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How do you farm catfish?

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Quick Answer

Farming catfish requires suitable catfish ponds, an adequate supply of water, pond aeration and heating, a supply of fingerling catfish, and catfish food. The best size catfish farming ponds, both natural and man-made, have 1 to 5 acres of surface area. Feed the fish food pellets once a day, and ensure the food contains all the necessary vitamins and minerals for good health.

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Farmed catfish require feed that is about 32 percent protein. When stocking a pond with baby catfish, the fingerlings begin at about 6 inches in length. When farming catfish, feed of 36 percent protein during the first month boosts fingerling growth. It is common to stock approximately 1,500 fish per acre in a catfish farm, however, this necessitates aeration of the pond. A range of pump, paddlewheel and propeller solutions exist to circulate dissolved oxygen and stir the water, thereby providing oxygen to the fish. Also, introduce a water flow of up to 30 gallons of water per minute per acre for commercial operations.

To farm catfish, the optimum temperature for a catfish pond is between 82 and 86 degrees. It is necessary to breed farmed catfish to sustain the farming operation. To do so, gather a selection of specimens of breeding age in a separate pond. To encourage spawning, use a ratio of two male to three female catfish. Provide spawning containers for this pond, such as plastic barrels, ceramic pipes or kegs.

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