How Much Does It Cost To Start A Fish Farm?

How Much Does It Cost To Start A Fish Farm

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When people reach out to me about starting a fish farm and I ask them what’s their budget, they get confused about how much they need to kick-start the business.

This happens especially for small-scale farmers who want to just start but don’t know how. This is always difficult for me at the beginning of my consultation but now I figured most people don’t know what they want.

So, I want to ask a question, HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO START A FISH FARM?

I always say it costs zero naira/dollars/pounds or euro to start a fish business (because there are different value chains) but if you want to start a fish farm, you’ll need something tangible to start the farm.

In this article, I will be discussing how much it might cost you to start a fish farm.

What Is A Fish Business?

Simply put, starting and running a fish business involves participating in any of the value chains of the fish business without necessarily owning a farm.

There are many value chains of the fish farming business that you get involved in without stressing much. Some people do this business without even leaving their house or spending any dime and they’re making it bigger than those who own a farm.

I talked about this in my book on The Catfish Business.

How Much It Will Cost To Start A Fish Farm?

The cost of starting a fish farm depends on the quantity of fish you want to start, the location, and how much you’re willing to spend on your proposed farm.

In this article, I’ll be using an example of 100 fish for a start without having anything else except your backyard/house, and water that you will be using.

I will be listing the equipment and the estimated cost you can get the equipment depending on your location and the time you are getting the item.

This article will not be explicit but it will guide you right, and if you want more information, you can reach out to me where I mentor you on how to go about it. This consultation will not be FREE.


Plastic Ponds

The first item you will need to start a fish farm in this tight situation is to get a pond. I have written an article on the different types of ponds you can use to start a fish farm but in this case, you can either use a plastic pond or a tarpaulin pond.

We are going to use a plastic pond (the squared type of pond) for this illustration which is a 1,000 litre pond.

If you’re raising 100 fish, you will only be able to raise 70 fish to table size in the said pond. This means you need to buy two of the ponds.

As of when I’m writing this article, one of the tanks costs 35,000 Naira ($44.69) for new ones; two of which will be 70,000 Naira ($89.37).

Depending on where you’re buying the tanks from, you will transport them to the farm and maybe fix some things like the outlet pipes and the inlet pipes.

Let’s budget the transport cost and pipes to be 10,000 Naira ($12.77). We have a total of 80,000 Naira ($102.14).


Fish In A Barf

The next thing you need to prepare for after buying and fixing your ponds is to buy your fish.

As a beginner, it is good to stock juvenile fish because they’re easy to manage to table size/melange depending on the type of cycle you want to run.

One juvenile cost 40 naira ($0.051), so 100 juveniles will equal 4,000 Naira($5.11).

Please, whenever you want to stock your fish, always go to a reputable farmer who sells good stocks to buy your fish.

Although most farmers will not want to sell 100 fish for you because it is too small, if they’re closer to you, they can sell to you in order to encourage you.

P.S.: If you want to buy fish in large quantities, I sell, so you can reach out to me to buy your fingerlings/juvenile. The minimum order quantity (MOQ) is 1,000 fish.

If we add the cost of buying the ponds, transporting the ponds, and buying the fish together, it will equal 84,000 Naira ($107.25) that has already been spent to start a fish farm of 100 fish.

Cost of Production

Vital Fish Feed

The next item when starting a fish farm is the amount you will spend as the cost of production.

Your cost of production will include feeding, labor, transport, and some other items.

In reality, it will cost you an average of 800 Naira ($1.02) to raise a fish from juvenile to table size. This means, that to raise 100 fish to table size, you’re likely to spend an average of 80,000 Naira as the cost of production.

The amount can increase depending on the changes in the price of feed from time to time.

Furthermore, your cost of production will also depend on the quality of fish you stock and your management technique.

I tell a lot of people that the amount I will spend on my fish will be different from how much you will spend on yours, because, the way we’ll feed and manage the fish will differ due to our level of experience.

So, bear this in mind.

Adding together ponds, fish, and production costs; we have a total of 164,000 Naira ($209.39) already spent.

Miscellaneous Expenses

For every estimate I give out, I make it a point of duty to include miscellaneous expenses.

These are amounts you’re likely to spend during the production cycle that you did not budget for which pops up or came along the way.

This can include consultation fees, medication for the fish, repairs, etc.

The miscellaneous expenses will be 5% of the total cost.

We’re just going to peg the miscellaneous expenses as 10,000 Naira ($12.77), this will bring the grand total to 174,000 Naira ($222.15)


The amount that has been used will change from time to time taking into consideration inflation among other factors but one thing I can guarantee you is it will guide you right to know how much you need to budget if you ever want to start a fish farm whether in your backyard or elsewhere.

Below is the tabular breakdown of the cost mentioned above and possibly to be incurred in the process of starting your business.

1Pond (Plastic)70,00089.37
4Cost of Production80,000102.14
Grand Total174,000222.16

If you want to start a larger farm and you need an explicit and bulky estimate on your preferred quantity of fish, you can reach out to me and I will make that happen (FOR A FEE).

NOTE: Before you reach out, know that TRAINING, COST ESTIMATES ARE NOT FREE.


  1. Daniel, hope this text finds you well, thanks for the valuable information you shared in here. I am a prospective fish farmer and would like to get in touch with you.


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