– More sensitive , more attention – Less sensitive, less attention
– High profit per less area – moderate profit per more area
So, this is all about the practical side of the fish farming business. Feel free to express your opinions in the comment section below.