HOW TO START TILAPIA FISH FARMING BUSINESS
Permit me to introduce you to a business you shall never regret delving into; it is a fish farming business.
Fish are parts of the free gifts of nature man have been endowed with.
The market for fish farming is very explicit and unsaturated; fish are the best and most grossly accepted rich source of protein.
Aside from these, fish are parts of the healthiest food on earth today; it is widely consumed and culturally accepted across all tribes.
Fish farming business is, indeed, a gold mine for any astute and serious-minded business fellow.
Starting a fish farming business is quite impressive and promising but it is not realistic when it hasn’t been put into action. The action makes it realistic and achievable; a wrong action may lead to failure and total loss of the business.
Hence, it is imperative a potential fish farmer has a tractable action plan to back up the dream; this makes the business sail and more promising.
There are different breeds of fishes that can be domesticated provided their environmental condition can be met.
Domesticating fish for commercial purpose is a dicey enterprise but very profitable; here you are taking the fish to an artificial environment, outside their natural environment.
This calls for a lot of modifications; the new environment, the pond, has to be designed in such a way that it allows the fish exhibit their inherent characters. This will increase the productivity of the farm.
Tilapia fish is an exotic breed of fish that can be domesticated easily and successfully.
Tilapia is a prolific type of fish; they are highly fecundity, they reproduce at an outrageous rate.
Their population can be multiplied with a short period, hence, increasing the profit of the farm at relatively low input.
Aside from being prolific, they are hardy and well adaptive; unlike other breeds that are fragile.
Above all, they are of higher market value as they are commonly served in exotic resorts and relaxation centers.
Tilapia fish farming business is a very good business when practiced in the right way.
Aside from the managerial knowledge you presumed to have acquired, it is imperative you put into considerations some rudiments to aid your business before and after its operation; they are termed pre-operation and post-operation practices respectively. Now let’s look into them critically:
- Choice of pond: There are different types of fish ponds; they are: earthen, concrete, tarpaulin and plastic ponds. Each with comparative advantages; but for commercial purpose, it is best to use earthen or concrete pond. These two are durable and last longer; the earthen pond is just an excavation of land to a particular depth. The fishes are housed therein. However, the concrete pond is like molding bricks to a reasonable dimension to accommodate a good number of the intended fish.
- Water testing: water testing is very essential; the pH of the water has to be controlled irrespective of the pond chosen. Water is very essential to the existence of fish; a neutral pH is suitable for fish growth and development. Water testing must be carried out to ascertain the pH of the water; a pH value of 6.5-7.5 must be attained, any value short or tall of this is detrimental to the fish, thus, requires liming to adjust the pH.
- Liming: Liming is the amendment of the water pH to a moderate and favorable value to suit the fish growth and development. Liming can be done with quicklime or hydrated lime.
- Fertilization: After construction of the pond to a desired dimension, it is essential you fertilize your pond. Fertilization is mainly done to mimic the natural habitat of the fish; it is the addition of zoo plankton and phyto plankton to the pond. These two materials serve as food for the fish. Fertilization can be done using manure or dried leaves; dried banana leaves are the best.
- Procurement of fish seeds: At the juncture, you need to be very wary so that you do not bite your fingers at the end. Fish seeds are young tilapia fishes, either fry or juvenile, introduced to the pond for rearing. You need to procure your fish seeds from a reputable hatchery; the nature of the fish seeds determines their growth and well-being. Ensure you do not buy a sick or diseased fish seeds; ensure you observe the motility and activity of the fishes before evacuating them from the hatchery.
- Feeding: Here is another stage in your production; it a very crucial state. Feeding tilapia fish is very tactical; unlike poultry that eat a particular ration, tilapia fish are fed to satiation. You must not measure feed for your tilapia fish, ensure you feed them till they are filled; this is commonly determined when a drop in their rush to feed is observed. Feeding should be done twice in a day at a particular spot.
- Sorting: This is another important practice in tilapia fish farming; in earthen ponds, fish are not sorted due to the nature of the pond, once they are introduced into the pond, they only come out during harvesting. However, in a concrete pond or other ponds, they may or may not be sorted depending on the choice of the manager. Sorting fishes involves separating and arranging fish of the same size together. This will allow rapid growth and efficient feed utilization, also discourages cannibalism.
- Medications: Though, not so common; but in case of any occurrence, like bruise, treat sick fish with antibiotics by mixing in their water.
- Harvesting: Harvesting marks the end of production; Tilapia fish are ready for sale at about 3-4 months depending on your feeding habit and nutrient composition of the feed used. By this time the average weight of your fishes should be 850g; they can be sold to at a cost effective price.
Tilapia fish farming is undoubtedly capital intensive but has a promising return if all the necessary precautions are followed duly.
Avoid overcrowding and feeding with contaminated feed; these will greatly debase the productivity of the venture.
At the end, you shall make huge profit from the business.