The ornamental fish farming business is such a profitable business, especially in the United States of America where it is recorded to have made a fortune of $5 billion and more annually. Globally, the ornamental fish farming business: how to start is a worthy discourse with an aim to share with you salient points on establishing the principles of growth as regard the enterprise that promises to bring profits to you.
Fish farming business is the commercial breeding of fish, usually for food, in fish tanks or artificial enclosures such as fish ponds. Majorly fish farming is a controlled cultivation and harvesting of aquatic animals such as fish, crustaceans, molluscs and so on, in natural or pseudo-natural environment. A facility that releases juvenile fish into the wild for recreational fishing or to supplement a species’ natural numbers is generally referred to as a fish hatchery.
But the one sector of the aquaculture industry that does not draw much attention is the production of ornamental and aquarium species of fish, invertebrates and plants. As so, it has very few negative environmental impacts, it has always been a quiet industry, producing captive animals for the past 70 years.
The World Ornamental Aquarium Virtual Conference and Exhibition (WOA21) brought industry leaders, government researchers, farmers, the pet industry, and the general public together to discuss the present and future of the industry. Much of the topics that were discussed there are the challenges, opportunities, effects of the pandemic, new species and culture techniques.
Things to Have to Run an Ornamental Fish Farming Business
Here are some basic requirements to start ornamental fish farming business:
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.
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.
- Overhead tank
An overhead tank of a suitable size for storing and enabling sedimentation of water is required.
- 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, 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.
- Work Shed
Work shed 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.
- 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.
Ornamental Fish Farming Business: How to Start
Ornamental aquaculture is an exciting and rewarding business venture. It requires expertise in pond management, biology, and unique breeding and husbandry techniques, as well as business savvy to operate at a profit. Without stress, it will be agreed that ornamental aquaculture is big business. Hence, the need for so much on the topic, ornamental fish farming business: how to start!
1. You Must Have Business and Technical Expertise
Having some prior experience running a business is essential and thus, it forms a very crucial part of the ornamental fish farming business: how to start discourse. Here are some of the things to pay attention to if you must run this enterprise:
Do you have prior aquaculture experience? Many businesses fail because they concentrate on one area or the other.
Some are enamoured by the aquaculture and forget about the business aspects. And we know, businesses do not run themselves.
If new to aquaculture, hire experienced experts at first, and then become one.
If you are not ready or willing to wear both hats, consider hiring a good manager, or seek employment in the aquaculture industry elsewhere.
2. You Have to 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.
3. You Must Have Reasonable Capital
You must have adequate capital for purchasing, leasing, or building a farm, as well as all production costs and enough cash to make it to first harvest. With adequate or reasonable capital, you can weather low production, disease events, or market downturns.
4. Look for the Right Location
As far as location or place of running your business is concerned, below are some of the questions to ask:
Is there a thriving industry in the area you wish to start? This includes available and affordable land, sufficient quality water, suitable climate, and favorable government regulations and support.
How will climate and the outdoor growing season affect production? How will you manage adverse seasonal cold weather? Remember these are “tropical” species, but with new RAS technology, they can be produced anywhere. Most orders are shipped via air freight, so proximity to airports is essential.
5. You Must Organize Marketing Strategy
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 the 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.
Do you have a reasonable idea of the species, quantities, and buyers of your production? What price can you expect to get? The current pandemic has resulted in more people staying home and buying more ornamental varieties. But this advantage has a downside with higher freight prices, and flight shortages.
7. You Must Employ Able Hands or Manager
Ask yourself these questions:
Will you manage or hire a manager? Or even operate the whole farm yourself?
Are there skilled and unskilled workers available?
Employing experienced professionals to join in effecting the objectives of the business is one thing you will ever be grateful for. So, look for one or two managers, as long as you are capable enough to remunerate them, to help you carry out roles and responsibilities as find necessary.
Aquaculture is prone to all types of natural disasters and manmade problems. Floods, droughts, freezes, disease, pollution, theft and vandalism are all potential causes of financial losses. Fish insurance is a possibility, but an expensive one. A clear advantage is that the recovery time (months only) for most losses is rapid, compared with food fish.