Catfish generally grow almost all their life however the growth process slows with age. The rate of grow is relatively slow from fry to fingerlings before they attain juvenile stage.


However if the farmer succeeds in breeding them to juveniles he stands a good chance of success. Therefore I suggest that new catfish farmers purchase only juveniles for stocking. A good measurement for juveniles will be the size of the middle finger of an adult male person.

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Fish Selection

Success or failure starts right from the purchase of the fish. Always ask for juveniles and avoid purchasing fingerlings. This is because fingerlings die easily and are difficult to raise to juveniles. Only experienced catfish farmers should stock fingerlings.

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Another reasons catfish farmers purchase fingerlings or fry is because of the relatively cheap price. The gain on buying cheap quickly reduces when most of the stock dies therefore buy only juveniles.

In fish selection another advice is to purchase shooters from the catfish breeder. Shooters are the fast growing fish hatched at same time in a stock. To identify them the fish farmer will notice some that are already twice the size of those in the stock. Shooters are more active and have the genetic markers for faster grow include good feed conversion rate.


Pond management

Before stocking the pond make sure it is conducive for fish growth. There are different types of ponds used in catfish production. There is the earthen pond, block pond, concrete pond, plastic pond, tarpaulin pond, cage pond.


In urban areas the best pond for better management is the block, concrete or plastic pond. Make sure the pond has an inlet and outlet for changing the water. Construct the outlet pipes in such a way to prevent fish from escaping while water is changed.


Types of Ponds

earthen pond

block pond

concrete pond

plastic pond

tarpaulin pond

cage pond

Water Source

Do you know that catfish bred in a river system grow the fastest to huge size? This is because of the free flowing fresh water and abundant food source. The water source is very important for rapid growth in catfish.

READ ALSO: 3 Important Factors to Consider in Commercial Fish Farming

Best water source in commercial pond is borehole dug to appreciable depth to harness clean clear water. If in doubt of water quality test the ph. level or salinity of the water. Catfish grows in clean fresh water therefore avoid water sources from ocean or stagnant pools. To grow catfish to large size clean clear water is the number one condition.



Aeration is very important to grow catfish faster in commercial pond. Adhere to sensible stocking ratio so the fish has adequate space to grow and use the dissolved oxygenated air. If the pond is big enough with good clean water and good stocking ratio the dissolve oxygen in the water is adequate for fast growth


Quality of food

Once the famer purchase the juvenile buy appropriate feed size for the fish. The secret ingredient in pelleted catfish food is protein. Protein is the ingredient that boosts fish growth to achieve huge size. Luckily fish feed producers know this therefore early starter feed have from 40% to 45% protein. Once the juvenile fish eat heartily they will display rapid growth.


The size of feed starts from 1 mm -1.5mm – 2mm-4mm and so forth. Make sure to purchase the size the fish can easily eat without stress. A good way to test the right size is to drop a few into the pond if the fish easily swallows them they feed is adequate.

Basic Composition of catfish feed

The basic composition of catfish feed is fish meal, soybean meal, poultry byproduct meal. Others are hydrolyzed feather meal, wheat flour, corn fine grind. More are cassava meal, broken rice, rice bran, wheat bran, bone meal, fine fish oil.


Composition of catfish feed

fish meal

soybean meal

poultry byproduct meal

hydrolyzed feather meal

wheat flour

corn fine grind

cassava meal

broken rice

rice bran

wheat bran

bone meal

fine fish oil

Live food

Some catfish farmers add live feed if available to boost the stock. Protein rich live feed include earthworms, maggots. Purchase live earthworms from bate shops or raise them in the garden here is an article on how to start a worm farm.



Vegetable protein is another good source for catfish feed. In the United States of America a key ingredient in American made catfish feed is soy.


Feeding technique

The best way to feed them for rapid growth is at least twice a day. Make sure the food is rich in protein and feed them in the morning and again in the evening. Make sure the fish pond has adequate shelter from the sun with good shaded areas.



To grow catfish faster purchase juvenile fish and make sure they are the shooters with good genetic markers. While stocking make provision for adequate space and avoid over stocking.

Next verify the source of the water by building a borehole and include an inlet and outlet for easy water changing. Purchase only quality feed with high protein content, use live bait, soy rich feed.

Feed them twice a day once in the morning and in the evening. Finally provide a shelter to keep them from the direct sun. Don’t forget to change the water regularly to ensure clean water in the pond.

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