How To Start A Backyard Fish Farm

How To Start A Backyard Fish Farm

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If you search online for how to start a fish farm, most of the results will be for commercial fish farmers that want to go large scale and has a lot of money. You will hardly get a result that focuses on starting a small-scale fish farm not to talk of backyard fish farming.

It is essential to know the basics to get things started low-key before expanding to the large scale if you don’t have a risk appetite.

So, I decided to put together the basics to starting a backyard fish farm for someone that just wants to start small and maybe just for consumption.

Although the requirement for starting a backyard fish farm is similar to starting a large-scale fish farm, the only difference is the number of items you will need to kick start.

What is Backyard Farming?

Backyard farming can simply be put as the process of cultivating or producing a certain type of agricultural product in an empty space in your home. defines backyard farming as “a movement where regular people who live in typical houses in typical neighborhoods are turning part of their property into mini or micro-farms”. You can read more about their explanation of backyard farming in this article.

How to Start A Backyard Fish Farm

If you have been thinking of starting a backyard fish farm and you don’t know how and what to do, read this article to the end cos I will explain the process of getting things started without much trouble.

I’ve been opportune to help people from within near and far to kick start either a backyard farm or a large-scale commercial farm. And as someone that also started his business in the backyard, I have tasted both worlds to be able to help you get started no matter where you belong.

Choose Your Hustle

The first step to starting a backyard fish farm is to choose your hustle. Yes, I used the word “HUSTLE” because many people don’t know what they want for themselves.

Fish farming is a business and because you want to start in your backyard does not mean you will not plan for what you want to do.

Decide the quantity of fish you want to start with. I know this comes with the amount you budget to step although some people don’t know anything about budgeting and planning before they start a business.

There are two ways to do this, either you speak with a professional to get you on track or you do the free way by reading guides online and watching videos.

When it comes to fish farming, there are different types of fish you can raise in the backyard, the two common types are tilapia and catfish.

Identify Your Preferred Value Chain

After choosing your hustle, the second step to starting a backyard fish farm is to identify your preferred value chain.

I’m going to use catfish farming as an example in this case.

There are different value chains in the catfish farming sector you can choose from. If you’re confused about which aspect of catfish farming you should go with, read this article on different ways to make money from fish farming.

Most times when people want to start a backyard fish farm, one value chain a lot go for is the production aspect of the business. Either the hatching production, grow-out production, or packaging.

I’m going to make this simple for you to choose, you can either go for hatching production or grow out production.

If you decide to go for packaging, you have little to do at this point, I mean you only have to buy the equipment that will be used for packaging your fish.

There is more to what I’ve mentioned above because there are things that cannot be explained in the article. You can reach out to me for more consultation.

As I’ve mentioned before, we’re going to focus on the grow-out aspect of the production because that’s what 90% of people want to do.

So for this article, we are going with raising catfish to either melange or table size.

Choose and Prepare The Space You Want To Use

Another step to starting a backyard fish farm is by preparing the space you’ll use to raise the fish.

Since we’re discussing starting a backyard farm, you need to look for a good spot where you’ll be raising your fish. It could be at the back of the house, in front of your home, or at the side.

Because it’s called backyard farming doesn’t mean it must be at the back of your house.

You have to be intentional when choosing the space you’ll be using for your farming.

One thing you need to know and have at the back of your mind is when choosing a spot, you have to choose a place closer to a drainage system.

I always advocate you choose a location that is close to where people will not complain about wastewater. This is very important in this business.

If you can’t make this happen, then you have to make provision for an artificial drainage point i.e. digging a soak away as deep as you could think of.

When doing this, please be careful and make sure people don’t fall into it.

Choose The Type of Pond You Want To Use

Plastic Tank Pond

The next step to starting a backyard fish farm is to choose the type of pond you want to use for your farming.

There are different types of ponds that can be used to raise fish but in this situation, we’re limited to just 3 types of fish ponds.

Are you surprised? Well, you’re limited to the following types of ponds:

i. Concrete pond

ii. Plastic pond and

iii. Tarpaulin pond

The space you have in your home will depend on the type of pond you’ll use for raising the fish.

Just like I’ve mentioned earlier in the article, the quantity of fish you want to start will determine the number of ponds you’ll construct.

The cost to erect a pond will depend on the type of pond you choose to have in your home.

Don’t mess things up, speak with a consultant to help you set up so you don’t make a mistake.

Buy The Right Equipment

Catfish farm

After you decide the type of pond you want, construct the pond and then get the required equipment to get things started.

There are some different pieces of equipment you’ll need to buy to make things easy for you aside from the pond that you must have erected/constructed.

You can the list of the equipment in this article. You don’t have to get everything cos it’s possible it might not be useful for you as a backyard fish farmer.

Kick Start Your Farm

We are getting closer to getting our farm up so be happy you’re on your way up.

After getting up to the point of purchasing the right equipment, it’s time to set up the farm and buy the desired size of fish you want to raise.

Again, it is important you speak with a professional that can give you the right size of fish you should stock on your farm.

Don’t just buy fish seedlings from anyone, this can make you lose a lot you might have invested in the beginning of your business.

More than the fish seedlings, seek advice to know the right feed you should give to your fish.

I have made sure I covered this thing in a separate article, read about the various type of feed you can give your fish HERE.

Market Your Fish

Market Your FIsh

The most difficult part of the business after setting up your farm is to start marketing your fish.

I know I should have put this first before getting here but I’ve mentioned it anyways.

You have to do the hard work of marketing your fish before they’re ripe for harvest. Don’t wait till the fish are done before you start telling people you have fish to sell.

From the very first day you stock your fish, start telling people you’ll have fish ready in some months to come.

There are different categories of people you can sell your fish to when they are mature and ready for harvest.

Do thorough research ahead of time so you don’t shortchange yourself, there is money in the business if only you do it right.


There are different things I might not have mentioned in this article but if you follow these steps, I can bet you things are about to get better for you in this business.

To wrap things up, here are the steps on how to start a backyard fish farm:

i. Choose your hustle

ii. Identify your preferred value chain

iii. Choose and prepare your space

iv. Choose the type of pond you want to use

v. Buy the right equipment

vi. Kickstart your business

vii. Market your fish

You know what they say about “If you want to go fast, go alone BUT IF YOU WANT TO GO FAR, GO TOGETHER

In this fish farming business, TWO IS NEVER A CROWD, so follow who knows ROAD so you can make things happen for yourself.

If you find this piece helpful, share it with anyone you know who wants to get started in the business, and also drop a comment below.


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