How To Hatch Catfish At Home: 7 Steps Guide To Hatching A Catfish Successfully

How To Hatch Catfish

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One of the ways to make money from the fish farming business is to learn how to hatch catfish.

Catfish farming is one of the common and most profitable agricultural businesses you can venture into. Beyond that, learning and mastering the basics of how to hatch catfish will help you make money from the fish farming business without sweat and within a short period of time.

This doesn’t mean that you will not make mistakes or that it will be a smooth ride for you.  However, if you look beyond the mistakes and pick yourself up after falling, you will be a force to reckon with in the industry.

It is easy to hatch a fish but the management system is what put most people off. The hatchery management process

In this article, I will put you through the process of how to hatch catfish easily in the comfort of your home.

Before we consider how to hatch catfish, let’s consider some basics of hatching catfish.

What Is Hatchery?

Catfish hatchery is the process of artificially breeding a fish. In other words, you hatch the fish’s eggs under artificial conditions.

The process of hatchery (which is mainly insemination) takes around 24 to 36 hours before the proper management system begins.

Now a look at the hatching process.

You’ll need to have some equipment to hatch catfish successfully.

Hence, let’s consider what some of these pieces of equipment are.

Catfish Hatchery Equipment

How To Hatch Catfish At Home: 7 Steps Guide To Hatching A Catfish Successfully
Image From Pixabay.com

There are certain pieces of equipment you need to have before hatchery can take place. These equipment include:

  1. Incubator
  2. Well regulated Water
  3. Broodstock
  4. Scale
  5. Synthetic hormone
  6. Syringe
  7. Saline Solution
  8. Spawning Net
  9. Bowl
  10. 2 Towels
  11. Tissue Paper
  12. Plastic spoon
  13. Blade

Steps To How To Hatch Catfish

1. Identify The Broodstock

Broodstock

The first step in the hatchery process is identifying the broodstock.

What is a broodstock? Broodstocks are mature catfish that can be used to hatch catfish. Simply put, they are male and female catfish.

What you need to hatch a catfish egg is the female catfish and the male catfish. To identify the broodstock is easy, turn the catfish upside down.

The male broodstock has a red tip sexual papilla located behind the anus.

The female broodstock has a reddish genital opening. Also, it has a swollen stomach that can be easily identified. If gently pressed from the top, the ready eggs will come out.

2. Select The Catfish To Be Used

The next thing you need to do if you want to hatch a catfish is to select the fish(es) you want to use for hatching. Before deciding on the fish to use,  you must have selected and scanned through several catfish to see which is right and ready to use.

Make sure the fish selected is mature because it has a direct effect on whether or not the process will be successful.

3. Scale The Broodstocks

Next, you need to weigh the fish to see if they are up to the required size. Personally, when selecting the fish I want to use to hatch, I prefer the female fish to be at least 1kg. This is because they will be “loaded” in the local language i.e. they will contain more mature eggs.                

4. Prepare The Female Broodstock For Propagation

After selecting the fish(es) to hatch, the next thing on how to hatch catfish is to prepare your female broodstock for propagation.

In this stage, you will inject the female fish with the synthetic hormone (ovaprim, or ovulin). The amount of synthetic hormone you inject into the fish will depend on the weight of the fish.

To inject the fish, you must first cover the face of the fish with a towel. After covering the face, point your syringe towards the tail of the fish and inject. This way, the synthetic hormone will be effective and produce desired results.

5. Separate The Catfish

After injecting the fish, you have to separate the male fish from the female fish. This is important because after like 4 hours, the female fish will start reacting to the injection. When separating the fish, you have to cover the fish so it doesn’t see light at all.

If you don’t this, the fish can fight her way out of the space you put it. You have to separate and cover the fish for at least 8 hours.

Read this article on how to start a fish farm

6. Set Up The incubator

The next step in this process is to prepare the incubator where you will be hatching the fish. Ideally, the place should be ready at least 14 hours before the previous process. If your water pH is not good, you have to fetch the water down for 24 hours or more to allow the acidity level to reduce and for a hassle-free hatchery process.

Have your water down and spread the spawning net on the water then you are half ready to hatch your fish.

7. Strip The Fish

After like 8 hours of injecting your fish, now is the time to strip your female fish. This process is very delicate because you don’t want your effort to go to waste.

The first thing after your remove your separated fish from the water is to cover the eyes with one towel, then another person holds the fishtail with a towel also. Whoever is holding the fish has to hold it tight so it doesn’t fall off.

After covering the eyes, gently press the belly of the fish till the eggs start coming out. Continue pressing the fish belly till you see that there are no more eggs or you can see that a stain of blood has started coming out.

