Skip to content

How to Start a Ornamental Fish Farming Business

Small-scale ornamental fish farming is a profitable business. And any individual can start this business home-based. Here in this article, we intend to explore how to start a small-scale ornamental fish farming business.

Ornamental fish farming is a financially lucrative project and also self-rewarding. In addition, keeping aquarium fish is one of the oldest and most popular hobbies in the world. However, you must have some basic skills and knowledge about breeding and rearing.

Broadly, we can find 2 categories according to breeding behavior. These are egg layers (oviparous) and livebearers (ovo-viviparous). The growing interest in aquarium fish has resulted in a steady increase in the aquarium fish trade globally.

The growing interest in aquarium fish has resulted in a steady increase in the aquarium fish trade globally. The top exporting country is Singapore followed by Honking, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, Srilanka, Taiwan, Indonesia, and India.

However, the largest importer of Ornamental fish is the USA followed by Europe and Japan. The growth of the ornamental fish trade globally is very much encouraging. Most of the ornamental fishes cultured and marketed are exotic species.

7 Steps to Start Ornamental Fish Farming Business

Like any other livestock farming, ornamental fish farming may attract financial losses because of poor management, and disease attacks. So it is very important to handle the farm carefully. The basic requirements for the successful breeding and rearing of ornamental fish are adequate space, quality water, and sufficient feed.

1. Create a Business Plan

This is the first step in any business. And it is applicable here also. There are several factors you must determine before writing the business plan. Determine whether you want to initiate a breeding and rearing farm or only a rearing farm. Because you will need to put the other things on the basis of this. Then select the fish species. It is advisable to start on a small scale.

Craft a financial projection. And of course, determine your marketing plan. Where to sell the fish? How are you would going to compete with other sellers?

2. Select Farm Location

First of all, you must fix the location. You can start in your backyard. You can also initiate the business from a rental location. However, try to ensure a location near a market. So you can access easily the market and transportation facility.

3. Prepare Fish Tank or Pond

You can start ornamental fish farming with the tank. And you can use plastic, cement or glass tank. If you want to offer retail sales from your farm, then it is advisable to use a glass tank. However, you can also use the pond. You will need to procure small and big tanks. Generally, small tanks are used for growing fish fingerlings. And you can use a large tank or pond for rearing big fish.

4. Select Fishes

According to the local demand, select the fish carefully. However, you can also initiate a fully export-oriented fish farm. And for that, you must depend on the international market demand. However, some of the most popular aquarium fish species are Molly, Guppy, Platy, Swordtail, Blue Gourami, Pearl Gourami, Rosy Barb, Gold Fish, S Fighter, Angel, etc.

5. Fish Rearing

In ornamental fish farming, you must manage the farm efficiently. Generally, you can use cement tanks.  Cement tanks are easy to maintain and durable. You can sock one species in one tank. However, in the case of compatible species, two or three species can occupy the same tank. Groundwater from dug wells / deep tube wells/ borewells is the best for rearing fish. The fishes reach marketable size in around 4 to 6 months. You can harvest eight to ten crops in a year.

6. Feeding

Young fish are fed mainly with Infusoria, Artemia, Daphnia, Mosquito larvae Tubifex, and Bloodworms. For rearing, you can use formulated artificial or prepared feed. However, try to develop a feed that has a low polluting effect, cheap to prepare, and is easy to store.

7. Promote Your Ornamental Fish Farming Business

Proper promotion of the product is important. The Aquarium shop is a very good option. You can sell your fish from your own shop. In addition, you can also distribute the fish to other retail outlets.

Register your business with local b2b directories. Create your business website. Join the fish farming associations. Finally, try to build a wide and strong distribution channel to promote your ornamental fish farming business.

Basic Requirement to Start Ornamental Fish Farming Business

a) Tanks 

The tanks can be of RCC or brick masonry work having flat bottoms with inlet and outlet pipes. Also, you can use clay, cement, fiberglass, or plastic tanks. However, you must perform the rearing of fish in large tanks. The size of the tanks varies according to space, the number, and the type of fish culture.

b) Aquariums 

Glass tanks of varying sizes are required for breeding. You can use small glass bottles of 250 ml for keeping individual male fighter fish. The number and size of the glass tanks depend on the specific breeding/spawning behavior of the species selected.

c) Overhead tank 

An overhead tank of a suitable size for storing and enabling sedimentation of water is required.

d) Water Supply 

Deep tube wells are the best source of water. Also, you can try recycling water through bio-filters or another sort of filtering mechanism. Other sources like dug wells, and municipal water if available can also be used. Furthermore, you must have a small pump to lift the water to the overhead tank and a network of pipes to feed the culture tanks.

e) WorkShed 

Workshed should be designed in such a way that the tanks get filtered sunlight. Translucent HDPE sheets can be used. This also protects the culture tanks from falling debris and bird dropping etc.

f) Aeration equipment 

A blower pump with a network of tubes for aeration is a must. Additionally, you must ensure a continuous power supply through the generator set or UPS, or inverter.