8. Bring Out Milt

The next step is to remove the milt sac (sperm) from the male fish. There are different ways to do this, some people kill the fish first then bring out the milt sac.

What I do is I cut the fish from the belly then bring out the milk sac from the side. Although you are going to kill the fish eventually at least you can do whatever you want to do before the actual slaughter of the male fish.

A male fish should have at least two milt sac but if that doesn’t happen, one should be enough depending on the size and weight of the female broodstock.

When you remove the milt sac, put it in tissue paper and cover it. You can remove the milt sac before or after killing the male fish, whatever works for you is fine.

NOTE: It is advisable to have at least two or three male broodstock on standby. This is because you might be in a situation where one male broodstock doesn’t have any milt sac. I have been in that situation before.

9. Mix The Saline Solution With The Milt

After removing the milt sac from the broodstock, the next thing is to mix the milt sac (sperm) with the stripped eggs. Get the eggs, gently cut the milt sac with a blade, and mix both with a spoon using the saline solution.

When mixing the eggs, you have to be very careful so that there is not too much saline solution or water (if you are going to be using freshwater).

Mix for at least a minute or more before moving to the next step.

10. Spread The Eggs On The Spawning Net

The last but not least step is to spread the eggs on a spawning net. After gently spreading the eggs, cover the pond with thick nylon for at least 24 hours.

Come back after 24 hours to check whether or not the fishes have hatched.

How do I know if the eggs hatched? The hatched eggs fall from the net down to the bottom of the incubator (plastic pond or whatever you use to hatch) while the bad eggs turn white and stay on the net.

You can still leave the net for like 30 hours but you need to check it regularly to avoid pollution.

If the net is not removed on time and the water is polluted, it can cause the hatched eggs to die.

Some people do not see the hatched fish early, it is normal. Such people can see the fishes at 72 hours when most of them would have started swimming in the water.

Conclusion

The process of insemination to hatch catfish fries is very easy and it takes approximately 24 – 36 hours to complete which anyone can do. However, the real work begins when you have successfully hatched your fish, and it’s time to manage them for proper growth.

The first 2 weeks after the hatchery process is very crucial to the survival of your fish. You need to treat the catfish fries carefully, when changing the water, feeding them, siphoning the pond, and even when you need to sort them.

This process is not easy and requires special attention.

With less than N 30,000, you should be able to hatch a catfish successfully.

If you are lucky and you were able to manage the fish for 2 weeks well, you can sell the fish and make your money.

Do you find value in this article, do well to share it with your friends.

If you want more guidance on how to hatch catfish fingerlings at home, you can send us a message using the Contact Us form.


23 thoughts on “How To Hatch Catfish At Home: 7 Steps Guide To Hatching A Catfish Successfully”

  1. When you say mix the egg with the milt and later you said cut the milt with a blade and stir, which one comes first?

  2. Thanks for this lesson. Quite useful. I will try it and reach you with my success story.

    I should appreciate it very much if you give me tips on the management after hatching.

  3. hello abd how are
    my question here is , i hatched by following all the steps you mentioned but after 5 days still the eggs didnt hatch still on ground didnt start floting pls what is the problem thanks
    Alhaji Gambo Inuwa.

      1. Joseph Oti Inedu

        Pls,any specific weight of the male brood stock
        *what acidity level is best for the fertilized eggs
        *average duration of hatched eggs
        *owing to the number of expressed eggs,can one use milt from 2 male brood stocks
        *what volume of saline water is recommended to mix

        1. – No specific weight actually so far the eggs in the broodstock is mature enough to be used.
          – Let your water pH level be within 6.5 – 7.5
          – Within 24 hours you will know whether or not your eggs is hatched
          – Yes you can
          – Use your discretion

  4. [email protected]
    Thanks for your sound Lecture.
    Out of search for more knowledge in hatching of catfish and it’s management, I was very lucky to stumble into your article.
    My cousin hatched for me yesterday.
    It was a success though the eggs pressed out were very small.
    When the fish died after 14 hours of doing the hatching, I discovered the eggs in the sac were very much while few came out during the pressing.

    My Question:
    (1) What is the ml of the Ovulin for a particular kg of fish.

    (2) kindly educate me on step by step approaches of management of my hatched fishes.

    They started showing sign of been hatched from 2pm today.
    Thanks so much Sir.

    Nwakwuoke John D.

    1. – The quantity is always written on the bottle of synthetic hormone
      – Hatchery management cannot just be explained by mouth cos that’s what is called fish hatching. Where the real work is. If you want to learn more and succeed then go for more training particularly on fries management.

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